Month: June 2012

Baseball fields need money from city

By KURT BARKER As president of Keizer Youth Sports Associaton (KYSA) I want the citizens of Keizer to know Keizer city councilors are up to bat with the game on the line.  We’ve been grooving them perfect pitches to hit for years; will they win the game for our Keizer youth or let our community down and strike out? The cost for field maintenance at the Keizer Baseball/Softball Park (mowing, fertilizing, weed control, soil, conditioner, chalk, fuel, utilities bills, portable toilets/restroom maintenance, vandalism repairs, etc.) has averaged $50,000 and trending up.   Without any city funding, those expenses have been covered by our KYSA parents through registration fees, fund raising efforts, as well as sponsor donations we have diligently solicited. The city of Keizer has not allocated any parks funding to our Keizer Baseball/Softball Park, but their parks budget (our tax dollars) has been allocated to all the other parks in Keizer, including the new Keizer Rapids Park/Dog Park. We don’t feel that our KYSA parents, or any Keizer tax payer, should continue to foot the bill for the entire maintenance costs of our city-owned ballpark, while our tax dollars are being allocated to other city parks that aren’t used nearly as often or have as much benefit to our Keizer youth and local businesses, as our Keizer Baseball/Softball Park. Keizer Youth Sports Association extended the park management contract...

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Keizer loses a lot with loss of Roth’s

To the Editor: This is a sad day for Keizer.  Losing Roth’s Fresh Market is losing a community partner.  In our many years of involvement in working with local clubs, school activities and on community issues, Roth’s could always be relied on for support.  We can not count the times that we’ve approached Michael Roth or one of the friendly store employees asking for help and we’ve never been disappointed. This decision should come as no surprise.  Much to our disappointment, Keizer has been walking down this path over the past few years as we’ve seen an intentional decision to dis-invest in River Road.  Keizer City Council broke the agreements they made with the community and businesses during the planning and development of Keizer Station to protect River Road when they approved allowing a big box store to be built closer to River Road in Area C.  Most recently the council has taken money set aside for redeveloping and improving River Road and used $3.3 million of it to pay for city hall construction (Designed and built without a vote of the citizens) and $1 million of the funds to pay Keizer Station debt. As a community, we’re now paying the price for some of the decisions made by our city government.  Perhaps it’s a time for a change in leadership. Roth’s has set a high bar for what...

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Break it down

Photo by KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald Celt Jimmy Rodriguez break dances during McNary High School’s annual Spring Fling last Thursday, May 24. For more photos, visit our photo...

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What I learn from the letters page

To the Editor: The first place I go to in the Keizertimes is the letters page. It is a mixed bag of stuff most times, informative, funny, sad and sometimes just crazy. Last week I learned more about the upgrade to Sunset Avenue that explained a lot but I still doubt we will will get a better signal light at River Road (informative). The RIP about Roth’s (sad) and Bill Quinn’s letter that is a toss up to me as being funny or just plain crazy. The Mighty Mr. Quinn I enjoy reading what he has to say most times but I think he took too much out of what (Councilor Dave) McKane said, sometimes you just need to read it again and again to see the face value. Perhaps the Keizertimes needs to add a rants page, I’m sure it would be full every week. Peter deBeck...

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Budget: Yay for parades! But art? No way

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes You could take away two things from last month’s budget committee meetings, where each year outside groups ask for their slice of Keizer’s general fund pie: It’s a great time to run a parade, not so much to have an art gala – even if it is named after the mayor. The Keizer City Council will vote this coming Monday on the budget, which includes employee raises. It’s not a bad time to work for the city, either: Employees will get cost of living adjustments and step increases will be unfrozen for the first time in several years. Police officers with 10 or more years of tenure may be eligible for an additional 2.5 percent, which will place them more in line with comparable positions in other communities, said Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns. City Manager Chris Eppley noted in budget presentations last month that Keizer has 3.17 employees per 1,000 residents, while other cities close to the same size have eight. “We do what we do with significantly fewer employees than most cities,” he said. “… We’re pretty proud of that.” Kurt Barker, president of Keizer Youth Sports Association, had asked for some $30,000 in assistance from the city to continue operating the public Little League Park. The group got $1,500 and a promise to discuss ongoing funding issues with the park. City...

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