Meet the incoming member of Celina City Council.

Brandon Grumbles, owner of R&R Pest Control, was the only candidate to file for an empty Place 6 seat on the council.

As a Celina native and local business owner, one of Grumbles’ main reasons for applying for the council seat was to solidify Celina as a city his children would want to stay in, he said.

Grumbles sat down with Community Impact for an interview about himself and his upcoming council term. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

How long have you lived in Celina?

I’ve been in Celina for 43 years now.

As a longtime resident, how have you seen the city change over that time?

... When I was in high school, I think the population was about 1,100 people. The growth has really blown up. ... My dad still lives here in town, and he had said on Halloween they only had three or four trick-or-treaters come by their house, and we both live in downtown Celina. That’s kind of a big thing to see, that no one lives in downtown anymore. ... That’s just the biggest thing that I’ve seen is just the growth and where these houses are going—in all these pasture lands that, when I was a kid, had horses and cows and corn and wheat all in it. ... They’re houses now, subdivisions.

What got you to run for council?

... [My] dad was on [Celina] City Council. He was mayor pro tem back in the ‘90s. And I’ve been interested in the small-town, the local politics for many years. ... But now, it just kind of seems like, with the growth that we’re experiencing and all the new things that are coming in, all the new people, and looking at the current council ... I like the current council, don’t get me wrong, I like everyone that’s on there. I just want to have a voice for the actual hometown Celina resident. I see the growth that’s happening, and I really want it to be something that my grandparents, my great-grandparents would be proud that they were some of the first people here in Celina. ... I want this town to really be where my kids want to come back to live. ... Really, I just ran [for council] to be a help. ... Not that it’s in need of help, but just help grow and help grow smart, help grow properly and try to keep the past in mind with the future that’s coming.

What lessons from being on Celina’s Planning and Zoning Commission will you bring to council?

First off, what I’ve learned with Planning and Zoning is the design standards that are required in the city. They’re really good. ... It almost looks like [city staff does not] want [Celina] to be just another concrete jungle. They want good trees, they want good parks. ... It looks as if they are trying to make Celina a family-oriented community. ... When I was younger, the town was so small everybody knew everybody, and it seems like the city realizes that we’re in a hotspot and that we’re going to grow, we’re going to grow very rapidly, but they want to still keep it to a tight-knit community. ... I’ve actually learned a lot on the laws for some of these things that are coming in [to Celina] that’s been pretty surprising to me. Something that was brought up to me just this last week was about the apartments that are coming in. ... Right now, our first responders, they’re not equipped for apartment buildings ... four levels and higher. ... That was just something I would have never even thought about asking that question—if somebody’s coming in and wants to put in a five-story apartment complex, can ... the fire department get on top of that thing if there’s an issue? ... Really that’s been the most eye-opening thing—learning the details and how to ask the right questions because of those details.

What from your experience as a local business owner will you bring to council?

Well, I’m a big proponent of the small business in Celina. I think that the rapid growth and the expansion that we’ve got right now ... could potentially really hurt some of these small businesses if not done properly. ... I think that it’s very important that we utilize the small businesses that we currently have now while we’re doing this growth. ... If Celina were to grow and only use the businesses that we have currently here in town, we would be just fine because we’ve got everything covered. So, I want to do whatever I can to make sure that these businesses that are here now will still be here in 10 years with the growth and not being pushed out by the bigger companies that will eventually come in just because of the size of the town.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Celina right now, and how will you address it?

It really depends on how you look at Celina. If you’re looking at ... Old Celina, the downtown issues, it’s going to be infrastructure—below ground and above ground. If you’re looking at Celina as a whole, like all of the [extra-territorial jurisdictions] and all of the outlying areas of downtown, I think right now it’s just the above-ground infrastructure. ... [The roads] are going to be an issue for a while until we can really get the growth there, where it needs to be. ... We’ve got so many county roads out here and farm-to-market roads out here that just aren’t maintained real well, but then you’re throwing in a 2,000-home subdivision ... that’s not going to be a really good thing for a while.

What are you hoping to accomplish over your term?

... I would like to see design standards even better, almost completely top-notch, and I think that we can do that. I don’t think that would be an issue because we are such a desired location. ... We’ve got so much frontage off of the [Dallas North Tollway] and at Preston Road. We’ve got the Outer Loop coming in. We’re going to be a very desired location. ... I know [the city has] a 10-year plan with the downtown area. I think that that needs to be a focus because I think right now that’s really what’s driving a lot of the people here. ... They see our downtown, they go to these events, they really enjoy it all, but we’ve just got to have ... really good roads. We’ve got to have better parking, better drainage. We don’t get a lot of rain, but when we do, downtown is underwater. It’s flooded. ... I think that we could be ... really particular ... in the where we locate things ... find out if, "Is that really, truly the best spot? What is that spot going to be in four-five years from now?" ... If everybody really works well together and works well with the city, I think that that can all be accomplished, and we can really do a good job and make Celina a really beautiful, desirable place.

Is there anything else you want the Celina community to know about you?

I don’t have any personal agenda. I’m not getting on City Council because the person I wanted to run against did something I didn’t like or someone on City Council is doing things that I don’t agree with. ... Before I make any kind of a decision on City Council, I want to be able to see all the facts. I want to be able to see everything on paper. I want to hear everybody else’s opinion. ... That’s the great thing about the City Council that we have. It’s kind of diverse, and everyone’s got differences of opinion, which is fantastic. That’s what you’ve got to have. You don’t want everyone on the exact same page because then you can run into mistakes. ... I want to be able to hear everybody else’s opinion ... what their vision is of the town and then just ... build upon it and try to help make it a council that works well together because if that happens, then it’d have to be successful. Everyone can just be working together, share thoughts and opinions without any kind of emotion on it ... and we’ll all be successful.