By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
In its previous meeting, the Keizer City Council turned down a request by the Keizer Chamber to waive public works fees for the upcoming Holiday Lights Parade.
On Monday, Dec. 5, the city council reversed course and voted 6-1 to absorb $1,300 for barricades and staff time by the Keizer Public Works Department to put them up.
Marlene Parsons, who was one of two councilors to change their vote along with Kim Freeman as well as Mayor Cathy Clark, brought up the issue to the council.
All three cited more time to research the issue and the fact that the $1,300 would come out of public works and not the general fund, as reasons for changing their minds.
“This doesn’t impact our general fund,” Freeman said. “Just with some more research I changed my mind. We’ve done it in the past with the other venue that did the parade before. We waived those fees. We really want this event here so if we can help them. I know they decided to do this at the last minute.”
After more thought, Clark determined the parade was a correct use of public works funds.
“I wanted to be absolutely certain that was going to be appropriate use and needed some time to go back and think about it,” she said. “I want to be very careful how all of those funds are expended and make sure they are done in a way that is equitable for all groups concerned so that we would offer the same thing to other organizations should they come and ask us.”
Councilor Amy Ryan delivered the dissenting vote, noting she didn’t receive any additional information from staff or the Chamber to change her mind.
The Chamber also requested $4,000 for police staffing but was unanimously denied at the Nov. 21 meeting. That money would come out of the general fund. The city council did waive $180 to cover the costs of parade coverage on Keizer’s public access cable channel, Keizer 23.
The parade is Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.