Woodard joins as youth councilor for 2023
By LYNDON ZAITZ
Of the Keizertimes
The first post-summer Keizer City Council meeting saw a full dais including a new youth councilor.
The council voted 6-1 to add a flashing speed sign at the corner of Alder Drive NE and Brooks Ave. NE, an intersection that nearby residents have complained about speed and the safety of school-bound children.
Councilor Robert Husseman was the only dissenting vote.
The flashing sign will alert drivers to their speed. The posted speed on Alder Drive is 25 miles per hour. The street is a path to Claggett Creek Middle and Weddle Elementary schools, as well as Ben Miller Family Park.
The council discussed how to use a $15,000 Community Prosperity Initiative Grant from Marion County. Options included upgrades to the Conference Center including new chairs, screens and the sound system; additional funds for the Keizer Rapids Park turf field project; and, extend electrical power to the south side of the park for future use by KeizerFEST. The council voted unanimously to direct city staff to develop a resolution to use the money to expand electricity at the park.
“Expansion of electrical at Keizer Rapids will benefit all who use the park,” said Mayor Cathy Clark.
The issue of special event permitting was discussed. City staff presented an updated ordinance after a lengthy council meeting in August.
Rhonda Rich, president of the West Keizer Neighborhood Association, addressed the council on specific points in the proposed ordinance.
“I’m hopeful it will give guidelines for future large events,” she said. “It’s important to reach out to affected areas.” She noted it is a challenge to reach out to households. “We urge residents to attend meetings,” she added.
The ordinance outlines the permitting process for regulating parades, special events and temporary closure of streets for block parties. The impetus of revising the ordinance is the Miracle of Lights Christmas display in the Gubser neighborhood.
Of concern by some councilors is the billing of overtime for the city, especially for police. Councilor Soraida Cross was adamant that applicants are made aware of possible charges for overtime hours used by city staff, including police personnel.
The new ordinance mandates that permit applicants give notice to any neighborhood or homeowners associations of a planned event that would affect the area, especially traffic over many days.
The ordinance was passed on a 4-3 vote. Councilors Cross, Daniel Kohler and Kyle Juran were dissenting votes.
In other action the council approved a resolution granting consent for an artificial turf field at Volcanoes Stadium. The lease with the city stipulates that the stadium owners must be consent from the city for any major renovations.
New youth councilor Grayton Woodard was introduced. The McNary High School senior was appointed by the council after being recommended by the Volunteer Coordinating Committee.
Woodard is enrolled in numerous AP classes and hopes to further his education at either the University of Washington or the University of Oregon.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 18.
Contact Lyndon Zaitz:
[email protected] or 503-390-1051
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