Day: February 10, 2012

A teachable moment

The Keizer City Council has extended North River Road Urban Renewal District for four years in an effort to stave off a huge bond debt payment years from now. After receiving concurrence from eight of the other ten taxing districts affected by Keizer’s urban renewal district, the council did what it said it wouldn’t do: extend the district. We understand the city is caught between a rock and a hard place. Developer Chuck Sides is more than a year behind on his bond payments. The city uses bond payments from Keizer Station landowners to  pay its bond debt obligations. Currently the city makes interest payments but in the future payments on the principal will be due and therein lies crux of the problem the district extension addresses. The city’s next move is to prepare foreclosure proceedings on five parcels of land at Keizer Station controlled by Chuck Sides. The five parcels together are currently valued at about $6 million. The city plans to foreclose, hold the property until its value increases and then sell them to pay off the bond debt Sides owes. This plan is better than doing nothing and hoping everything works out. Even though other land owners in Keizer Station have been making timely debit payments, the city would be on the hook for a multi-million dollar balloon payment in the 2020s. This should all be...

Read More

Those who make Keizer

On Saturday, Feb. 11, the Mayor’s Invitational Art Gala will be held at Keizer Civic Center. It is an evening of art, social mingling, and fund raising for Keizer Public Art. It is just one of many fund raising events held in Keizer each year. There are the well known events such as the Gala, the Keizer Rotary Club’s annual raffle party, the Keizer Young Life and the St. Edward Catholic Church auctions, as well as too many others to name. All of these fund raisers have an auction element to them, either live, silent, or both. These auctions don’t just happen. Hardy volunteers use their connections and their networking skills to ask for donations from businesses large and small. Auction donations can range from a gift certificate to a vacation trip and everything in between. It is the generosity of local businesses that make these auctions succeed. The donated items fill table after enticing attendees to push the winning  bids ever higher. Organizers of Keizer fund raisers solicit donations from local businesses simply because they are the ones who give. There donations help improve and maintain Keizer’s quality of life. Most donors ask for nothing in return, they are just doing good work. Big national companies have their philanthropic causes and collectively donate billions of dollars and goods across the country each year. While not every Keizer household...

Read More

Lies, lies, lies

To the Editor: As you well know there is a dispute between the Keizer Fire District and Marion County Fire District #1 about the annexation of the Clear Lake Station into the Keizer Fire District. I am a resident of Keizer and also have friends that live in the Clear Lake area. Repeatedly the residents of the Clear Lake area are being told lies and mistruths about what will happen if the annexation happens. Such as, Clear Lake would lose 20 firefighters, that they would no longer have 24-hour ambulance service, and that the residents of the Clear Lake area, which also is part of the city of Keizer, would be put in danger. When I disputed these claims online on the Keep Keizer Safe Facebook page, it took less than 12 hours for my disputes and comments to be removed and the site will no longer let people post any comments. This is just a tactic to keep the citizens of Keizer in the dark and misinformed of the facts. Here are some of the facts that the citizens need to know. Clear Lake Station will stay open, all equipment that is there now will stay, all the volunteers that are there now will be able to stay so the area will lose no staff. There will be a full time medic unit with two paramedics on it...

Read More

The city of Keizer and Keizer Fire

To the Editor: Keizer’s public safety is a joint effort by the Keizer Police Department (KPD) and Keizer Fire District (KFD) , it involves long-term planning, training, and coordination at all levels of both organizations. In our long history together, there has been countless times when KPD and KFD have worked together to save lives and protect property.  While we are two separate organizations, we have served essentially the same constituency in our missions and operations. Areas where we have worked together include CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), emergency services planning meetings, public education events and coordination with EVAK (Emergency Volunteers Assisting Keizer).  While the need for being prepared for emergencies may be our focus, we have also worked together on civic projects like the Keizer Iris Festival, River Fair, Festival of Lights Parade and other local events. This long time working relationship is vital to the public safety services in Keizer.  It is best to know who, what, why, where and when prior to an event taking place.  Leaders of the city, along with leaders of the Fire District meet on a bi-monthly basis to discuss issues that can affect both organizations. This type of cooperation is what makes our partnership work, and keeps you safe.  We believe all of Keizer should be represented by the Keizer Fire District, so as to provide the best emergency services to...

Read More

Support Keizer Fire District

To the Editor: If you wish to increase ambulance service in Keizer you will vote yes on the two ballot measures in March. If the Keizer Fire District is allowed to annex the Clear Lake area, an ambulance will be stationed at the Clear Lake station 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Currently, Marion County Fire District #1 has to move its ambulance to the Brooks station to enhance coverage to the rest of its territory whenever needed. Another benefit to the citizens that live in the Clear Lake area will be a decrease their tax burden because the Keizer Fire District tax rate is lower. Over the years the people who live north of Parkmeadow Drive to the city limits has subsidized the rest of the Marion County Fire District #1 with their tax payments. Keizer needs only one fire district. Please vote yes. Bill Quinn...

Read More