Housing will be focus in Oxford: warden
oxford County residents should expect to hear plenty of talk about housing in the next four years, a veteran municipal politician says.
“i think all of the municipalities are talking housing,” said david mayberry, mayor of the Township of southwest oxford and warden of oxford County.
“we’ve had a lot of larger homes being built, mainly because of low interest rates over the last decade, but we haven’t seen a lot of building for middle or lower income people,” he said.
“we need to have a conversation if they should be in urban areas or spread out in the county.”
mayberry, who was re-elected mayor in the oct. 22 municipal election, identified ems services, roads and internet connectivity as major issues in the next term.
Farm equipment is getting larger and heavier, requiring better constructed and more expensive roads that can survive the wear and tear of a rural community, he said.
The township must be in tune with the priorities of the new Progressive Conservative government at Queen’s Park, said mayberry, who was a township
councillor for 12 years before he elected mayor in 2006.
“maybe there’s not as many provincial dollars and if there isn’t, then the focus will be on local dollars and what are we going to focus on. i just want to know what pocket i have to empty to move forward,” he said.
“it helps the lower tiers knowing when there’s money coming in and you can identify the highest priorities in the community. you have to have open communication, so we can start making our plans. Tell me what the rules of the game are and i’m willing to pay.”
mayberry said the county’s townships already have a close relationship, but will continue to look for ways to work with one another to improve service to residents.
“The direction we’ve given to our Cao the last few years is what can we do to work together to make ourselves more efficient and provide great service at the most reasonable price,” he said. “There’s a desire of council to always look for efficiencies.”
of the seven spots on council, five were acclaimed with mayberry and councillors Paul buchner, valerie durston and Jim Pickard getting in unopposed. Craig gillis and Peter ypma were voted in.
mayberry said a priority will be getting more people involved not just in the political side of the township, but the community as a whole.
“There’s a lot of people with really good ideas and we just need to hear them and encourage them to speak and bring them forward,” he said. “The more people are involved the more they understand and more aware they are.”
Oxford County Warden and Southwest Oxford Mayor David Mayberry was acclaimed as mayor for a fourth consecutive term on Oct. 22. He said Oxford residents should expected to hear a lot of talk about housing over the next four years.