Our choices for Keizer City Council

Six thoughtful candidates, each with a desire to serve their community at the highest grassroots level are competing for seats on the city council this year. Keizerites should make sure to include votes for city council positions on their ballots in 2020.

As a former Speaker of the U.S. House said, “All politics is local.” Many decisions that affect our daily lives are made at the council level. It is satisfying to have six candidates want to be part of how Keizer operates now and into the future.

For City Council Position 1, one-term incumbent Laura Reid is being challenged by Michael De Blasi, his second run at a council seat. Both candidates are eminently qualified to represent citizens on the council. Reid has four years of service behind her, time in which she has come to understand the myriad of issues council members deliberate and vote upon. Her tenure as a teacher at McNary High School has kept her finger on the pulse of our community’s youth, the leaders of tomorrow. 

Michael “Mike” De Blasi has public service experience as a member of the Keizer Planning Commission, the Traffic Safety, Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee and the Stormwater Advisory Committee—three groups that have intimate effect on every household in Keizer. 

His campaign platform addresses issues ranging from COVID-19 recovery to inclusivity to housing affordability to workforce training. He has an impressive grasp on the things that are important to residents.

De Blasi is a faithful volunteer for the city and his voice and perspectives are ones all of Keizer needs to consider. 

But, in what has already been a raucous and chaotic year, Reid is a voice of common sense and knowledge. Her first term will inform the second and, with this endorsement, we expect her to be a more prominent voice in the next four years. 

For Position 1, we recommend Laura Reid. 

The race for City Council Position 2 is between Dylan Juran and Ross Day.

Dylan Juran, a Keizer native and McNary High School graduate, brings a fresh face to city politics, and he has served on the Keizer Parks Advisory Board for five years. In his role as a city volunteer, he’s learned the persistence it takes to see change through to fruition and knows precisely how frustrating the city’s finances can be.

Dylan is well-versed in technology, both as a trainer and a technician. As a councilor he would push to improve Keizer’s technological infrastructure as the city moves further into the 21st century, which will be more cyber-based. 

Ross Day, a local attorney, has served on the Keizer Planning Commission in the past. He has worked on land use and real estates issues, issues that will be important as the city continues to grapple with questions of how and where to develop growth in Keizer. 

Regarding any expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary to the north of the city, Day is concerned about the infrastructure needed to support new homes and businesses, especially the cost, and could be a good steward of the city’s finances.

While qualified on paper, Day has an unsettling past. One that involves allegations of, and settlement of, a sexual harassment lawsuit, fighting against rights for LGBTQ+ Oregonians, and a recent suspension from the Oregon State Bar for failing to disclose a conflict of interest. 

Dylan Juran is right choice in Position 2 for Keizer and its future.

The campaigns for city council are rounded out by the race for Position 3 between Michele Roland-Schwartz and Kyle Juran, father of Position 2 candidate Dylan Juran.

Roland-Schwartz is currently executive director of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force, which takes her to all corners of the state and compels difficult conversations with all manner of people. Closer to home, she has been involved with the public art commission in Keizer and her local PTA. 

Supporters cite her empathic approach to her work and community service. Roland-Schwartz would bring that trait to service on the city council, helping people feel at ease dealing with government.

(This paragraph is updated from the version that appeared in the paper) Kyle Juran is the longtime owner of Remodeling by Classic Homes, with an office on River Road North. Before that, he was a partner with his father in a different iteration of the same business. He served six years on the Keizer Planning Commission and has been a board member of the Keizer Chamber of Commerce for more than five years.

Juran is a quiet doer. He doesn’t seek the spotlight; he just pitches in wherever help is needed in the community. His philanthropic work includes building and raffling off a playhouse with all the professional touches of a real house. This work and resulting raffle funds have benefited local non-profit organizations. He advocates for growth in a smart manner.

We recommend Michele Roland-Schwartz for Position 3. 

Juran is a worthy candidate, but Roland-Schwartz is the councilor Keizer needs now. In recent weeks, sitting councilors have raised the ire of residents by refusing to adopt an inclusion resolution, but that’s only one symptom of a council that seems to have forgotten how to strive to do more than the bare minimum. Roland-Schwartz has the demonstrated skills to meet and guide the city through the challenging times still ahead. 

– The Editorial Board