Keene Chamber of Commerce  
Mayoral and City Council candidates forum POSTPONED UNTIL Oct. 20
October 13, 2020


Due to concern about COVID-19, the event has been rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Keene Community Center.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. All attendees must wear a mask. 

Eleven people who are running for mayor and City Council positions in Keene will stop long enough to talk about the issues during a candidates forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at the Keene Community Center.

The public is encouraged to attend. Doors open at 6 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Dean Waterman, president of the Keene Chamber of Commerce, will serve as moderator. 

The candidates for mayor are Samantha Gillin, incumbent Gary Heinrich and Kevin Romanelli.

The candidates for Council seats are:

Ward II, incumbent Gwen Beeson and Thomas Gutwa

Place I, incumbent Lisa Parris, Gilbert Perez II and Cheryl Schram

Place III, incumbent James Belz, Phillip Jackson and Ray Johnson.

Each Council candidate will have 30 seconds for an opening statement. After that, each will have 30 seconds to respond to a question. The questions will be asked in order of the ballot. The questions are:

1. How can the city address the negative comments about Keene on social media, especially when many are inaccurate or biased?

2. What ordinances do you feel are important to our community and what ordinances would you propose?

3. Have you reviewed the city’s budget? How do you propose to improve the city’s financial position?

4. What is wrong with Keene and how can it be fixed? 

5. What is right with Keene and how can it be maintained? 

6. How will you determine the will of your constituents? How will you know your council vote reflects the majority of their opinions?

7. How are you currently involved in the community?

8. How do you feel about growth in Keene? What is your position on growth.

9. As a City Council member, what do you hope to accomplish in the next two years?

10. Why should I vote for you? (ONE MINUTE)

The candidates for mayor will have one minute for an opening statement. They will be asked the same questions as the Council candidates, plus the following three questions:

• The mayor controls the Council agenda. How open are you to Council members and/or residents placing items on the Council agenda?

• How involved will you be with day-to-day operations of the city?

• What is your opinion on acquiring new debt and increasing the tax rate?

Time permitting, there will be questions from the audience, who will be asked to write questions before being submitted to the moderator. 

In-person early voting is Oct. 13 through Oct. 30.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

The forum is sponsored by the Keene Chamber of Commerce.

US Department of Education Awards $483,900 Title V Grant to SWAU
October 07, 2020

Southwestern Adventist University has been awarded a Title V grant by the US Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program.

Over the next five years, SWAU will receive about $500,000 each year, for a total of just over $2.5 million, which will be used to improve student outcomes through “Pathways to Student Success.” SWAU is one of half a dozen schools in the DFW area to be selected as a recipient of this competitive grant. 

“In Texas, more than one in three individuals identify as Hispanic, and I am proud to support Hispanic-Serving Institutions and their contributions to our state’s growing Hispanic community,” said Senator John Cornyn (TX-R).  “Quality education and diverse environments benefit everyone, and especially during these tough times I applaud Dallas - Fort Worth area schools for their work to secure these grants to better serve their students.”

The university is proud to be a Hispanic Serving Institution, with 48 percent of the student body being of a Hispanic or Latino background. The initiatives made possible through the funds from this grant will benefit not only its Hispanic population but the entire student body as well. 

Thanks to “Pathways to Student Success”, the Office of Student Success has been created to serve as a space where students can seek guidance and learn skills that will prepare them for life after college. This office will collaborate with the Center for Academic Success and Advising, also known as CASA, as they oversee the grant’s four elements: first-year experience, academic and career guidance, and internships. 

"As a result of receiving this grant and implementing these four components, the goal is simple: improve the lives of students by providing wrap-around services that complement their eduaction, encourage retention and increase graduation rates, said Dr. Ken Shaw, SWAU president. "We are most grateful for theses funds and what they will mean to our current and future students."

With funding going into effect Oct. 1, the Office of Student Success has been formed and a leadership team is in place. Furthermore, an oversight committee will be formed to support this office and its efforts to improve student success. 

Ribbon cutting ceremony held at Keene Dental
September 01, 2020

Keene Dental is the newest member of the Keene Chamber of Commerce.

A membership plaque was presented to Dr. Mona Agarwal at the Aug. 27 luncheon, after which a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new office, 115 S. Old Betsy Road next to Dollar General.

Keene Dental (817-645-0053) has a modern office where medicaid and CHIP is accepted. 

In the photo below, Dr. Rohit Narayan cuts the ribbon while staff associates look on. Holding the ribbon are Paul Gnadt, left, and Dean Waterman of the Keene Chamber. 

Contact Us
Keene Chamber of Commerce
110 S. Old Betsy Road
Keene, Texas 76059
(817) 556-2995
Upcoming Events
Mayoral and City Council candidates forum POSTPONED UNTIL OCT. 20
October 20, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Welcome to Keene, Texas

Keene offers visitors and residents the charm and warm hospitality of small-town life at its best combined with easily available modern conveniences and amenities. Located 30 minutes south of Fort Worth, Keene has it all: a mild four-season climate, recreational opportunities, a large University, award-winning schools, myriad of cultural and social activities, affordable cost-of-living, and a thriving and prosperous business community.

The Keene Chamber of Commerce has been serving Keene since 1993. We strive to partner with local businesses, government and education to support a favorable economic environment. The Chamber represents business, organization, and individual members who depend on the Chamber for member services including networking events, community and business development, ribbon cuttings, growth opportunity reports, economic data gathering, business referrals, business seminars, relocation packets, and being an advocate with governmental and regulatory bodies. These are among the many services we provide to our members.

The Keene Chamber's objective is to provide a platform from which our members can enhance their business or organization through networking and programs designed to improve their bottom-line and to make available the tools necessary to excel as the economy improves. Our mandate is to pursue opportunities in the areas of retail development and education. We will work diligently to ensure that our local economy is strong and vibrant.

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Old Glory for Old Betsy

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