Kristina Harrison
Guest Columnist
On April 2, there will be a local election that will allow Gardner residents the opportunity to VOTE for a Mayor, two City Council Representatives, and three USD 231 School Board representatives.    These elections are for positions that are responsible for the development of the community we live in, the community where we raise and educate our children and the community where we socialize with friends and family.  The people running in these elections live in our community.  Chances are good that each of us knows at least one of the candidates personally and if not, we have the ability to reach out to any of these community members and have an intimate conversation regarding their beliefs and ideas for our community and the future.  These elections are determined by popular VOTE not Electoral College.  In these elections, every VOTE counts.
Yet, with all this said; the voter turnout for local elections is dismal at best;  a dismal turnout for elections that have the most impact to our everyday lives, the education of our future generations, and dismal turnout for an election where each and every VOTE  is counted and applied to individual candidates.   The approximate number of people who have voted in the last three local elections is as follows:
2007    2,900
2009    3,900
2011    3,300
While I would be honored to have your VOTE for City Council, each of us has five candidates to choose from for two vacant positions.  Each of the candidates will have their own unique perspective on some topics while likely not differing much on others.    This election is about choices.  We each have an opportunity to CHOOSE the candidates that we feel best meet our vision for our community.  That choice is not to be taken lightly and that choice can only be taken advantage of if you VOTE on April 2.  After 7:00pm, on Tuesday April 2; you right to choose will pass for this election.  The choice will be made for you by people who may have different views for our community. Please take advantage of the choices that you have and exercise your right to VOTE.

Editor’s Note: All Gardner mayoral and council candidates were given the opportunity to write a guest column. They are appearing in the order in which they were received.