Stephen Keefe of Green Street in Fredonia has announced he has been endorsed by the Democratic Party and the Independence Party. The decision was made final Saturday morning during the Democratic Party Caucus as their choice for mayor in the March 14 Village of Fredonia election.
Keefe is not new to the political arena. He was elected Village of Fredonia trustee in 1999 and served until asked to accept the position of Chautauqua County legislator for District 25. Keefe served as county legislator for nine years and did not seek re-election in 2009.
Married to the former Janet Calanni, together they have three children: Son Nicholas and his wife Christine Cruz-Keefe, their two sons, Stephen and Nathan; son Peter; and daughter Christina.
"I am proud to call Fredonia my home," Keefe said. "There is an atmosphere here that I have never experienced anywhere else."
"The Village of Fredonia needs strong leadership to take it in a positive direction. To be mayor, one should be a good manager. As mayor, I will work closely with the trustees and department heads to ensure that we are fiscally responsible, that essential services are maintained and delivered in the most cost effective and timely manner, and that the appearance of the village promotes pride. Although the position of mayor is part-time, I will make a full-time commitment to the well- being of the village. My administration will be transparent and I will be accessible to the community," Keefe said.
"I was excited by comments made by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his recent visit to Jamestown. He talked about the burden of taxes on residents of New York State. Cuomo identified one problem as the 'many layers of government'. As the mayor of Fredonia, I will explore ways to share services and consolidate operations with other agencies," according to Keefe. "The governor led me to believe that he will make funds available to encourage consolidations. This is the ideal time to meet with the town to discuss water, sewage and all other essential services. I am not at all hesitant to contact state and federal leaders to explore methods of reducing the cost of operating local municipalities in New York State."
Other items on Keefe's agenda are as follows: Promote our local businesses; Encourage occupancy of all Main Street store fronts; Build alliances with SUNY Fredonia, JCC, and Fredonia Central School to highlight the importance of education in our community; Appoint an arts committee to explore ways to showcase our local talent; Facilitate our village wide recycle, re-use, and reduce program; Explore alternative energy sources that may save the village revenues; and Look for ways to attract grants for the village.
"Village elections are the backbone of democracy. It is important that everyone cast his/her vote on March 14th. I would appreciate your support, but it is more important that your voice is heard. Please take the time to vote," Keefe said.
Keefe recently retired as a school administrator at Brocton Central School. He earned his BA from SUNY Fredonia in English Education, he earned is M.Ed. from the University Collage of North Wales, Bangor, North Wales, UK, and he earned his Certificate in Advanced Studies in school administration from SUNY Brockport. Keefe also served as a hospital corpsman in the United States Navy from 1969 1973.
For enjoyment, Keefe takes long walks around the village with his wife and two grandsons. They stop and explore all of the parks. He volunteers his services for Victorian Dazzle Days, Miracle on Main Street, Harvest Cemetery Tours, and the SPCA "Animals with Santa" Christmas Affair.