Councilman changes mind, will run for re-election
Colusa Councilman Kirk Kelleher has done an about face.
Three months after declaring he would not seek re-election, the one-term incumbent announced Wednesday he will run in November.
“I would like to inform the citizens of Colusa who support my efforts that I have changed my mind and will run for City Council in November,” Kelleher said in a statement.
“There are many critical issues facing Colusa and I think it is important to maintain stability in the council. I would like to thank everyone in our community who have supported my decisions and encouraged me to run again. If the citizens of Colusa will allow it, I will do my best to make sound decisions and keep Colusa on the right track.”
There are three open seats on the council. In addition to Kelleher’s position, Mayor Pat Landreth and Kay Hosmer are also up for election.
Neither has indicated whether they will run again. Two challengers, Chris Fantl and Greg Panciano, have indicated they intend to run.
Kelleher said in his statement that either newcomer would be a “good choice” and deserve consideration by the voters.
Kelleher has become a kind of “man of the people” symbol of revolt since his Jan. 31 announcement he would not be seeking a second term.
He blasted the city’s decision to pay an economic development consultant nearly $8,000 a month, that coming only a couple of weeks after he and Mark Mayuga had a heated exchange during a closed door council session.
The council, on a 3-2 vote with Kelleher and Tom Reische dissenting, recently reaffirmed the economic development policy the city is working under, and agreed to continue the second year of Mayuga’s contract.
Reische is running for the District 2 supervisorial seat.
Kelleher said the economic development issue is one of the big reasons why he decided to run, but stability on the council is even bigger.
“There is the pivotal Mayuga contract, but more than that, I want to keep the stability of the council,” Kelleher said.
Kelleher said since the uproar of the Mayuga contract, and some other issues which have surfaced, he believes there has been more public input and the dynamic of the council has changed.
He did not elaborate on that, only to say it has “been fun to come to City Council meetings, again.”
Kelleher regularly puts a sign out in front of his business on council meeting days encouraging residents to attend.
Kelleher’s detractors say going to the council meetings is all he does.
Widely considered the least involved of the council members, they point to the fact the city comes under a fair amount of criticism from the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce for not being involved, and
Kelleher is the liaison with that organization.
Kelleher’s critics also note that he rarely has anything to report about his activities away from the council meetings.
“I’m a busy person, I run a business, and more specifically, the meetings at the EDC and chamber are during the day, and it is impossible for me to attend. And I am in communication with those people all the time,” Kelleher said.
“I can make sound decisions for the city without going to a (community) dinner.”
Hosmer, Reische and Donna Critchfield also run businesses in town.