The truth about numbers

There’s one truth about numbers. Numbers do not lie.

For example: In 2018, there were zero dollars put into the community for new commercial construction. In 2021, there was $12.5 million. Overall new construction in Minden, both residential and commercial, has ballooned from a mere $7.9 million in 2018 to more than $26 million in 2021.

Those numbers are astonishing. Here’s another number. That’s an increase of 229 percent. 

Let me write that again. That is an increase of 229 percent.

I am proud of what has been accomplished during my first term as your mayor. We have come together as a business community and fought our way through the Covid pandemic and thrived. I have always maintained that there are people smarter than me. I’ve never been the type of person to walk into a room and think I’m the most intelligent. That’s arrogant and not true. And you can’t accomplish anything with arrogance and lying to yourself.

But the one thing I have always prided myself on is doing my best to work with people. To find out ways to help people with different opinions find common ground and work to one common goal – the betterment of this wonderful community we are blessed to call our home.

During my first term, we have opened 60 new businesses, including retail, medical, restaurants, service and more. These businesses have brought in more than 300 new jobs. And there is so much more to come. 

The reason businesses are locating here, as well as the reason why HGTV has chosen Minden for its new program, is because the outside world sees the value of our community. They see the small town, close-knit atmosphere. They see opportunity for growth and prosperity.

They see Minden for all the good it has to offer and know that there is so much more that can be achieved. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of our potential. There is so much more we can do, but it takes forward thinking, strong leadership, and a commitment to try new things.

For example, did you know that we are building a $1.2 million solar farm near Babb’s Park? This will help defray the high costs of our utility bills. Speaking of which, Minden needs someone with experience, leadership and the necessary business and people skills to negotiate far better terms on our rates once the current contract expires.

It takes strong leadership and knowledge of how the city works to keep us moving forward and to help all of us maximize what we can earn while keeping costs low so there is less burden on all of us.

I am looking to the future. The solar farm, energy rates, electric vehicles. Did you know we will construct electric car charging stations at City Hall? This is for any resident who may have an electric car, but it is also a good bit of knowledge for those traveling the interstate who need to pop in and charge their vehicle. While they are here, they will eat at our restaurants and shop in our stores.

They will see a downtown that was desolate and nearly empty a few years ago but is now full of local stores that are thriving.

Downtown was in shambles, but in 2022 there is not a place to rent or purchase. It is a thriving, positive heartbeat of our community. More numbers for additional proof. Our sales tax continues to grow and is solid month after month. That means we are shopping local AND people are coming from all around to be a part of what we have to offer.

But it goes beyond retail. You must keep a city’s infrastructure solid. I will tell you truthfully that we were lagging in what we should have been doing to protect the roads we drive on, the ones we use to take our children to school, the ones we use to go see our loved ones.

I’m excited to announce that because of the city’s growth and positive sales tax, there is $1.5 million in the budget to overlay Country Club Circle to Homer Road this June. We will also work on large stretches of Pine Street and Sheppard. We are working to better our water and sewer systems. We are rehabilitating our downtown water tower and planning many additional improvements to our infrastructure. 

Again, numbers do not lie. I am proud of the work in our community during my first term as your mayor. The future is truly bright, and I will always work for the betterment of this town. I have lived here since 1978 and Minden has given me everything. All I have ever wanted to do is give a little back.

The outside world sees it. 

The numbers do not lie. Just look at two: 2018 and 2022.

The numbers do not lie. 2018 and 2022. Which year is better for Minden? Judging from the numbers, it’s plain to see we have achieved so much in a very short period.

And we will do so much more.

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