Two Keizer residents have applied to fill a vacancy on the city council.
Former city councilor Mark Caillier and one-time city council candidate Eamon Bishop will present their cases to the sitting members of the council at 6 p.m. Aug. 1. The preferred candidate will be appointed at the city council meeting at 7 p.m. that same evening. Dennis Koho resigned from the council July 1 and set into motion the replacement process. Bishop or Caillier will serve out the remainder of his term and will need to run for re-election in November if they want to continue in the role.
Keizertimes sent both men the same three questions regarding their interest in seat. Here are their replies:
Keizertimes: What unique qualities/experience can you bring to bear as a city councilor?
Eamon Bishop: The pinnacle of my career was serving as a police commander, a position earned via my leadership abilities. Being a leader requires humility, the need to be a skilled educator, innate common sense and the courage to innovate. Leadership is not defined as being an “expert.” As a commander, I found that a good leader requires only a basic (yet solid) knowledge of the involved skill set, coupled with information on where to find resources with detailed information if needed. In the same way, an elected leader is surrounded by staff members able to provide any specific information.
Over the years I learned that communication is far more effective if properly condensed and simplified. An elected official with this understanding can provide information on the workings of government sans minutiae, allowing citizens to seize the basics with confidence. It is that confidence which brings citizens to realize that they possess what is needed to become a city leader themselves.
Mark Caillier: Over twenty years of volunteer membership on nearly every City of Keizer committee, task force and project at one time or another and four years’ previous experience as an active Keizer city councilor would support some level of knowledge and experience. However, in the nearly four years since I left the Keizer City Council I have learned in total, more about our community than any other time. My community volunteer experiences have taken a much broader scope and have involved literally hundreds of new friends and community partners. These new relationships have kept me informed, relevant and has increased my appreciation of diversity and associated solutions.
KT: Is there a major issue, either current or on the drawing board, you would like to have a voice in?
EB: As a citizen I have done what I believe I was able to do in order to provide facts and information to the city and to the owners of the Herber property that might perhaps result in retention of that special piece of Keizer. Yesterday is just that, and one cannot go back and change anything that has already taken place. I am a person who is able to let go of ill feelings based on history in which I had no part. I will use my voice and direct my efforts toward proactive methods of determining public desires, especially as relates to growth issues, traffic problems and the realistic future of the downtown business district.
MC: Even though this appointment is temporary (five months), I have every intention to have a voice in all issues that come before the city council. Be it land use planning, financing services or come what may, I plan to give the citizens of Keizer my best in affecting and making policy to direct our city and the city manager.
KT: The city’s motto, “Pride, Spirit, Volunteerism,” can be interpreted in different, equally valid, ways. How have those words impacted your life and work?
EB: As to volunteerism, families and individuals are busier today and have far more entertainment available to them at home thanks to the internet and gaming. This spawns a sense of content, meaning that there is less interest in providing effort to improve our city.
As regards spirit, the increase of membership in neighborhood associations is a positive sign, as are internet sites which increase inter-neighborhood communication.
To pride, I have to say that a good deal of the sentiment is the responsibility of the city of Keizer itself. Are we proud of the condition of the southern end of Keizer? Is the spending of city dollars disparate when it comes to geographic location? From the outside looking in, this appears to be the case. If this is not the case, then what can we do as a City government and as citizens of Keizer as a whole to make our entire town have an appealing atmosphere? I believe that there are far more ways to improve southern Keizer that are simply being ignored.
MC: As children we grew up being a part of community volunteerism where the spirit of doing things together and for others created positive outcomes like activities and facilities for children and families. We did not expect “someone else” to do it for us. We participated together for a variety of reasons but we all were pulling in the same direction (perhaps in different ways on occasion) with the greater good for the community the priority. That is what drew Kris and I to Keizer in 1975, brought us back in 1990 and attracted my sister to move here in 2015. The City of Keizer and the many organizations and groups within our community provide us an opportunity to participate at almost any level. The health of where we live is directly related to the level of community participation demonstrated by each of us. I choose to participate to support my community and continue my personal growth and learning.