We found out that Mr. Burton had always wanted to become a police officer as a child, as he loved helping others and wanted to protect people in need. In fact, the thought of ever becoming a political leader had never crossed his mind. What had gotten Mr. Burton into politics in the first place, then? It turns out that the beginning of his consideration of running for mayor arose around fifteen years ago, when he and a couple of friends decided that the environmental lands north of Highway 5 and below the 407 needed to be better taken care of. Mr. Burton convinced his friend to run, telling him that only one good person is needed to convince the City Council to make changes. However, when his friend didn’t manage to make the change on his own. He returned to Mr. Burton and urged him to lend a hand and run for mayor. And so, Burton ran and soon afterwards became the mayor of Oakville.
How has Burton’s life changed ever since becoming mayor? Well, he is evidently far busier than he was before, and now has far less personal ‘me’ time. "Being mayor is a 24/7/365 job," Mr. Burton says. Mi casa es tu casa is a Spanish proverb that translates into “my house is your house”, a typical welcome greeting. In the mayor’s case, however, the saying goes, “my time is your time”. His wife enjoys joking about his full schedule, “I’m so glad you won; I wanted you to get out more.” Burton quotes his spouse.
When Mr. Burton is not busy being mayor, he enjoys going on car trips with his family to see the many different places in Ontario. He calls these short breaks the “relaxation tours.”
Mr. Burton has brought many changes since he became the mayor of Oakville; one of the main changes being the updates in the environmental areas of Oakville. Natural parks and the like are now highly protected and well-maintained in an effort to keep a bright, clean community. According to Mr. Burton, as “One of my favorite things about Oakville is the nature.” He hopes and expects to see Oakville as a cleaner, greener city in the future.
We were also curious who would be a role model to Mr. Burton. According to him, Barack Obama was a huge inspiration. “I have a picture of President Obama; it’s hanging up on my office wall,” quips Mr. Burton.
The mayor himself is also considered a great role model in the eyes of many young and aspiring environmentalist. At the end of the interview, he gave an excellent advice for children, “Life does not require perfect, but it really likes hard work.”
Feb 20, 2014 11:21 pm - A few corrections to the article have been made to the previous version of the article.