Gardner residents are fortunate to have seven city council candidates to choose from who bring a variety of skill sets; and we congratulate those who have avoided finger pointing, mudslinging campaigns to focus on the issues.
In the political marketplace, if you have something good to offer, it’s wise to trumpet it rather than wasting time criticizing your competitor, manufacturing drama or creating division.
Economic development was a key theme with several candidates this election cycle, and consistent even-tempered leadership is a desired trait for developers looking at a community. Consultants during an economic development symposium stressed that developers want a council that offers some predictability and stability. It helps to have council members with a steady temperament.
After several years of struggling with dysfunction, Gardner’s council has finally gelled into a workable mass where rational – although varied – votes outweigh egos and personality disputes.
While there is always room for improvement, the current council is marked by a willingness to listen and respond to constituent concerns, debate issues and make difficult decisions in the most transparent manner possible.
For that reason, we’re endorsing the three incumbents: Heath Freeman, Tory Roberts, and Todd Winters. However, we also believe Randy Gregorcyk might be a welcome addition.
The incumbents have weathered the perils of difficult decisions and public criticism stoically and appear to put a desire for good government over individual egos.
We do understand Winters was recently appointed, but we have seen him in action during Gardner’s intermodal period. He made difficult decisions and was the only council member to vote against a tax increase at one time.
As an alternate, we would endorse Gregorcyk. He has weathered a difficult campaign with aplomb, taking the high road and focusing on issues. During his former, brief tenure as an appointed council member, he showed a willingness to serve, research issues and engage in civil political discourse.
For the Gardner Edgerton school board’s contested races we endorse Shaun Henderson, at-large, and Mindy Jo Wymer for position 1. For position no. 2, we endorse Karen Casey. While their opinions are varied, all three appear to have the best interests of Gardner’s youth at heart and have taken the high road during the campaign.
Edgerton city council has seven candidates running for three positions, and campaigning has been almost non-existent.  All candidates have expressed a willingness to serve and the humility to do so. We congratulate them on focusing on issues; it’s good to see a community pulling forward rather than being split apart by warring political factions.
We endorse incumbents Jody Brown and Clay Longanecker. We also endorse political newcomer Darius Crist.