He’s the longest-serving mayor/alderman/councillor currently in St. Thomas and earlier this month, Jeff Kohler declared his intention to seek another four-year term on city council. Kohler has served in that capacity since 2010, but his introduction to municipal politics is a story unto itself. He first threw his hat into the ring in 1997 and finished as third runner-up in that year’s municipal vote. Referencing Eric Bunnell’s People column from April of 2000, Ald. Helen Cole had announced her resignation and council met behind closed doors to unanimously agree Kohler should fill the vacant seat. The top vote-getter in 1997, Terry Shackelton had already moved on to council and the next hopeful in line, former alderman Hugh Shields, declined the appointment to council.
“He was honest, that’s the greatest epitaph a politician can have: he was an honest guy.” – Mayor Cliff Barwick
“He really cared about the citizens and the best way to represent them.” – long-time friend and labour movement colleague Bev Wright
“He really had the interest of the community at heart.” – Ald. Gord Campbell
He was a politician, a champion of accessibility and a voice for organized labour who always gave of himself and fought for the average citizen.
But on Tuesday, that voice fell silent when St. Thomas Ald. Terry Shackelton, 59, died after a lengthy illness.
He leaves behind three children — Terry Jr., Barb and Laura– as well as partner Lesley Buchanan.
“He always truly believed in giving of himself to make the world a better place for all,” Shackelton’s death notice reads. Continue reading →