Kelley brings energy to promoting his hometown

Robert Smith

BARNSDALL — Johnny Curtis Kelley isn’t just a working man’s mayor, he’s a working man.

“I work all the time,” he said in a recent interview about his business interests and his hopes, as Barnsdall’s new mayor, for the development of the town. “I don’t have any free time.”

He has a business selling truck accessories and doing vehicle detail work. That is Kelley’s Trucks & More. Kelley said he won’t sell tires as an element of that business because he sold a tire business to someone and doesn’t want to compete with that person.

Kelley is also a firefighter for Bartlesville, a cattle rancher and does custom hay baling. He has a dealer license and sells used trucks. The best way to catch up with Kelley is to call him at 918-697-2741, because he’s unlikely to be standing still for very long.

None of this is new for Johnny Kelley. He grew up in Barnsdall and was working multiple jobs while in high school. He has done all kinds of work and has invested in his hometown. The result is he owns rental and commercial properties, and got elected mayor earlier this year with a view toward spurring economic development and an increase in families moving to the community.

Kelley, 45, is a 1992 graduate of Barnsdall High School who recalls he grew up on cattle and cars. Elders of the community came to him and asked him to consider becoming mayor, and he responded.

‘I felt like I owed it to them and the town,” Kelley said, adding he didn’t like unkempt properties and ordinances that weren’t being enforced. He has redone numerous local buildings that he owns and is pushing as mayor for street repairs, property cleanup and improvements to the municipal water system.

Barnsdall has entered into an interlocal agreement with Osage County regarding street repairs, Kelley said. The local branch of American Heritage Bank has partnered with the city on its property cleanup intiative, and OMNI Water Consultants, Inc. is helping with the water plant.

“They are very instrumental in all the improvements going on at the water plant,” Kelley said. So, if you’re thinking about locating a business in Barnsdall, Johnny Kelley’s all about it. Just call him.