John Cutsey, CEO and president of FDM4, an international software company based here in North Bay with an office in Las Vegas, says he is a close friend and supporter of Al McDonald.
Well, he used to be.
Cutsey has come out publicly as a third party advertiser to endorse mayoral candidate Gary Gardiner.
It was not an easy decision for the FDM4 CEO.
“This is hurting,” noted Cutsey about deciding to support Gardiner over his longtime friend Al McDonald.
Cutsey has been in business in North Bay for more than 40 years, and operates out of an impressive building on Airport Road that would make Donald Trump proud.
Cutsey is not happy with the way things are going in the city of North Bay, so he did his research this time on whom he should support for mayor. He met one-on-one with both candidates and is now strongly supporting Gardiner.
“From the heart, I love you as a friend, and I still do to this day but I hope you [Al] will not take this against me, and you and Wendy are wonderful people,” said Cutsey.
“I have to go with what my heart tells me and I said I could not endorse you from my heart. I would not sleep at night, because I do not like the way the city has been run and he is the chief of city council and I am sorry I am not happy with your growth and I cannot endorse Al.”
Cutsey held the Gardiner endorsement press conference this morning and was joined by supporters, former Ontario Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller and former MP Bob Wood. During his endorsement, Cutsey was very vocal about change and finding a way to grow the city.
“Don’t be afraid to change, be afraid to not change,” stated Cutsey.
“If we don’t, this will be the worst city. We are already the highest worst city for growth.”
Gardiner, says prior to the endorsement, the only connection between the two was a few mutual friends.
“It was not us going to him and saying could you or do you want to support us, it was the other way around. He reached out to us first and I think that is because he saw that I was genuine and I had integrity and I could move the ball forward,” said Gardiner.
“It is another infusion of confirmation. You know we had Bob Wood come earlier on board and this is just more confirmation that business leaders believe this is a good thing for North Bay and I think it is huge for me.”
Cutsey made a number of very harsh comments about the current administration and hopes under Gardiner’s leadership the downtown and waterfront can take a different direction.
“We need, entities like commercial entities,” said Cutsey.
“Our North Bay downtown could have some great opportunities of expanding but we need to attract that type of commercial entities down there, not beautifying it with little paths and rocks with beautiful places to walk? Who is going to walk? Angels? Ghosts? We don’t have any people.
“We have to capitalize on our waterfront and it is not being done. I just got frustrated. I am totally frustrated with the way it has been managed. My heart tells me it is not good for the city of North Bay to carry on with the administration that we have.”
The municipal election takes place on October 22.