O’Connor Township, Ont. — John Sobolta is all about the team. He was a team player with Thunder Bay Police Service and would like to play the same role as a councillor for O’Connor Township.
The now-retired specialized unit leader — one of six candidates for four O’Connor councillor spots — wasn’t thinking about getting in the race, but through encouragement from friends, family and current council, let his name stand.
“I didn’t actually pursue it. I was approached by others in the community, some friends and other folks that were living in the area encouraged me to do so,” said Sobolta, who is a community representative on the Lakehead Rural Police Services board.
“It’s not about changing the world or anything like that, but we’ve got a good community here and I think the council they have is very good. They use a common sense kind of approach and I’m involved in their community and it was something they kind of convinced me to do. They thought I would be beneficial there.”
Sobolta admits he’s going into this election with his eyes wide open and that there will be lots to learn should he be elected.
“It will be a learning curve for me,” Sobolta said.
“I am looking at seeing how things operate. I’m used to working with other corporations — the administrative part that I was involved in in Thunder Bay. That will obviously be a learning curve.
“I want to see how our tax dollars are being put to use. How it benefits the community. We have one of the safest, peaceful communities I think in the region and the quality of life that we’ve got here. Those are the main things people have been telling me about.
“I like what I have seen in a recent township meeting. I think it was very well run. I very much believe in building a team concept. That’s what I was responsible for in my career choice. Enabling people, so that they can contribute to that type of environment and working together as a team, basically for the good of the community.”
Sobolta faces off against incumbent councillors Alex Crane and Bishop Racicot as well as newcomers Jon Hari, Brendan Rea and Carly Torkkeli.
O’Connor Mayor Jim Vezina had his position acclaimed as no candidate ran against him.
An all-candidates night for O’Connor Township will be held sometime during the first week of October.
Municipal elections are set to take place on Oct. 24.
John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal