By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The topic has been kicked around often in the past year.
Should citizens be able to serve on more than two government committees?
Further, should it matter if the person wanting to serve doesn’t live or work in Keizer?
The topic has come up once again since Sherrie Gottfried, the former general manager at Keizer Renaissance Inn who now works at the Red Lion in Salem, wants to serve on a third committee. Currently, Gottfried serves on the Keizer Festivals and Events Services Team (K-FEST) and Keizer Points of Interest Committee (KPIC). Gottfried recently applied for a vacancy on the Traffic Safety/Bikeways/Pedestrian Committee.
The Volunteer Coordinating Committee makes recommendations and forwards them to the Keizer City Council for final approval. Trish Crenshaw and John Rizzo, chair and vice-chair of the VCC, spoke about the issue at the Jan. 6 council meeting.
“At our last meeting, we heard from a qualified volunteer wanting to be on the traffic committee,” Crenshaw said. “She was very qualified, but is already on two committees and doesn’t live or work in Keizer. We had a lengthy discussion about the council rule of not allowing someone to serve on more than two committees. This person lived and worked in Keizer for many years, but now lives and works in Salem. We ask for clarification on the two committee rule, and we want to know what to do if someone doesn’t live or work in Keizer.”
Mayor Lore Christopher wondered if there was a better system.
“All committees are not created equal,” she said. “Some meet 12 times a year, some four times a year. It’s not really how many committees, but the workload. I’d rather go by the workload, not the number. We always want to seek a broader net, but we also don’t want to turn people away if they are a viable candidate.”