With a combined 16 years on the Keizer City Council, Kim Freeman and Marlene Parsons attended that last session on Monday, Dec. 21, before they turn their seats over to thei successors on January 4.
Freeman was appointed to the council in June 2013 to succeed Ken LeDuc, who resigned. Her selection by councilors transformed the body into a female majority, the first time in the city’s history.
A long-time community volunteer, Freeman brought her common sense approach to the council. Once she found her footing Freeman was not only a cheerleader for the city but an advocate for those who needed a voice in government. She always strived for fairness in any policy the council discussed. Businesses, schools and families knew they had a champion in Freeman.
Kim Freeman ends her tenure as president of the city council, a position she took seriously and performed well. Her level-headed input will be missed on the council.
Marlene Parsons has been a straight-shooter during her time on the council. Her experience in the military and in business did her well on the issues that faced the council during her two terms.
The public was well-served by Parson’s unapologetic need to know all the data on whatever issue that came up, be it parks, policing, infrastructure and especially the recently approved Statement of Values.
Every councilor receives some pushback from the public, depending on the issue. Parsons listened intently to the opinions of her constituents and made the decison she knew was right for Keizer.
The Keizer city council has always been comprised of our friends and neighbors; very few have been politicans in the traditional sense. Many politicians think about the next rung, most Keizer city councilors do not—they serve their city and their fellow residents out of a desire to make their home better. Self-aggrandizement is not the name of the game.
Neither Freeman nor Parsons sought a seat on the council to round our their resumes, to see their names in the newspaper or have a street named after them. Like dozens of people who preceded them on the council, they saw a way to serve and they did.
After they step down at the first council meeting of 2021 in January, Kim Freeman and Marlene Parsons can be proud of their accomplishments and their leadership for the citizens of Keizer. There will be projects throughout the community in the coming years that can use their expertise. They may be stepping down but we encourage them not to step away.
Thank you for your service Kim Freeman and Marlene Parsons.