Lifelong Oakville resident ‘will not accept additional government’

To the editor:

Thank you for the two letters to the editor published Feb. 6 re-garding the Oakville steering committee’s efforts to investigate breaking off from St. Louis County.

The authors of “Voting Republican an alternative for Oakville residents, reader says,” and “Oakville reader says another layer of government not the answer,” do make solid and rational points which I agree with.

But most importantly, they offer a much-needed voice of reason after enduring months of frantic howling from a distinctly minor group in the Oakville area.

I am a lifelong resident of Oakville, raised on Christopher Drive and a graduate of Oakville High School. My great-grandfather, Adam Heimos, sailed from Bavaria in 1839 to settle on land bordering Old Baumgartner Road that he acquired under the Federal Homestead Act.

I carry deep pride in our family history and Oakville’s development, but I found myself embarrassed at the reaction to the affordable elderly housing project on Telegraph Road.

I was continually answering the question of “What exactly is the problem there?” My best explanation was that a small but vocal group was getting media attention and did not reflect the position of the majority.

Upon reflection, I believe this event was exasperated by the elected state representative not having the leadership capability to tell this group: “You missed a scheduled public meeting, enough.”

Our current society travels at a hectic pace and we cannot expect to attend every public meeting called — only 50 attended the “Great Secession” meeting. But upon receipt of notification, a call placed to the County Council’s office requesting an explanation of the public meeting would have taken just a few minutes. Any elected official is prepared to respond to questions from the voting public.

Yet this state representative seems intent on endorsing “more government.” A county secession would obviously result in citizens paying higher taxes for the same services now currently received, and I understand an annexation would also create consequential higher taxes.

I have been led to believe the Republican Party’s mantra is “less government, lower taxes” — or has this suddenly changed after the last six years?

I could continue in higher detail, but I hold that there are two key points we need to be aware of:

• Rational and reasonable residents of Oakville are starting to speak up.

• Vote, citizens, vote your conscience in the upcoming elections.

If you truly do not care for the current direction of your government, then get involved. The state representative recently said, “You get the government you are willing to pay for.” I say, “You get the government you participate in.”

File to run for an office, volunteer for the many boards and committees already available, but for God’s sake, vote, vote as our Founding Fathers intended this great republic to work. Vote like your lives depend upon it.

I am grateful for the good and rational citizens who are starting to speak their opinions, and I will not accept additional government — new county or incorporated municipality.

Leo G. Schwartz Jr.