Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe that it is time for another election cycle.  My term as Mayor of the City of Gardner is coming to an end and I am asking for your support as I seek another term.  I would never ask for support unless I felt that I have delivered on my word.  I have listed just a few of our accomplishments from the past two (2) years below:

 Economic Development.

  • 99’s Restaurant & Pub, opening in September of 2019.
  • Tractor Supply, opening in October of 2019.
  • New businesses coming to Gardner; Concord Electric, Extreme Hair and Nail Design, Green Guard Lawn & Tick LLC, Oasis Pool & Home Inc., Movement Chiropractic, Sanctuary Medicinals, Brothers Remodeling and Design, Yellow Rose General Contractors, Chair City Pharmacy.
  • The City, in conjunction with the Gardner Redevelopment Authority, purchased and demolished the rotting and decaying old movie theatre and is completing construction of a park and parking lots.  This will facilitate the redevelopment of the Ryan Block.
  • The City, in conjunction with the Gardner Redevelopment Authority, purchased and demolished the long vacant, blighted Maki Building (across from the Ale House).

   Educational Investments.

  • For the fourth (4th) year in a row, and only the fourth (4th) time in Gardner’s history, we were able to fund the Gardner Public School system at a significant amount (over $1 million) over mandated Net School Spending. Investing in education is key to our success.
  • Accepted into the MSBA’s New School Building Grant Program.  We are at an 80% reimbursement rate for a new elementary school.  Slated opening in September of 2022.

   Keeping Gardner Affordable

  • Gardner’s average single family tax bill for 2018 was ranked 289 out of 351 Cities/Towns.   
  • Municipal Electrical Aggregation has saved Gardner residents over $640,000 in 2018.

   Williams – Rockwell Educational Gift Fund

  • In 2017 and 2018, the City awarded nearly $120,000 in grants to the Gardner Public Schools.  The funds were derived from the sale of the Norman Rockwell painting.  The fund is set up to continually grow, as no more than 90% of the interest is allowed to be dispersed.

   Improved Bond Rating.

  • The City maintains an “AA- rating with a stable outlook”.  This is the highest bond rating in the history of the City and is saving us money on borrowed funds.

Not all of my work is done right here in Gardner.  There are so many outside forces that affect us at the state and federal levels, I have to advocate for the City all over the Commonwealth.  Here are a few examples:

   Elected President of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

  • The MMA is the voice of the Cities and Towns of the Commonwealth.  The MMA represents all 351 cities and towns in its membership.

   Appointed to Local Government Advisory Council by Governor Baker.

  • Otherwise known as the LGAC, the Council meets monthly with the Baker-Polito Administration to collaborate on, and advocate for, municipal needs.

   Serving on the Lt. Governor’s Focus Group on Municipalities.

  • Another honor was being asked to assist the Baker–Polito administration by serving on a Focus Group made up of about 20 elected/appointed officials from across the state.

   Elected to the Massachusetts Municipal Association Board of Directors

  • The MMA is the voice of the Cities and Towns of the Commonwealth.  The Board is elected by municipal leaders annually and advocates for municipal needs on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill.  This is my 9th term on the Board.

These are just a few of the notable accomplishments that we’ve been able to achieve as we continue to emerge from one of the worst economic times in over a generation. 

However, work still remains.

Best Regards,

Mark Hawke

Mayor, City of Gardner

 Mayor Mark Hawke with wife, Shelly, and son, Justin.