Mayor Cathy Clark has been delivering her annual State of the City speech before various Keizer groups this month, culminating with an address before the Keizer Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, March 15. 

The theme of her address was that though Keizer has faced challenges over the past year, the city is doing just fine. Due to more than $8 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), our city will be able to address some pressing projects, that will relieve financial stress on the general fund budget. Last month the city council earmarked more than $1 million of those funds that will include upgrades to an important city water well, ADA-compliant street ramps and cybersecurity improvements.

The mayor cited the hard work by the council and city staff to carefully plan for the needs of the city and continuing to be good stewards of Keizer’s budget. Clark said that it was due to the development of a working plan that the city’s needs will be met. It is the old must-haves versus wants discussion—paying for what is vital as opposed to paying for things it would be nice to fund.

Highlighted in the speech was the result of the police and parks fees that were added to the city water bills a few years ago. The added park fee helped fund Keizer’s response to the damage done after last year’s devasting ice storm. Keizer Police has 42 officers on the job, a direct result of the police fee.

Cathy Clark chairs the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance and spoke of the work being conducted, including the important job of gathering data needed to address the issue of homelessness region wide. 

Mayor Clark is never stingy when it comes to offering kudos to all the government officials, agencies and volunteers who work each day to make life easier for those in our area who are in need. It would be hard to find another elected official who advocates for those in our community who need assistance, than Cathy Clark.

One of the mayor’s favorite expressions is Hashtag Keizer shows up. Keizer shows up to volunteer, to donate, to support, to get involved. Right back at you, Madame Mayor. You always show up, for that the residents of Keizer are grateful.       — LAZ