achievement awards

Who we are

Keene, New Hampshire, is a unique community that our residents are proud to call home.

Our community consists of engaged, diverse, dedicated, caring, and respectful citizens supported by a strong and clear vision for the future, open and accessible leadership, collaborative relationships, and ongoing civic dialogue. Each City employee provides the foundation for our efforts to reach the goal of being the best community in America by 2028—one that is sustainable, dynamic, creative, strong, just, and resilient. 

Click here to read more about our employees.

  • A “Keene” sense of community

    Keene is an energetic community that provides services, programs, and resources for a much greater population than the residents of the City alone. Although the conveniences and attractions of large metropolitan areas are close at hand, the community maintains a solidly residential working-class character, complemented by a landscape of rural areas, farms, and open space. The heart of the community is its vibrant, yet historic, downtown core. In an age when many communities are losing their “sense of place,” Keene has a firm sense of its identity, built on a foundation of the past and a clear vision of the future.

    Our community possesses the ability to address tough questions that often are without simple answers. Recognizing that nearly every solution has a trade-off, the community continually embraces the future through its proactive efforts. All during the last comprehensive master planning project, participants pointed to each other—the people of Keene and the Monadnock Region—as the community’s single greatest attribute. By working together to solve common problems and shared opportunities, residents not only have invested in the community, but in themselves.

    Keene has a reputation for using new and creative approaches to solving community issues. From early decisions on placement of the community meetinghouse and planting elm trees in Central Square to addressing contemporary issues Keene continues to be recognized within the region, state, nation, and in other places of the world for its innovative, practical solutions. The 21st century has brought a strong movement in Keene for sustainability, leading the City to reduce carbon emissions, maintain a healthy community, and foster the return of local agriculture.

  • City accomplishments

    Keene has earned a number of honors:

    • New Hampshire’s representative for “Charming Main Streets Across the USA” (USAToday.com, 2018).
    • Ranked 31st in the country as “Best Cities for Summer Internships” in 2017 by GoodCall.

    • Number 7 in “America’s Ten Fittest Small Towns” by The Active Times, 2015.

    • “Top Ten Most Beautiful Towns in New Hampshire” from TheCultureTrip.com, 2015.

    • “Bicycle-Friendly Community” from the League of American Bicyclists, 2015.

    • “Honor Award” from Plan New Hampshire as an example of compact, mixed-use development for the former railroad land development in downtown, 2014.

    • “Engineering Excellence Award” from the American Council of Engineering Companies for the Keene micro-turbine project, epitomizing quality, innovation, value and client satisfaction, 2013.

    • “Top Ten Great Public Spaces” from the American Planning Association for Central Square, 2009.

    • Tied for tenth as “Best Small City in the East” by Kevin Heubusch in The New Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small Cities, with ratings that include climate, diversions, economics, education, health care, housing, safety, and transportation.

    • Recognized by the White House as a “Preserve America” community that protects and celebrates its heritage, uses it historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourages people to experience and appreciate local historical resources through education and heritage tourism programs.

    • One of the “10 Great Places to Raise a Family,” Parenting magazine’s 10th anniversary issue.

    • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, demonstrating the Keene Police Department’s commitment to providing professional and progressive police services to the community, continuously since March 2013.

  • Our mission and values

    The City's mission is to provide services and amenities that enhance the quality of life for those who live, learn, and work in, as well as enjoy, the City of Keene.

    Our commitment toward assuring outstanding public service is based on the values of VOICE all the time, every day, in everything we do.  The City’s values are to:

    Value everyone – by respecting our variety and diversity and by demonstrating with our work ethic our commitment to excellent public service.

    Obtain public input – to measure citizens’ satisfaction and to determine community values and spending priorities.

    Inform the public – about, and promote awareness of, City services and activities.

    Continue to assess – the condition of and the need for City facilities and infrastructure to ensure they meet the needs of the community, as well as assessing our processes, procedures and support systems.

    Establish priorities – by setting criteria to balance practicality with limited resources.

    Each of us brings something “to the table” in providing excellent public service for the betterment of our community.

  • Ready to work here?

    Be the face of the City of Keene. Search and apply for current career opportunities.

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