Northwood Councilman Dave Gallaher will not be on the ballot in November seeking re-election. Gallaher, on council since 1994, said he wants to spend more time with his family.
“I’m going to miss it, but I’m not going to miss it as much as I’m going to enjoy the time off,” said Gallaher. “It’s really something I can live with.”
Gallaher intended to run again, and started going door to door to circulate his petitions. “I had planned to go to my grandaughter’s t-ball game later that day, but I ended up talking to residents. I had a chance to sit down and visit with people I hadn’t seen for a while. I thought `This is really nice. I wish I had more time to do this.’ It started to get late. I said goodnight to folks, drove home, had some dinner and watched about 10 minutes of the news, then called it a night.”
Gallaher, a former Northwood firefighter, said he started to realize that he had spent most of his life in public service and that perhaps it was time to kick back and start doing things he wanted to do.
“Once I started to think about how long I had been doing public service, I thought `I think I’ll take some time off.’ It occurred to me that my children, who are grown and gone, never have known a day when I was either not on the fire department or on council. Ever. I was working 55 hours per week. It started getting me thinking. There’s nothing more important that I have to do it. It’s not like making widgets. After making 200 of them, you’re done. In politics, you’re never done. Something is always happening, has to be done, always an emergency. When do you say enough is enough?”
Although it was time consuming, he said he nonetheless enjoyed serving the public.
“I really appreciate all the support I got over the years. I was really lucky to team up with a lot of good people. There’s a lot of things I was involved in. There was nothing that was just me by myself. It was a team effort with a lot of people.”
Gallaher said he had served as a firefighter for 14 years before he decided to run for council in 1994.
“I was involved in the community as a firefighter. It was just one more step, a natural progression, to run for council. There wasn’t a master plan, for sure,” he said.
Gallaher, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat Mayor Mark Stoner three times, said he would not completely rule out another run for public office in the future. But for now, his priority is his family.
“There was a time I would eat, sleep and drink politics. And I really enjoyed it. I could spend four more years trying to do what I can on council, or sit back and enjoy my family and let some other people get on council. There are some good people running.”
According to the Wood County board of elections, five candidates are vying for four seats on council. The following candidates have been certified by the Board for the general election in November:
• Incumbent Randy Kozina, 2514 Eden East Drive.;
• Incumbent Connie Sue Hughes, 3275 Bordeaux Rue;
• Challenger Keith A. Dempsey, 1953 Terri Rue;
• Challenger Louis Fahrbach, 4095 Williston Rd;
• Challenger Richard B. Radocy, 190 Farnstead Dr.