Charter review group will grow by 2

A planned City Charter Review Committee will be expanded to nine people and any city resident will be eligible to serve, not just registered voters. 

The Keizer City Council voted 6-1 to expand the committee and the requirements to serve on it at a meeting Monday, July 15. 

Councilors considered two options: directly appointing a single member to the committee or adding two new positions for the Keizer Volunteer Coordinating Committee (VCC) to fill. The council didn’t deliberate on the issue before casting their votes, but it held an hour-long work session on the topic a week prior. Councilor Dan Kohler was the only dissenter. 

The decision to expand the committee arose out of a June meeting of the VCC. A Keizer resident who is not yet a U.S. citizen applied to serve on the committee, and was denied by the members of the VCC despite being “the most prepared … very articulate, and who has a unique perspective of being in the process of obtaining U.S. citizenship.” That assessment was included in an email from Mayor Cathy Clark, who heard about what transpired through her appointee to the VCC, Daisy Hickman. The council had established that only registered voters, and thereby U.S. citizens, could serve on the committee. 

During the work session councilors had leaned toward the option that passed Monday, but Kohler said he had talked with constituents that felt being a registered voter was a reasonable requirement. 

“Electors have skin in the game, and that was something I heard from a lot of people,” Kohler said last week. 

The VCC is expected to consider additional appointments to the charter review committee at its August 15 meeting. Volunteer applications are available at or in person at the Keizer Civic Center. Applications need to be received by Aug. 7 at 5 p.m.