Ward 6 vari­ables con­sid­ered

The Barrie Examiner - - NEWS - bbru­ton@post­media.com BOB BRU­TON

Nar­row­ing 31 can­di­dates to one Ward 6 coun­cil­lor came with many vari­ables Mon­day.

Ap­point­ing Steve Trot­ter for the re­main­der of the 2014-18 term of of­fice came down to ex­pe­ri­ence, res­i­dency and abil­ity for Barrie coun­cil­lors – al­though just by one vote against Lynn Stra­chan.

Coun. Doug Ship­ley, who pre­ferred hold­ing a by­elec­tion, said he looked for ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It is, and we know this, a very tough job,” he said of be­ing a city coun­cil­lor. “I know a lot of peo­ple in the pub­lic don’t agree with that or know about it, but it is a tough job. And when you’re new to it, it takes a fairly de­cent learn­ing curve.

“I’ve heard many coun­cil­lors talk about a year, 12 months, as a learn­ing curve. Well, that’s pretty much all they have left on this job. So it’s go­ing to be very, very tough to make an ap­point­ment of some­one who doesn’t have some ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Ship­ley, who voted for Stra­chan – a Barrie coun­cil­lor from 2003-14.

Coun. Bon­nie Ainsworth also said ex­pe­ri­ence mat­ters, but wasn’t most im­por­tant.

“I am a stick­ler. I very much think it’s nec­es­sary. I sup­port ac­tu­ally some­one that lives in the ward, so that re­ally nar­rowed it down for me,” she said, be­fore sup­port­ing Trot­ter, a Ward 6 res­i­dent and a 1994-2006 coun­cil­lor.

Coun. Ser­gio Mo­rales took a dif­fer­ent tact.

“It re­ally is the as­sets you bring to the (coun­cil) ta­ble,” he said. “I’m look­ing for some­one who has ex­pe­ri­ence in the city, maybe on coun­cil ... and can do the best job there.”

Mo­rales voted for Trot­ter on the sec­ond bal­lot.

Coun. Barry Ward said vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing mat­ters – from ex­pe­ri­ence and res­i­dency to each can­di­date’s re­sume and how they ad­dressed coun­cil Mon­day.

It all adds up to abil­ity to do the job.

“It is a steep learn­ing curve. We have a very short time be­fore this term is up,” said Ward, who voted for Trot­ter.

Coun. Mike McCann, who sup­ported Trot­ter on the sec­ond bal­lot, said he would vote with his gut for the new Ward 6 coun­cil­lor.

“I’m look­ing for a leader, look­ing for some­one with life ex­pe­ri­ences,” he said. “I’m not look­ing for some­one who nec­es­sar­ily lives in the ward. I think that this late in the game that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean as (much) to me as it would be at the be­gin­ning (of an elec­tion cam­paign).

“I’m look­ing for some­body that will be able to (hit) the ground run­ning,” McCann said.

Coun. Arif Khan said he sep­a­rated the idea of a by­elec­tion from an ap­point­ment to coun­cil.

“I be­lieve that our re­spon­si­bil­ity ... is to ap­point the most com­pe­tent, ca­pa­ble, qual­i­fied in­di­vid­ual, and that’s quite dif­fer­ent from a by­elec­tion – where your con­stituents will choose you,” he said, be­fore vot­ing for Stra­chan on the sec­ond bal­lot.

Coun. An­drew Prince said he looked at it like hir­ing the man­ager of a large cor­po­ra­tion.

“I do think ex­pe­ri­ence comes in many dif­fer­ent forms, and al­though I agree you should live in the area, I don’t think liv­ing in the ward is a pre­req­ui­site,” said Prince, who voted for Stra­chan in the sec­ond bal­lot.

Mayor Jeff Lehman said Trot­ter, who got his vote, will have his hands full in Ward 6.

“I take the point ex­pe­ri­ence comes in many forms, it comes from many places,” he said. “What we will have to bal­ance is what ex­pe­ri­ence can most use­fully be put to the task at hand, which is to pick up the ball from an in­cred­i­bly able ward coun­cil­lor (Michael Prowse, now Barrie CAO) over the years, in a ward that is in­cred­i­bly busy, one that has many plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions, lots of lo­cal is­sues, and needs to be rep­re­sented around the ta­ble.”

Coun­cil­lors thanked ev­ery­one who let their name stand for the Ward 6 ap­point­ment and spoke at Mon­day’s meet­ing.

“Be­cause we are where we are, we have 10 months to go be­fore (2018 city elec­tion) nom­i­na­tion day,” he said. “For the 30 who won’t be cho­sen tonight, you have 10 months.

“I hope you will con­sider pub­lic ser­vice.”

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