Keeva resigns from Town Council

After serving for two years on the Coupeville Town Council, Joe Keeva resigned Tuesday evening — four months before his seat was up for election.

Keeva cited health concerns and recovering from the recent death of his wife, Sally Hayton-Keeva, as reasons for resigning.

During the Tuesday evening council meeting, Keeva thanked the council members for their support.

He said he hopes to remain busy and he is planning to build a new house.

Keeva was appointed to his seat in June 2003 to fill a vacancy on the council. Keeva ran unopposed during last November’s election. Keeva is also known for preserving historic structures in the area. He, along with Sally, restored the San de Fuca schoolhouse overlooking Penn Cove on Highway 20. They also restored the historic Blower house in Coupeville.

Coupeville Mayor Nancy Conard said, because several candidates want Keeva’s spot, the council will wait for the results of the November election rather than appoint someone to the position.

As of Thursday, two people, Jim Phay and Brian Montana, had filed for candidacy to fill Keeva’s seat. The filing period ended Friday.

Phay currently works as a head clerk for the post office and has lived in Coupeville for the 14 years. He is also the president of the Peaceful Valley Homeowners Association.

“I guess it’s just the love of this town and where it’s headed,” Phay said, explaining why he is running for office.

He said how development happens throughout area is one of the biggest issues the town will face in the future.

Phay lives in Coupeville with his wife, Marcia. He has four grown children ages 23 to 31.

Montana currently owns Coupeville Health and Fitness located in Coupe’s Village on South Main Street, which has been open for three years. He also volunteers at Coupeville Elementary School where he helps in the classroom and at the crosswalk before and after school.

Montana said he is approaching the position as a way to serve the community. He hopes to approach issues objectively and work for the good of the community.

Montana and his wife Terri have lived in Coupeville for the past 10 years. They have three children ages 10 to 13.

Keeva’s spot on the Town Council isn’t the only one up for election this November. Dianne Binder is also running for election, however, she is unopposed.

There are other seats up for election this November throughout the Coupeville area.

In the Coupeville School District, Mitchell Howard is running for re-election for Position 1 on the school board. Cindy Van Dyk, Mark Varljen and Larrie Ford have also filed to run for Howard’s position.

Incumbents Deborah Turner and Kathleen Anderson have also filed for their respective posts on the School Board. They are running unopposed.

One seat is up for election in the Port of Coupeville. Incumbent Ed Van Patten decided not to run for reelection. Ann McDonald has filed to fill his spot.

Paul Messner, commissioner for Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue, is also running unopposed in the November election.

There is a contested spot for a spot on the hospital board. Incumbent Kristy Lang Miller is running against David Marshall. Holly Schoenknecht’s spot is also up for election and she is running unopposed.

The filing period for the November election ended Friday, July 29.

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