On April 29, Jim Pruetting, police chief, will take office as the new Gardner City Administrator.
It has been a long journey for the city and citizens starting with the intrigues and behind-the-scenes machinations that led to the resignation of Cheryl Harrison-Lee last year and ending with the appointment of Pruetting earlier this month.
That Pruetting got the job over two other candidates, who on paper at least, appeared to be more qualified for the job, only added to the narrative -fair or not- that a “good old boys’” system was controlling the city.
We have, to the best of our abilities, chronicled the events that have led the city to this point.
Even though Pruetting did not get a unanimous vote at the council, and even though a number of residents have voiced their displeasure at his appointment, he will nonetheless take office. The direction of the city is now in his hands.
To echo Randy Gregorcyk, councilmember, the lone dissenter in the vote to confirm Pruetting, we have a responsibility to support Pruetting and wish him well.
Most of the concern is based on Pruetting’s lack of credentials including necessary education, and experience in economic development and overseeing utilities.
Both Steve Shute, mayor, and Lee Moore, council member, said during the vote that the main reason they voted for Pruetting was the “overwhelming” support Pruetting had from city staff. We hope that is true. He will need it.
It is time for all of us – residents, business owners and civic leaders – to come together and support Pruetting as he takes on this new challenge.
The well being of Gardner depends upon it.