Grantville Council Post 1 candidate disagrees with managing city’s business

Grantville Council Post 1 candidate disagrees with managing city's business

Current councillor and former mayor Jim Sells is facing challenger Dee Berry, the owner of Bonnie Castle, for the No. 1 position on Granville City Council.

at Laura Camper /

Current councillor and former mayor Jim Sells is facing challenger Dee Berry, the owner of Bonnie Castle, for the No. 1 position on Granville City Council.

Sells, 72, has been involved in Granville municipal politics for the past eight years, first as mayor and now as a city councillor. Berry, 81, a former member of the Grantville Historic Preservation Commission, is also well versed in municipal politics, having served as a municipal clerk on California’s waterfront. The two disagreed on how the city should be run.

Sells ran for his current seat because he felt the city council should have a businessman.

“Grantville is a multi-million dollar business,” he said. “If you don’t run it as a business, you’re wasting a lot of money that belongs to the people.”

That’s why the city has a city manager who can review fees, set priorities and keep the city within budget, Sells said.

Sells is a businessman who has invested in several properties in the city he now manages.

“I built this business from scratch,” Sells said, adding that he believed he was Granville’s largest employer.

Sells said he would bring that business acumen into the council chamber when he made a decision.

But Berry disagreed. The goal of business is to make money, while the goal of government is to provide services, she said.

“Utilities are the only part of Granville that should be run like a business,” Berry said. “(Taxes) should be returned to the people.”

Berry is the owner of Bonnie Castle and has lived in Granville since 2006. Berry said she hosts a tea party with Dee at her home every Sunday to learn about the needs of Granville residents.

“I’m connected to people and the problems they’re facing and some of the things they think could be better,” she said.

Taxes, utility rates and things kids can do are their priorities, she said. Council members need to review the city’s utilities to see if any relief can be offered to the residents they serve, she said. In addition, Berry said, the city needs a youth center and a recreation director.

Sells also believes the city needs an entertainment director, he said. Sells said the position was created when he was mayor and he would like to see it refilled.

Both Berry and Sells hope to attract business to the city. Sells said high-speed internet is key to bringing new business to Grantville, something the city has worked hard to ensure for years.

“We’ve been working on high-speed internet to attract business and serve residents,” Sells said. “Those are the two most important things. Businesses pay their bills and residents get services.”

Berry also noted that the city needs a new image.

“We want more than The Walking Dead,” she said.

A few years ago, she and her husband, James Berry, a decorated veteran who founded the now-defunct Granville Chili and Blues Festival, are currently Granville Kiwanis (Kiwanis), which is also working hard to bring positivity to the city.

Early voting begins on Monday, October. November 17 8 elections.

Please put the candidate’s cup in the box next to their message:

Di Berry

Age: 81

Address: 2 Post St.

Occupation: U.S. Department of Commerce Census Bureau Field Representative

Education: BA in General Studies and Christian Principles from Bruton Park College, BA in Business Administration from Monterey Peninsula College and Elementary Education from Central State University

Political experience: Clerk in the coastal city of California, former member of the Granville Historic Preservation Commission

Spouse: James O. Berry

Jim Sells (I)

Age: 72

Address: 5966 Highway 29

Occupation: Real estate investor at Hope Property Investments, former Delta Air Lines pilot

Education: Graduated from Kimball High School in Dallas, Texas

Political experience: four years as mayor of Grantville, four years as councilor of Grantville

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