Coun. Ryan Maguhn filed his nomination papers this January that notified Hinton of his intent to run for his third full term as a Town of Hinton Councilor.
Maguhn was born in Hinton and has lived in the community for the majority of his life.
When asked what he most appreciates about the community, he said, “It’s the people.”
“With the province having lengthened the municipal campaigns this year, certainly we’re all guilty of it, is that it’s too easy to get bogged down in the politics of what’s going on and lose sight of the fact that ultimately we’re friends and neighbours,” he said.
He hopes that he can continue to be an advocate for Hinton’s people and that they can come to him with their concerns.
A teacher since 2005, Maguhn is currently the assistant principal at Harry Collinge High School where he teaches social studies and english.
Maguhn became a councilor in Hinton during a by-election in 2012, but his first taste of politics actually happened in the state of Minnesota in the United States where he attended university. While there, he was the vice president and the president of his community college for two years and then became a member of the platform committee for the Minnesota State College’s Student Association (MSCSA).
“At the basic level, what it did was it started me on the path of sitting in the offices of different levels of government, both at the state and federal level and advocating for funding. That’s a role as a municipal councilor that we do,” he said.
As a student government politician his role was to fight for the people he represented, just as he does now in Hinton, he added.
Besides running in several municipal elections in Hinton, he also ran as a candidate in a couple of federal elections. When asked why he wanted to run again as councilor, he said the most important thing is helping Hinton’s citizens, listening to their concerns, and trying to build a better, more sustainable community.
“One thing that is very recognizable as a councillor is the role that you play in trying to address individual citizens’ concerns on a weekly basis, and trying to serve as their ambassador to the town,” Maguhn said.
Communication with Hinton’s residents is another portion of a municipal councilor’s role, which Maguhn believes is unique for each resident. Several generations of citizens are fully engaged in digital media, while another portion of the population primarily gets their information by word of mouth or the newspaper, he said. He believes its councils responsibility to ensure that administration and the Communications Department are engaged in a multifaceted communication approach.
Going forward, two of his early priorities are making sure the Town has long term stability and growth in terms of jobs, and ensuring that council is providing the CAO with support to build an efficient and trustworthy municipal organization. Regarding the Town’s stability and growth, Maguhn believes that means focusing on attracting some large-scale employers to Hinton who can continue to offer jobs to a large segment of the population.
In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maguhn said community safety is number one. In terms of recovery, Maguhn is a firm believer that Hinton has to become a place with conditions that make it not only desirable to do business in Hinton but that it would also be unimaginable for businesses to move or start anywhere else.
“If you can foster those kinds of incubator conditions, that’s where you’re going to see a lot of growth. You have to ensure that the political will is there and ultimately you have to ensure that the community’s will is there,” Maguhn said.
Masha Scheele, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hinton Voice