By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
After being re-elected as Keizer’s mayor last month, Lore Christopher immediately announced she wanted to start a task force to look at issues that had been brought up during the campaign.
In particular, she indicated the group would look into ideas brought up by opponent David McKane.
Christopher confirmed this week the task force is indeed moving ahead, under the direction of former Keizer City Councilor Jacque Moir.
According to Christopher, McKane has been invited to join a group currently comprised of Moir and former councilor Jim Keller, as well as soon-to-be former councilors Brandon Smith and Mark Caillier.
Brad Coy from the Gubser Neighborhood Association has agreed to be on the group as well. Rhonda Rich with West Keizer Neighborhood Association has been invited also.
“The work group will address concerns voiced by city councilors and members of the public regarding the two-way communication between city council members and members of the public,” Christopher said.
Christopher said she agreed with comments McKane – a current councilor leaving his post at the end of the month – made about a need for improved communication.
“Other citizens have expressed concerns about how community members engage the city council and there were multiple contentious issues over the past two years,” she said. “I want to improve in the areas that we can by examining both perspectives and seeking independent recommendations from folks not in office or with a political perspective.”
Moir said one key thing for the group to discuss is the interaction at meetings between councilors and the public. Parameters agreed upon by the group will be shared with councilors.
“I give David McKane credit for a lot of this,” Moir said. “He said it isn’t right and the two sides shouldn’t be attacking each other. You need mutual respect, going both directions. That will keep brouhahas from happening, which make us a laughingstock sometimes.”
Moir emphasized the group won’t be having ongoing meetings. She is looking at two Saturday morning meetings in January, with another in February if needed.
“I don’t want this group to meet forever,” Moir said. “Less is more. It’s more remember you’re on TV, conduct yourself cordially and show respect back and forth. I’ve been on both sides of the fence.”
Christopher is eager to see ideas the group comes up with.
“Success to me would be a number of recommendations from the work group to the city council to take action on which could improve the way we interact together, coming from both perspectives,” she said.