Off to the races . . .
More than 60 people vying for votes in Barrie, including eight for mayor’s job
By Bob Bruton Barrie Examiner September 11 2010
Politician must be a respected profession again.
A total of 66 people had registered to run for mayor, councillors and school trustees in the Oct. 25 when nominations closed in Barrie on Friday afternoon. There are races in all 10 city wards, seven of them involving incumbent councillors, and eight people running for mayor.
Barry Woods, political science professor at Georgian College’s Barrie campus, says this is a very good thing.
“I think it’s very, very exciting,” he said. “There’s a fairly broad spectrum of candidates. I think it’s going to be a great campaign and generate a lot of enthusiasm.”
Carl Hauck and Darren Roskam entered the mayor’s race Friday, making eight candidates for the big chair.
They join Mayor Dave Aspden, current Couns. Mike Ramsay and Jeff Lehman, former Barrie-area MPP Joe Tascona, Irtaza (Harry) Ahmed and former mayor (2003-2006) Rob Hamilton.
“There’s going to be a lot of hard campaigning. I think it’s going to be close,” Woods said. “All the candidates think they can win, or they wouldn’t be running.”
He says he knows the vote could be split in such a way that the winner has a relatively low percentage of the total ballots cast.
“That’s the downside of democracy,” he said. “As they often say, democracy is a work in progress. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best system we have.”
Roskam was a Ward 2 candidate until Friday, when he switched to the mayor’s race. He ran unsuccessfully for Ward 2 councillor in the 2006 election and as an independent candidate in the 2007 provincial election.
The 42-year-old Barrie native said Ahmed inspired his decision to run for mayor.
“I didn’t want him to be the only guy with guts,” Roskam said. “I would prefer that a lot more people run. Harry is living that example and I am joining with it.”
Asked what his chances are on Oct. 25, Roskam said that’s not the most important consideration.
“An election isn’t just about winning, it’s about sharing opinions,” he said. “Only one guy can win.
“But I’m hoping for an outbreak of pneumonia (among the other candidates). I plan to be taking my vitamins, and lots of them.”
Hauck, who turns 49 on Sunday, has lived in Barrie since the 1970s and owns Club C’est La Vie. He says Barrie needs a mayor who listens to residents.
“I don’t think the people are being heard. I’ve had issues with the City of Barrie,” Hauck said. “A lot of issues have been over-looked.”
For example, he doesn’t believe jobs at large corporations are coming back to this city.
“Times are changing. We have to recognize that times are changing,” Hauck said.
The last day for nominations is the unofficial beginning to the municipal election campaign. Tascona had a giant ‘Vote Joe Tascona’ sign on his law office near Barrie City Hall.
Now that nominations have closed, the City Clerk’s Office will certify each candidate, to ensure they are eligible to run for office. This process will be completed on Monday.