Letter: Run, Gerry, run
Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall. MARK WANZEL/SPECIAL TO POSTMEDIA NETWORK
We are starting to see people positioning themselves to assume the role of the next MPP for Simcoe North. When it comes to this unique region of Ontario, there is clearly only one person, one politician that fits the MPP bill and that is Penetanguishene Mayor and County of Simcoe Warden Gerry Marshall. Myself and others are hearing that Gerry has been asked about — and is considering — a run for the provincial Liberals in the pending election, and I believe it is of value to support this request for our future.
Having been on council with Gerry for the 2010-14 term, and having continued to work with him on various Simcoe North initiatives since then, I know he is already accustomed to the 70- to 80-hour-per-week workload that comes with being the most influential small-town mayor in the province. In the past seven years, Gerry has, municipally, gleaned far more funding for Penetanguishene than any other small-town politician; and, provincially, he has taken on the high cost of policing, fought for Simcoe North when the water levels on the Great Lakes were low, and continues to tackle the small-town, rural Ontario hospital funding challenges — on all of our behalves. When Simcoe North was left out of the province’s $20-million Economic Development Fund, Gerry fought for us and won. He has also tackled the issue of poor internet service by successfully convincing the federal and provincial governments to commit to $180 million in funding so there can be meaningful internet in every home, farmhouse, business or industrial complex in our area. He is accomplishing all of this from the lowest tier of government! Just imagine if he had a seat at the provincial table at Queen’s Park.
When it comes to keeping taxes low, driving economic development, engaging our tourism assets, and fighting for the residents of Simcoe North who most need a helping hand, Gerry comes through time and time again. On the higher level, recently being chosen the Political Influencer of the Year, he stands as the chair of both the Western Ontario Wardens’ Caucus and the board for SWIFT. On the human level, his valuable life experiences and unwavering commitment to people, just as people, is, perhaps, the most significant light that he sheds on the current political scene. It’s time to get back to that.
Regardless of your political stripes, or the colour for which you normally vote, all of us who care about Simcoe North need people like Gerry representing us. In observing his decision-making process, you can see that he considers all issues from a full 360-degree perspective, assessing holistics and working for balance. At this time, Simcoe North needs a leader that is minister material, seeing further down the road than most of us care to. At this time, we need Gerry.
If you are ready to continue to thrive and grow in Simcoe North, rattle Gerry’s cage and encourage him to represent us!