After six years on City Council, Councilman Garrett Grier has decided to stop down. An election for his seat will be held Saturday, April 23, 2016 and two candidates have filed to run for the position.
“I made the decision to step down from my term on council mainly due to recent changes at work,” Councilman Grier said. “As the owner of Duck-In Car Wash, I am currently going through a management transition at both locations that is going to demand a lot of my time over the next several months. With the challenges of trying to manage my time with work and family, I decided I need to concentrate as much of my free time that I have on my family and being home with my wife and daughter.”
During his time on council, Councilman Grier said that it was difficult to pinpoint one single accomplishment. He feels that council has made significant strides to improve the city as a whole. He was appointed by then Mayor Ronnie Rogers to the finance committee and became chairman of the economic development committee. Councilman Grier said that both committees hold an important role in moving the city forward.
“I feel that the finance committee has done a good job, in my opinion, during some difficult times to maintain a balanced budget while having to make some difficult decisions,” Councilman Grier said. “I feel we have been able to maintain high level of service for residents while trying to manage a budget with limited tax increases.” Councilman Grier said that he felt the increased emphasis on the importance of our current businesses as well as trying to create incentives to attract new businesses to Milford. As the chairman of the economic development committee, Councilman Grier said that he was extremely happy with the job the new economic development director/city planner was doing to create incentives and codes that will assist in the effort to retain existing and recruit new businesses to the city.
Councilman Grier said that balancing the budget while maintaining a high level of service to constituents was the biggest challenge he faced while on city council. Providing the services people in the city needed without increasing taxes was a difficult job year after year, but Councilman Grier was proud of the fact that the city had succeeded in doing so.
In the future, Councilman Grier sees the city continuing to grow at a steady pace. He said that the new Downtown Masterplan and the focus on economic development as well as continuing to take advantage of the Riverwalk would help move Milford in the right direction. Councilman Grier said that he was excited to see Milford focusing on developing residential and commercial units along the river, taking advantage of a valuable natural resource.
“With the new hospital in the works, I see Milford continuing to expand within the First Ward and Southeast Milford,” Councilman Grier said. “I feel the new state-of-the-art health campus will aid in attracting other new businesses as well as residential development within the community. The biggest struggle I see in the near future is our continued battle to add more police officers while struggling to pay for that need. We currently transfer more money out of our real estate transfer fund than we bring in annually to help balance the police budget. It won’t be long before we can no longer use that fund to help pay for police.” The biggest gain Councilman Grier has seen over his years on council is the growth in residential and commercial development which should help in tax revenue, real estate transfer tax, as well as increases in utility revenue.
Councilman Grier said he would advise those running for his seat, Archie Campbell and Anne Villalobos, to be patient and learn from those who have been there. He encouraged them to meet the constituents, the staff, the business owners and developers. He said they should try to learn as much as they can which would ultimately help them make the many decisions that they will have to make during their term.
“As for my constituents, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you over the past six years,” Councilman Grier said. “It has been a great experience for me. One that has allowed me to learn many valuable lessons about government, business, relationships and life. My six years on council have made me a better person and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as a councilman for the City of Milford.”