The Keizer City Council came together on Nov. 20, their second monthly regular session, and discussed a variety of topics.
The night began with the awarding of six Keizer police officers the Medal of Valor for their heroic efforts during a shootout and car chase. KPD Chief Andrew Copeland retold the harrowing story and professed his admiration for the officers saying that “as a police officer, you always hope you act like these officers did when the shooting starts.”
After the ceremony, the council approved several community members to positions on the Volunteer Coordinating Committee (VCC), the Community Diversity Engagement Committee (CDEC) as well as appointing a council member to the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA).
Micheal DeBlasi was appointed to position 3 on the VCC with a term ending December 2026. Stephanie Cross, Councilor Kyle Juran’s appointee, and Carrie Brown, Councilor Soraida Cross’s appointee, were appointed to the CDEC. Finally, Councilor Laura Reid was appointed to the board of the MWVCAA as the city of Keizer’s representative.
Committee reports were given from the Parks Advisory Board as well as the Planning Commission. Lisa Cejka gave a parks report detailing how the new plantings that have occurred at Wallace House Park and Claggett Creek Park have helped improve the areas. Cejka also mentioned the proposition for a fence around Ben Miller Park.
Cejka noted that the area’s neighborhood association members did not want the fence.
Planning Commission member Fernando Lopez reported on the public hearing that occurred on Nov. 8 about a request for a major variance for a residence on Dearborn Avenue. The council approved the variance for the applicant, Micheal Le.
Several comments were made by the public including one written comment asking about dealing with graffiti in the area. Planning Director Shane Witham talked about how Keizer Police, code enforcement and public works try to stay on top of the issue as best they can.
The last public comment dealt with the fire levy tax and to thank both the council and the community for passing it. The levy changed the tax rate of $.59 per every $1000 of assessed property value to $.99 of every $1000 of assessed value. This will result in an average of $19 per month per homeowner.
The next order of business dealt with a series of resolutions fo the council to discuss and vote on.
First up was a resolution to adopt different use policies and rates for the Keizer Community Center rooms. The discussion revolved around changes to policies such as charging more for medium and larger rooms as well as changing the name of the center to the Keizer Event Center. The motion was passed unanimously.
A resolution to install a flashing beacon on Alder Drive and Brooks, involved a discussion about the timing and difficulty of installing the signs. Public Works director Bill Lawyer noted that the current ‘23-24 fiscal budget did not portion out funds for installing and that $14,000 would be taken from the capital outlay expense so the signage can be put up. The motion was approved unanimously.
Next, a resolution put forth an effort to clear up confusion around the voting process encountered in a VCC meeting. To help clarify the process, Chair Daisy Hickman, Mayor Cathy Clark, the City Recorder Melissa Bisset and the Deputy City Recorder Dawn Wilson met to review the process and create a new process to vote on prospective volunteer candidates. Changes include eliminating the need for a motion to end the nomination process and allow committee members to vote by hand, voice or written ballot.
The motion was approved unanimously.
The final resolution dealt with authorizing the city manager to enter an amendment for the restated ground lease with the Keizer heritage Foundation.
Discussion about the topic dealt with the city taking over the lease of the grounds for the heritage center. The greatest impact of this amendment will result in more staff-time needed to take over the maintenance which will stretch staff and increase costs incurred by the city.
The next city council regular session is Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.