Prairie Village City Councilman Michael Kelly on Sunday held the first of what he said would be around a half dozen neighborhood meet-ups, a strategy he hopes will help give him citywide exposure as he campaigns for Prairie Village mayor. The event was hosted at the home of Eric Mikkelson, a 71st Street resident who was an outspoken defender of pro-education candidates last fall. Kelly said he wanted to have similar events in each of the city’s six wards.
Kelly used the event to announce the launch of his campaign Web site and unveil more details on the five point plan he announced the day he declared his candidacy — including some pointed attacks on current Mayor Ron Shaffer.
Citing a desire to make the city more fiscally responsible, Kelly charges that Shaffer “has run successive annual deficits in excess of $1 million and is depleting the city’s reserves and raising taxes to cover those deficits.” Of the recent passage of two Community Improvement Districts at Corinth Square and the Village Shops, Kelly’s campaign literature says “the current Mayors [sic] recent sales tax increase gives away $22 Million to a private company and not one cent goes directly to police, parks, or roads.”
(It’s worth noting that Shaffer didn’t actually vote on the CIDs. The council approved both 8-4, with members Kelly, Andrew Wang, David Morrison and David Belz voting in dissent. As mayor, Shaffer only votes in the event of a tie).
Speaking with the Prairie Village Post Sunday, Kelly categorized Shaffer’s style as “lackadaisical,” and said he would bring a more hands on approach to the office.
“We have a form of city government where the mayor is very strong, and you’ve got to be involved making sure everything is going the way it needs to,” Kelly said.
Reached by phone Sunday, Shaffer said he and a group of close supporters were finalizing their message and strategy for his re-election bid and would be revealing their platform soon.