News

Muntz to declare in Ward 6

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Gary Muntz

Gary Muntz

PORT DOVER  - 

A veteran municipal politician from a time before the new Norfolk would like to usher in a new era of accountability and fiscal discipline at Governor Simcoe Square.

Gary Muntz of Port Dover served two terms on the former City of Nanticoke council before the former Haldimand-Norfolk Region was restructured into two standalone counties in 2000.

On Monday, Muntz signalled his intention to replace John Wells as the council representative in Port Dover-area Ward 6.

“I believe the present operation of Norfolk County leaves far too many folks feeling the county is both remote and unresponsive,” Muntz said this week.

“Closed meetings and secret deals have created an unhealthy cynicism which is antithetical to a well-functioning democracy. Just look at the abysmal municipal election turnout.

“I would like to be part of a newly-elected council with new faces and fresh ideas sitting at the table. As a wise person said long ago, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

Muntz says his mix of public- and private-sector experience will make for sound decisions at the council table.

He holds an honours BA and MA in political studies with a major in public administration. He trained for two years as an accountant before accepting a management position at a Ford Motor Company assembly plant.

Later in his career, Muntz managed and delivered a continuing education program at St. Clair College. He has held management positions at the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, a municipal home for the aged, and a mental health program in southern Ontario.

After watching Norfolk council from afar for many years, Muntz has concluded that too much public business is transacted behind closed doors. If elected, Muntz said he would blow the whistle anytime the in-camera conversation turned to issues or subject matter that should be discussed in public.

In the area of priorities, Muntz would advocate for repairs to the Misner dam in Port Dover – a necessary first step to restoring the Silver Lake mill pond.

He added Norfolk needs a better investment strategy for the county’s $70-million Legacy Fund. He says the fund’s tepid performance last year is disappointing to say the least.

“A monkey at a carnival throwing balls at holes in a wall would produce a significantly better return on investment,” he says. “And without the outrageous management fees. In the private sector, someone would be gone.”

Declared candidates in Ward 6 include Jeff Miller, Doug Long and Amy Martin. Muntz has yet to file paperwork with the clerk’s department at Governor Simcoe Square.

Last year, long-serving incumbent John Wells signalled his intention to retire from municipal politics. However, in late June Wells said he is reconsidering his position.

As of press time, Wells too had not filed his paperwork. Candidates have till 2 p.m. July 27 to do so.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com