'Big Dave' Keisler wants to retain seat on Dunsmuir City Council
Editor’s note: This story is one in a series of profiles about the four candidates for two seats on the Dunsmuir City Council in the Nov. 3 election. Other candidates include incumbent Bruce Deutsch and business owners Sandra Vaughan and Ahmet Tasci.
Dunsmuir’s “Big Dave” Keisler hopes to retain his seat on the city council Nov. 3 to continue contributing to the city he loves.
After moving to Dunsmuir 10 years ago, Keisler began working in the construction industry. He first became involved in the community after he used his skills to help children build cars for soapbox races.
“I have built 219 cars and soapbox races have become a major event in the Railroad Days celebrations,” said Keisler.
After learning about the “sorry state of city politics” in Dunsmuir in 2012, Keisler decided to run for council.
“Looking back, I take pride in the way things have changed for the better,” he said. “We have cohesive council now that works well together.”
Last year, Keisler married “the love of his life,” Karen. Together they have four children and 11 grandchildren.
Keisler believes his biggest qualification for serving on the council is that he knows and cares for the people of Dunsmuir.
Around the Fourth of July, Keisler places flags around the city and he built the Little Library in front of City Hall. He reads to the students at the Elementary School and he took the lead in the construction of the Veterans Memorial at the cemetery, Keisler said about his contributions to the community.
“I wake up each morning asking myself what I can do to make Dunsmuir a better place,” said Keisler.
Q&A with the candidate
Keisler answered a series of questions via email.
Q: What are your main goals if elected?
A: If elected, I would like to continue working on the Mossbrae Falls Trail, which is closer to reality than ever before. I want to work on limiting vacation rentals and Airbnbs so that we have affordable and available housing for our residents. And I would like to continue working on Disaster Preparedness.
Q: Do you have any ideas to increase economic development in the City of Dunsmuir?
A: Since I joined the council in 2012, I have focused on finally getting a trail to the Mossbrae Falls. At one point, I called all the players in the effort together to jumpstart the effort that is now nearing completion. When that day comes, we can finally leave behind the chaos and confusion that tourists now bring to our city.
Q: In what ways could the city council support businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Due to the virus, a lot has changed. It is tricky promoting tourism during a pandemic, so we have to do everything we can to support our businesses. As a council, we passed a resolution encouraging mask wearing and social distancing. It is nice seeing our businesses adapting to survive. We must support them.
Q: Do you support the 1.5 cent sales tax to help Dunsmuir shore its budget, or do you have other ideas to do so?
A: As a small community, we are facing a number of serious issues. COVID-19, the threat of fires, smoke, and a shortage of housing. If we are going to make it through these difficult times, we as a community need the resources to do so. We had to cut the number of hours that the Sheriff's Department provides because of a major increase in the cost. If we are going to maintain the policing we want and need, we have to be able to afford it.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue that is currently facing Dunsmuir?
A: The most pressing issue is the need to grow and the need for affordable housing. We can't grow if we don’t have housing. In particular, I would like to see a plan for housing for low income folks.
Q: What is your favorite thing about living in Dunsmuir?
A: All the ways the people of Dunsmuir get together and enjoy themselves. I can't wait until we can get back all our celebrations. Railroad Days, Brewfest, Pancakes with Santa, and so many more.