James Michael ‘Mike’ Kelly
» Why did you decide to run for mayor?
I felt that our tax dollars were being spent on projects that were not benefiting the city as a whole, such as the Seymour sign, the $3.5 million park that was built next to two active railroad lines and the Burkart apartments. It seems to me that the antiquated sewer system and the poor conditions of the roads within the city limits were not a priority on the current mayor’s list.
» What experience would you bring to the mayor’s office?
As a cell leader, I am expected to meet certain production goals and maintain a high level of quality. I never fail to deliver. Also, my many years as the only wage earner for a family of five taught me how to make due with with the money that was available and to cope with the pressure of paying my bills on time and seeing that my family was provided for. I might add that I have as much experience at being mayor as do the other candidates.
» What specific projects or initiatives should the city prioritize? Why and how should those be funded?
To inspect our current sewer system, identify the ones that are in danger of failure and begin work on replacing and upgrading. Repaving the city, worst first. Sewer upgrades should be funded by the sewer fund. Street repavement paid for with grant money combined with money from the TIF. School programs that offer CNC. Robotics, programming and coding classes would be paid for with any money made available from the local factories that participate and money earned from hands-on experience.
» Do you think there should be more collaboration between the city and the county on projects (i.e., work release center and judicial center) and how would you foster this relationship?
The county needs to realize that any future projects that the county should think about need to be discussed and studied prior to the county assuming that the city will help pay for them. The city does not have unlimited funds. All citizens already pay county taxes, local taxes and property taxes. Let us use our local and property taxes to better the roads and the city. Then we will see what is left in the budget.
» Do you think the city should invest in solar energy? Why or why not?
On a limited scale, such as the street lighting. There are solar credits that are available to offset some of the cost. The money that is paid to Duke Energy per street pole downtown would more than pay for itself in a very short time.
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Name: James Michael "Mike" Kelly
Family: Three children
Occupation: Cell leader at PMG Indiana in Columbus, where I have been employed for the last 28 years.
Education: Attended Delgado Junior College in New Orleans in 1987; received an associate degree in service management from Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis in 1990; became ASE certified in gas engine and diesel engine repair in 1990; and became a licensed real estate agent in 1987.