Of the Keizertimes

Incoming members of the Keizer City Council were ready to talk about goals.

It appeared they weren’t going to get the chance, since a majority of current councilors weren’t present.

A work session was planned for Monday, allowing current and incoming councilors alike the chance to review the 2013 to 2015 city council goals, while also looking ahead to ideas for 2015 to 2017 council goals.

The problem was only three current councilors – Joe Egli, Cathy Clark and Kim Freeman – were present, one short of a quorum.

After waiting 20 minutes, Egli announced the meeting was canceled due to the lack of a quorum. Moments later councilor Dennis Koho strolled in, so the meeting was on.

Much of the meeting consisted of Keizer City Manager Chris Eppley going over both short-term and long-term goals approved by councilors in March 2013, with a summary of the progress made on each of the goals.

For example, the first goal was unfreezing one to four police officer positions. Eppley noted recruitment is going on for a new officer as well as a forensic computer position.

“The previous chief would have said we need 15 or more (new) cops,” Eppley said of former chief Marc Adams. “The current chief (John Teague) feels two more are necessary. We may need to re-discuss about that before adding more police officers.”

Eppley said developing a sustainable code enforcement strategy is complete, with interviews to fill the position taking place this week. Developing a sustainable community center management strategy is mostly complete, though the funding structure still needs to be reevaluated.

While a Keizer Rapids Park master plan update has been completed, Eppley noted a proposed update for Keizer Little League Park isn’t.

“That update is not necessary anymore,” Eppley said. “One reason to do it was to assess future improvements to see what would be available for SDC (system development charges) funding. It’s already been developed, so it’s not going to be eligible for SDCs. I would suggest that one is complete.”

Eppley noted merger talks between Keizer Little League (KLL) and Keizer Youth Sports Association (KYSA) have stalled, though the two could merge softball programs in the spring.

“Ideally you would have a third-party group not associated with baseball run that park,” Eppley said. “It would be an independent third party, whose sole interest is the facility alone and when it’s used. There has been talk of KLL and KYSA having a third party, maybe having people like Clint Holland, people who don’t have a dog in the fight.”

Eppley said the short-term goal of Urban Growth Boundary expansion isn’t a short-term goal anymore.

“That’s probably the biggest issue facing council over the next 20 years,” he said.

According to Eppley, regular meetings with Marion County Fire District and Keizer Fire District have been implemented, though there have been quite a few cancellations.

“We can encourage them to meet,” Mayor-elect Clark said. “We can address how often. Keeping it strong is important for our cooperation.”

A business advisory committee – known as the Keizer Economic Development Commission – has been created, while the city website overhaul is underway.

“To be completed when?” Freeman asked.

“Gosh, I hope soon,” Eppley said.

Nate Brown, director of Community Development, noted the company with the contract had a hitch and is thus behind schedule.

“They had turnover in staff,” Brown said.

Freeman wanted to know when issues would be resolved.

“Can we get a projection update?” she asked. “It would be nice to know about when.”