Kolby Granville explains why he is running for Tempe City Council.

By:  Kolby Granville
Tempe City Council Candidate

When I declared (in March 2011) I was running for city council, my assumption was the most common question I would get would be regarding policy. However, the most common question is much more straight forward. It is, “Why are you running for city council?” Rather than trying to sound clever and smooth, I am going to try to simply write from the heart and hope that those reading this will understand…

When I was 18 years old I, literally, came home from work (I worked through high school) to find everything I owned in a series of garbage bags sitting in the living room. I was told, “Manzanita Hall [a resident hall at ASU] opens today, it’s time you moved out.” When I moved into Manzanita Hall, I was not moving into student housing, I was moving into my new permanent home. I treated it as such, and I respected it as such. A problem with the residence hall meant there was a problem with my home.

As time progressed, I realized that Manzanita Hall was not (only) my home, but ASU, as a whole, was my “home.” What I came to realize after graduation was that it is your community that is your home. Tempe is my community.

Once you realize your community is your home, there are surprisingly few questions left. The proverbial “weeds” in Tempe, are the same as weeds in my front lawn. Graffiti in Tempe is like graffiti on my front door. Choices that negatively reflect on Tempe, are the same as choices that negatively effect on me. Service to the Tempe community went from optional to required. The only question left was “Where best to serve?” That requires a second example.

I moved to Tempe in 1990 and if someone asked me about the trend in the quality of life in Tempe, I would not have been able to answer. I would have only seen one point on the “quality of life” chart, so to speak. However, over 10 years, over 20 years, and you start to see the trends. You start to see the entire chart.

More importantly, you become able to point to moments in time on the chart where you can say, “Here, right here, if we had made a different decision, things would be different today.” The town lake, the light rail, the development of the Mill Avenue District, these are all examples (for better or worse) of past decisions that forever changed the course of Tempe.

Over the next several years, Tempe is poised to encounter more of these “moments in time” that will forever steer the future of Tempe. The proposed modern street car, density creep into south Tempe, sales tax and property tax rates….these are all issues whereby the decisions we make today will forever bend the quality of life chart of Tempe. I am running for office to protect my community, to guide these decisions, and to ensure that the future of Tempe as a livable and vibrant city is ensured. To do less would be, frankly, irresponsible “home” ownership.

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