Patrick Griggs feels the stomach butterflies associated with taking on a challenge, but he’s confident his past experience will see him through.
Griggs, 50, was sworn in Monday as the newest member of Wauseon City Council. He will complete a term expiring Dec. 31, 2021, that was vacated by Rick Frey, who was elected to a Clinton Township trustee seat in November.
A city native and 1987 Wauseon High School graduate, Griggs received an associate’s degree in business management from Northwest State Community College in Archbold. He retired in December as a shipping team leader after a 23-year career at North Star Bluescope Steel in Delta.
With no plans after retirement, Griggs saw an opportunity and felt a need to give back to the city where he was born and raised. He became one of eight candidates for the City Council position.
“I just thought it was a very unique opportunity to get my feet wet in the position,” he said. “Coming from the private sector, it’s going to be a lot different.”
His service to the community has included membership on the Wauseon Planning Commission and as a board member for the Fulton County Sportsmen Club.
Griggs said his business sense will assist him as a Council member, “to make strong financial decisions and just be a voice for the people and make decisions for everybody, not just for individual people. I want to be able to provide a solid foundation and business sense to make proper decisions.”
And while he enters the role with no agenda, he’s intent on helping administrators to continue providing a safe city for the residents. First, though, Griggs plans to listen and learn.
“I see that Council people do more than four meetings a month. I definitely need to learn the nuts and bolts at first,” he said. “I’ll listen, but I’m not afraid to speak up and have discussions with people, and, hopefully, just provide good input to the group.”
Griggs commends the current work of City Council, and lauds the jobs of the city’s police and fire departments. “As a person who’s lived here my entire life, I’m happy with everything the city’s doing right now,” he added.
If there is an area needing improvement, Griggs believes it could be infrastructure. “I want to maintain and continue a solid infrastructure for the city,” he said.
Wauseon Mayor Kathy Huner said Griggs showed a lot of interest in the Council’s process, even attending meetings prior to his appointment in order to gain information on city issues.
“I think he’ll bring some new additions and ideas that are always welcome,” she said.
Griggs said his retirement affords him plenty of time for his Council seat and to contribute to the betterment of Wauseon. He will consider formally running for the seat when his term expires next year, but for now is eager to serve.
“Obviously, I have a lot to learn, but I have the time to give back and try to learn,” he said. “It’s a big job, and it’s not to be taken lightly. But I feel confident in myself.”
Reach David J. Coehrs at 419-335-2010.