Rijo taking a swing at seat on city council
Ryan Rijo is running for Barrie city council in Ward 3.
From BarrieToday, September 11, 2022
By Nikki Cole
Ryan Rijo is hoping to hit a home run in this fall’s municipal election.
The 24-year-old, who is running as a candidate in Ward 3 in the city’s north end, says although he doesn’t live in the ward, he has deep roots there.
“Ward 3 is where I went to school and I spent a lot of time there,” Rijo told BarrieToday. “A lot of my friends are there and (my partner) Jenna’s family is over there, too. I went to St. Joe’s and there was a lot of development going on there already and I just think that there are some other things that can be done — especially regarding neighbourhood safety and creating local jobs.
“The city already has a plan for affordable housing, but (I want) to ensure there’s also a plan for market-rate homes, too,” he added. “I have been part of having to live in a multi-generational home myself. … Now I am starting to see how crazy even rent can be and how becoming a homeowner is almost like a dream at this point.”
Rijo, who works as an insurance broker, has lived in Barrie 14 years and has been a member of the Intercounty Baseball League’s Barrie Baycats for the last six years. He says he intends to take the skills he’s learned both on and off the field to the role of councillor, if elected.
“Most of Barrie probably recognizes me for the Baycats, but Barrie is my home and I want to work to make this city as great as it can be, because it’s always been an amazing city for me,” he said. “I just want to help continue with its development. Having the ability to even put my hat in the ring is an honour to possibly represent Ward 3.”
Having spent so many years as an athlete and as part of a team, Rijo says he knows how important each player in the game is to achieving success, adding he brings a strong work ethic and the ability to listen to the needs of others around him.
“The way I look at it, if I am elected I would be working for everyone in Ward 3. I think a lot of the time it’s hard to listen. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason,” he said. “I am a firm believer that working together towards a goal as a team is important, because if everyone is not pushing in the same direction it will never be possible (to win).”
Rijo says baseball has also taught him the importance of being able to step up to the plate as an individual — and that you can’t win if you show up to begin with.
“I’ve always been clutch and I like high-pressure situations. I know it’s a different hat for me and it’s new to me, and that there is a lot of learning to be done, but I truly believe that with my ability to listen and not be scared of saying what people want (I) can step up to the plate for them,” he said.
The municipal election takes place Oct. 24.
Read the article here