Veteran Northwood Councilman Dave Gallaher is calling it quits, retiring when his current term ends Dec. 31.
The tool-and-die maker said at age 56 he wants more time for his family and personal life after serving 20 years on council and as a volunteer firefighter from 1977 to 1993.
“I was all set to run for another term, and I got to thinking about what I wanted to accomplish in the next four years,” he said. “I like to set goals and think about what I want to get done. I started thinking about all the years I was on council and about all the years before that I was at the fire station, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was not ready for another four-year commitment.
“I have a young granddaughter now, and another grandchild on the way, and my kids spent their entire lives with me being on the fire department or on council. I’d rather be going to a T-ball game or a movie in the evening. It’s just time,” he continued.
Of all the city projects he has been involved in, perhaps the most satisfying was the veterans’ memorial in front of Northwood's municipal complex, he said — an accomplishment that involved working with some very dedicated volunteers.
“It didn’t cost the city a dime,” he noted. “VFW Post 2984 really came through, especially Don and Jim Griffith, who are Korean War vets. They were my bankers, and kept meticulous records of the donations.”
Robin Gallaher, his wife of 37 years, said her husband's retirement will mean he’ll be home more evenings, when he now often attends to city business.
“Believe it or not, I was just glad he decided to do this on his own. I would never ask him to step down. He just loves being able to do public service,” she said.
The Gallahers have two grown children: a daughter who teaches in the Toledo Public Schools and a son who is a Toledo firefighter.
Mrs. Gallaher said her husband “is home a lot, but he missed a lot. This year, my granddaughter played T-ball and he missed it. We do family meals two or three times a week, so he’ll quit missing those.”
The couple are both from Toledo. They were attracted to Northwood by its relative tranquility and solid school district, which Mr. Gallaher credits with supporting the city’s property values.
“Even when the economy was off, people still wanted to come to Northwood. What else do we have? We no longer have the Woodville Mall,” he said, referring to the vacant retail structure, “and there aren't many restaurants. The school system is the attraction. It’s small, but it is able to deliver.”
With Mr. Gallaher’s retirement there will be two incumbents — Connie Hughes and Randy Kozina — among five contenders for four council seats in the November election. The remaining candidates are Keith Dempsey, Louis Fahrbach, and Richard Radocy. Mr. Radocy is a previous council member.