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City Council approves Kennard as new councilor

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Judge K.C. Rogers and Margaret Kennard
Chaves County Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers administers the oath of office to Margaret Kennard, his daughter, after the Roswell City Council voted Thursday to approve her appointment as a Ward 2 councilor.

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A Leadership Roswell program director has been appointed to the Roswell City Council as its newest member.

At its Thursday meeting, the City Council voted unanimously, 9-0, to approve Mayor Dennis Kintigh’s recommendation of Margaret Kennard to the Ward 2 seat vacated by Caleb Grant on Jan. 1.

Kennard has been appointed to serve until the end of the unexpired term, which will be in March 2022.

Kennard said this is her first time in public office, but that she feels her background with the leadership training program for five years and her other endeavors have prepared her for the role.

“I have been laying the foundation that is leading up to this point,” said Kennard, after an emotional swearing-in ceremony that was officiated by her father, Chaves County Magistrate Judge K.C. Rogers.

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“I am very honored,” she added. “I am honored to be here, for the consideration and the nomination, the whole bit. I look forward to getting to work. I think I will have a lot to learn, but I am ready to do it.”

She also said that she had talked with each of the councilors individually, except Angela Moore, who had been unable to meet with her, prior to the Thursday meeting.

Both Kennard and her father initially had to hold back tears as they began the oath of office.

“It is a great honor for me to swear in my daughter,” said Rogers, with tears in his eyes.

Kintigh — who previously had said that he would be looking for a “problem-solver” to fill the position — described Kennard as an “awesome young woman” and said he felt that she had strong and varied professional and community service experiences to bring to the position.

According to Judge Rogers, Kennard will step down from her role as administrative director of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, an organization partly funded by the city.

Originally from Silver City, Kennard moved to Roswell in the 1980s with her father and family, which includes a sister who is now a Chaves County Detention Center officer.

Kennard graduated from Dexter High School and earned a degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from Eastern New Mexico University.

She and her husband, John, have six children.

She became involved with Leadership Roswell — which prepares local people to take leadership positions in the community and in their careers — as a participant in the 2015 class. She remained involved thereafter, working with Executive Director Rick Kraft as well as other volunteers.

Like Caleb Grant, she is a Republican. She has been active with the Republican Party of Chaves County and the Chaves County Federated Republican Women. Other community participation has included volunteering with the Chaves County Pregnancy Resource Center and the Chaves County DWI Planning Committee.

Kintigh, Councilor Steve Henderson and others paid tribute to former councilor Caleb Grant prior to the vote concerning Kennard.

Grant, who began serving on the City Council in March 2014, announced Dec. 31 that he was resigning effective the following day. He said that he and his family had decided to move to another home in Chaves County, but one outside the city limits, which necessitated his resignation.

“I wish I didn’t have to do this,” Kintigh said in beginning his tribute remarks. “I wish you were still up here.”

He ended his remarks about Grant by saying that he expects Grant to be serving in public office again in the future.

Following the vote on her appointment and taking the oath of office, Kennard took her seat on the dais along with three other women and six men to make her first decisions as a city councilor.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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