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Feeney ready to dedicate herself to Belleville as newest city councillor

Councillor Carol Feeney said she knows how big a responsibility her new job will be, and she is excited. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Warren

By Shira Rubinoff [1]

BELLEVILLE – Carol Feeney’s goal for her time on city council is to lead by example, representing her hometown and providing opportunities to Belleville citizens.

http://www.qnetnews.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/feeney-quote-5-1.mp3 [2]

If I can do anything in the next 16 months, (it’s) to try to encourage others,” Feeney said in an interview with QNet News Wednesday. “Don’t be afraid – come forward. You will be accepted.”

The 16 months Feeney was referring to is the time period until the next municipal election. She’s coming to council well into its four-year mandate as a replacement for Ryan Williams, who recently resigned his seat to focus on his campaign as the Conservative candidate for Bay of Quinte riding in the next federal election.

Feeney was sworn in as the newest Belleville city council member in a private ceremony on Tuesday afternoon following COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. In the 2018 municipal election Feeney placed eighth for six available spots. Tyler Allsopp, who placed seventh, was recently appointed to council to fill the seat left vacant when Coun. Pat Culhane died.

Feeney was supported by her mother Anna and her brother Stephen at the swearing-in event, according to a news release [3] sent out by the city.

“This is home turf for me,” Feeney told QNet News. She has worked far and wide, from Vancouver to Montreal, and now, she said, she is dedicating herself to her native city.

Before entering the world of politics, Feeney ran her own internet communication company, and won an Internet World Impact Award [4] for communication from Microsoft for her work at the internet world conference in Toronto in 1997.

She also has an extensive background in arts, and was the executive director of the Quinte Arts Council for 15 years. She retired from that position in 2018 and took up the challenge of running for a seat on council that year.

During her 2018 campaign, Feeney focused on having more representation of women on council and committees. These issues are just as important today, she told QNet.

“I think the only thing that you can do is to lead by example. I represent a mature woman. I don’t represent people of other ethnic backgrounds or whatever, but I just want to present myself as someone open to providing access and opportunity,” Feeney said.

One of the things she said is the most important for a community is politics at the municipal level: “It’s about everyday lives for everyday people.”

At Monday night’s council meeting, council confirmed that Williams had resigned and declared his seat vacant.

The recommendation that Feeney fill the seat came from Coun. Kelly McCaw. The vote for her appointment was unanimous.

All councillors were in attendance at Monday’s meeting at which Carol Feeney was named to fill the seat left vacant by Ryan Williams’s resignation. Photo by Shira Rubinoff

Feeney’s first meeting as a city councillor will be April 26. Council meetings can be watched live or streamed later on the Belleville city hall YouTube channel [5].