-3.5 C
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Murray Martin jumps into Ward 3 race for Woolwich council


News Briefs

Woolwich nixes traffic islands Displeased with the troublesome pedestrian islands installed during the Region of Waterloo’s reconstruction of Church Street...

20-year-old agreement causes a stir

An Elmira environmentalist’s “smoking gun” appears to be shooting blanks. Al Marshall, a long-time critic of cleanup efforts at...

Forks up to farmers on well-timed Agriculture Day

February is not the most obvious time to celebrate agriculture in Canada. But that’s...

EDSS student wins $5,000 scholarship to pursue his university education

Max Campbell’s dreams of perhaps one day making it to space got a down-to-Earth boost last week in the...


clear sky
-3.5 ° C
-1.7 °
-5.6 °
45 %
1 %
4 °
5 °
5 °
3 °
7 °

Woolwich has a fourth contender for Ward 3, with former councillor Murray Martin seeking a return to municipal politics.

Murray Martin
Murray Martin

The Conestogo resident spent 16 years on council before falling narrowly to Bonnie Bryant, 818 to 681 votes, in the 2010 election.

He joins newcomers Lynne Hare, Lisa Macdonald and Larry Shantz on the ballot in the October 27 election. Bryant is running for mayor against incumbent Todd Cowan and former councillor Sandy Shantz.

Martin says he can bring a level of political experience that was lacking during the previous term.

“New blood is good, from time to time, there is no doubt about that. But last time we had a 75 per cent turnover and in my estimation the last council was weak and they lacked experience. When you have that combination, you have a staff-driven agenda. You could pass a budget without a single question asked. You could hire a new staff member and as long as it is covered off in the budget, it’s done, and not one question is asked.”

He continued, “I’m not sure if (the public’s) voices have been heard either. As a councillor, your job is to bring your constituents’ concerns and their voices to the table. And I have found far too often that hasn’t happened.”

Residents want value for their tax dollars, Martin explained, and public officials need to “spend money like it’s their own,” while showing both restraint and foresight.

“I know when I left four years ago we had a plan for how to deal with infrastructure,” he said. “I don’t know if they followed through with that or not, but we need a good plan to replace our infrastructure, and I am not just talking about planning for the year ahead. We need something that looks five and ten years down the road and we need to stick to it. That’s where our money should be spent.”

A 21-year veteran of the Woolwich Fire Department, Martin grew up the only boy amongst seven children on an Elmira-area farm. That agricultural background is important on council, he said.

“When you talk about our council of the past, 60 per cent of our business was rural-agricultural, and we don’t have a single voice at council that grew up in an agricultural community or grew up on a farm. I feel that is a big voice here that is not being heard.”

Asked what he was most proud of from his prior stint on council, Martin said he wasn’t so much proud as he was “humbled by the fact that the constituents put faith in me, and came back to me every election year.”

When pressed, he listed a number of the infrastructure projects completed during his tenure as gratifying achievements, including the Maryhill and Breslau community centres, the completion of the Woolwich Memorial Centre and the Floradale fire station.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


Under the auctioneer’s gavel to provide help Down Under

After seeing the devastation from the Australian wildfires, a local art collector sold the first painting she ever bought on Saturday to help raise money for relief efforts there. Nancy...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Jacks take 3-2 series lead into deciding weekend vs. New Hamburg

The Wellesley Applejacks are up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the New Hamburg Firebirds, having claimed two of this week’s three games in...

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...
- Advertisement -