Keith L. Griffin, a securities attorney who lives in the Village of West Clay, has filed his paperwork to run against incumbent Carol Schleif for a seat on the Carmel City Council.
Griffin, 41, said he wants to represent the Southwest District because he said there’s too much animosity on the council right now and he wants to be part of heading it in a new direction.
“I just really think it’s the time for new perspectives and new views on the council,” he said.
His opponent, Schleif, has often voted against some of the legislation supported by Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard. As a result, Griffin knows that anyone who runs against Schleif will be seen as the “pro-Brainard candidate” but we wanted to stress that he decided on his own to run and nobody asked him. He said he might disagree with Brainard on some issues but he’ll do it in a different way than Schleif.
“I’m obviously more pro-Brainard than she is, but I’m not going to be a rubber stamp,” he said.
One big difference between Schleif and Griffin is the annexation of Southwest Clay. While the process is mostly over, Schleif has been involved in a lawsuit because many feel that the city of Carmel didn’t hold up its end of the bargain when agreeing on the annex of this part of town, mostly with regard to fixing roads.
Griffin said he feels the annexation has been positive.
“I don’t like it when our councilors are suing the city,” he said. “I don’t like the strife. As a world class city, we should be above that. I haven’t had any problems with the roads or the annexation.”
Griffin was born in Elkhart and grew up in South Bend. He attended Indiana University in Bloomington for his undergrad and law school. Griffin and his wife, Nicki, have four children. He spends his spare time as a youth soccer coach.
He previously worked for the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office as an enforcement attorney with the securities division before joining a private firm and then opening his own firm. Griffin deals with issues such as investment fraud, mismanagement, breach of duty and other forms of misconduct. He said his background in law and the financial industry will be an asset in dealing with the city’s financial issues.
“Am I an expert in finance? Am I Warren Buffet? No,” he said. “But I do live in a world of numbers and I do have a familiarity and I do think I can add a different perspective that is lacking on the council.”
Griffin said he wants to study the city’s use of tax increment financing, but so far he feels that Brainard’s plan for the city has paid off financially.
“I think it’s good that people are paying attention to the debt, but I don’t think it’s problematic,” he said. “I think it’s been handled carefully and wisely.”