EDITORIAL: Owning the future

The future belongs to those who plan for it. The City of Keizer wants to own its future with the input of the community.

A draft of a Strategic Plan for the Future of the City of Keizer will be in the spotlight at a city council work session on Monday, Dec. 11. The draft is the result of 10 months of outreach to community members and organizations, led by SSW Consulting of Lake Oswego.

Every two years, Keizer’s city council lays out its short- and long-term goals for itself. With the Strategic Plan, the council and the city want to look ahead and set up steps to achieve goals to retain the city’s livability.

A guiding principle was inclusive engagement with the community to ensure the final document reflects its needs and priorities over the next five years. Input from residents, the education community, city council and city staff was collected to get as many perspectives as possible. 

The council’s work session on Dec. 11 is open to the public. We encourage community members to attend to discover the thinking of the current council on the future of their city.

The 30-page draft will offer the council plenty to discuss. There are 58 action items in six listed goals for implementation by 2028. The council hopes to adopt the plan at the Dec. 18 regular session.

The goals include promoting a safe and healthy community, developing transportation infrastructure, align resources with policies to support a thriving economy, strenghten communications and relationshps within the community, planning and investing to foster sustainable growth and promoting a stable city organization to meet the needs of the growing city.

Those are six lofty goals, some of which echo those of previous plans for the city in years past (remember Keizer Compass?). There are goals and then there are wishes. Though the strategic plan was developed with community members, there are households whose opinions are not part of the plan. That’s why it is important for community members who will be affected by any approved action items get involved, either by attending the Dec. 11 work session or the Dec. 18 regular council session when the plan is expected to be adopted.

The City of Keizer does a commendable job of informing residents on projects such as the Strategic Plan but the community has to meet them halfway by visiting the city’s website or actually reading mailings. Not all unsolicited mail is junk.

By visiting keizer.org and reading the draft of the strategic plan, people in the community, who were not part of the initial outreach, can inform themselves. 

It is good the city is looking to the future and crafting a plan for specific steps to continue to make Keizer a preferred place to live and do business.

We have been here before and we caution the council and city leaders to not let this Strategic Plan languish on a shelf somewhere in city hall.

The future belongs to those who plan for it and implement those plans.