A Clear Path to Excellence

Gardner MA appears to be on a clear path to excellence.   Local leaders seem to be leveraging what works to increase government effectiveness and deliver stronger results for Chair City residents.  City Government itself has become more transparent.  Gardner is growing into a Great Place to Live, Work, Play, and Visit.  

Calling for Citizen Engagement

Not all residents are aware of the positives because, frankly, they don’t pay attention.  Watching fictional movies and tv shows has its place to be sure, but watching some of Mayor Nicholson’s weekly updates, Gardner City Council meetings and other meetings is now easy. Even the least civic informed of us can take advantage of the new transparency. The City of Gardner has reached a point where it is on a positive upward trajectory due to some very real concerted efforts by a number of involved, concerned people in the populace including elected officials. 

Our Pledge

gardner ma family

Gardner Magazine pledges to continue to be a positive community force urging all to be Chair City Cheerleaders promoting Gardner MA.

share the chair


The year ahead: What we see happening and what is possible

Results = mayor, city council, business, and people

Results are the product of cooperation among the Mayor, City Council, Business Community, and the People. Leadership and Engagement.


A positive citizenry sharing the Chair City with people outside the area is one of the easiest ways to secure a great future.

Gears of Gardner MA Industry

The high caliber of past, current, and emerging industry in the City of Gardner is a strong predictor of good things to come.

Leadership values vision empower encourage

Covid 19 Challenges

  • Reducing Covid 19 infections and increasing the percentage of residents who have received the vaccine.   Goal: Save lives, save health
    • Implement through education efforts on social media.
    • Persuade through Board of Health public service announcement partnerships with media such as Gardner Magazine, Gardner News, and WGAW Radio
    • Once media partnerships are established and Covid 19 is history at some point, utilize the same relationships to engage citizens with helpful health related message on an ongoing basis.
      • NOTE:  Gardner’s successful track record in vaccination efforts was noted as being exemplary by the state and the city’s positive interaction with local organizations was also notably very positive.

Citizen Participation

  • Increase citizen participation in the affairs of city government by encouraging people to attend meetings, watch meetings available online, or run for office themselves.   Goal: Create a more positive citizenry by civic engagement.
    • Implement through education efforts in all media describing and educating the populace as to the functions of various city departments and boards in order to effectuate more efficient and appropriate use, and through civic engagement, increase the percentage of informed citizens.

Further Education Excellence

  • Increase further parental involvement in and knowledge of their children’s education.  Goal: Continue to build upon the School District’s progress in increasing basic skill levels of students
    • Implement by encouraging the School Department to more actively inform the media about local education initiatives so that positive achievements are noted and better supported by parents at home.

Infrastructure Projects

  • Follow through on already announced city infrastructure projects revitalizing Downtown and use the knowledge gained from working on them to plow straight ahead with other needed initiatives.   Goal: Achieve a plateau where all parts of the citizenry are represented in current and future projects resulting in a happier community and more positive sense of place.
    • Implement a sooner rather than later strategy by identifying long-term objectives, even those which currently seem impossible.  
    • Work simultaneously on both currently achievable projects and also those with a much less likely positive outcome rather than the sequential mindset of the past which always pushed the tougher projects aside in a “kick the can” approach.
    • Start the ball rolling on the “tougher projects” so that 5  years down the road, what is perceived difficult or impossible today is possible tomorrow.

Review “Best uses” and “Brainstorm”

  • Review land and buildings in the Chair City for “best use.”   Proactively reach out to property owners who are not maximizing potential or who have substantial deterioration to offer help, assistance, and counseling as appropriate.    Goal: To continue the momentum of making progress in turning around situations which have not changed for lengthy periods of time.
    • Brainstorm what businesses, organizations, and industry are possible in Gardner and let the world know Gardner is  “interested” – For example, a google adwords campaign for the search, “start in business in Massachusetts” could feature an ad for Gardner MA all across the state.  No city has an ad there now, so the price per click would not be high.

Prioritize Arts and Music

  • Establish a citizen committee to study the availability of arts and music education and training in the City of Gardner.   Goal: Increase level of availability in the public school system and encourage participation by the private sector such as the support of non-profit organizations relating to the subject matter and for-profit companies who might further engage if there was a demonstrative interest on the part of the populace.
    • Implement more art and music classes which statistics show enhances other academic skills such as mathematical aptitude.

Complete Current Projects

  • Complete infrastructure improvement projects around the City. Goal: Get the stuff done and find out what else needs to be done and what the wish list of Gardner citizens is.
    • Complete current water project efforts and identify other actions needed to avoid the disruptive nature of 2021 work.
    • Complete current road project efforts and identify other roads which require attention and add to the city’s long-term plan
    • Open the new Gardner Elementary School in Fall 2022 and identify best uses of the current Elementary school buildings going forward.
    • Identify low-cost repairs which may be undertaken within the current budget at some of Gardner’s parks such as rusty chain-link fence which could simply be painted with Rustoleum and determine other current and future needs requiring more substantial expenditure.
    • Be brave and reach out on social media with a “Questions for officials” format

To quote Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson, “By investing in ourselves, we give others in the private sector a reason to invest in our city and revitalize our area.  Aside from these, I’m looking forward to us continuing to heavily invest in our infrastructure, increase our transparency and outreach efforts, and work to replace blight with promise by working with developers to fix up problem properties around the city. …. We cannot stay stagnant; we need to be ready to take on new endeavors and build up what we have to offer to our residents, visitors and business community.”