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Allure of outdoor lifestyle just as appealing as job opportunity, says Corner Brook’s new city manager Rodney Cumby

Corner Brook city manager Rodney Cumby
Corner Brook city manager Rodney Cumby - Contributed

Rodney Cumby says he wasn’t specifically looking for a job back in Newfoundland and Labrador, but the one in Corner Brook certainly piqued his interest in returning eastward.

Currently the executive manager of operations and planning for the City of Lloydminster, Cumby will be packing up his belongings and taking on the role as Corner Brook’s new city manager as of Feb. 11.

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His wife Leslie, who is a teacher, and their two youngest sons, will make the move after the school year is finished in June. They have an older son who lives and works in Nova Scotia.

He said they are all outdoor enthusiasts and can’t wait to avail of the opportunities the Corner Brook area has to offer.

“I said many times, every time I visited Corner Brook or Gros Morne, that I’d love the opportunity to work out there,” the Pouch Cove native said in an interview Thursday. “That opportunity came up and I went for it.”

Work-wise, he is looking forward to helping city council and staff stablish and implement a clear strategic direction for Corner Brook. He knows there are issues with aging infrastructure, the need for a new wastewater treatment plant that could cost around $90 million and pressure for the city to have a regional aquatic centre.

He also agrees with the city’s recent focus on bettering the position of Corner Brook and the Bay of Islands area in the tourism marketplace.

“I’ve always thought the area had tremendous tourism potential,” he said. “If I didn’t already think that, I certainly learned it while living out here (in Lloydminster). You just don’t have the recreational opportunities here that you have in western Newfoundland.

“These are very important things to me and one of the reasons why I believe in Corner Brook and chose Corner Brook personally.”

Cumby is the former chief administrative officer with the eastern Newfoundland towns of Paradise, Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s and Torbay and former town clerk/manager of the Town of Pouch Cove. He is also a former president of the Professional Municipal Administrators Association and a director with the Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators.

That past experience will come in handy, whether it’s through reestablishing connections with other municipalities he’s had dealings with or helping Corner Brook operate better as a municipality by implementing council decisions.

“That’s what I’m experienced at,” he said. “I will establish clear, identifiable and measurable goals for each city department to help council achieve its strategic plan and direction.”

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