To the Editor:

I appreciate the opportunity to summarize my public comments from the last two Council meetings regarding the Jingle Bell Run/Walk.

I opposed having the run at night in a crowded residential area amongst moving traffic.  I supported having the event on River Road before the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade in a well-lighted closed course.  I appreciated and considered the comments from the five businesses opposing the River Road idea in our second meeting and stated so.

In the days prior to their testimony I had an equal number of businesses on River Road tell me they supported both events and in some cases were extending business hours and adding staff.  By my count, at least 60 businesses on River Road are Keizer Chamber members.  Some of the five opposing the event are Chamber members.

The Chamber was sponsoring this event and the proceeds were primarily going to support the McNary High School boys and girls cross country and track teams which had suffered funding cuts and had volunteered to assist in the event.  Proceeds beyond the McNary commitment (unlikely in the first year) would go to other Chamber programs.

As the traffic plan for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk was not complete, it was unclear if the event would add an hour or ninety minutes to the street closure.  In either instance the Jingle Bell Run/Walk would have taken place prior to a well-publicized event on a Saturday during “non-rush-hour” traffic.  That was what I was thinking.

Mark Caillier

Caillier is member of the Keizer City Council