Gates seeking second term in LindenBy Jeremy Smith Published 4:39pm Saturday, June 16, 2012
Linden Mayor Mitzi Gates will seek four more years at the helm of the Marengo County seat after announcing she will seek to qualify for municipal elections when the process opens next month.
“I am looking forward to July 1 when the day comes for joining the mayor’s race. I am very interested in serving the City of Linden for four more years,” Gates told The Times Friday.
Gates, who was elected to the office in August 2008, got her first taste of city government in 2006 when she was appointed to the Linden City Council to replace Alvin Allday, who moved out of state.
“It has been an honor for me to be able to serve in the capacity of mayor. I have loved learning as much as I have, having only been in city government two years as an appointed council member before I ran. I appreciate the faith the citizens of Linden placed in me in putting me in office,” Gates, who followed Mayor Pro Tem Butch King, said.
“I have tried to faithfully serve them in the best way that I knew how and I have been able to do that with a great staff here at City Hall and a wonderful council to work with.”
Gates has been in the city’s top office during one of the most economically challenging times in the recent history. Despite those financial obstacles, Gates said she is proud of what the City of Linden has accomplished in that time.
“We certainly have had challenges caused by the national economy. But we are blessed in that even with that downturn our tax revenues have remained relatively stable for the entire four years, which has been a very pleasant surprise and blessing to us,” Gates said.
“We have the people of Linden to thank for that, especially those who have been willing to open businesses, whether they be restaurants or stores.”
While Linden has managed to keep its sales tax revenues high, the city has also been successful at keeping most of its establishments open for business during Gates’ first term while still allowing a handful of new merchants to set up shop.
“We’ve seen a number of things open with success. There are people in Linden who do understand that shopping locally for everything they can possibly shop locally for is the lifeblood of this city,” Gates said.
“I appreciate those folks who support what we have in Linden and certainly appreciate the merchants who have chosen to make Linden their home.”
Gates said that she hopes a second term will allow her to continue her focus on getting Linden ready for growth.
“I am very optimistic about the economy improving. I think that Linden and Marengo County are doing everything that we can to make this area attractive for industry and retail business.
“I think a big part of the is the Marengo County Economic Development Authority.
“I think that is a very important entity in our county,” Gates said. “I think a big focus for me would be making any and all improvements in the Linden Industrial Park. We are well on our way to doing that.”
The Linden Industrial Park has been in place since 1979, but reportedly did not get its first official tenant until 2006. Gates hopes to see a considerable uptick in the number of businesses that call the park home.