Keziah challenges Kilgore for mayor
The field for Monroe mayor became more crowded Friday, when Council member Lynn Keziah filed to be the third candidate running for the office.
Keziah and Monroe resident Kyle Hayes will challenge Mayor Bobby Kilgore in October.
Kilgore has served four terms as mayor. In December, he will have served in the position for eight years, he said.
Kilgore welcomes the larger field and choices.
“That’s what democracy’s all about,” he said. He said the more candidates there are, the more choices people have and people need a choice.
Kilgore said he was not really surprised by Keziah filing for mayor. He said he plans to just keep doing what he has been doing.
“I enjoy being mayor because I enjoy working with people,” Kilgore said. “I enjoy the city. We’ve got lots of projects going on...we need to settle down and get back to business, get back on track and we’re going to be okay.”
Hayes said business was one of his main motivating factors. He said that as a local architect he deals with a lot of people trying to go into business in Monroe. He said many of them find the process too difficult and expensive to continue.
“This has happened hundreds of times in Monroe with a multitude of people,” Hayes said. “We’re running businesses out of town and we’re not competing with the community around us.”
Hayes also said he felt there needed to be new faces on the council.
“Our city government’s just corrupt. We need a lot of help there,” he said. “Basically (Keziah) and (Kilgore) have been part of the Monroe city council for well over 30 years...the direction they’ve taken us has put us in a position where we’re over-regulated tremendously.”
Hayes thinks voter turnout could be higher this year.
“The lack of voter interest has helped them stay in power and I just think with all the stuff that’s been going on, good and bad, that more people have taken interest,” he said.
Keziah filed to run on Friday. He currently sits on the city council and his term does not expire until 2015.
“In looking back at the last year, we have been a disorganized group and I don’t see that the leadership’s been there that should have been,” Keziah said. “It was almost like this person was missing in action and we’ve just been left to flounder and we’ve floundered for the whole year.”
Keziah, who served as mayor from 1987 until 1991, said he has the ability and the experience to serve as mayor.
“I have a lot of respect and I will definitely vote for John (Ashcraft), Margaret (Desio) and Freddie (Gordon),” Keziah said when asked if he was running to preserve their majority. “If that leaves us with a majority, that’s what it would be, I guess.”
He said he thinks they will do a good job for the people of Monroe.
“(I have) been on the council and been involved in Monroe’s affairs for a long time,” Keziah said. “I think I have the respect for the people and I think I’ll do everything in my poer to make Monroe a better city.”
If Keziah is elected, he will vacate his city council seat. The newly elected board will have to decide how to fill that seat for the remainder of the term. They can hold a special election, appoint someone or take applications. Keziah said he is not worried about the possibility of filling his seat.
“You try to find the best person that would work for the best interest of Monroe,” Keziah said. “It’s all about the citizens of Monroe...it’s not about me.”
Keziah said that if elected he will do his best and that he does not have any animosity toward working with anybody.
The election will be held on Oct. 8.