Dave Drovetta
Guest Columnist
I have been fortunate to build a successful career in the private sector and have more than 25 years of business leadership experience. I have served our community since 1994 as a planning commissioner, council member and mayor.  This experience makes me unique as a candidate.
My goal in serving our community has been to maintain the quality of life we cherish in Gardner.  I have worked successfully to keep our community a safe, friendly, attractive place that has brought many new families to our town from the metro area and beyond.  I will continue to lead with the same values and commitment.
My record has been a reflection of that commitment and here are some concrete examples of how I have led and will continue to lead in the future.
I bring fiscal responsibility to leadership.  While effectively managing record growth, we were able to obtain and maintain a Moody’s Aa3 investment grade rating through the recession.  We have applied eight times and have been recognized eight times by the Government Finance Officers Association with a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.  Year after year we have successful independent audits of our finances. Moreover, we can show a consistent history of continuous improvement of our processes.
I continue to support, the responsible development of a park system that includes some of the finest neighborhood parks in Johnson County.  We continue to expand our Greenway Trail system. With the overwhelming support of our citizens, we built Celebration Park and our Aquatic Center. These facilities have brought out of town revenue to the city, but most importantly, they have brought enjoyment to so many of us who call Gardner home.  I am committed to maintaining these highly valued resources.
Our citizens identified traffic flow as their highest priority and the intersection of Main and Center as the highest need.  We were able to collaborate with KDOT to affordably improve this intersection and are moving forward despite council opposition, my challenger being one of the no votes.  I am committed to find affordable ways to meet these needs.
Economic Development is more important today than it ever has been.  I have been steadfast in my support of bringing high quality commercial development to Gardner like the Coleman facility.    We need commercial growth to diversify our base.  When our new administrator joined us, I challenged her to work with our business community and define ways that we can improve the business climate and grow.  We are taking those recommendations and using them as we move forward with strategic planning for our future.
You have a choice for mayor on April 2.  I hope you vote for experience, honesty, and a solid record of standing up for Gardner.
Editor’s Note: All Gardner mayoral and council candidates were given the opportunity to write a guest column. They are appearing with minimal editing in the order in which they were received.