The Rural Municipality of Hanover will have a new Reeve on October 26th. That is because Stan Toews has decided not to seek re-election.

A 27-year veteran of municipal politics, it is believed that Toews is the longest-serving member of Council in Hanover's 142-year history. He served the first 11 years as Councillor, followed by 16 years as Reeve. The 27 years are continuous.

For Toews, his introduction to politics happened in the 1990s. Toews says for a couple of years one of Hanover's councillors kept "hounding" him to run for the position. Back then, terms were only three years long. This councillor told Toews that he should try it for one term and if he did not like it, it was only three years and he could step down after that.

"It turned out to be more than three years," says Toews, who was first elected in 1995 and was then successful in the following six elections.

When asked how the position has changed over 27 years, Toews is quick to point out that council meetings are certainly shorter today.

"We had meetings all day long," he recalls. "And now we're down to two hours, three hours at the most."

Toews says he looks forward to having more time to spend with family after October 26th. Yet, it is his work family that he considers to be one of the biggest highlights of his years on council.

"I enjoy the staff, working with people and the councillors," he says. "I just enjoy meetings we had and the people you meet."

As for some of the bigger projects he has been part of, Toews says the one that stands out is what happened shortly after he was first elected. Toews says he was part of council when they brought natural gas to the municipality, which was a real game-changer.

"That's been a very huge plus for Hanover, especially on the agriculture side," he adds. "Basically all grain dryers now are running on natural gas, as well as the barn heating. It's just way cheaper than propane."

Toews says he has also been around for the construction of five lagoons in their communities, noting most of them have now reached capacity again.