Keizer’s longest serving city attorney, cost of living increases and its potential new mission statement 

The night began with a standing ovation and special recognition for former City Attorney Shannon Johnson for his 39 years of service to the city of Keizer at the Feb. 20 city council meeting. 

Councilors were given a chance to muse on their relationship and time with Johnson with all recollecting amicable memories of the hardworking city attorney, the wealth of knowledge about the city he possesses as well as his willingness to serve the city in any capacity he can. 

City Manager Adam Brown discussed creating a new city mission statement. The new proposed statement is as follows: 

“We provide excellent city services to support quality of life, safety and community for all.” 

Brown described how the new statement was created based on the nearly thousand people who have engaged with the strategic plan survey so far. 

Councilor Cross did not support the statement change while Councilors Reid and Husseman spoke highly of it. 

Councilor Kohler motioned to move the discussion of the city’s mission statement to a future work session which was approved 

The council swore in the newest member of the Keizer Police Department, Koda. Sworn in by Johnson, Koda will begin her work as the emotional support animal for the department and will be working to help the officers as well as the victims of crimes. 

There were no in-person public comments. 

There was one write-in comment, signed by 14 Keizer citizens, that dealt with ensuring the city attorney was on-board with “quality-of-life policing,” otherwise known as “broken windows” policing, and its enforcement. 

The council held a hearing about the non-represented employee survey results as well as the financial impact of adjustments to be made to employee cost of living payments. 

Overall, the adjustments will cost $145,000 with the city requiring a supplemental budget to be created with appropriations taken from the general fund ($110,000), as well as the Administrative Services fund for the city attorney ($28,000), the Stormwater Fund ($2,400), the Administrative Services fund for the city recorder ($2,100) and the Event center fund ($2,000). 

The council moved to adopt the resolution to increase non-represented employees cost of living adjustments for 2024 by 4-2, with Councilors Cross and Kohler voting no. 

Cross explained that her goal was to try and meet in the middle in regards to the cost of living adjustment increases as the proposed budget the city has made does not account for the money it is now promising to spend, according to Cross. 

Human Resources director Machell DePina described how cost of living (COLA) increases for non-represented personnel survey was started before the COVID pandemic but was waylaid soon after it started. 

The city used similar-sized municipalities as a basis for what that COLA increase should look like, though Keizer still offers at least 1-2% less than what other cities have given employees, according to DePina. 

The council held another public hearing to determine the renewal of OLCC licenses for businesses in Keizer. 

It was determined that there were no outstanding issues for licenses of Keizer businesses needing renewal. 

West Keizer Neighborhood Association leaders Rhonda Rich and Carol Doerfler presented the council with a sequentially ordered report about the various meetings the WKNA held or attended in 2023. 

A full catalog of these meeting notes can be found at 

The council proceeded onto a lightning round of administrative actions. 

The first dealt with the vacation process for a portion of property on 15th Avenue North. During a review of property lines within the city, staff found a fence existing within a public right of way. 

The city has determined to vacate the area of the fence with the fence owner agreeing to paying the fee, which is up to $1,000. The council will hold a public hearing on the matter at a future date. 

The council next looked at a series of fee waivers for the Keizer Event center for the State of the City luncheon on March 12, a graduation for the Joys of Living service dogs on Apr. 20, an upcoming auction held by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce on May 2 and a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Marion County luncheon to be held on Oct. 10. 

The council moved to unanimously approve all waiver requests for those seeking to use the Keizer Event Center. 

The resolution for a partition and major variance for the property at 527 Dearborn Ave was brought up with the council reviewing the resolution as well as what is required of the owners to complete the project. 

The council moved to approve the application and unanimously adopted the motion. 

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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