Brian Kelly Not Running for Commissioner

The leader of a Haddonfield grassroots group decides against a run.

Brian Kelly, the face of Haddonfield United, a grassroots group that successfully spearheaded the opposition to the Bancroft public purchase referendum, has decided not to run in the borough commissioners election in May.

Voters rejected the referendum last month.

"I think it would compromise what we can do on the outside," said "We really can provide checks and balances."

Kelly said he thinks some people may see him as divisive, but others stop him on the street to ask if he's running.

"People ask me all the time 'Are you running, are you running?'" he said. "I've said no so many times."

Kelly frequently comments on stories about local government and schools on Haddon Patch. The $12.5 million Bancroft referendum was a signature effort for his group after being greatly outspent by opposition.

"When it comes right down to it, turf field doesn't represent the vision of the town," said Kelly about one of the key components of the Bancroft purchase and redevelopment.

All three seats on the board of commissioners are up for election in May. Incumbent Jeff Kasko and former Commissioner Neal Rochford already announced their candidacy, while long-time Commissioner Tish Colombi is stepping down. Commissioner Ed Borden has not yet announced his plans. 

Joe Taxpayer February 21, 2013 at 04:11 PM
That's too bad. I was looking forward to supporting Brian's efforts to cut spending and taxes in the budget especially pensions and healthcare for union employees.
Mrs. Silance Nogud February 21, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Yes, much easier to criticize then actually try to do something.
Maryann Campling February 21, 2013 at 11:07 PM
I'm disappointed, too, Joe T. But I suspect that Mr. Kelly will continue to be fact-finding, supporting and getting the word out on any issue that benefits all residents of Haddonfield. You two should get together and exchange ideas!
Brian Kelly February 22, 2013 at 01:31 AM
Joe has some sound ideas you might be hearing from a candidate in the near future. Mrs. Silance, I thought it would be best not to enter the fray but if you insist.. In truth I thought it would be best to get out the facts and give the candidates a forum on Haddonfield United, while letting the residents post questions and comments to them. If I ever ran ran for anything I would have to separate myself from the site. Believe me, when it comes to criticism I get it spades but since I get my voice out there it's only fair you should respond how you feel.
Adam R February 22, 2013 at 04:02 AM
How does that saying about glass houses go?
Johnston February 22, 2013 at 03:12 PM
I believe Mr. Kelly is pretty good at remaining positive despite the knuckleheads lurking here and all over town. I don't recall him really every become particularly negative during the Bancroft deal, either. I would suspect it's tempting.
Mrs. Silance Nogud February 22, 2013 at 04:56 PM
A few of the positive comments: “Also, despite the hundreds of thousands of dollars our elected officials have given to their special interest groups for surveys and independent consultations” “Well, yeah, I guess if you put all that aside and go with the vision and leadership thing shown by a bunch of typical politicians who have tried to stack the deck in every way to ram this monster down our throats.” “Typical vague, no facts political answer by people who don't want you to know the facts and think you don't need to know the facts.” “These arrogant crooks are flaunting their power right in the face of every Haddonfield resident.” “You can believe one thing with these liars...the rate of taxes they projected for this project is total bull. The people involved in this project have been untrustworthy from day one. These people are stealing our hard earned money right out of our pockets.” “That's a bull*#&# answer from a man who knew it the second he said it.” “OneHaddonfield is wealthy PAC funded organization by the same people who have rocked this town and filled their pockets for years.” “These crooks are stealing money out of my back pocket.”
Jack S February 22, 2013 at 06:38 PM
So, what is your point? That out of the thousands upon thousands of lines of comments Mr. Kelly made over the course of months or years, you are capable of taking a handful of comments out of context where he uses more pointed language? Perhaps you prefer that on every issue we all act like lemmings and continue to drive this state deeper into the debt dump? Perhaps you prefer that more people with any get-up-and-go are leaving NJ than any of the other 49 states? For those that want to stay and make a stand, I respect the fact that sometimes their language may become pointed (Christie being a good example of that early on), since the can't-we-all-get-along approach clearly did not work in this keeping this state on the proper course over the past several decades.
Johnston February 22, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Yes I don't see these remarks really as negative especially given the overall work the guy did.... of which many many people got behind. A majority I might add. I also think many people feel pretty much the same. Were paying big bucks to live here and it's not always being spent well.... a few harsh words aren't really negative attacks. I'd have to say Kelly has been overall positive. There are a lot of sore feelings out there about this Bancroft deal, some of which shared among my friends. I have to admit it's hard to agree on one side or another... lets try to remember we are all neighbors. And Weiststen and Borden you can go jump off a bridge.
Mrs. Silance Nogud February 22, 2013 at 09:05 PM
My point is my original point- Much easier to criticize, then actually try to do something. Accusing people of corruption isn't especially negative? Although these are quotes from Brian, I do have to say that his comments have been more moderate than many of the participants on the "NO" side of the debate. However, his comments fueled the negative rhetoric which was often factually incorrect (Rhode Island leads the nation in population reduction by the way), and it will be increasingly harder to get anything positive, or anything at all, done in the future. I hope I'm wrong. You reap what you sew. A lesson John Mcain and Rick Scott are finding out now that they have let the anti government tea-party genie out of the bottle. We'll see how this dynamic plays out in Haddonfield.
Adam R February 22, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Mrs. Nogud, I'm still trying to locate your positive comments and find out what you have done besides criticize.
Mrs. Silance Nogud February 22, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Check my comment history.
Mrs. Silance Nogud February 22, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Additionally, my spouse and I contribute a significant amount of time and money serving, and leading, for several local organizations. The main reason I remain anonymous is that I don't want my opinions to enter into the dialog of the non-political groups that I lead.
Adam R February 22, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Mrs. Nogud, I checked your comment history and saw a lot of criticism and negativity. I'm not saying that's bad, but I think that Mr. Kelly worked hard for what he believed was best for our town and the people that live here. He brought to light our crumbling infrastructure and pointed out that some of our leaders were on a spending spree that would have increased our debt by many millions of dollars. Both sides presented their side of the issue, and even though the vote yes people had vastly more resources to get their message out, in the end, the people had their say with their vote. Mr. Kelly didn't trick the voters into voting no. He stated his honest opinion, and inspired our citizens to look more deeply at what the referendum was all about.
Mrs. Silance Nogud February 23, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Snarky and sarcastic? Probably. Critical and negative? Maybe. Personal and slanderous? Never. What crumbling infrastructure? Show me the buckets under the leaking roofs. Show me the report of mold. I think there were a lot of other issues that got lumped under "Just say no!" And we missed a once in a lifetime opportunity. I guess the main mistake of the "Yes" group was taking the high road, and playing the politics of, "Can't we all get along?" Honestly, a lot of the facts driving the emotion of the vote were wrong. The future of Radnor being the most obvious.
Jack S February 23, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Silence Nogud: Rhode Island is tops in terms of population loss? See http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/02/09/comparing-lists-did-residents-flee-states-because-of-taxes/ Also, what does John McCain or the tea party have to do with any of this? The bond was defeated by local voters of many political/nonpolitical stripes. Are you next going to suggest that the communist party defeated the bond? In terms of Mr. Kelly's comments, I look at his comments in the aggregate, and they were overwhelmingly positive. For someone who was constantly bombarded by specious, non-factual arguments and personal attacks, Mr. Kelly managed to keep his cool 99.9% of the time. It's fine if you don't like the result of the bond referendum. If that's the case, come up with a better proposal and put it to a vote. But this sort of attack on the non-candidate after the fact smacks (again) of sour grapes.
Adam R February 23, 2013 at 01:15 AM
OK: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=490015954373281&set=a.421851774523033.90631.409279199113624&type=1&theater


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