Familiar face returning to Fishers politics

July 12, 2013
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Fishers has its first mayoral candidate: Walt Kelly, a longtime Town Council president who resigned in 2001 as he ascended to managing partner of an accounting firm.

Now 64, Kelly knows what he wants to do when he retires at the end of the year.

“I’m interested in providing the leadership I think this community needs,” he said Thursday, kicking off his campaign.

Walt Kelly, 2014 Fishers mayoral candidateWalt Kelly wants to be Fishers' first mayor. (IBJ photo/Andrea Davis)

Residents of the fast-growing suburb voted in November to turn the town of 80,000 residents into a second-class city with an elected mayor and nine-member city council.

(The town is governed now by a seven-member town council that appoints a town manager to run day-to-day affairs.)

Its first election is set for next year.

Kelly was appointed to the Town Council in 1977 and went on to be elected to the position, serving as the panel’s president for 17 years. He resigned because of professional obligations but remained interested in civic affairs.

Now Kelly is ready to get back in the game, vowing to provide the “stewardship, leadership, consistency and fairness” he said will be necessary to make the transition. He cited his collaborative capabilities, honed in both the public and private sectors.

“If I have any skills … it’s the ability to hear divergent thoughts and views and somehow get the team to come together,” he said. “I have the passion and the energy to do everything I can to make this a better place than I find it.”

Kelly is proud of the fact he was never “unelected” from office and hopes to keep that Election Day record intact despite what is expected to be intense competition.

“I’m not running because I’m against things,” he said. “I’m running because I have the ability, I think, and experience required” to keep the community moving forward.

What do you make of Kelly’s candidacy? Does his early entry change anything for other mayoral hopefuls?

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  • A Perfect Fit
    Walt Kelly is a perfect fit for Mayor. He has been serving Fishers for a long time. He lives there. his family lives there. He provided proven, steady, and strong leadership in a time of unprecedented growth. He is the steady hand we need through this transition.
  • Great Leader
    I am exctied that Walt Kelly is running for Mayor of Fishers. I am sick of all the infighting between the council these days. Everyone is vying for Mayor and nothing is getting accomplished. Walt is one of the reasons that Fishers has grown to what it is today.
  • Comeback
    Very happy to see Walt throwing his hat into the ring for mayor. He did a great job on the Council during a very challenging time during Fishers early explosive growth. More politicians should show the pragmatism and passion for service that Walt showed over the years. He was a lot more about governing than he was about politics. If experience counts for anything, he will be the prohibitive favorite to win the office from today forward.
  • ALTERNATIVE
    Another great option would be for the former Mayor of Greenfield, Brad DeReamer, to run for Mayor of Fishers. He moved to Fishers over a year ago and has the experience of running a city along with the four utility companies the city owns. His Greenfield distractors always accused him of "Trying to make Greenfield like Fishers."
  • And our thoughts
    The thoughts of CityYes, the group who worked to change Fishers from a town to a City, on the first-ever candidate for mayor. http://cityyes.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-first-candidate-for-mayor.html

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