Fiancé’s expired visa at root of Michael Kelly’s absences from Prairie Village council

Michael Kelly has not made an appearance at a City Council meeting since Sept. 3.
Michael Kelly has not made an appearance at a City Council meeting since Sept. 3.

Ousted Prairie Village Councilor David Morrison’s seat wasn’t the only one empty behind the dais on Monday: For the third meeting in a row, Ward 3 Councilor Michael Kelly was missing — a string of absences that has attracted the attention of several of his constituents.

Kelly tells us the reason he hasn’t made a public appearance since the Sept. 3 council meeting when he cast a vote against the Tutera Group’s Mission Chateau proposal stems from complications with his fiancé’s student visa. She recently completed a surgical residency at Truman Medical Center, and with her program complete, her visa is no longer valid. As such, Kelly has been between Prairie Village and her home country of Canada as the two explore a permanent residency option in either country.

“I’ve been back and forth numerous times and will continue to do so,” Kelly said. “It’s a difficult situation for both us. We both look forward to it being resolved as soon as possible.”

Kelly added that, “Minus an unforeseen event, I’ll be back for the next meeting.”

Though the issue may be troublesome to some of Kelly’s Ward 3 constituents, it poses little risk to his current political tenure: Prairie Village has no ordinances requiring a specific attendance rate for councilmembers, and there are no mechanisms for removing a councilor from office for absenteeism.

Kelly’s council attendance was also an issue during his 2011 run for mayor.