Of the Keizertimes

Could more Keizer meetings be on local TV?

The possibility of putting more meetings on K-23 local access has been discussed lately, including at the Keizer City Council meeting last week. Currently, only city council meetings are broadcast.

In a memorandum to councilors, Susan Gahlsdorf, Finance director for Keizer, said there is money in the Public, Educational or Governmental (PEG) fund to do more broadcasts.

“The cost of televising one additional meeting each month is $500, or $6,000 annually,” Gahlsdorf wrote.

One resolution called for $3,000 to be allocated, while a second one provided $6,000 so two meetings could be televised each month for six months.

After Council Jim Taylor made a motion to authorize spending $6,000, councilor Cathy Clark wanted to know which meetings would be aired.

“I like the idea to broadcast more of what we do,” Clark said. “But who would determine what additional meetings we’d be broadcasting? How do we figure it out?”

Council president Joe Egli, serving as mayor pro-tem in the absence of mayor Lore Christopher, said it would be six Parks Board and six Planning Commission meetings.

“It was presented at the Parks Board meeting and they’re on board,” Egli said. “They would move their meetings into here (council chambers). The Planning Commission is on board as well.”

At the same time, a request from the Community Development Department calling for $2,400 in new hardware costs and $400 for new software was approved. The funds will be used to purchase a dedicated computer station to receive and review building permit plans electronically, a request triggered by Marion County upgrading to a new building permit system.

“Is this going to help with the streamlining people have been asking for?” Clark asked Nate Brown, director of Community Development.

“The communication aspect is an ongoing effort,” Brown said. “This budget amendment is triggered by the state developing a new system. This allows us to review plans more efficiently.”

Brown said Kaiser Permanente’s plans were submitted electronically earlier this year, something he anticipates happening more in the future.

“We didn’t feel it would be beneficial to delay this,” Brown said.

Councilor Dennis Koho wasn’t too pleased with how the request came about.

“You said the state made this available,” he said. “Can’t you say the state foisted it on counties and cities? There will be more time spent on training than on processing applications. You’ll need several hundred hours of training.”

Brown acknowledged a “lot of training” is needed.

“It’s been significant to try to come up to speed,” he said.

The request was approved unanimously.

In other recent council business:

• A request from the Public Works Department for two new pickups was granted. A 2014 Ford F250 was purchased from Landmark Ford for $25,310 with funds from the Stormwater Fund and Street Fund.

Also purchased was a 2014 Ford F350 truck with service body from Northside Trucks for $32,741 with money from the Water Fund. That truck replaced a 1998 Ford E350 cube van, which was traded in for $1,800.

• The Dec. 9 council work session was canceled, since there was nothing on the agenda. There was no work session in November, either. There will be regular council meetings Dec. 2 and 16.

• John Rizzo gave a Keizer Planning Commission update. Rizzo was recently selected chair of the commission, with Hersch Sangster vice chair. Two new members of the commission were sworn in, notable since it had appeared two members with expired terms would be having to serve an indefinite amount of time until replacements could be found.