Skip to content

Mayoral candidates sound off on building consensus at council

Ability to build consensus around council table can be one of the most important strengths for a mayor with long to-do list

What do Barrie’s seven candidates for mayor think about the city’s most important issues as election day, Oct. 24, approaches?

Weldon Hachey, Alex Nuttall, Gerry Marshall, Mike McCann, Barry Ward, and Andrew Gordon responded to six questions from BarrieToday about a variety of issues and concerns facing the city. Rob Haverson did not respond.

One of those questions was: The mayor has one vote on council. How will you build consensus with a majority of councillors on issues that are important to you?

Every candidate has a platform, a list of priorities. Once elected, however, a mayor can’t get much done without support from other councillors, and being able to build consensus. It can be one of the most important strengths for a mayor with a long to-do list, even if it is during a four-year term of office. 

Weldon Hachey

I have one vote and thank you for bringing that to light. The questions I get seem to suggest I can simply snap my fingers and get things done. I have passion and a way of looking at situations from a different perspective that many would not recognize. I work well in debates and combined with my passion and my heart I will convince others on council of the importance of what is best for our citizens. 

Alex Nuttall

I think the beauty of council is that you have a room full of different perspectives and ideas. I have a great respect for anyone in public service, and hope that by upholding honesty and transparency throughout council, I will be able to build unity among us for managing the challenges Barrie is facing.

Gerry Marshall

It starts with having a clear and well-articulated vision. Upon being elected, council needs to connect as a group and establish a common long-term vision. Within that vision we then need to agree on deliverables for the next four years. Once council determines what we’re trying to achieve, I’ll use my ample business and political experience to ensure we’re all rowing the boat in the same direction and build a consensus on the action needed for each priority. I will listen to, value and work with all councillors.

Mike McCann

Today, it seems our society is largely polarized, but it doesn’t have to be. For too long we have seen all levels of government become infected with rabid partisanship where two tribes battle it out in an unwavering process of cheap shots and ideological stubbornness. Real leadership means making tough decisions that refuse to enable tribalism, bringing two or more groups to a place where negotiation doesn’t feel like sacrifice when it is actually the key ingredient for a unified council.  

Barry Ward

I have shown that I am capable of working with my fellow councillors on issues, earning their respect by treating them fairly. They know I base my vote on an idea’s merits and nothing else. I would expect them to do the same for me so winning their support would depend on my ability to sell them on my ideas. If I can’t convince them to support me on an issue that is important to me, I would look for a compromise. I don’t subscribe to the practice of “I’ll support you on that issue if you’ll support me on this.” Every decision should be made based on what is best for Barrie.

Andrew Gordon

I'm a compassionate, ethical and humble person. I practise empathy and try to see every situation from every angle. When I have an important issue and need to build consensus, I tend to use logic and reasoning to get my point across.