The past eight years have been a whirlwind of Anti-Growth and Anti-Development across Oakville and more specifically from Mayor Rob Burton, Councillor Allan Elgar, Councillor Roger Lapworth, and to a smaller degree from Councillor's Ralph Robinson, Tom Adams, and Max Khan. It's no secret that they combined, usually vote together during Town Council issues that they feel are important to them. For example, I just recently received an e-mail from Councillor Elgar via (The) Oakville Green Conservation Association, where he clearly states, " I am strongly against even considering development in this area for a number of reasons: (He goes on about having no budget for anymore Growth in The Merton Lands and much more.) He also states, "I am hoping the public will speak up on this important issue." (He goes on to ask the readers to spread the word to friends, family, and neighbours.) While Mr. Elgar is entitled to his own opinion I have a problem with him using the word, "I" many times in his e-mail in his capacity as a Town Councillor, and in my thinking is delivering a disservice to the remainder of his area's residents by not including them for their opinions or comments as to their potential needs. I have seen video's of Councillor Elgar's angry responses to residents of the public when they ask questions he does not want to answer or when they make comments he doesn't like. I have lived, worked and played in Oakville for 20 years now, and I have owned property for that 20 years, paid $100,000+ in property taxes alone and I am very PROUD of the Growth and Development that I have seen and had a hand in helping to happen as a Real Estate Agent for a number of Builder/Developers in town. To this very day I see many people enjoying their homes and their neighbourhoods, raising their families with Pride of Ownership, and upgrading their properties and being involved in what goes on in their individual communities. (Which includes preserving the natural habitats.) For the most part, these Oakville Owners have committed themselves to not only the single largest investment they will make but made a commitment to Oakville itself!
If you listen carefully to Rob Burton, Developers are Bad and want nothing less than to rape and pillage every square meter of Oakville's land mass. I can tell you from first hand experience that is so far from the truth it's laughable. I worked with some of Canada's Largest and top rated Builders and the personnel from the Owners/Presidents all the way down to the front line manual Labourers are all family men and woman and they are dedicated to providing homes for their customers that will bring them many years of enjoyment. Yes, these Companies want to make some profits along the way, what for-profit Company doesn't? Since when is it evil to earn money? Having said that, there are some bad-apples in the building Industry as well. Every business genre will have some bad mixed with the good. Fortunately, the Builder's who are in the industry for the quick buck don't last. Essentially, Builders are Entrepreneurs. They know ups and downs, they are risk takers through and through. If a Builder is not Budgeting money for long term growth and success, they usually fail, and in a short amount of time. In the 27 years I sold homes for these Builders I did the "Feast or Famine" with them according to Market conditions and outside Political influences. I quickly learned how to survive the lows and really enjoy the highs. As Mayor of Oakville, these real life experiences will be very helpful when times are good and when they are bad.
Rob Burton and his supporters will try to have a field day with me and the fact that I worked for the Big Bad Developers they vilify all the time. I am getting prepared for their onslaught. As Mayor of Oakville, I would have inside knowledge and would be able to negotiate with the Developers in advance of any OMB fight that Rob Burton is fond of doing and spending money on with Lawyers etc. As Mayor of Oakville, I would develop a "point-system" that would only allow the Best of the Best Builders to sell and develop our Town and I would personally walk with their personnel on each and every parcel of land that they buy to show them the sensitive areas that need to be preserved and/or enhanced to compliment each subdivision. Some Builders buy large tracks of raw land many years in advance of it being even close to being constructed on and as Mayor, I would make sure that this land is produced in an effective manner that complements all of Oakville residents needs. No-one wants Oakville to be over-developed and expanded as it has been done in Mississauga. While that city has been called "world-class" they are having a difficult time now keeping up full support with the current level of Property taxes and Owners may see large increases in the near future. I have huge respect for long-time Mayor Hazel McCallion, she has done an enormous 35 year job with working with The Developers and meeting the wants and needs of Mississauga Residents. I sold a lot of homes for Builders in Mississauga as well, and the demand for homes and businesses have been strong and wide for many decades. Oakville has always had a different approach and market demand has been different as well. Its said that current Leaders reflect current times. Throughout history this has proven to be true. (Good or Bad Leaders alike.) I believe I can reflect the current trends and times as Mayor of Oakville especially regarding Development and Growth.