The Atlantic Highlands Herald invited each of the candidates for office to school boards and governing bodies in Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, Middletown and Sea Bright to respond to a series of questions about themselves to better inform our readers about their campaigns. The deadline for submission is Friday, October 22. We will post their responses individually and make them available in our Politics Section.
November 2, 2021 – General Election
Profile Date: 21 October 2021
Candidate Name: William J. (Jack) Keeler
Age (as of Election Day): 78
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Position Sought (term): Councilman in Sea Bright
Party Affiliation or Banner: Republican
Education: Bachelors of Science, Public Administration, Georgetown University
MBA Monmouth University
Occupation: Retired Self Employed Financial Investor
Owner/Operator Bed and Breakfast
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office: Member of Sea Bright Council for 33 years
Campaign Website or Facebook page: Website: strongseabright.com FB: Keeler and Bieber
Why are you seeking office? I truly and deeply enjoy living in Sea Bright. I have served on the Council for over 30 years helping the town and its residents respond to many challenges while still maintaining the unique spirit and character of Sea Bright. I wish to continue this commitment.
The two most important issues facing our (board, district, council, committee etc.) are Fiscal Responsibility to limit property tax increases, and Responsible Development, and this is what I intend to do about it.
- Safety associated with Bike Riding, and with pedestrian cross-walking along Ocean Avenue. I place this safety issue first because on a regular basis there are credible reports of “near misses” or minor incidents involving bike riders and pedestrians.
Our efforts to improve safety should focus on:
Increasing motorist’s awareness of bike riders and also in sharing the road with them.
Improving bike riders visibility by encouraging/requiring the use of lights front and back, and wearing bright, reflective clothing.
Encouraging pedestrians to use designated cross-walks.
Installing pedestrian activated flashing lights at each cross-walk.
- Maintaining Sea Brights affordability for middle income residents
The focus of this effort should be on :
Entering into a new K-12 Regional School District with Atlantic Highlands, Highlands, and Sea Bright. This could result in significant savings and improved Education Systems for all 3 towns.
Maintaining the viability of our 100% Volunteer Fire Department and First Aid Squad.
Entering into additional “Shared Services” agreements with other towns and the County, plus private business operators.
Increasing the town tax revenue from our excellent beach and parking facilities.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Another issue of concern is major development within the town. Sea Bright is already fully developed. The only way additional development can take place is by first removing/eliminating what is already in place. The Governing Body, along with the Planning Board, must determine if the proposed development is in line with the Master Plan, and also in the best long term interest of the town. Specific issues would be parking, traffic flow, flood control, adequate sewer and utility services, impact on neighboring residents and business operators, and on changes to the tax assessment of the property in question.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have served as a councilman in the borough of Sea Bright for 33 years. During that time I have served on every major committee, and participated in all of the major projects undertaken by the town. During this time, I operated my own business. I previously served in the military – enlisted in the Army and then as an officer and pilot in the Navy. I have a degree in Public Administration.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I am very alarmed at the irresponsible and reckless extreme Deficit Spending taking place in Washington D.C. If this does not stop, the United States is going to suffer a severe financial backlash which will make our local problems fade to insignificance or expand to the disaster level. Please contact your Congressional Representatives and strongly express your concern and opposition to this policy.