A promotion to Sergeant, turf grants and substance use statistics

Substance prevention strategies taken from a slide of the presentation from Marion County Health and Human Services representatives

With a full bench present, the Keizer City Council met March 18, in the city council chambers to tackle a variety of topics related to promotions, grants, public hearings and health statistics.

The night began with Stephanie Cross of the Community Diversity Engagement Committee (CDEC) giving a women’s history lesson on how women have been integral members in creating the city of Keizer as it is today. 

She covered both recent and distant history for the Keizer area in an attempt to encourage and inspire women today to continue this legacy of strong women in Keizer. 

Council recognized the promotion of Keizer Police Department Officer Paul Quintero to the rank of Sergeant.

Quintero, 5-year veteran to the department, began as an officer in a reserve capacity, splitting his time between the department and a team leadership position with Nike. 

Colm Willis from the Marion County Board of Commissioners spoke about the upcoming groundbreaking for the turf field at Keizer Rapids Park on Thursday, March 21, as well as his hope to make the field affordable to local entities with interest in using the field.

City Manager Adam Brown briefly spoke about the field, noting that work is expected to be done by this coming August and that plans to make the field available to local interests is already underway.

A presentation was given by the Marion County Health and Human Services in regards to tobacco and substance usage. 

The presentation revolved around sharing information about youth substance use and how interested parties can partner with the Health and Human Services department to aid in reducing these numbers. 

Conor Foley and Diana Dickey, the Marion County Education and Prevention Program coordinators, described a survey that was sent out into the community to gather more information about substance use. 

One highlight was in regards to opioids in that survey respondents reported relatively high levels of worry about opioid abuse though, comparatively, knowledge about the drug was lower. 

Not an uncommon phenomenon, a lack of knowledge about opioids has aided certain misinformation narratives, such as how fentanyl is deadly to the touch, which reduces a communities ability to effectively handle the issue.

Comparatively, the presentation discussed how survey results showed that cannabis causes little concern to respondents though the amount of knowledge reported about cannabis was much higher. 

In regards to tobacco, results presented a much more salient threat. According to data presented at the meeting, tobacco-related death is still the number one cause of preventable death whether at a local, state or national level. 

In Marion County, around 14% of surveyed respondents were smokers. This equals to around 37,000 regular smokers, 17,730 of whom developed a serious illness related to tobacco use and 528 who died from tobacco-related causes. 

Overall, Foley and Dickey referred to a few methods of helping reduce the amount of tobacco and other substance uses in youth populations primarily through education, creating policies such as smoke free parks or other areas, providing positive alternatives and creating community-based initiatives. 

A full copy of the presentation can be found under the meeting minutes for the March 18 council meeting. 

Several committee reports were given by chair of the Planning Commission and Claggett Creek Watershed council Matt Lawyer and Parks Advisory Board member Lisa Cejka. 

Lawyer discussed how his position of chair has been passed to Jeff Anderson who will bring his experience, energy and considerable time to the council, according to Lawyer. 

In regards to the Planning Commission, Lawyer described the March 13 meeting where commission members discussed new text amendments that would allow commission members more say when approving or denying conditional use permits and variances. The goal of these amendments revolve around creating more community engagement in the planning process. 

Cejka discussed the March 12 meeting where members described someone leaving tire tracks in Bob Newton park as well as graffiti in Willamette Manor Park. 

Ken Gierloff from the South East Keizer Neighborhood Association next spoke about the Association’s annual report noting the graffiti in the area, the associations attempt to continue a helmet program for Keizer youth as well as the South East Keizer community center celebrating its 24th consecutive year being open on May 5th of this year.

No public comments were made.

Council began a public hearing to finish the process started at the Feb. 20 council meeting of vacating a portion of a right of way on 15th Avenue in Keizer. 

During a review for a property line adjustment, Public Works staff found an existing fence built in a right of way on 15th Avenue. 

After discussing options for removal, it was determined by city staff to fully remove the fence with the property owner aiding with the $1,000 associated cost, according to the city staff report. 

Two written comments from Rhonda Rich and David and Vickie Hilgemann were noted, both in support of the removal of the fence located within the public right of way. 

Council moved to remove the fence in a motion which passed unanimously. 

The telecommunications company Ziply Fiber Pacific Inc., who currently provides services to other municipalities such as Beaverton, approached council seeking a non-exclusive telecommunications franchise agreement. 

According to city staff documentation, the city could potentially earn 7% of gross revenue the company earns through using Keizer right of way access. The city currently receives $25,000 annually from telecommunications providers. 

City Attorney Joseph Lindsay noted during the meeting that the agreement is more robust than it otherwise would be to ensure the city has leveraging power as there is no official ordinance dictating how utility companies operate here in Keizer, according to Lindsay. 

Council made a motion to prepare an ordinance for Ziply Fiber to be looked at again in the next city council meeting on April 1. Council then approved the motion unanimously. 

The next resolution dealt with allowing City Manager Adam Brown to apply for a grant in order to pay down the rest of the Keizer Rapids turf field, which has a groundbreaking Thursday, March 21. 

The grant would be from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and would help build the restrooms as well as pedestrian, bicycle and handicap parking at the turf field. 

The staff report noted that the original $4 million ($2 million from the city and $2 million from the county) was not sufficient to fully fund the project. 

Parks grants range from $420,000 on average to $1 million at maximum. 

The staff report did not indicate how much more money would be needed to fully fund and finish the building of the turf field and things associated with it. 

Council made a motion to accept the resolution and approved the resolution unanimously. 

Council reviewed the new list of social media policies as it pertains to government employees. 

New policies cover how government officials use their email and social media accounts.

Changes cover things such as all city email systems are city property, emails must be used for city business purposes and all communication made by city officials that connects to public business would be considered public record. 

Council reviewed a resolution to approve the retire/rehire policy as provided by HB 2296 which dictates that the maximum rehire period for retirees would be two years with a limit on accrual caps and paid time off benefits. 

In a survey conducted by Brown of city staff opinions on the retire/rehire policy, results showed that of the (n = 50) respondents, 58% preferred to allow employees to participate in the retire/rehire policy. 

One reason the city is pursuing this policy is its ability to lessen the PERS cost on the city. 

According to staff documentation found in the March 18, meeting minutes, “Under the proposed policy, over the next five years, if all eligible employees participated for the maximum amount of time, the City would save approximately $215,000 by not remitting the employee PERS contribution paid by employer and would pay $1,076,000 towards the overall pension obligation resulting in $1,985,000 in projected savings into the future.”

After discussion, council made a motion to direct staff to bring back a resolution to adopt a retire/rehire policy at a future city council meeting, which was passed unanimously. 

The consent calendar resolution round that council reviewed dealt with a received grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development in order to reimburse staff costs for county-wide scenario planning the city participated in and authorizing Brown to purchase a Ford F150 pickup truck that was damaged last year. 

A supplemental budget adjustment will be proposed at the next City Council meeting to recognize and appropriate the insurance proceeds of approximately $24,100 and to transfer $27,400 from contingency to capital outlay, according to the staff report.

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-105

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