Councilman’s forums offer a homey venue for chats: his own back yard
Tempe City Councilmember Kolby Granville is planning a pair of kickoff public forums—which he refers to as “community conversations”—in what some might consider a rather unpublic kind of place: his home.
The first of these open-to-all meet-and-greet sessions—noon to 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.—are planned Saturday, May 18, at Granville’s Tempe home, 2516 S. Jentilly Lane.
Although he is the first elected official in Tempe known to host a meeting in his own house, Granville doesn’t find the venue unusual.
“Inviting Tempe residents into my home seems natural to me,” said Granville during a telephone interview.
“After all, I went door-to-door to neighbors’ homes to meet them when I campaigned, and I want residents to be able to get a better sense of who I am. I think that when you visit a person in their own surroundings, you gain additional perspective of them.”
Granville was first elected in 2012; his term runs until 2016.
While he holds definite positions on certain topics, Granville doesn’t worry about looking back on the track records of those who preceded him to help guide his planning. When deciding to run for office, for example, he considered former Mayor Neil Guiliano as a role model.
“I remember asking if I could get Mayor Guiliano’s phone number and was told that he was listed in the phone book,” said Granville. “I admire that type of openness in an elected official, and that is how I strive to be.”
Although he is a new councilmember, Granville is a long-time city resident, a graduate of both McClintock High School and ASU. But, he learned even more about Tempe when he became active with his neighbors in the Hughes Neighborhood Association, which is located just south of the university.
“I think Tempe is actually at least three cities in one,” said Granville. “You have more expensive homes and HOAs in the southern part of the city, while there are stable neighborhoods and some with issues in the north.”
He encourages residents to become active in their neighborhoods and to apply to serve on a city board or commission.
Granville serves with Councilmember Joel Navarro on the Neighborhoods and Education City Council Committee, which meets monthly.
He says he has learned from his exposure to a wide cross-section of neighborhoods is that high on many residents’ lists of concerns are property maintenance and graffiti, parking and alley maintenance, homelessness and water rates.
“Right now, as a city, a task-force is reviewing the 2040 General Plan for Tempe, so it’s an excellent time to weigh in on what should be our vision for the future,” said Granville.
Since Tempe does not have council districts, Granville represents all residents, which is why he is anxious to hear directly from people city-wide about their concerns.
He knows that one question on their minds is how the city will balance its budget when the half-cent sales tax sunsets in approximately 16 months.
“I know when I am stopped at the grocery store by residents, people will tell me what is on their mind,” said Granville. “So I hope by having the forums at my home, more people will feel comfortable in talking with me.”
For more information on Councilmember Granville, visit www.tempe.gov/granville.
For questions on the May 18 gathering, call 480-350-8916.