Election Day is tomorrow. Many people have voted early, and I thank them for being part of the process. I imagine, though, that they already had a pretty good idea of who they were going to vote for. For those remaining, who will show up to the polls tomorrow, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with you my endorsements, and the thought processes behind them.
Gardner is at a critical juncture. We’re transitioning from a small town to a city. We can do one of two things, embrace it or ignore it. No matter what we do, growth is coming. It might be called Edgerton, Spring Hill, Olathe, or Gardner, but the growth is coming. For that reason, one of the most important qualities I’m looking for is the ability to look to the future. We can’t be surprised by opportunities. I’ve been watching the campaigns, taking part in some, and watching the chaos on social media. I’ve listened to the candidates at forums, and most of them in person. With that in mind, I submit my endorsements
Steve Shute – Steve’s vision for the future is very well thought out and detailed. His enthusiasm is contagious. He has served the city well in his capacity of President of the City Council, managing himself with grace during some contentious meetings. He is a mayor for Gardner’s future.
Mark Baldwin- Mark’s experience as Chairman of the Electric Utility Board will serve our residents well. One of the most frequent questions I’ve heard at the door deals with our electric utility rates. When that issue arises, I want Mark to be one of the minds involved in finding solutions.
Scott Smith- Scott is a newcomer to Gardner politics, which in itself might be a positive, but he has impressed me with his analytic capabilities. Scott doesn’t talk much, but he listens, and he thinks. When he does speak, it’s calm and a little quiet, but it’s always, always, worth hearing. This is a quality that I think will serve our city very well, given the strong personalities on the City Council.
Rob Shippy – Rob is currently serving as the President of our School Board. Having started in a tumultuous time, he has worked with the other members to right the ship. If it weren’t for the latest issue with Gardner Parks & Rec, no one would even notice the School Board plugging away, developing a wonderful school district. I feel confident that this latest issue will be worked out favorably for all our citizens, and more confident of this end with Rob at the helm.
Lana Sutton- Of course I have to endorse her, but I’d do it in a heartbeat even if she weren’t my bride. Lana is the most level-headed mediator-type I’ve ever seen. She finds common ground with every person and in every situation she’s in. I think this will be a useful skill as the relationships with our partner communities are being rebuilt.
Brad Chandler- This was a tough decision for me. Neither candidate has hit the campaigning very hard. In the end, I made this call because Brad has the experience of being on the School Board for the last 4 ½ years, and has done a stellar job while there. If he wants to continue, I welcome him to do so.