Midlothian City Council Place 3 candidate questionnaire: Ed Gardner
Midlothian City Council Place 3 candidate Ed Gardner answers questions for the May 7 joint election
• Name: Ed Gardner
• Current profession: Business Owner / CEO and Founder of MFR Inc.
• Political Party: Republican
• Elected office sought: Midlothian City Council Place 3
• Previous political experience: This is my first foray into politics as a political candidate but I worked with state government to assist in getting annexation reform on to the Governor’s desk, and I am currently working with our city council and Mayor get Midlothian to adopt a Sanctuary City for the Unborn ordinance.
• Family: I have been Married to Dr. Danielle Gardner for 20 years, most of that time living in the same home in south Midlothian. We have two daughters, ages 14 and 12, that attend Midlothian public school, and although we have no extended family in Midlothian, our neighbors and friends in the community fill that place in our hearts.
• Why are you seeking this office?
First and foremost, it is because I love Midlothian and I want to keep it a place that my children will want to settle in and feel safe raising their families here. Our city has grown beyond long standing members of the community sitting on the council more due to tradition than their capabilities and experience. The need is now for people with extensive business and management experience to step in and ensure that any continued growth is managed in a way that benefits the community as whole and does not cater to any special interests.
• What distinguishes you from other candidates for this office?
In over 25 years of business experience, most of that time working with fortune 500 companies and sitting in board rooms around the globe, I have acquired extensive experience in building vast organizational structures while solving the problems of growth in a financially sound and conservative manner. Midlothian needs that experience and that perspective as we grow our infrastructure and services to provide for the sea of new roofs that have been built over the past five years, and to accommodate those that are still coming. I have the resolve to stand up for what is right for the community and to stand in the breach to defend us against what is not.
• What do you consider the key issues of this election?
Government accountability, transparency, fiscal responsibility, and providing the basic services of roads, utilities, Police, and Fire are always important issues during any municipal election, but the main issues we are facing in Midlothian today mostly revolve around the explosive growth of new home construction and the strains that accommodating that growth places on our community.
• What are the greatest challenges facing the city and how do you plan to address those challenges, if elected?
One of the greatest challenges was caused by previous administrations not holding developers and builders to the current community plan. Time and time again exceptions have been made that allowed more homes to be placed on smaller and smaller lots in violation of the zoning that was previously laid out. This was done because the city wanted to grow the tax base at all costs, and the problems we are facing are those costs. It’s not sufficient to just focus on the issue of hooking up basic services and roads to all of the new neighborhoods without also addressing the entire system and the burdens of increased crime, the higher demands on our school system, the increased need for government services, and most importantly planning financially for when that growth comes to an end. Our city government has been run as if growth will continue indefinitely even though our boundaries are locked due to the end of forced annexation. Its time to start focusing on how the city government can serve the community and provide for the resident into the far future and not just what structures we can build now.
• What do you most want to make sure voters know about you?
I want the voters to know why I am volunteering for this role and sacrificing my time, money, and energy. My desire to be the next Midlothian Councilman comes from the same place in my heart that drove me to enlist in the US Navy during a time of war. It’s a desire to do the hard things that must be done in order to protect the place I love. I love my country but more importantly, I love my home and the community of Midlothian and want to ensure that it is just as wonderful of a place to live and raise a family for the next generation as it has been for us.