Cut­sey backs Gar­diner

‘Don’t get me wrong, I love (Mayor) Al (Mcdon­ald), but this city has to change. You talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk’

North Bay Nugget - - FRONT PAGE - Jen­nifer Hamil­ton-mc­cha­rles

John Cut­sey didn’t hold back any punches Thurs­day dur­ing his of­fi­cial en­dorse­ment of North Bay may­oral can­di­date Gary Gar­diner.

Cut­sey, a suc­cess­ful North Bay busi­ness­man, joined former Nipiss­ing MP Bob Wood and Gord Miller, former On­tario en­vi­ron­men­tal com­mis­sioner, voic­ing a need for change at city hall.

“I’ve lived here all of my life, 70 years. I’m hir­ing five peo­ple per month, so I’m here to stay. But North Bay is go­ing nowhere. We need a change,” Cut­sey said from his board­room at FDM4 In­ter­na­tional Inc. on Air­port Road.

There hasn’t been growth in North Bay for years and the pop­u­la­tion signs con­tinue to plum­met, Cut­sey said.

“There’s been ma­jor mis­takes made. Mis­takes af­ter mis­takes af­ter mis­takes,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, I love (Mayor) Al (Mcdon­ald), but this city has to change. You talk the talk, but you have to walk the walk.”

Cut­sey says he didn’t know Gar­diner be­fore the elec­tion, but liked what he read about the may­oral can­di­date, as well as Gar­diner’s vi­sion for the fu­ture.

“My sup­port came from de­duc­tive rea­son­ing,” he ex­plained.

“I don’t want Al and the ex­ist­ing coun­cil in for an­other four years. This quote isn’t mine, but it’s per­fect for this oc­ca­sion: ‘Don’t be afraid to change, be afraid to not change.’”

Cut­sey quoted cost es­ti­mates for projects such as Mcdon­ald’s pro­posed mul­ti­mil­lion ex­ten­sion of Mar­shall Av­enue.

He said the ski hill sewer ex­ten­sion could see the con­struc­tion of 750 homes in the fu­ture, but will sad­dle the city with ma­jor fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tions for gen­er­a­tions with no ben­e­fit in re­turn.

“Gary isn’t against growth. In fact, what he doesn’t want is neg­a­tive growth. He wants smart growth,” Cut­sey said.

“No more wasted money spent on projects with lit­tle to no re­turn. When you look at the ski hill sewer ex­ten­sion, by the time those 750 homes are built and oc­cu­pied, our great-great-grand­chil­dren will not even see the ben­e­fit. It’s a bad de­ci­sion. On the sur­face, it looks like growth, but it’s adding ex­penses and higher taxes.”

Be­fore hand­ing the mi­cro­phone to Gar­diner, Cut­sey weighed in on the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment of a casino in North Bay.

Cut­sey sup­ports a casino, but only if it’s at­tached to a ho­tel and con­ven­tion cen­tre that will bring peo­ple to North Bay and keep them here.

Gar­diner took the op­por­tu­nity to clar­ify a few mis­con­cep­tions about him­self that he has heard while on the cam­paign trail.

“I want to be clear I’m all for growth,” he said. “How­ever, I’m in sup­port of smart growth. Growth should pay for growth.

“When you ex­pand in­fras­truc­ture, it should pay for it­self. But that doesn’t hap­pen here,” he said, not­ing there should be enough up­take to pay for the cost.

Gar­diner called the Cedar Heights stand­pipe an­other project that wasted pre­cious re­sources.

“Peo­ple say it’s to help the col­lege and uni­ver­sity. How­ever, we al­ready spent $7 mil­lion on new in­fras­truc­ture on Col­lege Drive to ad­dress those is­sues,” Gar­diner said.

“The stand­pipe is sup­posed to be for fu­ture growth, ben­e­fit­ing 10,000 peo­ple. How­ever, just look at our pop­u­la­tion. That’s not com­ing any time soon. When we’re a city that is shrink­ing, it’s sim­ply not a wise in­vest­ment,” he said.

“When things change so should your plans. Busi­ness peo­ple un­der­stand that.”


John Cut­sey, seen here work­ing at his com­puter at FDM4 In­ter­na­tional Inc. on Air­port Road, has thrown his sup­port be­hind North Bay may­oral can­di­date Gary Gar­diner.

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