A Ward 5 resident asked, “What have you been up to in the last four years?”
Sept. 16. Thank you for presenting me with this opportunity to recount my activities of the past four years.
As a resident with a municipal background, I have responded to numerous inquiries from Ward 5 residents. The range of subject matter includes Committee of Adjustment, Registered Letters from Town, Glen Abbey Golf course application, tax bills, development, spending, communication from incumbents, the possibility of a YMCA in North Oakville maybe Ward 5? Etc.
I am always glad to meet, return e-mails/phone calls from residents of Ward 5.
Most days I walk in Ward 5, north and south of Upper Middle Road, this provides many opportunities to interact with residents from throughout Ward 5 on the streets and trails. Tim Horton's, grocery store on Neyagawa and Oak Park restaurants, LCBO offer time to touch base. I am grateful that so many "neighbours" feel comfortable approaching me on such a wide range of subjects.
In these interactions, residents have shared their new and ongoing concerns with incumbents and for the future of Ward 5.
Collectively, it was their encouragement that played a huge part in my decision to place my name in nomination: many of them honoured me by signing my nomination forms.
Some did so after reviewing who had signed the nomination forms of the incumbent. The vast majority of those who signed my nomination forms are residents of Ward 5, with no political and/or beholden business relationship with me.
I should add that I have coordinated Women Gathering with fellow volunteers from the wider Oakville community. A non-political opportunity for women of various faith communities or no faith, who ‘gather’ to learn about various topics, which may or may not directly relate to a world religion. In addition, as they ‘gather’ they raise money for local and international agencies that assist women and their families. These worthy and upstanding agencies, many recognized both nationally and globally, provide microloans, address domestic violence, literacy, and palliative care needs; all have been the focus of money raised.
My faith community partnered with St. Simon's Anglican Church to sponsor a refugee family from Syria. Many fellow volunteers on this project reside in Ward 5; I had the privilege of sharing my home with the family. Following that they lived briefly in a townhouse in River Oaks.
I serve on the annual golf tournament committee for Radius, formerly Halton Trauma. The latter raises much-needed money to provide counselling for children/youth and their families; sadly, children/families from Ward 5 do need to access such services.
I have continued to serve on the board of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust that promotes the lakefront trail that many Ward 5/Oakville residents continue to enjoy both within and external to Oakville.
The Trust has managed the funds for the Rouge Valley area that has become the first Urban National Park in Canada. It is my hope that countless Ward 5 residents will take advantage of this incredible opportunity just an hour or so from our Ward.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue to volunteer with members of my faith community and Ward 5 residents at Kerr Street Ministries. The Social Justice Committee has identified Poverty and Food insecurities as areas of focus thus we work with community agencies to deliver groceries, including fresh products, to residents in subsidised housing and prepare, cook and serve meals at Kerr Street Ministries. Fellow volunteers from College Park and elsewhere in Ward 5 are critical to the provision of this life-enhancing outreach. Just like the ‘magic penny’ it blesses the giver and receiver.
Via my business interest, I own 25% of Soleil Salon and Spa, I/we have supported many charities via promotion of their event and donated product and services for their fundraising endeavours. Many of these agencies assist individuals and families residing in Ward 5.
Two Ward 5 students from programmes at Holy Trinity High School have been employed at Soleil Salon and Spa. The 2017-18 one is now in her first-year at McMaster University in Hamilton. We hope her schedule will allow some Saturday hours soon, as she is a vibrant young woman and a valued member of the Soleil Team.
As you can see, I believe that one must stay involved and remain active -- whether the work one does is evident to others, or not. It is and always has been, my honour to serve this community and to contribute to the well-being of all citizens -- new or established, youth or seniors.
Yes, Jason, as an informed elector and fellow citizen of Ward 5, you are right to have asked this question. Thank you for continuing to empower democracy by taking an active interest in the electoral process.
May your Fall be filled with good health and joy.
Vote Ann Mulvale for Ward 5 Regional Town Council
July 24 – Citing her belief that democracy is best served by choice and not by acclamation, former Mayor Ann Mulvale has registered to run for Regional Councillor in Ward 5.
“I have spent the first half of this year listening to and consulting with the people of Ward 5 and overwhelmingly I have heard that the electorate have a number of significant concerns, chief among these is the sense that the regional councillor needs to be an independent thinker,” said the former Mayor. Ann ran for the same office in 2014, which was decided by the narrowest margin of all Oakville races – the majority of Ward 5 voters did not get the change for which they voted.
She says taxpayers believe they are best served by less “group speak” from elected officials at Town Hall.
“Almost daily people ask me what happened to the robust debate and healthy clash of ideas that used to characterize committee and council meetings in Oakville. They want to know what has become of public consultation on issues that inevitably have an impact on their daily quality of life. They want to know why it is so difficult to get their representative to respond to phone calls,” she added. “I think my track record on rapidly responding to others is well established.”
Ann, a resident of College Park since 1972, played a significant role in shaping and preserving the emerging identity and character that had made Oakville renowned for quality of life. Over that period of time, she has been a residents’ association leader, a member of Town Council, and then Mayor for 18 years. Ann’s son, his wife and their two children also live in Ward 5.
“For me it’s personal. I want my grandchildren – and all young people – to grow up in a community with an unrivalled record for services and sound governance, that can best be achieved by sustainable finances and wisely planned growth, with timely, in place, infrastructure” she commented. “This is why I am standing in Ward 5 for the October 22 Municipal Election.
“Together we will work for and we will achieve better outcomes for Ward 5 in the 2018-2022 term of council. I ask residents to contact me with your ideas, concerns; you have my commitment that I will always serve Ward 5 first.”
Since her last term as Mayor, Ann has been deeply committed to community activity. She served in a voluntary capacity as Chair of the United Way of Oakville, an organization with which she has a lengthy history, including time as Campaign Manager and Executive Director. She has been actively engaged in a range of Oakville organizations.
“Serving others, caring about them and the welfare of the community is in Ann’s DNA,” says Doug MacKenzie past United Way of Oakville Campaign Chair. “She’s cheerful, tireless and a listener who has a genuine understanding of diversity and also, the private sector.” Ann founded local business Avancez Enterprises in 2006; later purchasing shares in Soleil Salon & Spa.
Why I am running for Ward 5 Regional Councillor
By Ann Mulvale
It’s a good question; one being asked by many and one I asked myself many times.
It would be very easy to say ‘I did my bit, time to move on’; even some close friends suggested the latter.
Yet I hear how residents of Ward 5 are being treated; phone calls not returned, represented by unproductive, self-serving ‘group speak’ and leaders who serve first the mayor and fellow council members versus the people for whom they take an oath to represent.
I spoke to many people both familiar and new to me; they share my belief that there is a better, more inclusive way for people to be served. For issues to be discussed and solutions evolved in an open and transparent manner.
I started to gather the required 25 endorsement signatures to register for the October 22nd Municipal Election in the event I might decide to file; I secured more than 50 – almost all Ward 5 residents, eager to sign my registration. I purposefully approached residents in each neighbourhood of Ward 5, beyond the boundaries of my College Park neighbourhood, south of Upper Middle Road and west of Trafalgar Road, where I have lived for over 46 years. I walked the Ward, hearing again similar concerns to those shared in 2014. Little had changed; some things seemed to be worse, especially the perception of ‘group speak’, a self-congratulatory tone between members of council and the lack of belief that the Town’s numbers added up.
From what I was hearing, a destructive culture had become embedded at Town Hall. Elected representatives were representing Council’s interests to you; not your interests to Council.
Then I reviewed who signed the Nomination Papers of the incumbent Mayor and Ward 5 councillors. Surprise, they each signed each other’s. …or may be, not a surprise at all; nevertheless, I am not the only one in Ward 5 that this makes feel uneasy.
Both the Mayor and Ward 5 regional councillor served on the Halton Police Services Board. Prior to a meeting, members of that civilian oversight board both ‘encouraged’ members to sign nomination papers.
My decision was becoming clearer; I agreed with Ward 5 residents pressuring me to run; we all deserve better. They reminded me that silence rewards bad behaviour; bad things happen when good people remain silent.
Residents are being told property taxes have gone up at the rate of inflation yet the impact to their bottom line tax bill is much greater. I wonder: what is your experience? Some have made business and financial decisions and plans based on the Town’s numbers, and then those numbers just do not add up. Worse still, when compensation is sought the Town uses every legal means to drag out the process hoping that the person will go away empty handed. This is dishonourable. Ultimately, after many years of exhaustive delays and what is perceived as threats, the complainant settles. Is that any way for elected people to deal with the residents and business people they are supposed to be representing? Again I must ask, ‘what is your experience?’
I am told, residents know my track record for responding and helping. I have been a leader, whether in an elected position – five years as Regional and Local Council member followed by 18 years as Mayor - or not, for over 40 years in Ward 5. Residents still seek my insight regarding Committee of Adjustment matters, a registered letter from the Town, or a query of the Town’s numbers when they are puzzled.
Most days I power walk more than 10,000 steps in the Ward. Keeps me fit and connected with the people here. “I'll most likely walk every last street of Ward 5 in the coming election campaign. In fact, if you sit on your front doorstep, soon enough you’ll meet me - I look forward to hearing your experience.”
In the weeks leading up to the Advance Polls in early to mid-October and indeed Election Day itself on Monday October 22nd, I look forward to hearing more about your concerns and issues: what has been your experience? I pledge, as always, my voice will speak first for you; not for a fellow member of council, the mayor and/or a particular political party.
When a policy is proposed, changed, continued and/or implemented and it serves the interests of the people of Ward 5, well, I will speak in favour of that legislation – without first casting an eye to see what the Mayor is advocating. No matter what party advocates legislation, IF I sincerely believe it can be improved and/or should not be implemented because it will not serve the people of Ward 5, I will not hesitate to speak against that legislation.
You have my commitment that I am seeking your vote in the Municipal Election to represent you, to provide information that is comprehensive, not selective or tailored to secure your vote with no genuine intention of serving you first.
So I am asking you to please stay engaged in the renewal of democratic representation for the people of Ward 5 and Oakville as a whole. I am offering Leadership that stands first for you; Empowering & Transparent – I answer to you, and you alone.