The business case to elect Mary Ferdon as mayor

From: Richard Gold


There is a clear business case for selecting our next mayor. Our city is a business. The mayor is CEO, an executive position. The job is about listening, setting direction, creating a plan, and executing. It is not baby kissing, nor legislating.

Residents, employers and the retail community are customers. Primary revenue streams are resident income taxes and property taxes from businesses and residents. Destination income supports retail infrastructure. The CEO needs to deliver short term and invest in a future vision. To quote iconic GE CEO Jack Welch. “Anybody can manage short. Anybody can manage long. Balancing those two things is what management is.”

So we want short-term results and long-term vision. And we need to retain/attract talent and employers. And we want spending visitors.

We are in a fierce competition for the future, made far more challenging because many employees no longer must live where they work, and those who must are scarcer – teachers, police officers, first responders, medical providers.

Young families want a safe place to live, an excellent educational system, access to good health care, affordable housing, broad choice in leisure activities and quality of life. And low taxes. Because talent comes in all shapes, backgrounds and colors, families also want to feel welcomed so they might achieve their collective potential here. That speaks to diversity, inclusion and ability to worship as individual beliefs dictate. Employers want much the same, but with another priority – talent – a great workforce. It’s chicken and egg. We have new economic challenges also – the automotive sector moving to electric vehicles, business and jobs migrating to the digital realm.

Smart strategy leverages our existing assets to attract/retain talent and employers.

That’s the sales side. The expense side is retaining employees and expertise, seeking efficiency and prioritizing well. It is investing wisely for future growth leveraging private/public partnerships, regional relationships and grant sources to keep taxes low.

Mary Ferdon has been a partner in this approach the past seven-plus years with Mayor Jim Lienhoop and is committed to drive this strategy of “getting stuff done.” Indiana’s Chamber of Commerce recognized Columbus as 2022 Community of the Year — “the complete package,” offering a robust business climate, philanthropic spirit and exceptional workforce.

Mary’s achievements and drive merit recognition.

  • Improvements in public safety and health
  • Steering the ASAP community response to the opioid epidemic in private/public partnership
  • Guiding the city’s investment in NexusPark
  • Supporting gains in housing stock
  • Increasing employment and employers.
  • Bringing low cost, high speed fiber optic directly to our doorsteps
  • Partnering with the state/major employers for a critical railway overpass
  • Working with major employers to activate our downtown.

All while maintaining or reducing tax rates. She remains a welcoming community advocate. Her biography in education and work is about public service – Volunteers in Medicine, the Heritage Fund plus lengthy stints in disaster response. And all this as a working mom.

Visit to understand more – with a focus on winning our future.

Editor’s note: This letter is paid political content. It is not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.