After wrestling with the idea for a few years, a longtime resident of Blumenort has announced his decision to run for Hanover Council.
Roger Harder has been a resident of Blumenort since 2000. He is currently wrapping up his fourth term or 16th year as a member of the Local Urban District (LUD) committee of Blumenort. Harder says his experience as an LUD member has been great, noting he has really enjoyed representing the people of Blumenort. He notes it has been a highlight to help with Fun and Fair Days and work with both the recreation department and Rural Municipality of Hanover.
Harder says about three years ago he started to consider taking a stab at municipal politics. He admits it was a difficult decision, noting he has really enjoyed working as an LUD member.
"But I'm in a position in life right now where I can focus more time to become a Ward Three Councillor," suggests Harder. "And so I want to commit myself to Ward Three, to Blumenort, to the rural area in this capacity."
As a member of the Blumenort LUD committee, Harder says he takes pride in a few projects that have been completed over the last 16 years. Harder says he has helped improve active transportation in the community. This provides children with a safe means of walking to school, the park, their friend's house, or some other activity they might be involved with. Harder says other projects he has helped tackle include adding a splash park and improving streets in the community.
"There's quite a few things that I'm proud of that I could be a part of," he admits.
Harder says he considers it a privilege to have worked alongside two previous committee members for the Blumenort LUD: the late Leo Penner and the late Leonard Brandt. He notes they had passion and cared for their community and Harder says he would like to bring that same enthusiasm to the Ward Three seat. If elected, Harder says he would also continue to work alongside Blumenort's recreation department and help to further develop Blumenort. Another priority is public safety.
"There are some concerns from a safety perspective, so I want to work further with the RCMP," says Harder. "I think they are doing a great job and I just want to further partner with them."
Harder adds with Youth For Christ coming to Blumenort, he would also like to work alongside this organization in order to reach out to young people and families.
Now a grandfather, Harder says the response to his election bid has been extremely positive. He notes others have encouraged him to run for the post and though it was a difficult decision, Harder says he is excited to take this step.
If elected, Harder says he wants to honour Blumenort's forefathers who settled the community, bringing business and Church life.
"I want to honour that," he says. "Another promise I want to make is it's important for me that peoples' voices get heard."