To the Editor:

There has been a lot of controversy about development in Keizer. It’s been said by some local leaders that it is a difficult place to do business. I think in a lot of ways going to Salem has been a pastime for residents throughout the Mid-Valley who enjoy the adventures and amenities of a ‘big city fix’’ In many ways Keizer is still very much a part of Salem which is one of our strengths.

Originally the whole idea of Keizer’s incorporation seemed to center around whether it would threaten the health and vitality of our state capital. The most agreeable arrangement would seem to be that Keizer, being bound by a shared Urban Growth Boundary, would continue to support a focal point with Salem at the center. Something which our current leadership has striven against in its quest to put Keizer ‘on the map,’ whatever that may mean.

I believe that as we are still trying to fight for our independence, the stability of the city of Salem will and ought to remain paramount to the sovereignty of Keizer, and supercede any actions which would undermine the interest of the state with that in mind. I know that we are trying to find a niche of our own, but we are and will continue to serve a vital role of ‘support’ rather than justify any actions to maintain our independence otherwise. We need leadership which acknowledges this and celebrates the role that we play rather then continuing a ‘go it alone’ approach. This just doesn’t seem to fit reality as far as I see it.

Our future plans need to be weighed against the region as a whole. Because of Salem’s larger size and significance, when it comes down to who should benefit, it only makes sense that Salem is going to have the final say in determining the security of its own arrangements. I believe the rest of the region would agree with this. If we can manage to justify further development, something which is hard to come by in the first place, and show that our desire for growth should lean away from its residential aspects—we need to make sure that what we are adding does not end up to be a liability which takes away from Salem in any form whatsoever. That’s just the nature of local politics.

Maybe rather then fighting for our independence, we should strive for a stronger union, one which does not seek to split apart but rather agrees to the sacrifices necessary for our mutual existence. Any other arrangement is a threat to the area as a whole. If Keizer is going to ‘find itself,’ it needs to do so on ground that is agreeable for everyone. As long as we are able to meet a vital need which cannot otherwise be met, and also without threatening the core strength of our residential nature—and as long as we have broad interest and support, how could we then go wrong?

Matt Chappell