Why I'm running for re-election
As Mayor, Rob Burton says it's important to always remember to keep thinking about tomorrow
To keep Oakville
on the right path
There’s too much at stake to change leadership now. We are moving forward from 18 years of poor management by former mayor Mulvale. She imposed huge, unsustainable tax levy increases that averaged 12 per cent a year for 18 years.
But all that money didn't go to building the public facilities needed to keep up with her out of control rate of growth. One reason for that was development charges to builders were kept low and property taxpayers were subsidizing growth. Those days are eight years behind us now.
Now, we are the people and this is the time in our history when we are making the important, long-lasting moves for our town’s future as Canada's most livable town. We will only allow growth that fits environmentally and economically. We will protect green space and land for future jobs.
As Oakville's 45th mayor, I often think of what Champlain said about his work:
"As for me, I labour always to prepare a way for those willing to follow".
— Samuel de Champlain, 1615
When those who follow look upon what we have done to prepare for the future, I want them to look back at our work with appreciation for the way we spent our time and resources preparing the future.
My key objectives for the future of our town, while maintaining my policy of freezing tax increases at the rate of CPI, are:
- Renew and revitalize the downtown streetscape for healthier trees and more lights and better patios in our iconic downtown village gathering space area when we have to replace the road bed and pipes for water and waste water for the next 50 years
- Renew and revitalize our Centennial Square cultural facilities on Navy Street so new generations of Oakville will enjoy and identify with them
- Renew and revitalize the Oakville Arena as part of a new community and seniors centre for the south central part of Oakville
- Ready plans for the 2018-2022 time frame for the new community and health centre we need on the grounds of the old hospital after the new Oakville Hospital opens
- Keep protecting the taxpayer from continuing developer pressure to finance and even pay for their infrastructure, which would shift the risks and costs of growth from them to the property taxpayers.
Together, we are poised to achieve these goals and meet any challenges. We will continue to control growth, debt and taxes to only what fits economically and environmentally.
We will keep creating efficiencies and productivity in our programs and services to maximize value for you.
Oakville's future as Canada's most livable town is bright if we keep focused on our three main strategic goals:
- Focus on value by
- Controlling growth, debt and taxes to only what fits environmentally and economically.
- Keeping infrastructure maintenance and asset management planning efficient and effective
- Ensuring there are no glitches in the opening and affordability of the new hospital
Focus on families by
- Creating plans for the renewal of the downtown library and theatre complex for the 150th birthday of Canada in 2017 (and possibly relocating Centennial Pool to a new community centre on the old hospital lands)
- Building three new community centres for the areas around Kerr Street, the old hospital and North Park
- Saving time for drivers and riders with our fully-funded road refurbishment and traffic management plan.
Focus on the future by
- Protecting and developing employment lands for even more job growth, while protecting and preserving heritage areas and green lands for environmental health
- Continuing tree planting for a cleaner, greener town to reach the goal of 40% canopy by 2057
- Rebuilding our downtown streetscape and revitalizing our business district
Results from my first two terms show you can trust me to control growth, debt and taxes, save green space and heritage, and keep up with residents’ infrastructure and jobs lands needs.
With the Indoor Soccer Facility, Joshua Creek Twin Arenas, Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, the modern hybrid/electric bus-ready Transit Depot, and Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, Oakville gained 70% in its facilities.
As mayor, I have one vote on each budget for town and region and police. My goal as a leader is to create the synergies and efficiencies that keep the total property tax increase within inflation or "CPI". I know it's your total property tax bill that matters to you.
At the same time, I steadily reduced total tax levy increases: the average annual increase of the total property tax levy went from 7% a year for the four years before I became Mayor, to 5% a year in my first term and just 3% a year in this term, while we cut tax-paid debt in half!
The actual total tax increase each year of this term has been at or below inflation, with 2014's change being only 0.7% - not even one per cent, the lowest in 15 years, and possibly the lowest in the GTA. I will keep Oakville on this path.
We use modern corporate fiscal management tools that allow us to relentlessly pursue efficiency. We are the first and so far, the only, government in Canada using Performance Based Program Budgeting ("PB2") to relentlessly drive efficiency and value.
We have a vision out to our Town's 200th birthday in 2057 to plan, create, preserve and afford the livability that Oakville is known for.
We all care about the town we live in. We volunteer and give our time and effort to make Oakville a better place to call home. This spirit is the backbone, the muscle and the heart of what makes Oakville, Oakville. And this spirit, with our ability to work together effectively, is what drives us forward on our path to our goal of being Canada’s most livable town.
The civic engagement we need for Oakville to make more progress on the path we set out on eight years ago is strong and growing.I will keep total tax increases capped at the rate of CPI as I have for 4 years.
As Mayor, I will always work to lead Council forward on our path to a more livable and sustainable future
. And while we on Council may lead, we always will work with you and our talented, professional staff to achieve our shared goals.
If you like the results so far from my consensus-building business background as founder of YTV, let's keep moving forward and creating our town our way.
Please contact me to chat about how to keep our good work for the future on the path to more success.