Kelly Haddad, one of the original members of city council, entered community service at the invitation of civic leader Ed Farrell when Maricopa was just a patch in the desert.
He joined the incorporation committee working toward city status and saw it achieved on October 2003.
“The day we acquired the final signature necessary to incorporate the city” remains his favorite Maricopa memory, he said.
He was then elected to city council by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors and held a council seat until 2008.
In 2007, as a candidate for a second term, he was asked to look back at the council’s achievements. “They are all part of one large accomplishment,” he said, “and that is to take this community from just that to a full-fledged, well–run city.” The Pinal County native lost his bid for re-election.
“We moved to Ahwatukee in 2010 and we were there for three years. Then we moved to Chandler and we have been in the same place here ever since,” he said.
Haddad has been an independent bookkeeper for more than 20 years.
“I’m still doing the same thing. I primarily work with agricultural facilities. I’ve got about 30 different sets of books that I’m doing,” Haddad explained. “I’m all over the place.”
While not keeping up with the goings-on in Maricopa as much as he used to, Kelly has taken notice of the city’s growth since his departure and thinks there is nowhere to go but up. Haddad has always supported development, but in his time on council wanted to make sure the city was working smarter, not harder with developers.
“I have seen a lot of the changes and it’s still amazing. When we moved into our home in Rancho El Dorado, there were less than 2,000 people in the entire town,” he said. “I think it’s still growing, but it’s slow now. It’s not what it was in ’02. From what I can tell, it appears the city has grasped pretty good control of the growth and they’re growing smart.”
Haddad said when he has a rare break from his busy work schedule, he and his clan love relaxing on the beach or at their cabin in Pinetop. Haddad’s oldest daughter Brooke works as a real estate agent in Tempe and his teenage son Ethan is playing baseball at Hamilton High School. His youngest, Mia, is at San Tan Junior High.
When asked about retirement, Kelly admitted he doesn’t even think about it and would probably get bored.
“(My wife) Jenny helps me with my business quite a bit. She’s also busy keeping track of the kids. Luckily, she doesn’t need to be as big a taxi away now that Ethan’s driving,” he said. “But hypothetically speaking, if I did retire, just like everyone else, I’d want to travel.”
Occupation: Self employed bookkeeper
Family: Wife Jenny, daughter Brooke, 27, son Ethan, 16, and daughter Mia, 12
This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa magazine.