Of the Keizertimes

Attempts are being made to rectify a controversy over a Keizer committee.

A Keizer Volunteer Coordinating Committee (VCC) meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 at Keizer Civic Center.

In particular, the committee is meeting to consider applications for two positions on the Parks Advisory Board.

The VCC last met Dec. 13, but the process was debated during the public comment portion of the Keizer City Council meeting Dec. 17. The VCC made a recommendation of outgoing city councilor Brandon Smith for Position No. 8 and Jacob Martin (not Evan Christopher, as erroneously reported in the Keizertimes last week) for Position No. 9.

Debbie Lockhart, the deputy City Recorder who attended the Dec. 13 meeting, told the Keizertimes this week the resolution forming the VCC states the committee meets at the chair’s discretion.

“This meeting has been called by the chair to remedy an oversight committed at the December 13 meeting,” Lockhart said. “The committee failed to follow the procedures for a tie exactly so they are going to revisit Parks Board recommendations.”

Lockhart said the following VCC procedure was not followed: “If a candidate does not receive a majority of the votes of the members present, the names of the two candidates receiving the most votes shall be voted upon in the second vote.”

There were four candidates for the two positions: Smith, Christopher, Martin and Rick Hammerquist. Another source of contention for some was that only Martin and Hammerquist had met the original application deadline.

Votes for all four candidates were taken twice, with identical 2-2-2-1 votes both times. After the votes, two names were drawn from a hat and thus recommended to the city council. Councilors did not vote on recommendations last week.

Lockhart said the VCC members chose to meet again and fix the error.

“All members of the committee and the candidates were available this day,” she said. “Also, their terms expire January 7 and they wanted to take care of this before the new committee members come on. They felt it was unfair to expect the new committee members to deal with their mistake.”