After 12 years on the University Place City Council, Councilmember Kent D. Keel has announced he will not run for reelection for a fourth term this fall.
“Over the course of the last three elections, I told voters that I was committed to addressing four main issues in University Place,” Keel said. “Those were increasing public safety, attracting new businesses, boosting recreational opportunities and reducing the City’s debt. And I have now fulfilled all of my campaign promises to the citizens of University Place.”
With the recent passage of the public safety levy, Keel said that his top priority has been addressed and citizens will soon see additional police officers on duty. Business-friendly processes have led to a record-high 1,700 licensed businesses in the city, with new business openings occurring on a regular basis. “We are enjoying solid business and sales tax revenues that, combined with the completion of the Village at Chambers Bay, are allowing us to reduce our debts and retire bonds sooner,” he said.
Keel also noted that, despite cuts to recreational programming in response to budget constraints, he has supported public-private partnerships and collaboration with neighboring cities to support recreational activities for citizens of University Place.
“It has been my solemn honor and distinct privilege to serve the citizens of University Place. Although there are several more things the City needs to accomplish, I believe it is time for others to step up and take the City to the next level,” he said.
In addition to his work on the U.P. City Council, Keel has also served on the Pierce County Regional Council and the Puget Sound Regional Council. He was the board chair for Sound Transit, Pierce Transit and the National League of Cities Information Technology Committee. Keel is also the immediate past president of the Association of Washington Cities.
“I hope my work on these national, regional and state-wide organizations has helped to position our city as a regional leader and desirable destination for residents and businesses in Pierce County and Western Washington,” Keel said. “But now it’s time for me to ‘pass the torch.’”