Former Calvert Commissioner and Animal Activist Linda Kelley Passes Away

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Former Calvert Commissioner Linda Kelley, Courtesy of the Calvert County Republican Party

Former four-term Calvert County Commissioner Linda Kelley, 74, passed away on February 1, 2017. She passed just one day after she met with the current Commissioners and received a plaque recognizing her as the namesake of the planned Linda L. Kelley Animal Shelter.

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Kelley, of Owings, was notably the longest-running female commissioner in Calvert County’s history, having served 16 consecutive years from 1994 to 2010; her tenure on the board is tied only with past commissioner Wilbur Grover, according to county records.

“Being a commissioner was a habit,” Kelley told The Calvert Recorder in a 2014 interview. Though she tried twice more to run again for a county commissioner seat in the past two elections, only to fall short in the primaries, she never stopped the service work she did for Calvert County residents — and animals.

A great-grandmother and avid animal lover, Kelley served on the Tri-County Animal Shelter Advisory Board and led efforts to secure Calvert County its own animal shelter — a project currently underway, to be named after her. As a commissioner, she oversaw the establishment of an animal control ordinance, providing greater protections for local pets, as well as the opening of two new dog parks.

She served as a member of the Calvert Pet Coalition, Friends of Felines rescue and National Pot Belly Pig Placement Network. She kept some pet pigs of her own as well — in 2010, she told the Recorder she had seven of them, each named and loved.

“Out of all the commissioners that I served with, there was no one more passionate for her causes than Linda Kelley,” said Del. Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s), who served on the BOCC with Kelley. “Her true heart was for people, trying to help people. It could be seen in her support for Safe Harbor, and without her, it probably would not have happened.”

Commissioner Kelley had worked closely with MACo during the 1999 state debate over electric deregulation, representing the interests of a county with a major generation facility.

Commissioner Kelley was a true fixture in Calvert County, and defended her county with real passion,” said MACo Executive Director Michael Sanderson.