Great Bend native Marty Keenan has announced his candidacy for Great Bend City Council, Second Ward, in the April 3 city elections. Keenan was born and raised in Great Bend, graduated from Great Bend High School in 1978, and has practiced law in his hometown since 1988.
Keenan has been married to his wife, Julie, since 1989. They have two sons: Tyler, a junior at Kansas State University, and Jeff, a senior at at GBHS who plans to attend KU this fall. Much like their sons, Julie Keenan is a KSU graduate, and Marty Keenan is a KU graduate.
“Serving on the City Council appeal to me because it’s non-partisan,” said Keenan, noting that the candidates neither run for office nor serve as Democrats or Republicans, but as concerned citizens. “Partisan party politics has gotten too polarized,” said Keenan. On the City Council, “each member should look out for Great Bend, not any political party or cause,” according to Keenan.
Keenan’s slogan for the campaign is “Great Bend. Great Again.” “Compared to when I was growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Great Bend,” said Keenan, “the town has slipped in population, and economic prowess.” Keenan said his goal is to find new ways to make Great Bend healthier, safer and more prosperous.
Since returning to Great Bend, Keenan served as President of Kiwanis, President of the Board of Directors of Family Crisis Center, and currently serves as Treasurer of the Barton County Arts Council. Keenan served as the Teen Court Judge from 1996-2001, served as Secretary of the Barton County Young Men’s Organization, and also served on the Golden Belt Red Cross Board of Directors.
In addition to practicing law, Keenan teaches a U.S. Government class at Barton Community College, and has also served as a part-time professor at Fort Hays State University and Dodge City Community College.
At the state level, Keenan is currently a Board Member of “Friends of Cedar Crest,” a group in charge of preserving and improving the Governor’s Mansion in Topeka. Keenan also served six years as a board member of the Kansas Humanities Council, and served on the “Kansas Department of Transportation Project Selection Task Force.” Also, Keenan served as a member of the “Facilities Closure and Realignment Commission,” a state commission which made recomendations to the legislature about cost savings at state facilities.
“Although it won’t be easy, we need to work to make Great Bend not just a good place to be from, but a good place to stay permanently,” he said. “Our biggest export is our bright young people,” he said. The key to retaining our youth is good jobs at good wages. “No one should have to work 2 or 3 jobs to get by in Great Bend,” he said.
The Second Ward’s lies between K-96 and Washington Street, with Broadway being the southern border of the District. All Second Ward voters vote at the First Congregational Church in the Tuesday, April 3 election.