Caroline Babylon, daughter of a former Westminster councilman, was an auditor with Carroll County Bank and Trust, and Dayhoff was a twice-divorced father of a teen-age son. She is now an auditor for MidAtlantic Farm Credit.
Their home is lined wall to wall with his art - an assortment of mounted 3-D and 2-D collages featuring anything from discarded scraps of wood glued together to look like a face to a slapdash application of newspa pers and paint capped with a pair of glasses. Names for his pieces include "Take a Skinhead Bowling," "Why Norway and Hawaii Are So Far Apart" (another favorite) and "Sandwichus Communis."
He brings this spirit to government. After serving on several environmental boards in the 1990s, he ran in 1999 for a vacant seat on the Westminster Common Council.
A campaign flier offered voters a multiple choice exercise involving "Candidate A" (a computer-generated tomato head "grown from quality seeds"), "B" (which resembled a cucumber with a face) and "C," Dayhoff.
In 2001, he made his move for the city's top elected position and defeated Suzanne Albert, a councilwoman since 1995.
Dayhoff had walked away from his landscaping business in 1999. In 2001, he was part of a failed attempt to start a community bank in Westminster.
Since then, he has plunged nearly full time into the mayor's job.
Some community leaders give him good marks.
"He reeks with enthusiasm. It's good to see that," says Phyllis Hammond, former president of the Carroll County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "He's innovative. He's not afraid of the unknown and not afraid to take chances."
Another Westminster fixture complains that Dayhoff lacks the credentials for the job, saying he is short on substance and "doesn't have a history of work."
"His attention should be to the people, not to his own image," said Rebecca Orenstein, a former councilwoman and frequent commentator at council meetings. "We have a tremendous capacity for people to transform themselves, but I don't see any humility from examining a vacuous life."
Some councilmen, such as Thomas Ferguson, say Dayhoff should be a more effective leader. Ferguson says a mayor should gather information from residents on shortcomings in city services and then develop a plan to fill the gaps.
"I think that's perhaps a missing element right now," he said. "That's not to say he can't improve, that he can't get his legs under him and do that."
"I barely hear from the guy," said Damian L. Halstad, council president.
But, he said, Dayhoff's hands-off style allows the city to conduct its business unimpeded, adding, "He's certainly not stood in the way of things we're trying to get done."
"Kevin's role right now to me is as a public relations arm of the council," Halstad said. "Kevin loves ceremony, loves giving speeches, cutting ribbons, and he goes out to the community and talks about the things that are going on with the council. Those are absolutely his strengths."
Dayhoff wouldn't deny that.
"This is one exciting place to work," he says, leaning back in a leather chair in his first floor office in City Hall.
With a new arts center about to open and a parking garage under construction near Main Street, he heaps praise on the city staff and the council for leading Westminster to one of its most productive periods.
"These are wonderful people," he said. "Everyone is so different. It brings a creative approach to problems."