The newest candidate in the local municipal race for Woolwich Township is Bloomingdale’s Larry Shantz, running for a seat in Ward 3.

Bloomingdale resident Larry Shantz is the newest addition to the election race in Woolwich.[Elena Maystruk / The Observer]
Bloomingdale resident Larry Shantz is the newest addition to the election race in Woolwich. [Elena Maystruk / The Observer]
With an informal platform to represent the wants of Woolwich’s smaller settlement areas, the semi-retired businessman hopes to devote his free time to public service, he said this week.

“[I would] make them aware of some of the smaller communities would like to see happen. Some road improvements, maybe. I understand that a lot of money isn’t available for that kind of stuff, but if we could project out a number of years and work in different communities – not at the same time but plan ahead – some of that stuff might get done,” he said.

Previously involved with Shantz Coach Lines, he is currently working on a part-time small business called Stair Travel, installing stair lifts and distributing for Acorn Stairlifts. He’s worked on various boards while with the bus company as well. Shantz hopes to bring his business sense to the role of councillor.

“I think you have to be an active councillor if you want to be in that position. I’ve been to a number of council meetings so I have an idea of what goes on. There’s obviously going to be a learning curve, but I do want to get involved,” Shantz said, adding he is not making any campaign pledges to residents just yet.

“I think I want to hear what people have to say. I don’t want to make any promises. Too many times people make promises they can’t move forward with. I’d like to try and see what people are interested in, take that to council and see what happens.”

In Ward 3, Shantz will be running against candidate Lisa MacDonald and incumbent Bonnie Bryant, who’s indicated she will run again though she hasn’t yet filed her papers. The ward currently has just one seat, but a second has been added for this year’s municipal election, scheduled for October 27.

There’s also a race for mayor, as former councillor Sandy Shantz is vying for the position against incumbent Todd Cowan. Only one candidate has filed papers in Ward 1, former councillor Ruby Weber, with incumbent Mark Bauman the sole candidate in Ward 2.

In Wellesley Township, current councillors Paul Hergott and Jim Olender are running for mayor, while incumbents Shelley Wagner and Herb Neher hope to resume their posts in Wards 1 and 2 respectively.

The last day for contenders to file their nominations is September 12, 2014.

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Elena Maystruk
Elena Maystruk was a journalist at the Woolwich Observer where she covered news, business, sports and human interest beats. She has previously worked with university and independent publications in Toronto, covering everything from the city music scene to the local branch of the Occupy movement. She is a long-time community enthusiast and volunteer in Waterloo Region and part of the 2012 Media Studies graduating class at Guelph-Humber University. Maystruk is currently a staff writer for the Strathroy Age Dispatch.