Heather McKeever is running for a two-year term as mayor in the March 19 Gowanda Village elections. She has served as a trustee since 2009 and as mayor since 2012.
McKeever has an associate's degree in human services from Alfred State College and a bachelor's degree in communication from SUNY Fredonia. She currently works as the Associate Director of Development at SUNY Fredonia, where she has extensive experience as a fundraiser in higher education.
McKeever has much experience with youth services, having served as recreation supervisor for both the town of Collins and village of Gowanda. She has been the director for Springville Youth Inc. and helped develop the Boys and Girls Club of Springville, and was its first director. This past year she served on the Gowanda Central School District's Comprehensive District Educational Plan Committee.
As mayor, McKeever has worked hard to promote partnerships with other levels of government, as well as local organizations and community groups. Since 2012, the village has received $4.2 million in state and federal funds, including FEMA reimbursements from the August 2009 flood, the Army Corps of Engineers Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study, and various grants and projects. These include: Safe Routes to School, South Water Street Parking, Hollywood Theater Restoration, Zoar Valley Gateway Park, Brownfield Opportunities Area Grant and Chautauqua Opportunities after school program.
As her husband is a small business owner in the village, she understands first hand what it takes to grow a business in Gowanda. As mayor, McKeever put in place a Planning Board that sat inactive for two years. She supports the Planning Board's efforts to promote economic development by working with the Department of State and Cattaraugus County Business Development office to develop a Regional Comprehensive Plan.
McKeever's goals include: running a transparent and fiscally responsible government, completing the Army Corps' flood risk management feasibility study, working with TLC as they carry out plans to rebuild a new hospital, and supporting ongoing community projects and outreach activities.
"As a community we have proven that when we come together we can overcome anything. We are on the brink of reaching new milestones that will generate positive results for years to come," McKeever said. "I am grateful for the opportunity to have served you these past four years and I respectfully ask for your support on March 19."
McKeever, her husband, Ryan, and stepson Lucas are proud to call Gowanda their home.
McKeever is running on the Open Door Party line. Election Day is March 19 from noon to 9 p.m. at the Gowanda Municipal Building, 27 E. Main St.