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Dear Decaturish – I offer Decatur strong leadership and a positive, collaborative style

campaign coverage D'ish Decatur slideshow

Dear Decaturish – I offer Decatur strong leadership and a positive, collaborative style

Kelly Walsh. Photo provided to Decaturish

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Kelly Walsh. Photo provided to Decaturish

We accept letters to the editor. In advance of the Nov. 7 elections, we have invited candidates’ supporters to write no more than three letters on behalf of each candidate and have extended the opportunity to candidates to write one to two letters on their own behalf. We will not run any candidate letters after Oct. 30. 

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Dear Decaturish,

This election season has been particularly exciting for the city of Decatur. With four candidates from which to choose there is more information than ever to consume and to sort through in an effort to decide which candidate is right for Decatur. This level of participation is charged by a real desire to control our own destiny in a time of national political discord and certainly by a desire to respond to challenges created by the recent growth and change that has happened very rapidly over the last several years right here in our city. It is clear that we need strong leadership to take us into the next decade and beyond with a vision for who we want to be and how we want to live. The past few months of this process have been our “well-check.” This has been our “visit to the doctor” during which we take a look at our current health, and ask ourselves how can we improve it and extend our longevity while maximizing our quality of life along the way.

My offer of service to you is strong leadership delivered with a positive, collaborative style and set forth with a vision for the future. I will bring a strategic planning skillset to the job of commissioner as well as a proven track record of success leading boards and organizations through growth, transformation, and leadership change. I have spent over a dozen years in Decatur learning, growing and becoming deeply embedded in the community. Through the hundreds of conversations I’ve recently shared with residents, it is evident to me that folks want a clear-eyed, strong-voiced leader who can build consensus, listen to what constituents want, and then make careful and deliberate decisions about how to move us forward. Folks want a leader that not only gets “input” but also garners “buy-in” from citizens. Such a leader will find the through lines of information, ideas and opinions, and bring it all together in a comprehensive and integrated way.

The question before all of us is: What will our city look like in 2030 at the end of Decatur’s next Comprehensive Strategic Plan? Here is what I envision:

  • A diverse population that thrives on a more balanced tax base, supported by a network of affordable housing, efficient transportation, and a strong economy.
  • A healthy community with safe streets and sidewalks that keeps Decatur moving, using all modes of transportation.
  • A green city with a robust tree canopy and ample greenspace that invites everyone to engage in music, culture and outdoor play—regardless of age or ability.
  • A forward-thinking community that enjoys the best public education in the region.
  • A unique place that follows its own path and makes space for all who choose to be here.

The next four years will set the tone for the next twenty. We have the chance to plan together for a city that, although it will continue to change and evolve, will still resonate deeply that it is special and is the place that we are all proud to call home.

Throughout this campaign I have expressed my commitment that I will work very hard as your commissioner to shape Decatur into the best city that it can be. What I haven’t done is made promises that can’t be kept. I am not a single-issue candidate and I represent multiple constituencies across the city. I have set myself forward as the vehicle for your voice to be heard and reflected in how we will plan for our future in the years to come.

So now the decision is in your hands and I humbly ask for your vote on November 7th.


Kelly Walsh

Kelly Walsh is a candidate for Decatur City Commission, District 1. Kelly and her husband, Pat, are residents of the Clairemont Great Lakes Neighborhood, and have two children who attend the City Schools of Decatur.

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