Fred Keeley has worn many political hats in his 24 years serving in public office: county supervisor, state assemblymember, Speaker Pro-Tem in the California Assembly, and finally, Santa Cruz County Treasurer. And now, in the twilight of his lengthy political career he wants to run for Mayor of Santa Cruz. Keeley’s always had environmental concerns too. He currently serves on the board of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and also passed legislation that added additional park land around California.
Right now, Santa Cruz faces a tremendous building growth spurt and desperately seeks to manage the gauntlet of realtors, developers, and UC Regent-types who seek to capitalize off our community’s rich resources. It is not so much a new story, but one ratcheted up ten-fold. Is Keeley the right person to steer this community through the the impending clash over 20-story buildings while still providing protection for our greenbelt lands? Does he have an answer for growth’s inevitable increasing water use with no new supplies in sight? Can he manage the ongoing tensions between real police protection and devising a competent plan for addressing the city’s homeless and affordable housing crisis?
Fred Keeley will be Chris Krohn’s guest for the entire hour on this week’s Talk of the Bay, rerun from Tuesday, July 5th at 5pm. Come join us and see if Santa Cruz politics is going back to the future with a veteran political insider like Keeley, or if he can lead the way for this town to live up to its progressive ideals as it confronts a daunting future of high rise buildings, 28,000 UCSC students, and Boardwalk traffic that no city council has yet solved.