North Bay mayoral hopeful Gary Gardiner is distancing himself from the North Bay Taxpayers’ Association.

Gardiner once held the position of vice president with the association, which he describes as “a group of like-minded individuals that stood for open and transparent municipal government; value for tax dollars; putting needs before wants; and, building a better North Bay.”

But, with Gardiner now seeking a loftier office, he says in a release that, “At this point, I need to concentrate on my campaign. I will put my heart and soul into it.”

Gardiner adds that in the early stages of his campaign for mayor, he has concluded “you must either stop pontificating or step up and be part of the solution. It is refreshing to turn the page and realize that I can really make a difference.”

Municipal election day is October 22 and Gardiner will appear on the ballot for mayor with Will Boissoin, Sheldon Forgette, Mike Guillemette and Al McDonald.