By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Usually a board responding to the Keizer City Council lets councilors have the final say.
That is the case with the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
There is now an exception: the Parks Board’s new matching grant program.
Last week, by a unanimous 5-0 vote (councilors Cathy Clark and Marlene Quinn were absent), Parks Board members were given the authority to make final decisions on which projects to fund with the matching grant program.
Under the new program, which started this month, the Parks Board partners with community members to double the funds for a project. Groups, organizations or individuals submit applications for their projects and indicate what they are willing to put into the project, both in terms of materials and labor. Parks Board members will go through the applications and choose the top ones, matching funding requests.
Most projects will likely be small, since the Parks Board only has $14,000 this year, a cut of $6,000 from recent years.
“The way the Parks Board would like it to work is the Parks Board would make the final determination on final projects,” city attorney Shannon Johnson told councilors. “It is a little unusual. Usually an advisory board will advise. You can leave it that way and say it’s a recommendation to council or staff. The individual amounts, we suspect, will be small. We don’t anticipate one project for $14,000. But you can handle it any way you want to.”
Councilor Dennis Koho was the first to express support.
“Generally speaking, I prefer tight controls for council,” Koho said. “But in this case, the budget committee approved it. It’s only $14,000. I’m perfectly comfortable with laying this at the Parks Board level.”
Councilor Jim Taylor also liked the idea.
“I agree,” said Taylor, who hopes to join the Parks Board once his time on council is done at the end of the year. “This came from the Parks Board. They will be careful with it. Anything they do will be with blessing from staff.”
Bill Lawyer, Public Works director for Keizer, pointed out things could always be changed later.
“As this program goes into the future, if it grows, it will be more into a traditional role,” Lawyer said. “For the next two to four years, it’s a good approach.”
In other business July 7:
• Councilors unanimously approved a motion to increase the maximum liability for art exhibitions at Keizer Civic Center to $50,000 with a premium of roughly $500 a year. The maximum liability per piece is $3,000.
Colored Pencil in Keizer is the current display, with 48 pieces of artwork by members of the Colored Pencil Society of America District Chapter 201. The display runs through Sept. 26.
“With colored pencil drawings, there was originally confusion on how many would fit,” Johnson said. “They were originally talking about 109, with a value of more than $60,000.”
Mayor Lore Christopher noted the need for liability coverage.
“If we want to get that type of quality art, the executive director (of Chapter 201) said you won’t get anyone without liability coverage,” she said. “We never had security cameras in both halls. Marlene has helped with a lot of events here and came up with that idea. That was a smart idea. We will have security cameras, one down one hall and one down the other.”
• Council president Joe Egli may not be running for another term on council, but he is currently involved in a new political position in the Keizer Homegrown Theater production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
“I thought I was going to be out of politics,” Egli said with a grin. “Come to find out, I’ll play the part of a senator in Julius Caesar. My role is to take Julius to talk to my friends in the senate. Um, it does not end very well.”