New Centerville councilor David Cate, left, looks over paperwork for Wayne County Republican Party Chair Gary Saunders. Photo by Millicent Martin Emery

Richmond native wants to help keep Centerville ‘good’

Already widely known for repairing vehicles, Centerville has a new councilor to help fix any town issues.

David Cate took the oath of office Feb. 1 after a brief Republican caucus at Fire Station No. 1.

Cate was the only applicant to fill the Ward 1 seat until the end of the year.

Councilor James Bullen submitted his resignation letter on Jan. 8. Wayne County Republican Party Chair Gary Saunders had 30 days to fill the seat after he received notification of the vacancy from Clerk Debbie Berry. 

Centerville’s four GOP precinct committee members — Mark Tucker, Vicki Chasteen, Sandie Rowe and Janice Roberts — all voted for Cate after he introduced himself.

Saunders had publicized the opportunity through local media.

Cate said after the vote that Dan Wandersee, Centerville’s town council president, had approached him about the opportunity to serve. 

“I thought it’s important to know what’s going on and to have my opinion on it,” Cate said.

Cate, a 1995 Richmond High School graduate, moved to the north side of Centerville three years ago after building a new home with his wife, Jessica, and daughters Layla, 14, and Portia, 11.

Cate already knew many of his Centerville neighbors because they are customers of his family’s business, Cates Auto Service and Body Shop, on Richmond’s south side. Cate is the body shop manager.

“I see some familiar faces,” he said to laughter during his introduction.

Cate said he doesn’t have any particular goals or concerns about the town that motivated him to seek office.

“Just keep it positive, keep it good,” he said.

After the vote, Clerk-Treasurer Richard Tincher said, “I’m very glad he’s on board.”

Although Cate said he’s never run for office before, he probably will file as a candidate for a full four-year term in the November election. The deadline is Aug. 1 to file for Centerville’s five council seats. 

If more than one candidate from a particular party files for one of those seats, a convention will be conducted to narrow the field.

After that time, if there’s only one candidate for each of the seats, the town doesn’t have to conduct an election.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.