There are elections for mayor and three city councilors next month. All but one of the four races have candidates running unopposed. That has been the trend in the city for the past several election cycles.

The one contested race is for the council seat currently held by Mark Caillier, who was appointed to the post this summer to fill a vacancy left by Dennis Koho’s resignation. Caillier is not seeking a full term.

Keizer city government’s only contested race is between Laura Reid, a McNary High School teacher and Allen Barker, a retired businessman and member of the Keizer Budget Committee. It has been a quiet, courteous race thus far; there is no hot-button Keizer issue that is getting the candidates—let alone voters—riled up. Yet, we remind Keizer voters that every election is important.

Neither Barker nor Reid are politicans, they are citizens who see an opportunity to affect the future of Keizer.

We laud citizens who give their time and expertise to serve on commissions, boards and task forces in their community, especially those who put their names on a ballot for a post that pays no money and takes a hefty amount of time for reading reports and attending meetings that are key to setting policy for Keizer.

The immediate issue the council will face in 2017 is funding two areas that are essential to the Keizer way of life: public safety and public parks. Many are angry when mandated expenditures take money that they want used to add a few police officers or maintain our parks.

Laura Reid supports sustainable funding for the parks and is hopeful that community involvement will help maintain parks and she is amendable to a bond measure to operate them. She thinks Keizer Police Dept. is doing a fantastic job and they are doing well with community relations and safety.

Allen Barker thinks that police are more necessary than parks. He says that adding police officers will relieve stress on the current roster of active cops.

Barker and Reid both want to attract more business to Keizer, especially on River Road. Barker favors mixed used development on the city’s main thoroughfare, Reid would like to see more office space.

Engaging the public in city matters is important to both candidates. Barker would like the city to have a phone app for citizens to give their feedback on any issue. Reid says it is important to go where the people are who don’t generally step forward or get involved to better understand their perspectives.

Though evenly matched on issues, we endorse Laura Reid for city council position #1.

She will bring important aspects to the council: she works with our children every day as a teacher. She wants to be a voice not a rubberstamp—that’s important regarding the issues the city will face in the next four years.

By electing Reid to the city council Keizer wins: it will get a new voice on the council and Allan Barker will remain on the Keizer Budget Committee where his knowledge and experience will be an important voice.