News

Marcus Ryan never planned on getting into politics, but after a term as councillor he's ready to take the next step to be mayor

By Chris Funston, Woodstock Sentinel-Review

Marcus Ryan. (File photo)

Marcus Ryan. (File photo)

The opportunity to achieve more is all Marcus Ryan needs.

Ryan never thought that he would be involved in politics. But after advocating to keep A.J. Baker Public school open six years ago, he noticed he was able to make change for the better.

He saw the opportunity to stay involved with the community in 2014 when he was then acclaimed as the Ward 3 councillor in Zorra.

With current Mayor Margaret Lupton announcing she won’t seek re-election in this upcoming municipal election, Ryan again saw opportunity.

“There was an opportunity to get more things done. That’s the motivation,” he said.

From the mayor’s and county council chair, Ryan believes he can be an even stronger advocate for Zorra than he was before.

With the fight against a landfill in Oxford County and a separate battle against high-speed rail, Ryan says, if elected, he, along with Zorra Township staff, are the people who will help the community realize its ambitions as they turn negatives into positives.

In speaking with provincial decision makers, he said putting things in a positive light will help advance Zorra’s causes, telling them how they want the municipality to be, not what they don’t want.

“What do we want for our community should be the first question we ask, not what do we not want,” explained Ryan.

He said looking at what the community wants, and how to achieve it, will make residents look at some of the current issues in a different way.

Ryan says that will emerge soon on his plan, but he says that strategic, long-term goals are what make for good government.

“The main thing is to have a context that you’re going to fight these things in,” he said. “What will these problems cause us and what do we want for our community?”

When he ran for council in 2014, he offered himself for service and he’s doing so again with his mayoral campaign.

“Here’s who I am, here’s what I think. If people want that, then pick me and, if you don’t want that, then don’t pick me. One thing I can promise is that I will work very hard to get the things done that I promise.”

Voters will head to the polls for the municipal election on Oct. 22.