Letter: Gardner responds to letter | West Central Tribune
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Letter: Gardner responds to letter

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I was a bit surprised with John Tradup’s letter of the other day. I’ve known John since I came to town over 31 years ago. While he and I will disagree on many subjects, we’ve always been friendly toward each other, and that will continue. He’s a good man. Yet, I must take him to task just a bit.

Given his background in the news media, John knows better than to ascribe any public opinion written under my byline as that of anyone else’s. I take full responsibility and credit for any opinion with my name attached to it. I write my own material independently of anyone.

I am no one’s puppet. Never have been. Nor do I write letters criticizing the current state of affairs at City Hall just for kicks. I remain concerned for our city, and believe as many others do that we are heading in the wrong direction. I will continue to speak out, as a growing number of others shall also.

John is correct in saying I was soundly defeated for reelection. That was directly related to my stance on one single issue, the Westwinds housing development. There, I made a principled decision to support the project by reason of the law, a decision for which I was roundly vilified. I told the developer that I would support Westwinds for that reason, but that it would absolutely cost me my council seat.

If anyone walks through Westwinds today five years later, they will see a good neighborhood populated by good people. Councilman Ron Christianson and others who claimed it would be a ghetto were incorrect at best, and engaged in fear-mongering at the extreme. Most Westwinds opponents were misled by those mischaracterizations.

The last election was nearly three years ago, and now those elected for the “change” John supports have a record to run on. We will see in November of 2014 if the public wants their change back. Based on my plain reading of John Sullivan’s recent letter, I suspect many others do.

Steve Gardner

Willmar

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