A local businessman and developer is now in position to shape the long-term direction of the City of Williamsburg.
Greg Granger was appointed by City Council to the Planning Commission at the June 8 council meeting, according to the City’s Communication Specialist Lee Ann Hartman.
Granger is the President of WMBG Radio FM 97.7 and AM 740 and has also spurred development projects such as Griffin Arms in downtown Williamsburg. As a lifelong resident of Williamsburg and local developer, Granger said he thinks he will bring a practical perspective to the board.
“I’ve been through the business side of it,” Granger said. “I’ve had a great working relationship with the city…I think I bring some practical knowledge as well as the perspective of a lifelong resident.”
Granger added the commission already has qualified perspectives, but he simply hopes to contribute his own to their efforts.
Granger said he has hoped to serve the city in some official capacity for a long time. He ran for City Council in 2016, but came up short on election day.
“As I said on election night last year, the outcome of this election won’t affect my commitment to Williamsburg,” Granger said, adding, “It was just a logical thing to do put my name in the hat.”
Councilman Benny Zhang said he and other council members were impressed by Granger’s desire to continue pursuing a role in local politics after losing the election.
“What a guy, to go out there run for your city, lose, and then come back and want to serve,” said Zhang. “Greg had the strength and courage to continue to serve the city and that’s a really big testament to his character.”
Zhang also said the council expressed confidence in Granger’s business and development experience in Williamsburg, adding his developments in downtown aligned with council’s goals for revitalizing the city.
The council appointed Granger at the end of their meeting in an open session, Hartman said, after returning from closed session.
The Planning Commission plays an advisory role to City Council and helps to forge the city’s Comprehensive Plan, reviewing zoning ordinances, and help to develop a capital improvements program.
The vacancy on the Planning Commission was created when commission Chairman Demetrios Florakis resigned in May. A new chair has not yet been named, according to Hartman, although the commission may elect a new chair at their July meeting.
“I don’t have any special agenda, just continuing in a tradition of excellence befitting the city,” Granger said. “I want to make sure we take a good hard look at the direction we need to go. We need to have great people visiting Williamsburg and living in Williamsburg and to do that we need to have opportunities ahead of them.”
Correction: The story initially stated that Granger was appointed in closed session. However, he was appointed immediately after council returned from a closed session. His appointment was made in open session, as City Council cannot make appointments in closed session.