By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
It doesn’t get much easier for Matt Chappell the second time around.
Like he did in 2012, Chappell is once again running for Keizer City Council, this time against Amy Ripp for the seat No. 5 being vacated by Joe Egli.
In 2012, Chappell came in third in a three-way battle with victor Marlene Quinn and Eamon Bishop, garnering 21 percent of the vote.
This time Chappell is going against another female with strong local name recognition in Ripp.
“I know Amy Ripp is running for the same position and has support from practically the whole city,” Chappell said with a chuckle. “I will just go forward.”
Despite falling short in his bid two years ago, Chappell got plenty of positives from the experience.
“It really got me out and involved more in the community, interacting with the public,” said Chappell, who has been on the Keizer Planning Commission for three years. “It was good for me to step out of my comfort zone. It has given me experience with the process. I know a little more now what to expect. I just have more experience this time.”
Chappell has enjoyed serving Keizer on the Planning Commission and wants to make an impact in the bigger picture.
“I see a lot that’s going on in the world and nation that I disagree with,” he said. “I thought to myself that to get involved, I have to take steps forward and see where it goes. That’s my main reason for running. It all starts with getting involved.”
On a local level, Chappell doesn’t have an issue with how things are being handled currently.
“I believe that we’re going in a reasonably good direction with development and how the city is run,” he said. “I support the things we’re trying to do in Keizer. I’m more at peace with the direction we’re going in the city. It’s just a matter of what kind of good I can do if I get on, but I have to get on first.”
Chappell said a big issue in Keizer has been discussed quite a bit this year already.
“I believe the marijuana issue is a major one,” he said. “It doesn’t just involve Keizer but the whole state and the whole nation. I see the future of young people as being sold out. Them being on drugs at the same time others are trying to capitalize on it puts us on the downward spiral we’re heading in. I don’t go for that.”
Otherwise, Chappell wants to continue much of what’s being done now.
“I just want to continue the process of development of the city and to bring in more jobs and more revenue to maintain our services,” he said. “That’s always at the top of the list. There’s not a lot that happens in Keizer otherwise. We need to do things like support our neighborhood associations and keep up the quality of living.”
Chappell makes it clear he has issues on a broader scale than just in Keizer.
“I don’t like the direction this nation is going,” he said. “I’m a conservative. I believe our priorities are turned around. We have a lot of needs. Personally I’m not running to promote myself. Ultimately, putting people in office is not the ultimate solution. We need to bring God back into the center of this nation or else we’re in real trouble.”