Lore Christopher, Joe Egli

Of the Keizertimes

Mayor Lore Christopher hasn’t faced opposition in a mayoral election for a decade.

But 2012  is shaping up to be quite different.

Councilor Joe Egli, currently serving his first term, declared this week he’s going to seek the city’s top elected spot. Two other city councilors – Cathy Clark and David McKane – have established campaign committees in order to raise funds, but have not declared candidacy.

Meanwhile, Christopher announced last week she’ll seek a seventh term as Keizer’s mayor. She is the only woman to have held the position, and has been mayor longer than anyone else. She said this will be her last term.

“I’m running to complete the work I’ve been working on the last 10-plus years,” Christopher said, citing more development at Keizer Station and the upcoming transit center. “All those things I think I’m in the best position to bring that to resolution and I’d love to do so.”

Egli said he wants to emphasize collaboration between the public and private sector while promoting transparency in local government.

“Let’s look at Keizer issues with a creative eye, evaluating multiple models and approaches while utilizing the expansive intellectual capital of the residents of Keizer and our city staff.”

Egli found himself at odds with other city councilors and the mayor last year when he opposed City Manager Chris Eppley’s proposal to expand the urban renewal district for repaying bond debt (see related story).

As for McKane, he’s not yet declaring but has a committee set up to raise funds.

He took on Christopher directly in 2010 and early 2011 when he felt he had been pressured to change his vote on an issue. He’s no stranger to being in the minority on the council, but he feels that sometimes the elected body itself isn’t fulfilling the wishes of a majority of Keizerites.

“You can ask anybody in Keizer – on the issue of public safety funding, we didn’t listen very well and we’re still not listening very well,” McKane said, while emphasizing his remarks weren’t aimed at any one individual. “We’re tangled in a battle between two fire districts. I think we made steps in the right direction but we can still improve our ability to listen effectively.”

No matter what, McKane said, he’s not seeking re-election to his council seat.

“I think two terms is enough,” he said. “I don’t know what else I can add as a city councilor.”

The Keizertimes first reported last week that Clark had also established a fundraising committee for a possible mayoral run. She still isn’t sure what her plans are, but has no animosity towards the mayor.

“Our council works well together as a team because we all care about serving our whole community,” Clark said. “That hasn’t changed.”