Ward 5 Issues : What Can and Is Being Done

An Incumbent's Perspective for Ward 5's Town & Regional Councillor

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Ward 5 Issues : What Can and Is Being Done
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Jeff Knoll

Jeff Knoll

Jeff Knoll is the Ward 5 Regional & Town Councillor, and resides in OakPark with his wife and children. He is also the CEO of Film.ca, a successful independent movie theatre located on Speers Road just west of Kerr Street.

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I’ve had the pleasure on knocking on many doors and listening carefully to what you are saying. The issues that I keep hearing from them are Air Traffic, Taxes, Gridlock, and controlling Growth and Development and the impacts on existing communities.I agree with all of those and also think a big issue not getting enough attention is economic development. This is critical to bring jobs closer to home to provide a choice for our citizens that have to commute to work and to help bring down residential taxes.

Air Traffic
A new threat to the livability of our community has come from a different kind of traffic. You can hear it … you can see it … and sometimes you can actually even feel it. I’m referring to air traffic.

The noise and effluent from this air traffic is an unwelcome change to our community’s landscape. After unsuccessfully trying to get the federal government to take responsibility and address concerns raised by our community, I led the town and region’s efforts to work directly with the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

I took the lead to get action. And we’re seeing some results.

Step one has been to get GTAA to remove the outdated 10 nautical mile limit to their jurisdiction for the reporting and investigation of noise complaints. They told me that this outdated limit will be eliminated as of January 1, 2015.

I’m also working hard to secure a direct voice at the GTAA’s Community Environment and Noise Advisory Committee (CENAC). This means we can express our concerns about the near-constant air traffic noise to the GTAA at their regular meetings. Enough is enough.

Over the last several months I lobbied for and recently received confirmation that Halton Region will finally have representation on GTAA’s Environmental Impacts Working group. It’s a start.

Next term, if re-elected, I will ask Halton Regional Council to nominate a Councillor to take up our seat on the GTAA board so there can be direct community accountability for our citizen’s concerns. Mayor Burton appointed me to Chair a new Mayor’s Advisory Group to work with the GTAA, NAV Canada and Transport Canada to find a way to reduce and mitigate the impacts of air traffic over Oakville.

I’m proud that our Halton & Town Councils, by working together, cut tax-supported debt by 58%. We kept total tax increases to 20% below the inflation rate through the entire 4 year term of Council, and we delivered a 2014 budget with only a 0.7% tax increase – the lowest in 15 years.

If re-elected, I’ll work hard to cap tax increases to inflation or less. I’ll also focus on reducing property taxes by increasing our economic development activity to attract new business to Oakville.

Regional Councillors have a duty to manage the overall tax impact, which includes managing the budgets from the Town, Region and Police, you cannot look at only one component in isolation since there is only one taxpayer. My track record shows that I have done exactly that.

I hear it and I experience it myself – traffic congestion is likely the biggest frustration we all deal with as north Oakville residents.

But the good news is that Metrolinx is already well on its way to implementing the GO Transit strategic plan. Having increased half-hour train service, build a new GO parking garage, and an expanded commuter lot at the 407 and Trafalgar have already helped. Things are starting to move a little better. But there’s much more to be done.

Transportation planning is a multi-stakeholder process. From a government perspective this means the region and the town both play key roles, in addition to the provincial government (largely through Metrolinx).

Locally, we continue to implement the complementary Region and Town Transportation Master Plans that were created with significant community input. I’d like to thank all the Ward 5 residents who added their important voices to transportation policy planning.

If re-elected I will reduce traffic gridlock for residents and local businesses by:
· Widening key intersections and arterials like Trafalgar Road;

· Introducing a traffic light timing system in Oakville to reduce time wasted at red lights and keep traffic moving;

· Maximizing usage of newly purchased and cutting edge technology to time our buses so you will never miss a GO Train connection again.

Growth And Development
This election is about moving Oakville into the future while maintaining the small town feel, our superb municipal services and keeping costs affordable. This unique combination we have in Oakville doesn’t happen by accident and I will continue to speak out to ensure your councils always mitigate the impacts of new growth on existing communities.

To successfully navigate this type of change takes passion and a focused, business-like approach. I have both and am committed to standing firm on this issue.

The current Council has achieved a 33% decrease in new residential growth from the original development projections. Growth is still coming but more slowly now so it can be better controlled. We also increased community facilities by 70% to better serve you and at the same time delivered the smallest tax increase in 15 years. We now leave no money on the table when negotiating with developers and we make developers pay for the costs of growth they are generating.


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