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Development, growth key issues for Ward 2 candidate

'We are under the pressure to grow and seem to be doing so at the will of developers who do not always do as they promised at public meetings,' says Tracy Strohm

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

City council candidate Tracy Strohm has been a Barrie resident since 1958, living in or near Ward 2 for the better part of that time.

Strohm says she's running in the 2022 municipal election in Ward 2 because she believes the city has many important issues and decisions to be made about it and its citizens.

“We are under the pressure to grow and seem to be doing so at the will of developers who do not always do as they promised at public meetings. A lack of a downtown grocery store is a prime example,” said Strohm. “We have a huge issue with our growing number of homeless citizens.”

While Strohm has no previous political experience, she says she has followed city council via print media and on television.

She was also a member of RecreAction a citizens group that worked to conceptualize, convince council to come on board, fund-raise, design and monitor the Allandale Recreation Centre. 

“It was me that pestered the committee enough that the large ice plant was put in so that when the second ice surface was built the same ice plant could be built," Strohm said. 

She was co-chair of the city's recreation advisory committee, which advocated for the walking/cycling paths to be connected around Kempenfelt Bay. She also called her career as an educator (teacher to principal) fulfilling.

Strohm would like to see the city subsidize small businesses, or pop-ups, in order to occupy unused commercial spaces with partial municipal funding. 

“The tenant must agree to move out with two weeks' notice if the space is rented by long-term tenants. This encourages new small businesses and keeps the streets from looking vacant,” she said. 

Strohm said the city also needs to carefully add green spaces and parkland whenever there's an opportunity. She also says she's very concerned about the city’s future environmental footprint. 

“As a city, we need to explore the systems that have been developed that have larger developments process and use their grey water (run off) and brown water, (sewage) within their own building," she said. "Green energy, such as solar and mini wind technologies, should be incentivized by all levels of government and could be included in development plans."

Strohm said she would like to see council listen to what residents have to say about important matters. 

“If citizens feel heard, they will engage in dialogue. I would like to explore the use of quick surveys and short input questions for Ward 2 residents on current matters before council on a at least monthly basis,” she said. “This will accomplish a couple of things. First, it will make Ward 2 residents aware of what's currently before council, as not everyone has the time or inclination to watch council or monitor the City of Barrie website. Second, it will give council a quick, non-binding indication of what the engaged citizens are thinking.”

The city election takes place Oct. 24.