Longtime Stratford councillor Martin Ritsma operating for mayor

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Longtime Stratford metropolis councillor Martin Ritsma is operating for mayor. 

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Ritsma formally filed his nomination papers at metropolis corridor Friday morning.

“I believe I used to be simply as nervous as my wedding ceremony day,” he mentioned afterwards. “There was a number of ‘I do-s’ and so … that’s the massive step.”

This fall’s mayoral race in Stratford will probably be huge open for the primary time in 27 years after Mayor Dan Mathieson introduced in December his determination to not search re-election. 

Ritsma, 64, will seemingly be the best profile politician trying to step into the position. A former highschool principal, he was first elected to council 12 years in the past and has served as the town’s deputy mayor for the previous two phrases.

“I’ve actually developed some expertise which can be wanted for the job,” Ritsma mentioned. “I do know I’m ready … and I’m trying ahead to interacting with people in our neighborhood.”

Ritsma is the primary member of Stratford’s present council to file nomination papers, however he isn’t the one mayoral candidate on the town’s unofficial nomination listing. 

Stratford restaurateur Larry McCabe will even be searching for the mayor’s chair. McCabe is predicted to make an official announcement subsequent week.

As of Friday afternoon, the one one that has formally submitted paperwork to run for a metropolis council place is Ken Wooden. The nomination deadline is 4 p.m. on Aug. 22.

Behind the scenes, Ritsma’s intentions to run for mayor haven’t been a secret. Ritsma contemplated a run 4 years in the past however as a substitute backed Mathieson after studying he could be searching for a fifth time period.

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“It might have been my ego getting in the way in which as a result of actually (Mathieson) has achieved an distinctive job,” Ritsma mentioned. “At the moment, I made a dedication to myself that if he did step away from the position for this election, that I might run, and that dialog clearly occurred with my bride as nicely. It’s been a significant determination in my life, probably the most vital choices in my life, however I’m prepared for it. I wish to be mayor.”

Ritsma mentioned he’s not involved about differentiating himself from his potential predecessor. 

“I imagine if you’re in council, on the finish of the day when a choice is made, it is advisable to step away from the council chamber as a unified group,” he mentioned. “Having mentioned that, actually there’s been many events after I haven’t agreed with the mayor and that might have proven within the vote piece.”

However Ritsma wasn’t fairly prepared Friday to unveil particular elements of his platform.

“My imaginative and prescient will probably be formed by my conversations between now and election day,” he mentioned.

Apart from his lengthy tenure at metropolis, which incorporates chairing council’s planning and heritage committee, Ritsma brings with him an extended resumé of neighborhood work. 

Ritsma is at present on the board of Stratford Perth Shelterlink, a shelter for homeless youth, and the Stratford and District Agricultural Society. He’s additionally the chair of the Stratford Fall Truthful, United Manner Perth-Huron’s Stratford and Space Neighborhood committee, and president of the Stratford and District Saddle Membership. 

“I like to serve individuals,” Ritsma mentioned. “I’m blessed in my life that I’m in a spot the place financially I’m OK and so actually it permits me to do that with out considering … I want a paycheque on the finish of the day. I’m right here within the position to serve. That’s what will get me off the bed within the morning.”

cmontanini@postmedia.com

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