By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
City Councilor Amy Ryan has announced she will be seeking a second term on the Keizer City Council.
Ryan was elected to Position 5 on the council in 2014, but said some of the goals she set out to accomplish are still lingering.
“I really prayed about this decision for a long time. There are reasons to do it and not to do it, but I want to be effective and make a difference,” Ryan said. “We’ve done more as a council in four years than I ever imagined possible, but there is still more work to do.”
Approving service fees to create stable funding for parks and police topped the list of accomplishments for Ryan.
“Whether they shared our view or not, people had the information. The transparency of that process is something I’m proud of,” she said.
Ryan was a constant supporter of both fees and took on a leadership role in the effort to get information about the parks fee into residents’ hands, even as it received less vocal support than the one for police services.
The most Herculean task she undertook in her first four years was trying to get a handle on the municipal budget, but she said she feels more comfortable than ever in being a strong voice in budget discussions.
“I had to spend a lot of time with it to really understand everything that is going on. It’s such an opportunity to learn about how everything works together, and I feel like I have a better grasp now than I did when I started,” Ryan said.
Aside from the accomplishments, Ryan said there are other issues she wants to bring to the forefront of the public conscience. First among those is finding a way to incorporate a domestic violence advocate into the Keizer Police Department. Ryan said she has been working closely with Sgt. Andrew Copeland on the matter and took part in ride-alongs with KPD officers twice a year to get a better handle on the need.
“I’ve taken the time to try to understand the department and we occasionally use services provided by Salem Police Department, but I want to see someone working alongside our officers,” she said.
In some ways, her attempts to create space for a domestic violence advocate took a back seat to the larger issues of funding – and now hiring – additional officers, but she can see opportunity on the horizon.
“It could be a volunteer position or there are grants we can apply for,” Ryan said.
Sticking with the public safety theme, Ryan said finding a way to round up more volunteers and stable funding for KPD’s annual BLAST camp is another priority.
The other major issue Ryan hopes to tackle is bringing the city’s various youth athletic organizations together for a Kumbaya session.
“I want to put all the athletics leaders in the same room with Cathy (Clark’s) support to bring people together and make unity happen,” Ryan said. “We have a lot of organizations and not everyone is communicating.
“And I will always be a voice for businesses in Keizer. That was one of the main issues I ran on, but I feel like I’ve become a strong voice for the community overall,” she said.
Voters will determine if Ryan gets another term on the council in November.