By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes
Planning Commission member Matthew Chappell is urging a cautious approach to growth as he makes his first bid for local office.
Chappell is seeking Position No. 3 on the Keizer City Council, which is being vacated by Mark Caillier. He said the periodic review process, complex as it is, will lead up to two questions: “Do we want to expand the (urban growth boundary) or not and how much growth do we want to take on?”
Chappell, 39, is disabled and cares for his father. Born in Los Angeles, he’s lived in Keizer for nearly 20 years after time around Oregon.
He favors a regional approach to the UGB discussion, saying a shared boundary with Salem could keep future growth in check.
“I get the feeling, at the city level, we’re pushing for fast growth in Keizer,” he said. “I’m more for moderate growth.”
Chappell has contributed several opinion articles to the Keizertimes, one of which called for Keizer to start providing municipal fire service, starting by contracting with Marion County Fire District No. 1 – a power move he suggested could convince Keizer Fire District’s leadership to agree to merge.
“I haven’t talked to other leaders in the city about how they feel about it, but I thought that’s where we were going to be eventually leading in the future,” Chappell said. “In my mind, it seems to make the most economic sense.”
He opposed the city’s attempt to allow Keizer Fire District’s annexation of the Clear Lake neighborhood pending a special election, and said the process amounted to a waste of time, money and effort.
Chappell also thinks the city council overcommitted itself by agreeing to back Keizer Station with some $26 million in local improvement district bonds – assessments that are, at least in theory, ultimately repaid by landowners. City staff says they are in the process of foreclosing on land owned by one developer who has gotten behind on his assessments.