By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Shoreline Drive has been getting some attention this week.
In addition to the rebuilding project on the street, a parking issue at Shoreline and Rafael Avenue North was discussed during Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting.
Councilors voted 5-0 to approve a no-parking zone on the corner.
“It has posed a safety hazard for turning right onto Shoreline,” Rhonda Rich with the West Keizer Neighborhood Association said during public comments early in the meeting. “There is a residential care facility with 10 to 12 cars usually parked along there. There are three or four spaces where those cars will need to park somewhere else. I’m not suggesting a new ordinance, but maybe a letter can be sent to the owner to park on the other side of Shoreline across from their property or in their driveway.”
Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, noted a lack of restriction for parking on public streets in town has “somewhat created the situation” and mentioned he has talked to the manager for the property owner.
“They mentioned room to park across the street, also south of the property and in the driveway,” Lawyer said. “Between those three places, I don’t see a problem.”
Councilor Kim Freeman wondered if moving vehicles to the other side of Shoreline would be creating a new safety concern. Lawyer felt that shouldn’t be a problem.
“Unless staffing increases or there’s an increase in guest parking, there is room to accommodate the three or four cars displaced by this (no-parking zone),” he said.
Lawyer said the issue was first brought up by a Palma Ciea Villa neighbor and believes it is the first no-parking zone in a residential area for Keizer.
Council president Joe Egli noted he lives around the corner from the house and hopes the no-parking zone will help out.
In other business July 7:
• Council deferred on giving financial support to the 2014 Summer Concert Series at Keizer Rotary Amphitheater, located at Keizer Rapids Park. Clint Holland made the request during public comments, but councilors felt the issue needed to brought up as an agenda item at a later meeting.
The free concerts kick off with two shows this weekend. Ty Curtis performs on Friday, July 11 while Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts perform the following night. Gates open at 5 p.m. both nights, with shows at 6:30.
• Pay increases were approved for city attorney Shannon Johnson and city manager Chris Eppley. Johnson was bumped up from Step 9 to Step 10 of Salary Range 36, while Eppley went from Step 9 to Step 10 of Salary Range 38.
Machell DePina, director of Human Resources for Keizer, said both city leaders got a 2.5 percent Cost of Living Adjustment raise plus a 3 percent merit increase, meaning a 5.5 percent increase for both.
Converted to dollars, DePina said Johnson’s salary effective July 1 increased from $10,530 a month to $11,115.87 a month. In terms of annual salary, that means an increase from $126,360 to $133,390.44.
For Eppley, the monthly pay goes from $11,608.30 a month to $12,256.40 a month. In terms of annual salary, that means an increase from $139,299.60 to $147,076.80.
Both Eppley and Johnson had satisfactory performance reviews recently, making them eligible for the increases.
Egli, however, had concerns about the process.
“We just went through evaluation process and both are doing very well,” Egli said. “We’re very lucky to have Chris and Shannon at the city. I’m torn about this. It goes back to November when we voted on step increases. I voted no then because it was uncomfortable. We are comparing our city with Lake Oswego, West Linn, McMinnville and others. I feel we can tweak that to make it better. I’m going to vote no now, because I don’t like the process we have now. I was going to be quiet and let this go, but I have a fiduciary responsibility to the citizens.”
Councilors approved the increases 4-1 (councilors Marlene Quinn and Cathy Clark were absent), with Egli voting against. Egli noted he had some ideas he would talk with DePina about and might bring the issue back up at a later date.
• Councilors unanimously appointed Kathy Haney to a vacancy on the new Keizer Arts Commission. Haney is a Keizer artist who has done some of the past Iris Festival posters.
One of the initial Arts Commission members has resigned, creating an additional vacancy. The Volunteer Coordinating Committee will be utilized to fill that spot.
• There is no work session next week. The next council meeting will be Monday, July 21 at 7 p.m.