Editor's note: This is the first in a series of profiles of mayoral candidates in the Northwest suburbs that will run in coming weeks.
Patricia Kelly describes herself as a hardworking, nonconfrontational leader who will roll her sleeves up and "get things done."
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"If I feel very strongly about something I will take action," she said. "I don't want to just sit back and wait."
Right now, that something is making sure the village she has resided in for more than 34 years continues to thrive.
"I just want to see Bartlett get the recognition that it deserves for being the community that it is," Kelly said. I have the ability to try to unite the community more."
Kelly is one of three candidates running for Bartlett village president this spring. She was appointed to her current position as trustee last April to fill a vacancy left by Michael Airdo when he was appointed to village president.
The 60-year-old moved to Bartlett after living in Chicago through her early 20s.
"All of us were young families. It was a small community that we watched grow," she said. "It definitely is a community where you see two and three generations of families growing and staying."
Among those families is one of her two adult daughters. Kelly said she enjoyed raising her children in the village and kept busy when they were involved in cheerleading, volleyball, soccer and Girl Scouts.
"I think that I have the time right now to devote to the job," she said. "My family is raised. I'm not doing some of the things I was doing when the kids were younger."
While working as a legal secretary in the 1970s, Kelly decided she wanted to be the one in charge. She went back to school and received degrees from DePaul University and the Northern Illinois College of Law.
Kelly has worked as an attorney since 1989, and currently owns a practice in Inverness that focuses on estate planning, corporate, real estate and business transactions and domestic relations procedures.
The skills she has gained from her career are helpful on the village board, she said, because she has worked with a wide spectrum of people and situations.
"You have to show respect, you have to be civil," she said. "You learn in life that you're going to have to work with a lot of different people, including people who don't agree with you. I don't think it has to be a personal thing."
Kelly added that because of her experience as an attorney, she doesn't have a problem referring to others when she isn't sure how to do something.
"I don't feel like I have to know everything myself, but I think it's important to be able to identify the issues and take them to the people who can come up with answers," she said.
"I think it's important to get input and ideas from others," she added. "You have to go along with what their expertise is, which could be different from the assets I bring to the board."
Kelly helped form the Bartlett Veterans Memorial Foundation and serves on its board of directors. She also provides pro bono legal services to seniors, veterans and local nonprofit organizations.
Bartlett Veterans Memorial Foundation Vice President Ed Lacey described Kelly, who he met when the foundation first began, as friendly and professional.
"She helped in getting all the documents that we needed (for the foundation) and then she was very instrumental as far as the interface between us and the village," he said. "She helped keep us on track."
Lacey said Kelly has also done a great job getting out in the community to ask for donations from businesses for the foundation's annual black tie event silent auction. He said she has played "a key role" in bringing success to the foundation.
"The way she approaches things, she keeps an open mind, she gets the facts, and then based on the input (from others), the facts and everything else ... then I think she makes a determination of the best approach, or the best way to do things," Lacey said.
Outside of work, Kelly also enjoys quilting and spending time with her granddaughter.
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