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It's August 3, the day after our most recent Gardner City Council Meeting.

Our Director of Community Development and Planning was re-appointed last night, two votes shy of failing to be re-appointed.

I have no quarrel with Trevor Beauregard. In my experience interacting with him, I found him to generally be a good person.

I take issue with his management of our economic development initiatives these past two decades.

The Gardner you see before you today is by design. Trevor, as director of our Planning department and all of our economic initiatives is held responsible for the efficacy of all of our efforts to increase the commercial tax base for the city of Gardner. This job has been made significantly more important and challenging given our most recent de-industrialization.

But one thing you must understand.

Trevor did not act alone.

Mr. Beauregard has been a part of a system, lead by our former Mayor Mark Hawke and continued by our current Mayor Mike Nicholson, supported by many current and past city council members who've baked mediocrity into every component of our economic development plan.

In fact, we've never had anything of substance that would count as an economic development plan by measures counted in other post-industrial cities and towns.

What I'm expressing here needs to be made clear. What you experience as frustration over infrastructure degrading, empty store-fronts, tax breaks for out of state big box corporate stores and increased poverty is by design.

Whether that design was intentional or just a measure of incompetance matters not.

And a vote for any of the incumbent city council members who voted for Trevor is, in my estimation, a vote for a continuance of that status quo.

Let me be very clear how I stand on this issue.

I would have voted NO.

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