Editor's note: BarrieToday has asked council candidates in neighbouring Springwater and Essa townships to provide a synopsis of why they are running for public office. The following is from Pieter Kiezebrink, who is running for council in Essa Township in Ward 1. Municipal elections take place Oct. 24. For more election coverage, visit our 2022 municipal election page by clicking here, where you can find candidate profiles and other election news.
Pieter Kiezebrink, along with his wife Amy, has lived in Angus and Essa Township’s Ward 1 since 2007. The couple has three boys with two currently attending Angus Morrison Elementary School and the youngest heading there next year. Their boys are the fifth generation of his family (maternal) to spend time living in Essa Township. Pieter feels that returning to council is a great way to give back to the community and serve Essa Township.
He has served on Essa council since July 2021 when the previous Ward 1 councillor, Keith White, stepped down and he was appointed to complete the remainder of the council term ending this fall.
Beyond this experience from the current time served on council, if elected, Pieter will be able to leverage his variety of work and volunteer experience — Stevenson Memorial Hospital Foundation board member, GCC37 condominium corporation board member/treasurer, Ivy Presbyterian Church board of managers, Essa Township fence viewer, Essa traffic advisory committee member and advisor at The Co-operators in Alliston — along with his current work role at a registered charity, as director of tangible assets and risk management at Redwood Park Communities in Barrie, for the greater good of the township, residents and businesses.
If elected to continue serving as councillor, Pieter’s top four issues for the upcoming term of council are:
— Smart management of future development and infrastructure.
— Stewardship of environment and farmland for future generations.
— Road and community safety.
— Working with province, school board and local trustee to get a new elementary school built on the 5th Line.
He believes that the big items facing the new term of council on Day 1 are to review, debate and approve a balanced and fiscally responsible budget for 2023 that considers the needs of community along with the desire to keep taxes low with the high inflation environment that we are currently living in. Then putting in place an updated Official Plan, implementing the infrastructure master plan and seeing through the resident consultations for the transportation/trails master plan will set a solid framework to guide the future of the community.
Regarding the Official Plan and future growth as it relates to the development of farmland, Pieter will not be supporting any expansion of the Angus settlement area boundary beyond the limits of the current Ward 1.
Pieter would like to help keep this a safe, healthy, prosperous, and growing community; one where others would also want to live and raise their own families.