-12.8 C
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

Woolwich picks former councillor to fill vacant seat

Julie-Anne Herteis to take Ward 1 spot for the remainder of term, the quick choice of three current council members


News Briefs

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

Woolwich proposes 5% tax hike for 2020

Budget talks underway this week, Woolwich council is looking at five per cent hike in property taxes, a...

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...

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind....


clear sky
-12.8 ° C
-10.6 °
-15 °
72 %
1 %
-4 °
3 °
-6 °
-9 °
-10 °

Former Ward 1 councillor Julie-Anne Herteis will step into the vacant Elmira council seat. She’s to be sworn in March 6, replacing Scott Hahn, who resigned in January.

Herteis was selected by the five remaining councillors from among 10 candidates at a special Woolwich council session Tuesday night, winning three of five votes cast on the first ballot. The other two votes went to Dan Holt, the first runner-up in the 2014 municipal election.

The voting process lasted only minutes in what appeared to be an orchestrated effort that placed Herteis’ experience above all other considerations. Eight of the nine candidates, who had previously made written applications outlining their bids for the seat, made pitches to councillors who listened but asked no questions of any of them.

Along with those from Herteis and Holt, applications were received from township residents Kathleen Bailey, Kevin Betts, Ron Campbell, Sujeet Chaudhuri, Linda Cooper, Jacqueline Hanley, Fred Redekop and Eric Schwindt. As well, another applicant, Ibikunle Oluwojure, withdrew from contention earlier on.

The Ward 1 seat became vacant in January when Hahn stepped down, citing time constraints due to a new job. He was first elected in 2014, along with fellow first-time councillor Patrick Merlihan. Holt finished third among the six candidates who ran in Elmira.

In going with the application process, council rejected both holding a special election and appointing a runner-up from the 2014 election, the two other options available. In the end, Mayor Sandy Shantz and Ward 3 councillors Murray Martin and Larry Shantz made short work of things, opting for Herteis. In keeping with their previous positions, Merlihan and Ward 2’s Mark Bauman went with Holt as the logical candidate.

“I don’t want it to be a political issue,” said Merlihan of voting for Holt, who won more than a thousand Ward 1 votes the last time residents went to the polls.

He noted that putting someone else in the seat would give them something of an advantage as the incumbent  when Ontarians vote again in municipal elections in October.

Citing the steep learning curve and just months left in the term, Coun. Shantz maintained that Herteis’ experience was the biggest factor in picking a replacement, with that sentiment echoed by Mayor Shantz.

Afterwards, Holt said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.

“It was pretty obvious what was going to happen,” he said, noting the process drew a number of strong candidates.

“I do hope some of these people do run [in October], he added, though he has yet to decide if he’ll make another bid for office.


  1. What an embarassment! What an insult to the nine applicants who took the application process seriously. Clearly at least three of our councillors have no shame. All the speeches but one were serious, well prepared and in some cases clearly outstanding. Yet the “one” that was 30 seconds long, ill prepared and ill presented carried the day. Obviously a done deal, long ahead of time.

Comments are closed.

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.


The new face of health promotion

There’s a new face around the Woolwich Community Health Centre. Gebre Berlihun has taken on the role of public health promoter after the retirement of 25-year employee Joy Finney in October.

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.

EDCL donates $1,000 as thank-you to Floradale firefighters

Thanking the Woolwich Fire Department, Elmira District Community Living this week donated $1,000 to the Floradale station. Firefighters from Floradale...

New app a one-stop shop for region’s waste program

Not sure when your garbage will be picked up? What’s currently allowed in the recycling bin? There’s an app for that.

Choir to bring the sounds of Africa to Elmira

An Elmira church will play host to a lively performance by an internationally-acclaimed children’s choir from Uganda, Africa. The Watoto...

EDSS student wins U.S. baseball scholarship

It’s January and nowhere near Florida, but St. Jacobs’ Blake Jacklin is in a baseball frame of mind. That’s not a passing fancy,...

Applejacks extend winning streak to three

The new year continues to be good to the Wellesley Applejacks, who picked up a pair of wins over the weekend to make...
- Advertisement -