Developers want investigation in McCharles’ dealings


There was another call for an investigation into development practices at Petrolia Town Hall.
Bob Leaper, speaking for developers Louie Bratanek and Floyd VanderWall, spoke to council for a second time saying “Mayor McCharles’ clients are held to a different standard” than other developers.
The trio charge the developer McCharles sells homes for has significant advantages because he works under an older development contract.
Leaper says he, Bratanek and VanderWall all also worked under the older agreement, but had to begin following the new rules. Leaper says that has cost them thousands of dollars in extra costs including up to $140,000 for a security deposit. “If they can work under the old agreement, why not us?” Leaper asked.
And he questioned why the mayor can sign development agreements while he is “representing and being paid by one of the developers? How is this possible.”
“We are formally asking you to bring in an independent investigator to examine all the subdivision agreements,” says Leaper adding there is “ample evidence to show a conflict of interest.”
While council didn’t call for an independent investigation, Councillor Joel Field says there are questions which need to be answered saying town staff and the county planners are now looking at the agreements to present a report to council.
Mayor John McCharles declared a conflict of interest before Leaper’s presentation and did not comment on any of the accusations.
He declined to be interviewed by The Independent after the meeting was over.