Month: April 2010

Public input on budget

The Keizer City Council and the Budget Committee have some tough decisions to make as the city’s annual budget is planned for 2010-11. Just as tough as making the budget numbers work will be facing concerned, even angry, citizens who don’t want a police officer cut.  They also want to know how the city got into the financial pickle it is facing. The Keizer residents who testify before the Budget Committee and the city council will want to be heard as they plead to save the budget items that are important to them.  The sense in Keizer is that everything should be done to keep the police deparmtent intact. Police Chief H. Marc Adams spoke before the Keizer Rotary Club recently.  He told club members of the number of calls officers make each week, ranging from violent crimes to vandalism to property crimes.  He reminded the club that Keizer sits on the Interstate 5 drug route that runs from Mexico to Canada.  Fighting drugs is where the police department spends a lot of manpower and resources. The fight against drugs is important but residents also want to be sure that a patrol car pulls up shortly after a 9-1-1 call.  It doesn’t matter if someone calls because of a noise, a suspicious person or an actual crime, Keizerites want the security a full-staffed police department offers. That is why...

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Home charter has too many flaws

By ROSS DAY Have you noticed all the campaign signs sprouting up around our town?  When we see the campaign signs everywhere, it means only one thing: there is an election coming up.  In fact, ballots should be in the mail and you should be receiving those ballots any day now. I love looking at campaign signs to see what new and creative ideas candidates and their consultants have come up with.  Obviously, campaign signs all contain the same information: who to vote for and what office the person is running for (interesting side note: I actually saw an Anna Peterson For Mayor sign in Keizer – problem is, she is running for Mayor of Salem!) There is one issue that will be on the Marion County ballot this May that has generated some interesting campaign signs: the proposed amendment to the Marion County Charter. In case you are not aware, the proposed charter amendment would turn Marion County into what is called a “home rule” county, increase the number of county commissioners from three to five, and divide the county into separate county commissioner districts. As it currently stands in Marion County, we elected each of our county commissioners on a county-wide vote.  The supporters of the charter amendment claim that dividing the county into commissioner districts will “give everyone a voice.” This is a particularly confusing argument...

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IN THE RING: What do you think of Arizona’s new immigration law, and how should the federal government respond?

Each week the Keizertimes asks community leaders a question about current events.  To see more of this week’s answers or answers to past questions log onto www.keizertimes.com and click on In the Ring. This week’s question: What do you think of Arizona’s new immigration law, and how should the federal government respond? Roy Duncan, retired Oregon state analyst— I am personally offended when our president, who practically rides a helicopter to his mailbox and has 24/7/365 protection, interjects his opinion into a state where government  is trying to deal with invading criminals bringing drugs in and killing citizens but he does nothing to deal with what, all agree, is a federal responsibility. I would not suggest that every state enact draconian policies but Arizona is a sovereign state that, in absence of Washington D.C. fulfilling its responsibilities, is trying to solve problems.  When those elected to take care of this kind of business step up then Arizona might not find it necessary. Vic Backlund, former state representative— I think Arizona’s anti-immigration bill is a result of the federal government’s inability or unwillingness to do its rightful job of controlling the Arizona border.  The bill surely over-reacts and likely gives too much authority to the police to make determinations about illegals. I think the governor of Arizona was under considerable pressure to sign the bill.  The Arizona governor is engaged...

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Vowell should go to a Tea Party rally

To the Editor: Don Vowell writes in the April 23 Keizertimes that the grassroots Tea Party is too filled with anger to suit his needs. He clearly has never been to a Tea Party rally and I would invite him to attend one and see what it is all about. He would likely run into some of his neighbors there. I have been to every Tea Party rally ever held at the state capitol and I can tell you that I have read much angrier words in Mr. Vowell’s articles over the years that I have ever witnessed at a Tea Party rally. I’m not saying Mr. Vowell wouldn’t feel out of place at a Tea Party rally, he might feel uneasy around such radicalism as shameless public prayer. He might not feel comfortable in the company of a few hundred people standing, hand over heart, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Perhaps the thought of an American-loving amateur singing the National Anthem gives Mr. Vowell a pricky rash. Mr. Vowell once wrote that if his child wanted to serve in the military, he didn’t feel he could support such a decision. So yes, Mr. Vowell might feel awkward surrounded by so many proud U.S. military veterans, each one sworn to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, with their service patches and embroidered hats displaying their pride of service...

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An urgent call to Keizer businesses

To the Editor: Urgent call to all businesses: Keizer sign laws are too stringent and in a tough economy things have got to change. Businesses have a right to advertise the way they see fit.  If signs are professionally  made and not handwritten, they do look nice. Local government has overstepped its bounds and are out of touch with local businesses.  When regulations affect our ability to earn a living, it’s gone too far. As a former business owner and manager, I know how critical capitalizing on drive-by traffic is.  I am committed to the rights of the people and businesses. In talking with local businesses, many have expressed their concerns and getting involved either in meetings or are willing to sign a petition. You can help by coming to the Keizer City Council  meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 3 at the Civic Center.  You can also voice your concerns via email at keizerchanges@aol.com or by calling 503-390-0628. Kim Lewis...

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