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Costello facing off against incumbent in Ward 9

'I think we need to do a lot more for our homeless,' says candidate Norm Costello, who adds affordable housing needs new approach
Norm Costello is running for Barrie city council in Ward 9.

Editor's note: BarrieToday is running profile stories on candidates for city council in each of the city's 10 wards in the coming weeks. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can also find mayoral profiles and other election news. 

Norm Costello is thinking outside the box in his campaign for Ward 9 councillor in south-end Barrie.

And his running in the Oct. 24 election is directly connected to Costello being the current president of the Barrie-Innisfil riding association for Ontario’s New Blue Party.

“I’m just not real happy with the direction the city is going in,” Costello told BarrieToday. “It’s pretty much the same reason I decided to get involved with provincial politics.”

He says much attention is needed to Barrie’s services.

“There’s a lot of things we need to look at for our communities, in particular things like snow removal,” said Costello, 63. “We’re one of the highest areas in Canada for snow and we’re probably at the mid to lower end of snow removal successes, I guess you could say.”

Housing would also be one of his priorities if elected.

“I think we need to do a lot more for our homeless,” he said. “One of my growing concerns is how we can integrate affordable housing and I think often the thing we as a city need to look at is multi-zoning bylaws, multi-zoning areas as opposed to traditional zoning that we’re using now.”

Costello says he is also concerned with people struggling on Barrie’s streets with mental health issues.

He says his skill-set as production manager for a corrugated box plant in Vaughan would also help him as a ward councillor in Barrie.

“My leadership is obviously running a plant with 80 to 90 employees. It’s a task in itself,” Costello said. “I’ve got over 40 years' experience in that, as well as many, many years coaching competitive sports.

“I think it really, really helps that I have my leadership capabilities, my leadership style,” he added. “One of my strengths is bringing people together to reach a common goal.”

Costello’s current competition in Ward 9 is incumbent Coun. Sergio Morales, a two-term councillor who ran without opposition in 2018.

The nomination window for candidates closes on Friday, Aug. 19.