Gardner campaigning for seat on SCCS BOE

By Chris Bridges - the Walton Tribune

Says citizens should be heard ‘before, not after’ issues arise in city

The Social Circle City Schools Board of Education has been in the news a good bit of late.

From approving the location for a new elementary school which led to two BOE members resigning, the education leaders in Social Circle have been under the spotlight in recent weeks. John Gardner has officially qualified to run for the District 4 seat on the SCCS BOE.

John Gardnercontributed photo

“My wife and I moved to Social Circle in 2001, to find a quiet place to grow and raise a family,” Gardner said. “Over that time, this community has afforded my family the lifestyle we enjoy and friendships we have cherished for many years and hopefully will for years to come.”

Gardner does have concerns about various developing issues in Social Circle as well as those which affect the BOE and students.

“One concern is we as citizens need to be heard before the fact, not after,” the candidate said. “That has not always been the case and I would like to see that change. It has been said that if you want to play a part in making things happen you must get involved. That is exactly what I have decided to do. I never set out to be in elected office, but at some point, you realize when you do not like the way everyone else is doing things, you might as well try do them yourself, so here I am.”

Gardner qualified in August for the District 4 seat, which was previously held by Steve Trantham who stepped down in August.

“I have managed budgets and people in the construction industry for over 20 years,” Gardner said. “ I, however, have never been on a school board so the only approach I know is to be as straightforward as I can and represent the fourth district with integrity and the respect I would demand from someone representing my family’s interests and that which the office requires. The school board needs the confidence of the community to operate appropriately. I believe (now) that confidence is compromised. Being more transparent is the key.

“We have an opportunity moving forward for this board to be more transparent and we need to find more efficient ways to communicate with the citizens of our community,” Gardner said. “This will help ensure the decisions being made are being made thoughtfully, that due diligence has is done, and with all citizens’ voices, especially the fourth district. To see that the tax dollars provided by you, the citizens, are being appropriated correctly, and meet the long-term missions of the families, students, faculty, and leadership who make our school system one of the best. With upcoming expansion projects on the horizon, I feel my experience in the workplace can lend itself to oversight within our school board to ensure we are spending our money where it needs to be spent and receiving the value we deserve. If elected, I look forward to collaborating with the community and alongside the other board members to help our school board and school system operate at the highest level possible.”

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