Meet the Mayor

Written by lgladmin

February 18, 2022

Words by Joanie Keays

Photography by Erin Feltman Photography

Granbury has a reputation that precedes itself. Spend a weekend on the square and you will witness the influx of tourists. Granbury is a city where others want to come and enjoy our utopia, even if it is just for the day. If our community continues to grow at the pace that it has, our Mayor and Council members need to ensure that it is done with precision and purpose.  Positive growth is critical for our city to continue development, while maintaining our small-town charm.

Joanie Keays:

Thank you for the opportunity to sit down with you and discuss your new role as Mayor of Granbury. Before we get started, let’s get a topic out of the way that a few people in the community have brought up. During the Special Election for Mayor this summer, there was some discussion that there might be an issue with your residency. To be eligible to file an application to run for Mayor, you must reside within the city limits of Granbury for one year. What can you tell the readers of Lake Granbury Living magazine that might be familiar with this topic, about this concern?

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“What controversy? I live at one address part of the week and at my other address the rest of the week, mostly on the weekends. Both residences are in the city limits and I have lived in the city limits for more than a year, prior to my filing my application for Mayor.”

Joanie Keays:

Growing up in Granbury, I have watched it grow from a small town to what we have today. When I would mention Granbury to other people outside of the community, rarely did I find someone who had heard of our town. I always had my standard response for them. Granbury is approximately 30 minutes southwest of Fort Worth. Today, almost everyone I speak to knows about Granbury. You have mentioned Italy and Comanche as places you have lived before. What made you move to Granbury?

Mayor Jim Jarrat:

“I was retiring and wanted a place within 60 miles of a major airport and Comanche TX where my elderly parents were living.  My desire was to be on a lake.  Of all of the lakes around, Lake Granbury was by far the nicest.  It is one of my goals to keep Lake Granbury as one of the premier resort environments in Texas.  To do so we must be mindful of all activity that surrounds our lake and make sure that we are environmentally safe with all that we do.”

Joanie Keays:

As a candidate who ran in the Special Election with you, I know that there needs to be a large “why” when you commit to running for an elected position. What made you decide to run for Mayor?

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“The City of Granbury was not living up to its potential and promise of being a safe and pleasant place to raise families while enjoy the historic surroundings and the many recreational outlets.  The traffic jams continued to grow because of a lack of forward planning and pushing State Officials to make things better.  The wastewater issue that divided the city into those who could build and those who could not is indicative of a lack of foresight and recognition of the real issue that needed immediate attention, namely the wastewater infrastructure on the East side of the City that prevents all the effluent that could be processed from reaching the South Wastewater Plant. And the involuntary annexation that occurred within the past two years – which, if delayed 30 days, would not have occurred without affected citizens voting. It is wrong when major decisions, such as annexation, are not presented to the affected citizens and they are allowed to vote on those decisions.” 

Joanie Keays:

I have lived in Granbury almost all of my life.  After watching Granbury change so much since 1981, and the leadership that has come and gone over the years, it is clear that the position of Mayor is something that requires a person to have a skill set in place prior to being sworn into position. What can you tell me about the experiences in your life that you feel prepared you most for this new leadership role in our community? 

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“I have worked all of my life. As a 6-year-old, I was expected to pick my “quota” of cotton on our farm in Italy, Texas. Later, during my teens, I always had a job and was always expected to provide an honest day’s work. Living in a small town like Comanche, Texas, you sure didn’t want to get a reputation as someone who didn’t work hard – it would get back to your family quickly. So, I developed a good work ethic and a tremendous appreciation and respect for others who do their jobs to the best of their abilities. As an Eagle Scout and later a Scoutmaster who was invited to National Jamborees as a Jamboree Scoutmaster, I learned to live and teach the Boy Scout Handbook. Next to the Bible, I recommend this book, at least the earlier editions, as a practical guide to growing up and becoming a contributing citizen to the family, community, and nation.” 

Joanie Keays:

My background is in small business. As a small business owner, you are taught to wear every hat in the business. You never know when you will have to wear the hat of the Human Resource department, janitor, receptionist, accounting, marketing and anything else that is required for that day to be successful. The corporate world seems to be a completely different environment. Do you feel your corporate experience prepared you for your role as Mayor and if so, why? 

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“Most of my working career has been with Fortune 100 Companies.  These companies generally have an excellent management development program.  I was fortunate enough to begin my career right out of college with Johnson & Johnson, which had and has one of the premier management training programs.  A program that took a management candidate through all aspects of a company.  One year I would be in production, then six months in personnel, then a year in finance, followed by a tour in distribution and marketing. All these different functions prepared me to perform in different companies, even if they made a different product. And I was with companies that made snack foods, produced sterile bandages, provided financial services, outsourced communication process and handled insurance for millions of customers. This diverse experience, plus my most current experience as a Trustee for Austin College, have prepared me to ask the right questions, and the right follow up questions so that pertinent information is provided with which good decisions can be made.”

Joanie Keays:

During the Mayor race, we had several forums that questioned each candidate about our agenda once in office. As Mayor, what is the first thing you would like to accomplish? 

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“Well the first little thing was to get the Monitors down from in front of the Mayor’s place on the podium so that the public could see the face of the Mayor. This was accomplished and all of the Council Members, City Manager and City Attorney’s Monitors have also been lowered which I believe makes it much better for the attending public.”

Joanie Keays:

You were sworn into office since July 6, 2021, how would you say your life changed after becoming Mayor?

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“I wear a coat and tie 4-5 times a week, and before it was jeans and a t-shirt everyday, but Sunday. When I am out and about, I represent the City of Granbury and the City of Granbury has high standards. I’m trying to represent those standards and the City of Granbury citizens and put them in the best light possible. Before Mayor, I planned my days and weeks and adjusted activities as I chose. Now, there are meetings for this, meetings for that and meetings that require a lot of preparation. Some of the preparation is due to my being new – but not all of it. Being prepared for each of the meetings is another example of ‘representing the citizens of Granbury’.  If I am not prepared for the citizens, I’m not doing my job – and if the citizens think I show up unprepared, then I want to hear about it.”

Joanie Keays:

What are some of the highlights over the past few months? (During the Campaign)

Mayor Jim Jarratt:

“The citizens of Granbury are the Highlight. When campaigning I knocked on lots of doors and met citizens from every neighborhood in the City. Our Granbury Citizens are outstanding.

(cont.)They are polite, courteous, honest and energetic and want more for the City and it’s citizens. The understanding that the City Employees have demonstrated time and time again as they go about doing ‘just their job’ and knowing that it so much more than that. Our City Employees have extreme pride as they perform the daily tasks that keep Granbury running smoothly, safely, efficiently. Think about it; how do you feel when you wake up without electricity, without plumbing, to dirty and crime infested streets, and boarded up beautiful old buildings. Well, you will have to think about it real hard – because that isn’t Granbury – we wake up to all of the necessities and a clean and safe environment surrounded by historic and beautiful thriving businesses because of City Employees.”

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