City Council welcomes new members

Two retirements, two new faces and a change in the Keizer City Council presidency highlighted the council meeting of Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Soraida Cross succeeded Roland Herrera in Position No. 4, Robert Husseman succeeded Elizabeth Smith in Position No. 5, and Mayor Cathy Clark and Councilor Daniel Kohler were sworn in for their new terms. Councilor Shaney Starr was elected council president to succeed Smith.

Cross, who ran unopposed, is a court-appointed special advocate, a board member of the Salem YMCA, and is involved with the hospitality program at the Career Technical Education Center and Travel Salem. Her career is in the hospitality industry, and she is general manager of the Phoenix Inn in south Salem.

Husseman, who also was unopposed, has lived in Keizer since he was 6 years old. He is a supply chain analyst for Nike, Inc. He was one of six valedictorians in the McNary High School class of 2006 and holds a master of business administration (MBA) degree from Willamette University.

Reading a proclamation honoring Herrera, Clark noted he had served Keizer in many capacities, including founding member of Latino Action Committee, League of Oregon Cities board of directors, founding member of the League of Oregon Cities People of Color caucus, Marion County Public Safety Coordinating Council, Keizer Budget Committee, and Keizer Parks Advisory Board. 

“I just want to thank everybody for the support they have given through the years,” Herrera said.  “I’ve had my ups and downs, but I’ve always owned up to my mistakes. Some of the things we’ve accomplished have been tremendous. I will miss this in a way. People will knight you, and they’ll goodnight you.”

Clark said Smith “has been there under some incredibly difficult times — fires, losing her own home in Detroit, helping bring communities together under difficult circumstances with a great deal of guts, determination, humor and smarts.” 

Where volunteerism is not a motto; it’s how we live.

Cathy Clark , mayor

Smith’s capacities, the mayor noted, included Keizer Charter Review Committee, Keizer Budget Committee, Keizer Long-Range Planning Task Force, Keizer Public Arts Commission, and emergency management communications regional support.

“I just want to thank the Keizer community and the entire Keizer staff,” Smith said. She told the story of the newly married wife who sliced off both ends of a pot roast. When her husband asked her why she did it, she said because her mother always did. Then came the same questions to her mother and grandmother, who had the same answer, and finally her great-grandmother, who said she had to do it to fit the roast into the pot.

“Don’t forget to buy a new pan,” Smith said, “because there’s always a new world. Be proactive.”

City Attorney Shannon Johnson then administered the oath of office to the incoming councilors.  Then he swore in Kohler and Clark for new terms in their respective offices.

“I look forward to another two years of the opportunity to help Keizer be absolutely a rock star in the Willamette Valley,” Clark said. “Where volunteerism is not a motto; it’s how we live.”

Starr was then unanimously elected council president.  The mayor’s appointments of councilors to boards, commissions and council committees followed:

  • Keizer 40th birthday celebration: Kohler and Laura Reid
  • Public Arts Commission: Reid
  • Audit Committee: Kohler, Husseman and Starr
  • Budget Committee:  all members
  • Parks and Recreation Advisory Board: Kohler
  • Planning Commission: Kyle Juran
  • Personnel Policy committee: Clark, Reid and Starr
  • Long-Range Planning Taskforce: all members
  • Municipal Judge Evaluation for 2023: Clark, Husseman
  • Municipal Judge Evaluation for 2024: Cross, Starr
  • Stormwater Advisory Committee, Reid, Kohler, Juran
  • Traffic Safety Bike Committee: Husseman
  • Community Diverse Engagement Committee: Reid, Starr
  • Neighborhood Liaisons: Two councilors to each
  • Claggett Creek Watershed Council: Kohler
  • Community Business Education Leaders Taskforce: Starr, Kohler
  • Keizer Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors: Cross
  • Keizer Community Library Board of Directors: Starr
  • Keizer Heritage Foundation Board of Directors: Reid
  • Keizer United: Kohler
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments Board of Directors: Clark
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Economic Partnership Board: Juran
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance Board and ORS 190 Board: Clark, with Starr as alternate
  • Salem Wastewater Taskforce: no immediate appointment, meetings infrequent
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Commission on Transportation: Clark, with Husseman as alternate
  • Salem-Keizer Area Transportation Study: Clark, with Husseman as alternate

In other business, the council amended the rules of conduct on city property, deleting the exception for specific rules for designated real property the city owns or has property management responsibilities.