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Gardner announces Minden mayoral bid

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the published announcement of a candidate for office in accordance with the guidelines of this newspaper. Any candidate is afforded the same opportunity.

Reaching the decision to seek election to a public office is no small task. After considering the value of public service, I have decided to further my efforts within our community by seeking election as your Mayor. I believe the time has come to step forward and leverage my passion, experience, and knowledge to help Minden move forward.

Forty years ago, I had the pleasure of moving to Minden from Shreveport. With a small loan of $500 and several years later, I started my lawn care business. From that moment, I began to work hard and dream of what I wanted in life. To be clear, no man or woman succeeds in a vacuum. I have been able throughout the years to assemble a team of people from all backgrounds in our city who have offered their skills and talents to help my companies thrive. It is through these cooperative experiences of successes, and failures, that I have learned how important teamwork and attitude is for accomplishing goals.

I have no greater partner in life than Debbie Walker Gardner. After twenty-five years of marriage, entrepreneurial endeavors, and the roller coasters of trial and error, she has been my rock. Together we have pursued our business enterprises, but more importantly, we have served our community through our church. Without that spiritual growth and strength, our marriage and business pursuits would likely have been of little value. It is in these realities we find the resolve, passion, and strength to take on the enormous responsibility of helping Minden face its deepest challenges.

My top priority is to listen and communicate with our community. I understand that when City Hall is silent, distrust and resentment reside. We will always have an open door.

Minden’s utility costs are a burden and drain within our community. With these rising costs, we are witnessing people and businesses leave and shun our community. We must begin building a path to rid ourselves of depending on electricity revenues, and bringing competitive choice to our citizens for their electricity needs. To accomplish this, we must create sustainable income for our city through economic development and growth. We will do this.

One of my priorities will be to improve all of our infrastructure through the efforts of a full-time grant writer. We will bring this person on board as soon as possible and task them with finding us the cash we desperately need to improve our community resources. We cannot burden our citizens with more fees and taxes. We need to find our money from outside sources, and that is what we will do.

One of our greatest assets is our recreation complex. We must improve and update our recreation complex and seek to develop a weekend tournament rotation with baseball, softball, basketball, football, and soccer. These efforts will bring thousands of people throughout our region into our community who will support our local hotels, shops, and restaurants. On top of that, we will be able to invest even more capital into our recreation activities, which will improve the experience for our local players and families.

We must be business and people friendly at City Hall. We will offer transparency and clear communication. This will include leveraging social media to help keep our citizens informed and connected directly to our administration. We must be one community working together. We will listen, inform, ask, and work together from neighborhood to neighborhood. We will work together.

Our city will partner with Webster Parish Schools, Northwest Louisiana Technical College, the Webster Parish Police Jury, the Greater Minden Chamber of Commerce, Webster Parish Tourism, and any other local or regional agency, business, or ministry tasked with making our community excellent. We can be a power hub to bring job-producing businesses to our city, economic growth for prosperity, and abundant opportunities for our children and families. We can do this, and we will.

Please connect with us and follow our journey on Facebook. Ask questions and interact with our posts. Let us begin now working together to say, “Yes we can.”

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