Brolley, Keck make pitches for Mongomery mayor post
By Judy Pochel For The Beacon-News March 22, 2013 10:52AM
Candidate for Village President William Keck at Montgomery Village Hall in Montgomery, IL on Thursday, March 07, 2013 | Sean King~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 25, 2013 6:11AM
MONTGOMERY — Residents turned out in force to hear views from two of the three candidates asking for their votes for mayor in the village election April 9.
William Keck, a five-term trustee, and Matt Brolley, serving his first term as a trustee, spent more than an hour answering questions posed by the Chamber of Commerce. A third candidate, Thomas Campbell, did not attend the event.
Both candidates agreed Montgomery is a great village to raise a family and both have deep roots in the area. But that is where the similarities end.
Keck has been involved in many village events and has spent the last 20 years attending Village Board and committee meetings as a trustee.
“I bring ... extensive skill sets to the table. I am used to dealing with budgets, policy and personnel on a day-to-day basis. I willingly use those skill sets every time I make a decision for the board,” he said.
Brolley said he wasn’t even born when Keck started in his professional career, but that he has worked hard for the past several years.
One of the questions seemed to catch the candidates off guard. Both said they are under legal orders not to discuss certain points of the decision made to sever the village’s contract with former Village Manager Anne Marie Gaura.
“I was excited when she was brought on board,” Keck said. “I thought her management style was a lot like my own. Soon it became apparent her style was not the same as mine.”
He added that at the end of her time with the village, Gaura made some decisions he could not support.
Brolley said he voted against terminating her contract on principle.
“One thing was the $185,000 buyout. We just gave away $185,000 to send someone home,” Brolley said.
“Now we have an excellent financial director doing both jobs.”
Both candidates said if elected, they would immediately focus on hiring a new village manager.
The also had several ideas about what makes the village “business friendly.”
“For the past 20 years I have been a very active and outspoken trustee,” Keck said. “I have a business world perspective and I have been in the business world a long time.”
Brolley is one of the trustees who has brought the “business friendly” tag to the Village Board, but he said his opinion has changed.
“The better focus for that effort is called ‘business smart’. To be friendly, we don’t have to give everything that people want. ‘Business smart’ and enticing people to come to the village, we also don’t want to give away the farm in doing it,” he said.
In his closing, Brolley said, “I am a dedicated, active member and supporter for years. You deserve leadership that will fight for open dialogue in government.
“I am hard working. I have a young family and I work full time but I deeply love the community and I will be fair, open and honest.”
Keck said he has deep roots in the community.
“My grandparents, parents, wife and young daughter are laid to rest in the cemetery here,” he said. “This is my home; this is the place I care about. I have chosen to give back to my hometown the skills I have.”