It’s no longer under the radar

A Candidate's Perspective for Ward 5's Town & Regional Councillor

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Ann Mulvale

Ann Mulvale

Ann Mulvale was the Mayor of Oakville from 1988 to 2006. Currently, Ann is campaigning to become the Ward 5 Regional & Town Councillor in Oakville's 2014 Municipal Election.

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It’s been said that in a political campaign, a day is like a year.

Well, when I entered this race there were indeed some serious issues that compelled me to seek office to once again serve the people. My neighbours and residents in Ward 5 were openly expressing disappointment with the lack of responsiveness from the incumbent regional councillor.

I also knew that the growth in municipal portion of property taxes over the 2011 and 2012 had exceeded the rate of inflation. That was one of the relatively “under-the-radar” issues.

It was obvious in Ward 5 that traffic congestion had also become an issue that wasn’t being tackled.

Northern residents of Ward 5 would tell you that the steady rumbling of jet engines was another important issue that had been in desperate need of a regional councillor to take charge of remedying the situation. Alas, air traffic was under his radar, too…forgive my pun.

But then the campaign began, and everything went sideways…

It began when the sitting mayor held a campaign event attended by all but one of the incumbents seeking re-election. In what has proven to be an unwise gesture, he endorsed the incumbents, in effect, asking you to vote for a ticket. That “love in” angered many and is still reverberating on the doorsteps as I campaign around Ward 5. One resident called it a “cabal” unbecoming our democracy. Some of the endorsed candidates are now gingerly backing away from the backslapping.

This one event galvanized the citizens of Ward 5 (and others I expect). It made many wonder: “Why is an incumbent mayor so eager to have his hand-picked team of incumbents return? Why not let the electorate decide?”

It was an inkling of what was going on. On closer inspection, buried at the bottom of a page in the 2013 Town annual report my team found that, in spite of the election spin cycle, the municipal section of property taxes had actually far-exceeded the rate of inflation in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, in a stealth- like manner, the mayor mused about introducing a new tax –- a Land Transfer Tax. He’s since gone quiet on that. It’s under the radar, too.

Then we learned that one of the mayor’s endorsed ticket folks is running for Council and the Federal Parliament, simultaneously. Faced with very similar circumstances recently, the Mayor of Kingston, Ontario, resigned his municipal office to seek a federal nomination for an election that is a year away. In 2003, Oakville councillors Kevin Flynn and Kurt Franklin both agreed to step aside from Council when they were each nominated to run in the Provincial election. It was – and is – the right thing to do.

We learned that in spite of his current stances and protestations, the Ward 5 regional councillor had done little on the two traffic files: air traffic and the traffic congestion on our roads.

And when residents started comparing notes, it revealed that the regional councillor rarely responded to their phone calls or email promptly.

So then, in the final stages of the campaign it began to gel: we have an incumbent regional councillor who is part of the mayor’s pet group that thinks alike and wants no genuine opposition; a group that feels it is entitled to govern…and will respond to you when it darn well pleases.

It’s a rotten status quo that is begging for repair. We can fix it on October 27.

Under the radar no more.


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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Ann Mulvale has eloquently exposed the real issues facing voters – in Ward 5 and beyond.

    The incumbents seemingly forgot that they serve at the pleasure of the people – not at their own pleasure.

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