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Outgoing Lubbock city councilmembers reflect on time in office, express hope for growing city

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - While they leave office under different circumstances, Councilmen Randy Christian and Jeff Griffith feel it has been a privilege and honor to serve the City of Lubbock, which they expect to experience growing pains and successes as a mostly new city council is seated on Tuesday.

“You have to be there and do this to understand how incredible a job it is and how big a privilege it is to do this,” Christian said. “I hope I was thoughtful about what I did my last four years.”

Griffith spent eight years, two terms, representing District 3, which is contained in central Lubbock. Christian represented District 5 for one term. District 5 is in southwest Lubbock.

“It’s been an honor to serve,” Griffith said. “It really has. I’ve really enjoyed it. At $25 a month, it’s not a good career choice for a long, long time but I’ve really enjoyed it. Lubbock makes me very proud.”

Both said the growth of the city has required, and will continue to require, the council to address infrastructure, public safety and other critical needs. They said they’re proud to have addressed those issues related to transportation, health, crime and public safety.

“When I first came on the council, one of the first things in our face was the change of Lubbock Power & Light,” Griffith said. “We began to analyze the future of how Lubbock is electrified and that process of changing the grid system and going into the ERCOT grid, beginning to analyze leaving the Southwest Power Pool grid and what that would do futuristically for our citizens and the efficiencies. That’s something I’m very proud of is our migration into the ERCOT grid. Also, I’m very proud of what we’ve done with transportation. We tried to stay ahead of the curve.”

Christian told KCBD he believes this council was one of the more productive councils and is also proud of the paving of streets, Loop 88 and the approval of a new fire station. In District 5, he’s also happy about the development of McAlister Park.

“The dog park was 80 percent privately funded,” Christian said. “Whether it’s a dog park, whether it’s a pickleball court, whether it’s redoing a Legacy Play Village, I think that we can make a good case that those are good investments for our corporate citizens and even individuals to bring some of those public-private partnerships to our parks all across the city.”

Addressing the health of citizens, Christian said he was pleased with how the Public Health Department, first responders and other city staff responded to the pandemic with the vaccine clinic at the Civic Center. He is also most proud of the Source to Solutions Addiction & Recovery Symposium, another initiative of the Public Health Department.

“The three categories of people that we were trying to help with the symposium are those that are in currently addicted, those people on the road to recovery and the families,” Christian said. “We already have one scheduled for this October.”

In interviews with KCBD, both councilmen expressed pride in the development of Loop 88 and the future extension of Interstate 27. Griffith said those infrastructure projects will serve the future growth of Lubbock along with other investments in vital services.

“The investment of both the councils that I have been honored to serve on for water projects I think will, long term, be very important to the success and the growth of the city,” Griffith said. “I’m very proud of what we’ve done for public safety with changing of police to community policing and with the new division patrol substations.”

Christian expects the next city council will be primarily faced with addressing the growth of Lubbock, whether it be good or bad.

“I wish the future council all the best,” Christian said. “It takes a while to figure it out. I’ll also tell people, joked that it took me a year to learn just the acronyms for everything because it’s very complex, but it’s a very, very important job. I will tell them, it is a full time job.”

Griffith agrees there is a learning experience upon taking office but he’s excited about the new council.

“You’ve got good veteran members,” Griffith said. “You’ve got new members coming on that I think that all will do a great job. The timing is right as the city continues to grow. I feel like that it’s a real good time to be in leadership in this city and I’m very proud and happy for them and excited to see the future go forward with them.”

Juan Chadis will also leave office after serving District 1 since 2016. He declined an interview Monday with KCBD. You can find his statement released when he announced he could not run for re-election by clicking here.

New councilmembers and mayor will be sworn in Tuesday, May 17 at 4 p.m. in the council chambers at Citizens Tower.

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