By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Brad Coy has quite a bit on his plate.
As such, Coy has announced he will no longer serve as president of the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association (GGNA).
Nominations for a new GGNA president can be made at the organization’s next monthly meeting, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Gubser Elementary School (6610 14th Avenue NE).
Coy has served as GGNA president since the fall of 2012 and oversaw last year’s expansion of the organization. Last year, Coy also became Keizer’s representative on the Salem-Keizer Transit Board. A traffic engineer, Coy helps coach his two older daughters and supports wife Meredith in her role as the Keizer Soccer Club treasurer. The couple has four children, with the oldest being 7.
In addition, Coy also teaches a daily seminary class to a group of McNary High School students as a volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“One of my goals from the very beginning in helping revitalize the Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association has been to develop an organization that can continue to thrive without me,” Coy said. “In learning the history of neighborhood associations in Keizer, I’ve realized they live and die with their leadership. I’ve known there would come a day when it was time to hand the baton to another, and now that time has come and I have a plan in place for a successful handoff. I will continue to be actively involved but will shift my focus to training and supporting.”
Coy is hoping to stay on the GGNA board as an at-large member.
“I plan to assume a position on the board where I can be a resource to new leadership and help maintain the neighborhood association’s current momentum,” he said. “With new leadership, I am also confident that new ideas will take root and our association will continue to make strides in our community.”
Coy said the idea of stepping down is related to an increased church role.
“The catalyst for me deciding to step down as GGNA president is that at the end of August I was called by my church to serve as an early morning seminary teacher for a group of McNary High School students,” he said. “I was previously serving as Sunday School President for my congregation, but this new responsibility requires me to significantly increase the amount of time I dedicate to my volunteer church calling. Every school day, I spend an hour teaching my students about Jesus Christ and His good news from the scriptures. There is also significant preparation time that each class takes.
“As I realized the amount of time this new responsibility would require, I spoke with my GGNA board to see if they would support me in this decision and help me recruit additional leadership, including a new president,” Coy added. “They were very supportive and also requested that I remain on the board for at least the next year to continue to be a resource to the association.”
When Coy took over GGNA, only a handful of neighbors attended the monthly meetings.
“The prior president, Allen Prell, had contemplated allowing the association to dissolve,” Coy said. “He knew the association had an important role and wanted to keep it going, but the lack of recent hot button issues meant that most neighbors were indifferent. The association had no budget and like all organizations, needed some new blood. When I decided to assume the leadership role in the fall of 2012, Allen was very encouraging and helped me with the transition.”
At the time, Coy hoped to get neighbors to work proactively together and launched the private online Nextdoor Gubser community. He also recruited former Keizer City Councilor Mark Caillier to serve as vice president.
“We began reaching out to our neighbors in new ways, including through events at Gubser Elementary School and by walking the neighborhood,” Coy said. “We also expanded our association boundaries, changed our name, requested budget from the City of Keizer, recruited new leaders, developed a logo, printed yard signs and flyers, solicited business sponsors to fund a neighborhood-wide newsletter and supported a variety of neighborhood events.”
GGNA typically has about 20 neighbors at meetings now, with some drawing considerably more.
“Our real impact can be seen in our online community of almost 300 neighbors and Facebook page with over 200 likes,” Coy said. “This is less than 10 percent of our neighborhood and I still meet neighbors every day who don’t know about our neighborhood association. Going forward, I see a large pool of additional community members and promising opportunities for future growth. We are very well positioned to continue serving our neighborhood and have healthy relationships with our new mayor, city councilors and other recently elected legislators. As more neighbors become involved, we have great potential to be a strong influence for good in our neighborhood and in our community.”