Woolwich will have at least one ward battle in the Oct. 25 municipal election, as Maryhill resident Bonnie Bryant has entered the fray to take on longtime incumbent Murray Martin in Ward 3.
A avid follower of political issues, she said it was time to “throw her hat in the ring” rather than just talking about the issues. Recent debates over gravel pits and grievances in Breslau, including water issues, prompted her to take action.
A resident of Maryhill for the past eight years, Bryant, 55, came to the area from Mono Township, where all the gravel pit activity around Caledon left her more than passingly familiar with the aggregate debate.
“The last thing you want in a quiet rural community is a lot of trucks and a lot of excess traffic that wasn’t there before. That’s what you can expect. I know – I don’t think we had a car that didn’t get a crack in the windshield from all the flying rocks.”
As both her grown children live in Breslau, she’s familiar with the problems there, she added, noting some of the communities removed from Elmira sometimes feel alienated from township affairs.
“People need to be included. They need to know they have representation and responsible government.”
This will be the first run at public office for Bryant, a longtime volunteer with the Ontario SPCA who served for three years on the organization’s board of directors. A Brampton native, she said she’s familiar with what happens with unfettered growth – the place is unrecognizable from her childhood.
Having lived in Cambridge for a period after she and her husband David were married, both of them were eager to return to the region.
In noting little activity in the township during the last two municipal elections, she said it’s time for a change, a sentiment she’s heard from others – “we need people to get involved.”
After being acclaimed in the last two elections, Mayor Bill Strauss is facing a challenge from former councillor Pat McLean and Elmira businessman Todd Cowan. In Ward 1, incumbent Ruby Weber is seeking reelection, joined by newcomer Jim David. The other incumbent, Sandy Shantz, has yet to declare her intentions. In Ward 2, Mark Bauman is the sole candidate. He was acclaimed in 2006.
The nomination process is open until Sept. 10. Voters go to the polls in province-wide municipal elections Oct. 25.