Tearful goodbyes and hearty welcomes were the order of the night at the Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Jan. 4.

The council said goodbye to Kim Freeman and Marlene Parsons while Kyle Juran and Ross Day were sworn into their first terms on the council.

Freeman and Parsons delivered prepared speeches before exiting the dais to standing ovations.

“Thanks for electing me to two terms on the council,” said Parsons. “It's not easy, but it can be rewarding. We’ve been told we’re not doing enough, but it’s been a rough year [referring to 2020]. I think we’ve come out of it Keizer strong because that’s what we do,” Parsons said.

Freeman thanked the people who gathered around her as a city councilor in private and public ways.

“I appreciate the pride, spirit and volunteerism of all the residents. The residents step up in droves,” Freeman said. “When you first start out on the council, you have so many questions. Everyone was so patient and they gave me the tools and the resources to make my own decisions.”

Mayor Cathy Clark was sworn into a fourth term as mayor during the meeting and Councilor Laura Reid was sworn into a second term on the council.

The council sidestepped tradition, and adopted council policy, when naming a new council president. Councilor Roland Herrera, who has served the longest continuous term as a city councilor would have been next in line behind Freeman. Councilor Dan Kohler nominated Herrera and Herrera quickly declined. In his place, Councilor Elizabeth Smith was nominated and approved by consent.