Councilor Ross Day (left) and Councilor Kyle Juran during a Sept. 7 Keizer City Council meeting. (KEIZERTIMES/Joey Cappelletti)

Councilor Ross Day kicked off the public comment section of Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting by apologizing to citizens, city staff and the city council for his actions at last week’s special session meeting. Day said that he holds himself to “a very high standard” and that he “fell well short of that standard,” at the meeting. 

At last week’s special session, city councilor’s met with Gary Milliman of The Prothman Company for the first time to discuss the search for a new city manager. 

Day has continuously criticized city staff for the hiring of The Prothman Company in a selection process that he previously described as “shoddy work” and “embarrassing.”

The back and forth debates at council meetings surrounding the city manager search have caused delays in the search and meetings that Councilor Laura Reid has described as “dysfunctional.”

Day’s criticism of city staff continued at the Sept. 27 meeting when he discovered that the city manager had sent a profile of an ideal city manager candidate to Prothman without consulting councilors first. 

“This process has just been . . . it has been so bad. And this is an example. Just another example,” said Day.

Hare responded by saying, the profile that was submitted “is basically a placeholder.” Hare continued to say that a follow up memo that was sent to Day specifically said “each councilor will have the chance to express some of the attributes that are most important to them in the city manager. Council Day, for example, mentioned that he doesn’t want to limit candidates to people with Master of Public Administrations.’” 

“I don’t know how to respond more clearly than that. I’m not trying to direct, I don’t care what you want. It’s your choice not mine,” Hare said. 

At the Oct. 4 meeting, Day said that he didn’t mean any “disrespect” and that he was wrong and can only “promise to do better in the future.”

Day said that he had met with Hare and apologized for his actions. 

Mayor Cathy Clark and Councilor Roland Herrera each verbally expressed their appreciation for Day’s apology. Hare was not present at the meeting.

Newly hired Keizer Police Officer Nate Smith was also sworn into office by City Attorney Shannon Johnson at the meeting. Smith has been an officer for five and a half years, most recently working for the Woodburn Police Department. Smith was officially hired for the Keizer Police Department on Sept. 13.

News tip? Contact reporter Joey Cappelletti at [email protected] or 616-610-3093.