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Wood Village leader targets systemic racism, utility support in second term

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF WOOD VILLAGE - Mayor Scott Harden will continue to lead Wood Village for the next two years.Mayor Scott Harden will continue to lead Wood Village into the future after he was selected by his peers to hold onto the role during the first council meeting of the year.

Harden was sworn in for another four-year term on council alongside Councilors Brian Loy and Jairo Rios-Campos Thursday, Jan. 14. The first task for the elected body was to select someone to lead as mayor. Unlike in other cities, candidates for Wood Village mayor aren't elected but rather selected by council every two years.

"I am happy and honored to say that they chose me to continue serving as mayor," Harden wrote.

Harden first stepped into the role in January, 2019, after former Mayor Tim Clark was forced to step down due to complications from his cancer diagnosis. Clark recommended Harden take his place, sending a memo to council advising he would be a worthy successor. Clark died on July 30, 2019.

His list of priorities include developing a free and reliable wireless network that covers the community; begin outreach and education around trying to turn mobile home parks into resident owned co-ops; and continue to end institutional racism.

"Black Lives Matter and the time for incremental-ism is over," Harden said. "White people can no longer tell persons of color to wait."

He suggested creating more frequent get-togethers that celebrate diversity. Harden also wants to turn some of the support programs initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic into annual programs. That includes a robust, long-term utility assistance program, a permanent turkey drive, and continued support of Fairview Oaks and Woods Food Distribution Program.

Mayor Harden will hold the position through 2022, at which point council will make another decision on who should lead. Harden's term as a councilor ends Dec. 31, 2024, after he ran unopposed for Council Position 3 last fall.


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