By Brandi Makuski
City council candidate Corey Kealiher said he’s so unhappy with the current representation in District 2, it outweighs any reservations he has about running for public office.
Kealiher, 41, filed his candidacy paperwork for city council on Monday.
“I’m running because I feel like the city council, within the last five or six years, has gotten really antagonistic against property owners and homeowners and people who live here, in general,” Kealiher said in his first interview with the Metro Wire on Wednesday. “Taxes are getting completely out of hand. This is our home, we live here; the city should exist to make our lives more convenient or more pleasurable. And that’s my whole issue.”
Kealiher said a stepping stone for his candidacy was the controversial road diet on Stanley St. It’s one of the first places Kealiher said he stopped to talk with residents and obtain nomination signatures.
“They are so not happy with David Shorr, they were happy to see someone running against him,” he said. “They’re livid about [Stanley Street], especially with the way the entire council handled it. They felt ignored.”
Kealiher said while he didn’t attend any of the Stanley St. public hearings in person, he watched them by video, and believes “they were just a little bone the council threw to the public so it looked like they were listening.”
“It seems like for every one person who supported it, there were 15 or 20 people so dead set against it. The change doesn’t affect me in any way, but for me, it’s the idea that the city council guy just completely ignores his district—how can you blow them off and say that doesn’t matter?” Kealiher said. “If the city intends to make a change that directly impacts people who live in an area, it should be the job of their representative to listen and speak for those people.”
Kealiher, who lives with his wife and two boys on Minnesota Ave., also said the city’s building and property codes are too restrictive. He owns rental properties in the city and he feels landlords are “harassed” unnecessarily by city ordinance officers because of minor infractions like peeling paint or cars parked on the grass.
“I have a very simplistic view of things; my property is mine, and as long as I’m not doing anything to hurt anybody, the city should just leave me alone,” he said.
Kealiher has lived in Stevens Point since 1998 and works for Creative Community Living Services in Plover, where he works with special needs adults. He also works in internet marketing and builds websites.
”It’s looking like nothing is ever going to change until the council changes…I’m going to have fun with it,” Kealiher said of his campaign. “I’m not going to be another David Shorr. I’m not interested in his textbook way of looking at the world.”
Kealiher is challenging two-term Alderman David Shorr for the city’s District 2 seat in the April 7 election. You can register to vote here.