Meet Council Candidate Patrick Keane
Ward: Ward 1
Patrick Keane has been a member of the Rochester community for almost 38 years. Originally from the Chicago area, he moved to Minnesota to earn a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from St. Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, and a Master's Degree from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in the Management of Technology. He then went on to have a successful career at IBM. Patrick and his wife, Lori, have lived in their Meadow Park home since 1985, and are the proud parents of three adult children, and four grandsons. All of their children attended Rochester Public Schools, and as a family they took full advantage of the many sporting, scouting, social and educational opportunities offered throughout Rochester. Patrick and Lori can be found today at community events, walking their dogs on the park trail system or working as para-professionals at Bamber Valley School. Patrick also does contract work for Mayo Clinic and is excited to represent Ward 1 on the Rochester City Council.
Patrick has been engaged in the Rochester community for many years. He is currently on the Rochester Zoning Board of Appeals, the Olmsted County Community Services Advisory Board, and the Rochester Public Library Foundation Board. Patrick is an active member of Rochester’s Morning Pride Lions Club. Formally, he was a Board Member and Chairman of the Rochester Area Family YMCA, active with C4 (a local Arts support organization) and the Finance Committee Chair and a Parish Trustee for Resurrection Catholic Church. Additionally, Patrick was a classroom volunteer with National Engineering Week and Junior Achievement as well as a volunteer coach for youth basketball, soccer, and baseball.
Patrick enjoys volunteering his time in Rochester and learning about the complexity of city government issues. He understands that there are multiple points of view that must be considered when making a decision, and he is dedicated to bringing that thirst for knowledge to the Rochester City Council.
Your key platforms
1) We need an open government where citizens know the city is acting in their best interest. I am committed to being open, honest, and available. I will be the voice of Ward 1 on the City Council, and I also promise to help facilitate meaningful interactions with city departments.
2) Our neighborhoods are the foundation and we expect that our neighborhoods will be safe, maintained and clean. The work that goes on behind the scene to make Rochester a great place is complex. I promise to be a responsive, knowledgeable connection to city departments and a voice for your suggestions and concerns.
3) Rochester is growing in many ways, but neighborhoods are still the building blocks of our city. As we support DMC and the development of our urban core and medical community, we must not forget the needs of our outlying neighborhoods. We need to continue focusing on a comprehensive plan that addresses the complex transportation and housing issues of our city. I will advocate for city and county planning that integrates urban and neighborhood needs to build a connected future.
Why should your ward vote for you?
My dedication to the community and citizenship, along with a successful career in the complex field of technology make me the best candidate to represent Ward 1. I will bring creative problem-solving skills to address the issues young families are facing, and I have the energy and the empathy to successfully represent our growing seniors and their unique demands on the city.
What do you envision for the future of Rochester?
I envision a city that successfully manages our way through this period of increasing development to create a community where young professionals want to come live and work, and where opportunities for local small businesses are plentiful. There are many initiatives at work to grow the economy and the job base, and I look to our city leaders and our local organizations to ensure Rochester continues to be a great community with opportunities for everyone.
What are your connections to The Mayo Clinic? How do you plan to work with The Mayo Clinic?
Like many in Rochester, I am a primary care patient at Mayo Clinic. I have also participated in research studies at the organization and have chosen to give back by volunteering my time on the Institutional Review Board.
I believe that a successful City Council members needs to have an understanding of the Mayo Clinic and its role in our community. It is the largest health care provider and employer, as well as a leading developer in the area. As the representative for Ward 1 on the City Council, I would work with the organization on initiatives that affect our community – such as the newly formed Coalition for Rochester Area Housing – while making sure to balance the needs of one company with the needs of the larger community.
What are your connections to the DMC? How do you plan to work with the DMC?
I have studied the DMC legislation to understand the tax benefit to our community and have followed the local, and diverse, viewpoints its benefits to our city. On one hand, we should appreciate the benefit received on a return of tax from the state. It has and will continue to help build much-needed infrastructure in our downtown core. Yet, there are also valid concerns about DMC. One being the amount of spending our city has done up front to get the DMC tax funding flowing, and two, how we will ultimately decide to use those resources. Given the amount of planning we have done in conjunction with DMC in these initial years, we need city leaders who are ready to start implementing much-needed changes to address the priorities of the community.
How would you address the concerns of citizens about the loss of some of the city's older and potentially historic buildings to new development?
Historic preservation works best when building owners respect the historic nature of their property and they make a commitment to protecting that history. I was disappointed when the owners of the old Kutsky House let it fall into disrepair and ultimately demolition; no one gets a second chance to save those old buildings.
As a representative of the city, I would look to our Historical Preservation Committee to continue identifying and prioritizing historic properties in our community, and I would on this group to identify best practices Rochester can adopt to give incentives for owners to protect their properties for the future. I believe this would help balance the concerns in the community with our need to grow.
Favorite Rochester Moment?
Back in 1994 when Rochester was first designated as a “#1 City,” I recall the Post Bulletin wanted to do a picture of people organized into the number 1. I got my kids and went down to participate in the big event. That was the moment I realized that I was now “from Rochester” and this place had truly become my city and my home.
What’s one thing you want the Rochester community to know about you?
My parents immigrated separately to this country after WWII and I grew up in a household with a strong emphasis on work, faith, and education. My life's great accomplishment to this point has been imparting those values on three well-adjusted children who are now making their way in the world and taking responsibility for themselves and for others. I believe my life’s important experiences will provide great perspective for the work of public office, and I am excited about the opportunity to represent this great city.