It has often been said that no community can stand still. It either moves forward or it slides back. We at the Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association believe that the Township of Muskoka Lakes should choose to move forward and support an economic development plan for measured and sustainable population growth. This will result in additional businesses, retail and service employment and contract opportunities for all those who want to live, work and visit here.
This, in turn, will allow for increases in commercial and residential assessment levels and be sustainable for reasonable tax levies to cover Township budget expenditures for operations and capital infrastructure updates and improvements.
In regards to Minett, the Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association (MRA) is not simply “pro development” as suggested by some. Rather it can be characterized as in favour of ‘orderly’ development – ‘balanced’ development – ‘responsible’ development and ‘appropriate’ development for that individual community. Furthermore, any development must be in line with population projections, market absorption capability, infrastructure capacity, and must include community consultation.
The MRA will always stand up for the rule of law, and call out those who would subvert legislated protocol for clandestine or preferred position, and potentially open the Township to court challenges and proceedings. In the case of Minett, the matter and the final solution should and does rest with both the District and Township Councils.
The MRA insists upon and keeps watch for good governance, ethical decision making and exemplary code of conduct behaviour throughout the Township, by all elected representatives and administration.
The MRA has always focused on the importance of ensuring that appropriate process is followed leading up to any committee or council decision, and chooses not to take sides.
Where there are significant, opposing positions on an issue, it is all too easy to find spin and misinformation being used to bolster respective arguments and improve chances of success. Emotions can get in the way of logic, fairness, and a willingness to find compromise. Long held values and ethics sometimes are abandoned in the fray – never a good result
The forgoing MRA policy clarification forms the basis of our approach to the Minett situation and indeed any other developments in the Township. We will always do what we can to ensure that all parties including government deliver decisions and inputs based on basic values of respect, honesty, and fairness.
President – Muskoka Ratepayers’ Association
Director and Chair of Ethics Committee