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Grant resigns from City Council

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Caleb Grant, speaking at a 2018 forum for Roswell City Council candidates during his successful re-election bid. (File Photo)

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Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh plans to select a nominee to fill the city council position vacated by Caleb Grant in about a week.

The Ward 2 councilor, who had been in office since March 2014, announced publicly on Tuesday that he was resigning his position, effective today.

“My family and I had an opportunity and we are no longer going to be living in Ward 2, so that no longer makes me eligible to stay on the council,” he said.

He explained that “personal decisions for him and his family” have prompted them to move in January outside the city limits, although they will remain in Chaves County.

His family includes wife, Emily, and two sons, Hudson, 8, and Jacob, 5.

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The Roswell native and local businessman, a partner in the Farm Bureau Financial Services agency on North Main Street, added that nothing will change regarding his professional work or the business.

His community service includes serving as co-chair, along with his business partners, of the United Way of Chaves County annual fundraising campaign and being an active member of the Chaves County Republican Party, a group he chaired in 2017 and 2018.

“It was a hard decision. I have really enjoyed my time serving Ward 2 and being on the council and trying to change the way the city has functioned in years past,” he said. “So, you know, it was a hard decision, but I think that I have kind of done what I can do at this point. And it is the best situation for me and my family, and look forward to seeing what the city continues to push forward, too.”

He said that one of the reasons he felt comfortable stepping away from the council position, which included serving as Finance Committee chair and as a member of the Infrastructure Committee, is that he thinks other Roswell residents can do the job well.

“That is kind of the piece in this decision as well,” he said, “that there are very qualified people who are interested in Ward 2. So I would just encourage them to keep pushing forward and hopefully we can keep getting some more business people on the council to serve. Hopefully there is even more opportunity for that coming up in the March election as well, so I am very confident that Ward 2 will have great representation.”

Kintigh said that, by state statute, he is required to present a nominee to the governing body, which must approve the person to serve. Whomever is selected will be appointed to the council until the end of Grant’s term, which is March 2022.

Kintigh said that he intends to have a nominee for consideration by the Jan. 9 City Council meeting.

“I have two that I am seriously looking at,” he said. “I would rather not name them at this time. Everybody will know in less than two weeks.”

He said he is looking for a problem-solver.

“I want a thinker who is independent and who has a strong desire to make this a better community,” he said. “Come with ideas. Come with suggestions. Come with plans. There are not always going to be things I agree with, but, to me, it is critical that we have people who are attempting to be problem-solvers, so come to me with an idea. Come forward with a serious suggestion.”

He added that he is not considering anyone who has announced a desire to run for city office.

Two people, Jason Perry and Bonnie Bitzer, previously declared their intention to run for the Ward 2 seat now held by Steve Henderson, who has decided not to stand for re-election in March for a sixth term on the council.

“Those who announced intentions to run, seek election, are not individuals that I considered,” Kintigh said. “Those people have started down that path, and I think it would be more appropriate to have them finish that process.”

Kintigh also expressed his praise for Grant and said he hopes that he will run for office again soon.

“I think Councilor Grant has been exemplary as a councilor. And understand that he and I have not agreed on everything. There have been times we have had serious, sharp disagreements, but Caleb Grant is a smart, thorough young man who has treated this position very seriously. If Caleb Grant says, ‘We should look at something,’ I am at the point that I say, ‘OK. It doesn’t mean that I am going to agree with you, but it means it is worthy of consideration.’”

Grant said he did not rule out the possibility of a future run.

“I have no plans for that right now, but obviously I still have many years ahead of me,” he said.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.