Introducing Eric Keaton, Chelsea’s New Council Member
By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
Chelsea has another new face in its leadership.
An open Council seat was created last November when then Councilmember Jane Pacheco was elected to Mayor. Three candidates applied for the empty spot—Kathryn Tinsley, Steven Wright, and Eric Keaton. The Council interviewed all three on January 10. The video is posted on the City’s website.
At its January 18 meeting, the Council voted in favor of Eric Keaton to fill the seat using ranked-choice voting. Keaton was elected in the first round and sworn in. His term expires in November 2023.
Eric and his wife, Mary, moved to Chelsea from Jackson in 2007. It was a memorable move-in for the Keaton. The Chelsea Fair Demolition Derby was going on as they unloaded the truck. The sound of crashing cars filled the air as they carried boxes into their new home.
In the interview, Eric explained his reason for applying for the Council seat. “I think everyone in the community needs to work to build a strong, healthy community, and serving on the City Council has been in the back of my mind for years now. Now seemed like a good time because I can dedicate some time and skills to promoting a healthy, welcoming community for residents and visitors in Chelsea.”
When asked if he was willing to make controversial decisions when they are in the best interest of the public, Eric replied, “I believe it’s the obligation of the City Council to work and guide Chelsea to be the best community that we can be. I would be willing to decide on anything that needs to be decided.”
Eric also told the Council that if he could change one thing in Chelsea right now, it would be the availability of affordable housing. “I want the employees inside our city to have the ability to live inside, or at least very close to Chelsea,” he said. “I believe it would create a stronger community and improve the local economy when we’ve got employees living and working in Chelsea.”
When asked by The Sun Times News, Eric summed up his reasons for serving on the Council, saying, “I think everyone has a responsibility to dedicate some time and energy to improving our community. I see the city council as one avenue for me to serve the community. I love Chelsea and I want everyone in the community to feel respected and heard.”
Photo credit Mary Keaton