By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
Brandon Smith announced he will not seek re-election to the Keizer City Council seat he’s held since 2007.
Smith, 40, said he’s looking forward to spending time with his family, which includes a brand new grandson born just last week. But he’s proud of the changes that have taken place during his tenure on council.
“We have a beautiful new civic center, an amphitheater for public performances, new events like Good Vibrations and the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade, and a public art program,” he said.
Smith also touted “less glamorous” projects like an updated Transportation Systems Plan, expanding public television offerings and a stable budget.
He also thanked fellow city councilors, who “have educated, collaborated, argued, mentored and laughed with me over these last five years.”
First appointed after Troy Nichols resigned to take a job out of state, Smith won a full term in 2008, easily beating Marty Matiskainen. He’s not necessarily done with elected office and enjoys being on the council, he said, but it’s time to focus on family.
In the meantime he’s considering applying to be on a committee once his term expires at the end of the year, or even forming a neighborhood association in his area of east Keizer, just off Chemawa Road N.
“I have lots of ideas and plans and things I can do – I’m just going to take a break and let things settle down a little bit,” Smith said.
His biggest letdown in office was seeing the Area C master plan hit a regulatory snag on appeal at the Land Use Board of Appeals. The board ruled the city’s plan to ensure mixed use construction was built alongside a discount superstore wasn’t strong enough to meet local planning rules.
“We felt it was a really creative way to guarantee (mixed use) and answer some of the concerns,” he said. “Whether (neighborhood group Keep Keizer Livable) wants to admit it or not, we made a lot of changes to try to take into account their considerations. … that’s what the concurrency requirement was for.”