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Q&A: Councilman unopposed in upcoming election

October 5, 2009
By Evan Bevins,

Marietta City Councilman Jon Grimm, a Republican, has represented the 3rd Ward for two years.

As the only incumbent not opposed in the upcoming Nov. 3 election, he's preparing for two more years on council.

Interested in government and politics since high school, Grimm made the decision to run in 2007 after hearing on the radio about a council action he disagreed with. A moment later he learned the deadline to file for the election was just a week away.

So, he picked up a petition and, in his first run for public office, wound up unseating the incumbent.

Question: How would you describe your experience in your first term as a city councilman?

Answer: I'm not going to say that I've been surprised by it because I kind of knew what I was getting into when I ran. I didn't go to a lot of council meetings before I decided I was going to run, but I did watch a lot of them on TV. I knew about the committee meetings. I guess I didn't know there were so many of them....

Fact Box

Jon Grimm

Age: 43.


Family: Two daughters, Amy, 22, and Michelle, 18.

Occupation: Plant manager at Grimm Scientific, a local medical device manufacturing company.

Office: Marietta City Council, 3rd Ward.

I guess my frustration is what I perceive as, how can I put this, political decisions that are made based on personalities sometimes. I don't understand that. I have come to realize that that is kind of a fact of life in local politics and you have to work within that framework.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to run again? Why?

A: I went into it not saying I'm only going to do one term. I feel like there's still more to be done and so I want to be a part of continuing the progress that we've achieved so far.

The time hasn't come yet that I said, "I'm done with this."

Q: What do you like best about being on council?

A: I like being part of the change of direction that council has taken. I think we've... done a good job of looking at Marietta as a big picture.

Marietta currently is stagnant economically. And we can't continue that way. And if we're going to attract businesses and people here, we've got to maintain the quality-of-life that we have now and build on that. And to do that we've got to make this a friendly place to come and do business.

One of the glaring things I heard about even before I ran for council was how hard it was to get building permits.... And I think we've done a lot to improve that situation. We've done a lot to make the local government less intrusive in the day-to-day (process) of doing business, and in people's lives.

That's not to say we've been 100 percent successful, because I think the RV issue was a place where we kind of failed on both counts. We continued a policy that restricts people's ability to use their property and earn money from their property and we also put up another roadblock for economic development.

I'll admit that that in and of itself is not the savior for Marietta. But it's that attitude. That's the attitude that frustrated me about the previous council.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish in your second term?

A: I think our parking ordinance needs to be looked at from start to finish.... Every time there's another complaint or concern that comes up, we put another Band-Aid on a faulty parking ordinance.

Dealing more specifically with the 3rd Ward, I would like to look into expanding our Community Reinvestment areas to include Muskingum Drive and parts of Front Street. And I'd like to do that in an effort to do something about the distressed housing in there.



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