McClain is Brookings’ new councilman

Written by Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer June 26, 2012 08:32 pm

 

Kelly McClain
Kelly McClain
The Brookings City Council Monday appointed Kelly McClain to fill the council seat vacated by Ron Hedenskog when he was appointed mayor earlier this month.

McClain’s appointment came after informal, public interviews of three candidates during the regular council meeting. The other two candidates were Curtis Williams and Dave Kitchen.

“We saw three capable candidates,” Hedenskog said after McClain was sworn in. “We urge you to go for (the mayoral seat in the November) election.”

The three were asked the same questions, ranging from priorities they believe the city faces to acknowledgement of the work load a councilor takes on.

McClain, 48, said he believes a good councilor is one who represents the entire town, and is a good fact collector, able to keep everyone’s interests in mind when making decisions.

When asked why he wanted to be on the council, McClain said he wants to get more involved in the community and feels that council is a good place to start.

McClain, a real estate agent with Century 21, has served three years on the City Planning Commission.

“The timing seems right,” he said. “I want to be involved at a higher level of decision-making. And it’s about time.”

All candidates paused and smiled when asked what they love most and least about Brookings.

“I love that this is a community of volunteers,” McClain said. “People volunteer for the garden club, the Trash Dogs, all this stuff. Everyone pitches in and helps out.”

He likes least the fact that the city has to run on such a tight budget but, that factor forces all involved to be more creative in decision-making.

He would like to balance and grow tourism and retirement as the city grows, as well.

In 10 years, he would like to see more industry and jobs – and good-paying jobs.

“I’d like to see more of a tourism presence; we could do a better job there,” he said. “Gold Beach has its jet boats, Bandon has that neat little turnoff into Old Town – Brookings has so much going for it. It’s a friendlier feel. There have been good steps made, but I’d like to see it even better.”

McClain moved to Brookings four years ago from Phoenix, Ariz. with his wife Kathy. She works as a CPA at Musser Accounting in Brookings.

McClain earned his degree in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University and worked at Honeywell Aerospace in Tempe, Ariz., for 16 years.

He said he was constantly faced with budgetary decisions in that work.

He has been in real estate for the past 12 years.

McClain will fill out the remaining 2 1/2 years of the term. He is not up for reelection until November 2014.

The mayoral seat and councilor positions 1 and 2 will be up for election in November. Those four-year seats are currently held by Dave Gordon and Brent Hodges, respectively.

Those interested in running for either of those seats or for mayor can pick up candidate filing packets at City Hall. The deadline to submit completed packets is Aug. 28.