By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Last week Cathy Clark became the new mayor of Keizer.
This week, she gave her first State of the City address.
Clark gave her speech at Tuesday’s Keizer Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Keizer Quality Suites, eight days after being sworn in as mayor. Clark served on the Keizer City Council for the past eight years and took over Keizer’s top spot from Lore Christopher, who led the city for 14 years.
During her speech, Clark emphasized Keizerites working together, the health of the city and plans moving forward.
“When people move to Keizer, time and time again you hear people say they feel like they have moved home,” Clark said. “Businesses say this feels like home.”
Clark said the city motto of Pride, Spirit and Volunteerism is more than a mere motto.
“We live it every day,” she said. “We have decided we’re all in. We show up. We show up at meetings, at openings, at celebrations. We work in the parks, we coach our kids’ sports teams. When it comes to making Keizer a community, we’re all in.”
Clark gave praise to Keizer police chief John Teague for the work he’s done since returning to take over the Keizer Police Department in the fall of 2013.
“Chief Teague has been effective in getting results,” she said. “He uses problem-oriented policing. It’s about the identifying and fixing of the root problems.”
Clark touched on the 19 parks in Keizer and emphasized the need for sustainability.
“As much as we’d like to think we will be here forever, we won’t be,” she said. “We have to have new people get involved in the parks so they can be sustainable.”
Related to that, Clark mentioned the Big Toy play structure coming to Keizer Rapids Park. A five-day community build is scheduled for June 10 to 14, with more information online at keizerbigtoy.org.
“Grab your kids, your neighbors and go sign up,” Clark said. “Let’s come together and build a fantastic play place for our kids, our grandkids, our community. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of a community that wants to do something like this. We are going to make this happen.”
Clark said Keizer has come through the Great Recession in “fine form” and has a bright future.
“If I were to summarize the state of the city, we are starting to boom,” she said. “You look at Keizer Station, River Road, our new developments. And we are poised to do even more.”
While noting success of businesses in Keizer Station, Clark also mentioned the Keizer Economic Development Commission she’s chairing, which builds upon the previous River Road Renaissance task force and the Keizer Compass future planning.
“These plans are rich in ideas and possibilities for the community,” Clark said. “We need more land. We need to expand the Urban Growth Boundary. But we can’t wait to finish that process before we take care of the land we have.”
Clark wants the commission to target businesses in key sectors and lure them into Keizer, particularly along River Road.
“We need to make sure they can be successful here,” she said. “We brought in five commission members who have businesses on River Road. We did that on purpose. We want to make sure we can be a strong community.”
As she has mentioned before, Clark will be continuing her Coffee with Cathy meetings, an informal time for citizens to meet with the mayor and offer ideas or suggestions.
“There are great ideas from people who really love Keizer,” Clark said. “I’m privileged to listen in on your ideas for Keizer.”
Clark made it clear several times during her speech she’s looking forward to the future in Keizer.
“I want to let you know Keizer works,” she said. “Keizer works because we’re committed to making it work. We’re all in.”