He may be new to Hanover, but council candidate Ed Penner is certainly no stranger to municipal politics. Penner has announced he is running for the seat of Ward Four in the Rural Municipality of Hanover.
From 1980 until just recently, Penner was a resident of the RM of Stuartburn. During that time, he spent 20 years on municipal council there. In fact, he was still a councillor in that municipality until he moved to Hanover this summer. In the October 26th election, he will challenge incumbent Councillor John Giesbrecht.
Ward Four is made up of the communities of Friedensfeld, Sarto and Pansy. Penner lives in that ward, something he feels is important in order to properly represent the ratepayers. He adds this ward is also very similar to the area of Stuartburn he came from.
"The lay of the land is pretty much identical," notes Penner. "I'm experienced in that kind of landscape and I pretty much know what works in that area."
Having said that, Penner notes, that if elected, he will be there to represent the entire municipality and not only Ward Four.
"I believe we have a say in the whole municipality, but we still are there to represent our municipal ward," he adds.
Penner says residents of Ward Four have been very supportive of his election bid. He notes a number of producers in Hanover, after hearing he now lives in the municipality, approached him about running for Council.
Penner says his main goal is to find out what the needs are of local residents. He notes initially what he is hearing is that municipal roads need to be brought to a standard that can handle today's traffic flow. If elected, another focus would be to ensure Hanover's drains can take on our rain storms.
After 20 years on Stuartburn Council, Penner says he feels he represented the area very well. He notes agriculture was a key component of his ward and he made sure to place that at the forefront. Penner also served as Vice Chair of the Seine Rat Roseau Watershed district, promoting water retention.
Penner says he first joined Council at a time when the hog industry was beginning to escalate in the southeast. He feels he was instrumental in bringing farmers together to ensure the livestock industry remained sustainable, while respecting residential areas.
"I am a people person and I like helping people when they are in need," notes Penner. "When I see that they have an issue that needs to be addressed, I enjoy working for them and working together with them to solve their issues that they can have a better livelihood and sustainable livelihood."