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Mirtsos hopes to be Ward 10's new councillor come October

'If you talk to 10 people and seven of the 10 people tell you there’s an issue, that issue needs to be looked at and resolved,' says Ward 10 candidate Steven Mirtsos
26-07-2022StevenMirtsos 2
Steven Mirtsos is running for Barrie city council in Ward 10.

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. 

Steven Mirtsos says he would bring experience and understanding to Barrie city council if elected Oct. 24.

The 24-year-old, who works in commercial insurance, has never run for office before but worked in the constituency offices of Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard and his provincial counterpart, MPP Andrea Khanjin.

“I want to use my experience in politics, knowing the local issues and being a local community member, and bring the change that I think needs to happen at city hall,” Mirtsos said, a Ward 10 candidate. “There needs to be more listening to constituents. 

“When I’ve been door-knocking, talking to a lot of people, it’s all about having value for tax dollars. So I want to bring value to city hall. I want to represent the constituents by bringing value for their tax dollars.”

He cites the example of Barrie roads and their condition, which he says are among the worst in Ontario.

“We need new ideas on how we can manage the roads,” Mirtsos said. “They’re not being repaired. Everyone should understand how their tax dollars are being spent.”

If elected, Mirtsos said he would bring to council an understanding of financial reports, knowing local issues and how to work with the local MPs and MPPs

“Being a constituent, a resident of the ward, is understanding the issues and being able to listen to everybody and hearing what issues need to be addressed,” he said. “The reason you want to door-knock, even after the election and being present in the community, is you find out different issues that you may not know.

“So if you talk to 10 people and seven of the 10 people tell you there’s an issue, that issue needs to be looked at and resolved.”

His other priorities are figuring out a way to lower people’s property taxes, because the cost of living keeps increasing, making Barrie affordable so people don’t have to leave and encouraging businesses to come to Barrie.

On a smaller, but more personal scale, Mirtsos would like more time for pedestrians to cross the street at traffic lights.

“People with disabilities, the elderly, people with young children,” he said. “That is something that matters to me. I do a lot of volunteering with the MS (multiple sclerosis) Society. It’s an issue near and dear to my heart.

“I live with MS myself, I live with a disability,” Mirtsos added. “So I want to show people that just because you have a disability, it doesn’t hinder you from going after your goals. And not to judge people by the way they look. Because looking at me you would not be able to tell I have MS.”

Mirtsos’ opposition in Ward 10 is Bryn Hamilton. The incumbent, Mike McCann, filed his nomination papers for mayor last week.

Nominations close Aug. 19 for candidates.