Mayor Nicholson in update of 2-4-22
Area not cleared in Downtown Gardner after storm

Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson personally observes “Shovel Rage” and ADA violations

In his Mayor’s Update of 2-4-22, Mayor Nicholson mentioned the challenges of recent weather. Desiring a first-person view, the Mayor did a ride along during snow clearing with a DPW plow driver. He observed a citizen throwing a shovel at the plow and reports that the shovel was crushed.

Watch the updates on YouTube or on our Mayor’s Update page. CLICK HERE.

Mayor Nicholson reminded Downtown Gardner property owners that snow needs to be cleared within 24 hours to meet ADA compliance and that a few tickets were issued to violators in the past week. He also passed along a request by the Fire Department to all citizens to please clear around Fire hydrants for everyone’s protection in the event of fire.

Mayor Michael Nicholson reported that the FREE Covid Test Distribution was a successful event.   Gardner had reached out to 13 area communities regarding participation in a bulk order to help alleviate testing challenges faced by the communities.  

Gardner, Athol, and Westminster did joint distribution that day. Others who elected to be included will announce separate dates. Gardner residents can pick up FREE Covid tests at the Board of Health in the basement of City Hall.

Willie Gillis in Convoy 1943

Rockwell Grants

Mayor Mike Nicholson announced that grants from the William Rockwell Educational Gift Fund amounted to over $99,000 this year, for a 6 year total of $548,000. Benefits to the school system include new art display cases so art shows can be held, coverage of sports program user fees for students receiving free or reduced lunch, and a unique Book Vending machine.

Vending machine

The Book Vending machine at the new Gardner Elementary School will accept special tokens and change. This will allow teachers to reward children for good behavior by giving out tokens with which the kids can buy books and will allow all children to purchase books out of the vending machine to take home and read.

The painting Willie Gillis in Convoy was produced in 1943, depicting Gillis, in combat gear, in the back of a covered military vehicle with his rifle in hand. Rockwell donated the painting to the Gardner High School for the graduating class, where it hung in the principal’s office until 2000.  The painting was sold in 2014 for $1.9 million with the proceeds used to create a foundation to benefit the schools in Gardner, the William Rockwell Educational Gift Fund . For more on the fictional character Willie Gillis created by Norman Rockwell, click here:

Coach Don Lemieux Gardner MA

Death of Don Lemieux

Mayor Nicholson offered condolences and reflection on the death of Don Lemieux who coached the Gardner Swim Team and the Greenwood Memorial Swim Club and was still a Gardner City employee at the time of his death.

Excise Taxes

The Mayor advised citizens to contact the City Treasurer’s office if excise tax bill is not received in the next two weeks so late fees can be avoided. The concern is that apparently some bills get returned due to problems with addresses, the recipient doesn’t get the bill, and fees and penalties get added.