Colusa City Council candidate: Kelleher
Kirk Kelleher spent the early months of 2012 looking for candidates to replace him on the City Council, but now says there is more work for him to do.
At one point, he even announced he would not run again, only to change his mind.
He goes so far to admit that had Marilyn Acree gotten into the race before his decision to run again, he might not have sought re-election.
Kelleher, 45, called being a councilman a thankless job, and the lack of positive feedback is one of the main reasons he was looking to step down.
That noted, he said now that he is running he wants to be elected, and believes he has something to offer the city. He said he is revitalized by the surge of public involvement in city matters.
His priority is to get a new city manager in place, but said that depending on the makeup of the council after the election, would actually propose to halt the current process and start again.
Kelleher said the way the position is defined right now is wrong. For starters, he would remove the police and fire departments from that person's authority.
He said the person would still manage the other departments and be the person responsible for representing the city in negotiations and similar duties, and thinks it is essential the city manager be part of the community. And he adds, he is not in a hurry to hire. The city should be patient to get the right candidate.
Detractors say Kelleher is the least active and, perhaps, least prepared of the council members.
Kelleher, who owns a local paint shop, does not deny that he does not go to a lot of city functions or committee meetings away from the council sessions.
Nor, he said, will he create a fuss over little details when the bigger picture is fine.
Kelleher does not think going to social functions or other outside meetings makes him a better councilman, noting he is still in disbelief that a council majority who is more active in the community approved a consultant's contract that paid nearly $8,000 a month.
As it turned out, the night the contract was approved, is the only meeting Kelleher has missed in his four-year term.
Kelleher strongly believes that it is his job to hire good staff, let them do their jobs, and make the key decisions brought to the council.
He disagrees with other candidates who believe the council members must be the face of the city, especially when it comes to attracting new business and other economic development concerns.
Kelleher said the role of the council should be to remove hurdles from business attraction and investment, make it easier for projects to get done, and then get out of the way.
As for working with other council members, Kelleher said he has no issue with anyone on the council, or any of the candidates, save one.
There is certainly no love lost between he and Councilwoman Kay Hosmer, who is also seeking re-election.
In fact, Kelleher said if both return to the council, he will do is job with as little communication with Hosmer as possible.