After getting elected as Barrie’s Ward 3 councillor, Ann-Marie Kungl will soon have to look at addressing a number of important issues for residents.
“I’ve been following along very closely on some items that have been coming to the table,” Kungl told Global News.
“I’ve written all of those down and have a bit of a log, so now I want to look at where we can quickly move on some areas and have more formal conversations with some of the residents and groups of residents that have asked me to meet with them.
“It’s about followup and follow through.”
Kungl said she’d be looking at getting some motions back to the table at council and addressing items that may have been on pause while the Ward 3 council seat was vacant after the former councillor of the ward, Doug Shipley, was elected as Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte’s member of Parliament in the October federal election.
One of the items Kungl said she’d be looking to work with staff and council on is establishing a local supervised consumption site, which has garnered much controversy among local residents.
“I’m a full supporter of a safe consumption site,” she said.
“I didn’t see any valid reason for us at council not to be supporting that motion forward so it can move on to a provincial level for approval. It was informed by health experts, and we have a location, and if we really look at seeing this as an opportunity to put in some resources that can help to save lives, we should be doing that.”
Kungl told Global News she’s heard about a broad range of concerns from residents and that they touch on issues like road safety, speeding and affordability.
“Individuals that are renting are seeing that continuing to climb, but they’re not sure how affordable Barrie will continue to be for them,” the Ward 3 councillor added.
“We’re also seeing that they care about investment in some of our central services, and they want to make sure the downtown is looked after.”
Kungl said she wants to have “open and frequent” conversations with residents.
“It’s about hosting town halls and frequent meetings across the ward in different neighbourhoods and making sure we get some information in the hands of residents so they know how to reach me.”
The Barrie Ward 3 byelection took place on Monday evening. According to the City of Barrie’s website, Kungl received 542 votes (representing 29.4 per cent of the vote). Tanya Saari came second with 427 votes.
In total, eight candidates were running for the position. The city said only 23.8 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot.
— With files from Nick Westoll
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