Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman isn’t going anywhere.
Lehman says while family did play a huge part in this decision, the outpouring of support from the community did not go unnoticed.
This announcement ends rumours that Lehman would be running on a national level in the next federal election.
Lehman adds that with a possible third term, he may be able to see the completion of projects started in his first.
While Mayor Lehman announced today he is seeking reelection, nominations for office will not be accepted until May 1st. The municipal election will take place Monday, October 22nd this year.
Lehman’s official statement is as follows:
“I’m here today to announce that I will be running for re-election as Mayor of Barrie. In October, I will seek the support of the people of Barrie for four more years.
I have had the enormous honour of serving Barrie as Mayor since 2010. We have had much to celebrate. More than 10,000 new jobs, including whole new sectors of our economy, such as digital media and big data. We’ve been the safest city in Canada, twice. We’ve been Canada’s 3rd most entrepreneurial community. We’ve built a library, a theatre, a GO Station, 440 units of affordable housing, a new highway interchange, expanded RVH, built new buildings at Georgian College, built 7 new parks, expanded and improved the waterfront, and gone from spending less than $5M a year fixing roads to $44M this year, all while keeping Barrie’s taxes among the lowest for cities our size.
But what fires me up – and what I want to do more of – is doing things differently. We formed, with 6 other cities, the most innovative and successful power company in Canada – and it’s owned by the people of Barrie. We did things like LED streetlights, recycled sand, Pingstreet, Service Barrie, GIS analytics, online services, and mobile platforms for civic works. We’re using these innovations to tackle the big challenges facing Barrie – infrastructure, poverty, public safety, climate change, and financial sustainability. If we’re going to keep taxes down, we have to do things differently.
I became Chair of Ontario’s Big City Mayors because I believe cities can lead in addressing the challenges of our time. I believe Barrie is starting to lead. We are starting to take our place as one of Canada’s most progressive cities.
But elections are about the future. I would not be running again if I didn’t think that I was the right guy for the next four years. We are on the cusp of some transformational changes in Barrie. Hundreds of millions in investment is now planned in our community, from development downtown to new communities in the annexed lands. It needs to be guided. Our economy is transforming – it needs to be supported. Our society is taking better care of those who need help, from housing to home care – that needs fostering. We have started something great. It’s time to take it to the next level.
It would not be possible to do this job without the support of the people I love. I owe a debt of gratitude to those who believe in me. To my family, my parents, my friends, and my colleagues – thank you for all you have done to allow me to serve Barrie, and for your support for me continuing to do so.
I love this job. I will be deeply honoured if I have the opportunity to serve Barrie for four more years.”