Oakville resident to ‘step across the aisle,’ support Trakas Nov. 8

To the editor:

We are witnessing a remarkable aberration of democracy regarding the process for approving new developments in the 6th County Council District.

It is important for builders and county government to work closely for sound economic development, but a review of political contributions by developers to these leaders shows an extraordinary amount of financial support, resulting in outsized influence for their projects.

Our district is where much of that influence is used because most of it is unincorporated, and as such has no municipal buffer between the residents and county government.

The County Council has in place a faux democratic process to ensure that influence is felt. Having recently worked with local residents in a losing effort to get a proposal modified, and seeing the same pattern with other current proposals such as the “21Bauer” project, the lessons were obvious.

The most important thing learned is the County Council is not required to consider the comments and concerns of the people, or even respond to them.

It is simply required to ensure a proposed development is presented to the public, and to allow for public comment.

But those comments made by us are not required to be considered in the approval process, and they are not.

This means your voices will never be heard and considered.

The November election for the 6th District County Council seat is critical to all south county residents.

Having contacted both council candidates to ask about my concerns, only candidate Ernie Trakas responded.

At the meeting with Mr. Trakas, he was adamant that he is committed to changing the planning and zoning approval process to ensure the concerns of local residents are used in zoning decisions, and that he will follow the wishes of his constituents, not be a rubber stamp.

So although it should pain me politically to “step across the aisle” so to speak, in this case it does not. We must elect someone who is committed to representing our concerns.

I urge everyone in our community who wants our county government to function properly, to please give Ernie Trakas your serious consideration.

It is our job to ensure our representative is responsible to us, and no one else.