Barry Ward for Barrie Ward 4 was a catchy slogan for three elections.
But that – and more – could change – as Barrie reviews its ward boundaries.
“It’s going to be a real tough job,” said Ward, the longest-serving councillor. “There are others things to consider, like school board boundaries and garbage collection. It’s not just the interests of Barrie city council.”
When Ward first ran for council in 2000, he ran in Ward 8, which was slightly smaller than his current ward. The then-Ward 8 didn’t include any area south of Cundles Road, and the addition of that area in 2002 along with new houses along the northern city boundary boosted his electoral base to the second-smallest.
Today’s Ward 8, which includes Allandale, is the smallest population-wise, he noted.
City clerk Dawn McAlpine said the review is to address the disparity in population and consider growth plans, yet go into effect for the October 2014 election.
The public can comment at three 7 p.m meetings: April 18 at the Painswick Library, April 24 at City Hall, and April 25 at the Dorian Parker Community Centre.
Barrie envisions new residential primarily for Wards 9 and 10 in the southeast, as well as Ward 7 on the west side of Highway 400.
Ward 10 Coun. Alex Nuttall said the workload in growing wards can be intense, because of neighbours’ concerns about development proposals.
“Every time you have a ward with a ton of vacant land, there are a lot of resident concerns and questions about proposed developments and how they’ll affect their quality of life,” said Nuttall. “In a growing ward, you’re going on encounter a high workload.”
He envisions the redistribution expanding Ward 8 to include pieces of Wards 9 and 10, which will be expanding into lands annexed in 2010.
In the last redrawing, former Mayor Janice Laking suggested going back to the days when the city was sliced along the waterfront.
“That changed in the ’90s, and they introduced more square wards,” said Ward. “I like everyone having a new area and an old area. I’m not sure if it’s practical.”
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By: Laurie Watt