1.3 C
Sunday, December 8, 2019
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


Restored Victorian home in Elmira the subject of TV competition

Along with the influx of visitors that comes with the holiday season, Elmira will see one new...

New MP jumps to the next stage

Ever since he was elected as the new Liberal Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga during the October...

Historical Society Annual General Meeting

The 42nd Annual General Meeting of the Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill Community was held...

Meet the candidates

By Veronica Reiner & Aneta Rebiszewski Five candidates are vying for your vote in...


few clouds
1.3 ° C
3 °
-0.6 °
55 %
20 %
1 °
4 °
7 °
-1 °
-3 °

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.


Strong demand for traditional real Christmas trees can exceed supply

With Christmas just a few weeks away there’s only a short time left to pick out the perfect tree, but what will you choose: real or fake? Many retailers are facing dilemmas that...

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.

Kings win another pair, solidify hold on first place

Seven is considered a lucky number. The Sugar Kings likely agree after putting up seven goals twice on route to a pair...

Answering the childhood question that rolls around at the holidays

Get into the Christmas spirit with a fresh retelling of a classic tale inspired by real events in Elora Community Theatre’s lastest offering.

Even those with jobs are increasingly reliant on food banks

An increasing number of full- and part-time workers across Ontario are accessing food bank services, a trend that can be seen in...

Woolwich to attach overdue water bills to property taxes in bid to simplify collections process

Looking to simplify the collection process for overdue water and sewer bills – and increase the chance of getting its hands on...

Jacks fall to second after losing twice over the weekend

Sunday’s lousy weather may not have been to everyone’s liking, but the Wellesley Applejacks might have been the only ones happy...

Getting drivers to slow down a slow process in Woolwich Township

Traffic issues, particularly speeding, are a frequent source of public complaints received by Woolwich officials. Often more perception than reality, the topic is...
- Advertisement -