Day: July 2, 2014

Keizerite speaks out about SAIF

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Brandon Smith has plenty of pots going. The former Keizer City Councilor, currently chair of the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, is running for the council seat being vacated by Jim Taylor. Smith is also a grandpa who is helping to take care of his daughter, who was struck by a car in December. Workplace drama can be added to the list as well. Both Smith and wife Krystal work in Salem at SAIF (State Accident Insurance Fund) Corporation. Smith worked at SAIF from 1989 to 1997 and returned in 2003. He is currently a claims adjuster while Krystal, a SAIF employee since 1992, is a claims director. SAIF is Oregon’s non-profit workers’ compensation insurance company, providing coverage to more than 600,000 workers in the state. Company executives respond to a board of directors appointed by the governor. SAIF has been in a bit of turmoil since early last month, when new CEO John Plotkin was abruptly fired. That happened during a May 9 meeting, where more than 100 of SAIF’s 800-plus employees showed up in support of their CEO. According to a report in The Oregonian and a series of stories at, the latter of which has attracted a large number of comments from former and current SAIF employees, with many supporting Plotkin. Plotkin sent out a statement May 9, following his...

Read More

Council goes over medical marijuana

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes This spring, a moratorium was established to not allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Keizer until May 2015. The moratorium, like ones passed by various cities and counties around Oregon, was designed to allow time for the Keizer City Council to finalize local rules for medical marijuana, which was made legal in Oregon earlier this year. Councilors established a medical marijuana dispensaries task force, which met three times and sent a list of recommendations to council for approval. Those 10 items were discussed by councilors at their June 16 meeting. City Attorney Shannon Johnson noted he and Nate Brown, director of Community Development for Keizer, attended a League of Oregon Cities conference on medical marijuana. Johnson said a partial list of concerns not addressed by state legislators at the conference included how to track and monitor grow receipts, how to provide adequate police inspections, requiring minimum distances from residences and regulating aspects of the businesses not addressed by state statutes, including extraction, grow sites, discharge of pollutants, regulating security measures and whether to limit the number of stores. “There are two general issues,” Johnson said. “One is procedural. This issue is whether council wishes to schedule the matter for additional public hearings. The council should decide initially whether they want to hold additional public hearings or instead move directly towards adopting regulations.” If there...

Read More