In the past few decades, Gardner has grown from a rural, agricultural town of 3,000 to a suburban community of 22,000. Fields have become yards as more and more acres get developed, and as the population density increases, so does the pace of life and the development of technology and work opportunities. Now, more than ever, we need to respect and honor our history as we embrace the natural flow of progress.
As we grow, we need to respect the relationships and the heritage of this very special place. We are blessed with a Main Street that still maintains the historic buildings erected more than 100 years ago, built beautifully and built to last.
Edgerton also has a historic downtown area and a burgeoning warehouse facility that is an economic engine of the state.
Both communities offer excellent quality of life, low crime rates and beautiful nearby parks.
Many of us remember when Gardner High School became Gardner Edgerton Antioch High School, and the opportunities that arose from everyone by joining together.
Recently, the Gardner City Council discussed more equal funding of the chamber between Gardner and Edgerton, despite the population disparity. Edgerton’s population is a tenth the size of Gardner’s population, and the two towns have co-existed in harmony the majority of that time.
Gardner’s council has developed a knack for using money to get their way, just as they moved their public notices out of town to punish this paper for perceived wrongdoings.
They annexed the Hillsdale Water Treatment Plant without consulting Miami County commissioners. Now, it appears they have indicated that Edgerton should increase chamber funding.
It’s hard to keep step with this ping pong political quagmire, and we’re left to wonder, why?
While it is correct to require accountability from the chamber, using Gardner funding as leverage against Edgerton – or any entity – is wrong. There’s a difference between fiscal responsibility and political maneuvering.
The decision of how much Edgerton should contribute to the chamber is a decision best left to the chamber board and Edgerton’s council, just as Gardner council should determine their amount of funding based on needs and not political whim.
Gardner and Edgerton are joined at the hip with the school district; together the two communities can continue to thrive.
To create division, fuss with the neighbors, and undermine historical heritage goes against a longstanding tradition of kindness and cooperation.