Be prepared for dog leash law

 Rules and procedures took up most of the Monday, May 1, Keizer City Council meeting. 

After opening with two proclamations by Mayor Cathy Clark the council heard a report from the Traffic- Bikeways-Pedestrian Safety Committee, including issues with traffic speeds on Chemawa Road east of the Verda Lane round-about. A top issue for the traffic committee is a signalized crosswalk on Lockhaven Drive N. at McNary High School. 

Councilor Robert Husseman asked for direction as to the next step in making a crosswalk a reality. City Manager Adam Brown answered that a traffic engineering study needs to be instigated next. 

Judi Liechty, assistant manager of the Keizer Community Food Bank told the council that the number of families being served has increased while food donations have decreased across food pantries. 

“We are spending $2,000 a week on food,” said Liechty. “A year ago we could distribute a big box of food, today, not so much.” She said the food bank is receiving the same amount of food but the demand is up. She added that the food bank also needs donations of boxes. 

The council discussed a resolution requiring councilor liaisons to city committees, commissions and task forces to appear in person. 

“It is important to have councilors in attendance at committee meetings,” said Clark, but she acknowledged that personal lives force changes sometimes. “I love you all, but some things take precedence,” she said. 

The resolution to amend the City Council Rules of Procedure passed on a 5-2 vote, with Councilors Husseman and Reid dissenting. 

Another rule regarding minimum age of appointees to city committees was discussed. The issue was brought to the council after Councilor Husseman named his appointee to the Volunteer Coordinating Committee at a previous council meeting. The appointee is 17-years-old. There was a question if someone under 18 years of age could serve on a city committee. 

Council President Shaney Starr moved that the council interpret current rules and procedures to not allow committee members be less than 18 years of age, unless specified in resolution or ordinance. 

Councilor Laura Reid stated that she didn’t agree with the motion and wouldn’t it, though Councilor Dan Kohler said he agreed with the interpretation as moved. 

The motion passed by a 5-2 vote, with Councilors Husseman and Reid dissenting. 

That vote was followed by a motion, again from Starr, that directed city staff to amend Council Rule and Procedures to state that city committee members be at least 18 years of age, unless otherwise specified by resolution or ordinance, and youth liaisons be between the ages of 15 and 18. 

That motion passed by a 6-1 vote with Husseman dissenting. 

The council discussed a motion that city staff prepare a dog leash ordinance; such an ordinance was discussed at a council wok session in fall of 2022 as a result of citizen complaints about uncontrolled dogs at a city park. 

Monday’s discussion touched on a number of issues such as service dogs, unleashed dogs on private property and dogs on school property. 

Councilor Reid said such a leash ordinance would give Keizer police a tool to address out of control dogs. She also recited dog leash laws from Marion County and the city of Salem. 

The motion passed 5-2 with Councilors Kyle Juran and Kohler in dissent. 

In other business the council authorized City Manager Adam Brown to apply to Paid Leave Oregon to offer the benefits through a private insurance company. 

The council was visited by Keizer’s Distinguished Young Woman, Madison Lietz, and four other candidates for the title. Liertz won the title at the city program on April 29.