Ex-CAO never stopped car­ing

Grant Chevrette re­mained ac­tive and in­ter­ested in mat­ters re­lat­ing to city hall

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - FRONT PAGE - LeN GiLLiS

Friends and mu­nic­i­pal lead­ers across North­east­ern On­tario were sad­dened this week upon hear­ing news of the death of Grant Chevrette of Tim­mins.

He died Tues­day at the age of 77. He is sur­vived by his wife Agnes, three chil­dren, three step-chil­dren and a sis­ter. An obit­u­ary no­tice posted in The Daily Press said his death was sud­den and un­ex­pected.

Chevrette was a for­mer city clerk, but he ended his 36-year ca­reer at Tim­mins city hall as the chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer in 2002, a post he had held for 10 years.

In his younger days, Chevrette also worked at CKGB Ra­dio where he was a news re­porter.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view with The Daily Press, Chevrette re­vealed that one of the big­gest sto­ries he cov­ered was the an­nounce­ment of the dis­cov­ery of the Texas Gulf Kidd Mine in 1964.

Chevrette re­called that it was “a life-chang­ing mo­ment for Tim­mins” and the ex­cite­ment was some­thing that city had not seen be­fore or since. He said along with a rush to buy shares in the com­pany, there was also a rush to stake min­ing claims north of the city.

“Of course there was a stak­ing rush. Ev­ery­body, his aunt and his un­cle was out there stak­ing claims, look­ing to tag onto Texas Gulf. It was just phe­nom­e­nal, you know,” he said with a smile.

For­mer Tim­mins mayor, for­mer city coun­cil­lor and for­mer broad­caster Mike Doody is one man who knew Chevrette well in his ra­dio days and also in his time at city hall.

The two men were co-work­ers at CKGB in the 1960s.

“We go way back and cer­tainly in all my years on coun­cil he was there,” said Doody.

He said he ap­pre­ci­ated his friend­ship be­cause Chevrette was able to of­fer ad­vice, with­out be­ing over­bear­ing, but let­ting one know about the pit­falls of any de­ci­sion.

Doody said Chevrette was just as help­ful with other mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials across the North and many would call on him for his ad­vice and ex­per­tise over the years.

“He was a friend of mine and he was cer­tainly a friend of the cit­i­zens of this com­mu­nity. He will be missed,” said Doody.

Vic Power, the for­mer mayor of Tim­mins who served the most years with Chevrette, de­scribed him as an out­stand­ing pub­lic ser­vant who con­tributed so much to the city over the years.

Power said what stood out for him was that Chevrette was an as­tute ob­server of the mu­nic­i­pal process, and was usu­ally far ahead of most oth­ers in that re­spect.

“He could see third base when ev­ery­one else was just com­ing to bat,” said Power.

Headded­he­wasal­waysim­pressed that Chevrette had an in­ti­mate knowl­edge of vir­tu­ally ev­ery op­er­a­tion and func­tion within the mu­nic­i­pal ju­ris­dic­tion.

“His in­ter­est in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity was amaz­ing, re­ally. He al­ways put Tim­mins first,” said Power.

For­mer CAO Joe Tor­lone was the man who re­placed Chevrette af­ter his re­tire­ment in 2002. He said Chevrette would be re­mem­bered as a man who worked to make the city a bet­ter place.

“Grant’s lengthy ca­reer in mu­nic­i­pal ad­min­is­tra­tion was marked by his ab­so­lute ded­i­ca­tion and ser­vice to mak­ing the City of Tim­mins a bet­ter place to live, work and play,” Tor­lone said Thurs­day.

The fam­ily obit­u­ary no­tice re­vealed there would be no vis­i­ta­tion or for­mal fu­neral ser­vice. Cre­ma­tion has taken place. Re­mem­brance do­na­tions may be made to the Tim­mins and Dis­trict Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion, said the no­tice.

LEn GILLIS/THE DAILY PRESS

Grant Chevrette, in a Daily Press file photo from this past Septem­ber where he ad­vised city coun­cil of a prob­lem with the city's pay­out process for sick leave ben­e­fits upon re­tire­ment. He told coun­cil that the city's sick leave li­a­bil­ity was in the mil­lions of dol­lars. Chevrette, who had been the city's chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer, died this week.

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