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Transportation infrastructure tops Doran's list in Ward 6 race

'There are several years of frustration ahead for drivers, cyclists and transit riders alike before we will finally see improvement to traffic in and around Ward 6,' says candidate Sharon Doran

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. 

Sharon Doran isn’t concerned about her political inexperience as she runs in Ward 6 in the upcoming city election.

In fact, she believes her life and career lessons will benefit her as voting day approaches on Oct. 24. 

Doran and her husband have lived in Barrie for 26 years, raised their daughters here and currently reside in Ward 6 in the city's south end.

Doran, 54, says she's passionate about the city and is running to ensure residents get what they need. 

“My mother, daughter and granddaughter live in Barrie, so it is important to me that council makes sound decisions benefiting residents today and the generations who follow,” Doran told BarrieToday. “The timing is right since I recently retired from a 30-year career at Honda of Canada Mfg., and now have the time and energy to devote myself to public service.”  

Doran also says she's dismayed that while women make up 51 per cent of the population, the current city council has just two female representatives.

“Studies have shown repeatedly that gender balance and diversity on councils, boards and management teams ensures that more viewpoints are heard and better decisions made,” she said.

Doran said her previous job has prepared her for what it takes to sit at the council table. 

“My experience on Honda's management team gave me skills in leadership, project management, employee relations, health and safety, environmental control, training and development, business planning, and cost analysis of budgets exceeding $100 million annually,” she said. “But the most important lesson I learned at Honda was that whenever a concern is raised, we must 'go to the spot' and speak to the people involved to truly understand the root cause(s) and potential solutions.”

Working in a male-dominated industry, mixed with her desire to become a community builder, encouraged Doran to join the Business and Professional Women (BPW) Barrie 11 years ago. 

“BPW provided new learning and leadership opportunities and allowed me to forge partnerships with organizations including Politics for Women, Dress for Success Orillia and Barrie, Women and Children's Shelter of Barrie, Georgian College Women's inTUITION fund, and Shoebox Project,” she said. 

When asked what Ward 6 needed improvement on immediately, Doran said infrastructure was at the top of the list.

“Ward 6 is growing rapidly with several intensification projects underway, yet our roads have not kept pace. We finally got the Harvie Road bridge completed over Highway 400 last year, yet Bryne Drive has been a dead end for over two decades and is still years away from completion,” Doran said. “Add to this the widening of Highway 400 and bridge reconstruction projects at Anne Street and Essa Road, on top of the closure of Sunnidale and McKay roads, means there are several years of frustration ahead for drivers, cyclists and transit riders alike before we will finally see improvement to traffic in and around Ward 6.”

Ward 6 will have a new councillor after incumbent Natalie Harris announced she would not seek re-election. 

Candidates running in Ward 6 include Doran, ​Darryl Duff, Kevin LePage, and Nigussie Nigussie.

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