By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Will anyone battle Cathy Clark for mayor?
Clark, the longtime Keizer City Councilor, announced early this year she will be running for the Keizer mayor seat being vacated after 14 years by Lore Christopher.
For months, a big question had been whether current council president Joe Egli – who filed for mayor but then dropped out in 2012 – would run.
The answer came this week when Egli announced he will not be running for either mayor or council.
“I’ve been contemplating it the last three or four months,” Egli told the Keizertimes. “I had some things to take care of. I felt it was the best decision for me and my family not to run at this time.”
Egli said he made the decision last Saturday and first told wife Shelly.
“I was kind of leaning that way already,” Egli said. “She was very supportive and has been from day one, either way.”
Egli, an agent at R. Bauer Insurance, said two main factors played into his decision.
“Honestly, it was my workload,” he said. “I’m an independent business person. The more involved I am in the community, the less service that I can give to my customers. It’s important to do a good job at work and with family. I have a daughter at McNary and a son going into McNary (in the fall). That absolutely factors in. They were excited for me to run for mayor, but I don’t know that they understood the whole impact.”
Egli, who has been council president since January 2013, noted it was a hard call to make.
“It’s a tough decision. It’s always a tough decision,” he said. “I had a lot of people come in and encourage me to run, especially since Cathy announced. Quite a few people were encouraging me to run. I never actually decided (to run) this time.”
In addition to currently serving as Iris Festival chair, Egli is past president of both Keizer Rotary and the Keizer Chamber of Commerce. He expects to still be involved with the community.
“I have a lot of history here and respect the history of Keizer a lot,” he said. “I think the citizens appreciate that. If you’re connected with the people in town, that’s a big part of being mayor and being able to lead the city. I would have done well as mayor.”
For the most part, Egli plans to keep doing what he’s doing now, minus the council post.
“I might do some planning,” he said. “Planning is very interesting to me, so I might apply for the Planning Commission. I will stay active. You will definitely be seeing me around.”
The filing period for interested Keizer candidates began on Wednesday and continues through Aug. 26. Clark picked up her packet Monday evening. Brandon Smith has already announced he will running for the council seat being vacated by Jim Taylor. Clark running for mayor means her current council seat is up for grabs. Roland Herrera has announced he’s running for council, while Matt Chappell has indicated he’ll be running as well.
The council seats currently held by Egli, Clark and Taylor are on four-year terms, while the mayoral position is a two-year term.
So in two years might Egli be interested in running again?
“That’s always a possibility,” said Egli, who plans to watch council meetings on TV come January. “It’s not anything to consider until the time.”