Bryant Gardner announces bid for Darlington City Council
Bryant P. Gardner, lifetime Darlington resident and local young professional, publicly announces his candidacy for an at-large seat on the Darlington City Council. At the age of 32, Bryant Gardner’s bid for public service taps him as the youngest council hopeful to throw his hat in the ring.
After graduating from Wofford College and returning to Darlington, Gardner became closely involved with, and assumed leadership positions with numerous Darlington area organizations including: The Lord Cares Food Bank, Darlington County Cancer Prevention Program, the Free Medical Clinic of Darlington and the Black Creek Land Trust. His desire to serve has impacted the health and wellbeing of countless Darlington residents. In his work on City Council, he hopes to focus on ways to improve the quality of life for our residents and the community as a whole. He plans on doing this by updating parks and recreation venues as well as by expanding and attracting the community to the square and surrounding areas. By addressing diversified interests and organizing a variety of events, he hopes to build a broader sense of community in Darlington so that we may continue to see positive growth, especially within the younger generations.
Gardner has a deep appreciation for others that serve their community. He clearly sees the pivotal role that each individual, each small “piece of the puzzle”, has in the community as a whole. In the past, Gardner has been successful in organizing groups and causes in ways that benefit Darlington.
Gardner was successful in demonstrating this when he took The Black Creek Water Monitoring Program from a board room meeting idea to active project in a little over 90 days. “I know I am only a conduit,” he says, “but the idea crystallized that I had the unique ability to connect the community together…It showed me that for something as simple as Black Creek, Darlington folks will band together for the betterment of our community.”
With over 30 volunteers for 24 months and over 25K raised, the Darlington community and the Black Creek Land Trust can now pride itself in being the first non-governmental agency to hand in actionable data to a government agency for regulatory use in the state of South Carolina. Of this experience, Gardner says, “It taught me a valuable lesson, that tons of people in the community care about Black Creek and Darlington as a whole and they are eager to contribute to its success and growth. We just need to identify where and who best to get involved to achieve the progress we want as a community.”
“Service to others” is the driving factor behind his decision to run. This marks a longtime goal, which started early on in life, from seeing the impact that his father and grandfather had in the community. Bryant’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. John P. Gardner, Jr. (Elizabeth) and the late Pam Griffin and he is the grandson of the late John P. “Jack” Gardner, Sr., Joe Griffin and Mr. and Mrs. Dick Dickerson (Betty). From a young child, seeing their community involvement led him to yearn to serve the public and help shape the amazing community in which he was raised. Whether he is reminiscing about swimming in Black Creek or milkshakes in the square, there is no denying that Bryant’s heart is in the “Pearl of the Pee Dee,” or “God’s Country,” as Bryant is fond of saying.
Gardner’s sincere desire to listen, help educate and connect with the public will undoubtedly bring a new perspective to the discussion of issues before city council and city management. His email address is BryantPGardner@gmail.com. Any thoughts or concerns you wish to express, he will certainly welcome and appreciate, as it requires an effort by many, not just a few, to move Darlington forward into her promising future. For more information visit facebook.com/BryantGardner