Keizerites narrowly reject ballot measure

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By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A ballot measure restricting retail buildings bigger than 65,000 square feet lost by 34 votes, according to final unofficial totals released Tuesday night.

Preliminary returns from Marion County indicate the measure failed 50.2 percent to 49.7 percent. Votes against were 4,042, and 4,008 voted yes.

Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess said Tuesday evening the margin is not close enough to trigger an automatic recount. He said about 26 ballots have “signature issues.”

Miles Eshaia, campaign staffer for Keep Keizer Livable, said his group had run a “great get-out-the-vote campaign.”

Kevin Hohnbaum, a co-founder of Keep Keizer Livable, was disappointed but said he still found the outcome “encouraging.”

“Eight thousand people got up and cared enough about what happens in Keizer to lift their voices,” Hohnbaum said. “That’s good. I’m really encouraged by the number of people who have taken action on one side or the other, woke up and started participating in the process.”

The measure would have restricted retail buildings, possibly including those with multiple tenants, to the currently-developed portion of Keizer Station. Keep Keizer Livable was founded to fight plans for a big box discount grocer at Lockhaven Drive and Chemawa Road NE; however, most experts believe the ballot measure likely wouldn’t have affected the big box application due to the state goalposting statute.

Mayor Lore Christopher, who advocated against the ballot measure, said the election “does not change my commitment to Keizer neighborhoods, and at the same time I am committed to continuing to recruit local jobs for local folks.

“This election was not about voting against our friends and neighbors,” Christopher said. “It was about affirming that there are appropriate and sufficient controls in place to allow for economic development and local jobs for local folks while preserving the fabric of our neighborhoods and the quality of life we all love in Keizer.”

The mayor said she “looks forward to continuing to work with the Keep Keizer Livable group. They are an important part of our collective voice and while I don’t always agree with their statements or perspective, I always appreciate their willingness to join the discussion and influence the final product.”

Regarding the election outcome, “It makes me feel better that I wasn’t out of touch … We’re working folks. That’s who we are as a community and I think these folks really said, ‘We want a discount grocer and we want it locally.’”

Some took to the Keizertimes Facebook page to celebrate or vent frustration.

“This is devastating for where we live,” said Alicia Self. “Way too close to home!”

“It’s a big win for competition and America!” said Siddartha Priest. “Unions kill business and destroy the American dream!”

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19 Responses for “Keizerites narrowly reject ballot measure”

  1. Pat says:

    So the City did listen to the people?! A victory for private property rights and common sense.

  2. Jim Dufour says:

    I am amazed and very happy! I figured with all the signs and money the yes people spent they would pass it. How long till they tell us who will be there?

  3. GH says:

    I’m glad this passed. No where does it say “wal mart” yes, it will be bad if it’s a Wal Mart, but what if it’s a good company that decides to build? We already have a Target and Lowes, why not allow other people to open up?
    It would be Nazi like to not allow a store to open, even if all it does is create low paying minimum wage jobs.

  4. Dustyn says:

    So glad it failed! Everyone was all for Keizer station and now is trying to kill it. Growth is not a bad thing. Also with the economy the way it’s jobs are a great thing for people of Keizer.

  5. Teresa says:

    I hope we get a WINCO. This was really an example of how every vote counts.

  6. David Steele says:

    Wake up people. Just because it may seem convenient for a cheap grocer does not mean its good for keizer. We have 3 grocery stores and several cheap grocery stores just a few miles away. If it is a walmart then say goodbye to keizer small buisness and Kiezer station buisnesses. And oh yeah how about filling up all the empty locations in Keizer station first. Anyone see the BIG empty building that was Curciut City.

  7. Marty says:

    Not everyone was for Keizer Station.

    Keizer Station was drveloped by the same City/developer team that is involved with Area ‘C’ development.

    When a big box retailer is constructed in Area ‘C’, there is no guarantee that Keizerites will be targeted for employment. Kiezer’s benefit from employment may be smaller than we think. I certainly hope not.

  8. jerom says:

    OMG! I guess I should have read the fine print. I thought I was voting for “No Walmart”. You should have made the ballot more clear. Voting Yes on something you don’t want is very confusing.

  9. Stephanie says:

    The Big Empty building that was Circuit City has been given to the Keizer Soccer Club to use for their indoor soccer program, Futsal.

    I will say this like I told my grandmother and she agreed too. If you have been going to the same grocery store for years and years why would you go to a Wal-Mart that sells some things cheaper but some things more expensive like meat. I will be still shopping at the Keizer Safeway because they have better sells on meat than Wal-Mart.

    Like someone said we do not even know if it will be a Wal-Mart. Just because it has a garden center does not mean it is a Wal-Mart.

    Fred Meyer and some other chains have garden centers too.

    I hope that we get a WINCO or a COSTCO. We need a WINCO in Keizer. I spend way to much gas driving out to Southeast Lancaster Dr. and out South Commercial to go to WINCO to get somethings that are cheaper than Keizer Saefway sells them for but I divide my shopping equally between those places though.

  10. scum bag says:

    All this will do is con-jest our streets and encourage more scum bag to move in! Look at how congested Verda already is and all those empty homes….ha, don’t expect them to be filled by more than scum and drug dealers. Keizer is selling out their community to money and greed.

  11. jerom says:

    Um, Stephanie, you may wanna re-read what you said…”I will be still shopping at the Keizer Safeway” and then you say you want a WINCO because it is cheaper than Safeway. So what are you saying?

  12. Joe says:

    Being a scum bag drug dealer I am so happy wal mart is here now I can sell drugs in Keizer. Before this Keizer had no drug dealers or bad areas. Clearview is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Keizer very high class. I imagine soon I will be able to sell enough drugs to move to one of the nice little cities like St Paul! Poor Keizer about to be drug ridden just like salem.

  13. Nicorette says:

    I voted yes becuze somebody nocked my door and said if i didnt vote yes it would hurt the unions and now i find out that voting yes was against the walmart.
    i want my vote back i wanted to vote no and that was just sneeky
    ishop at lancaster walmart and everyone there is so friendly and nice and they got low prices and now i can shop at keizer walmart.

  14. brody says:

    Crap. I didn’t realize till I dropped off the ballot that voting Yes meant No and vice versa. That was very misleading. I really meant I didn’t want the big chain stores and yet my ballot says otherwise. I wonder how many others made that mistake.

  15. stephanie says:

    This is crap this ballot was so misleading. The city’s attorney sure did a good job to confuse the people of Keizer. I think the ballot should be re- printed so it can be understood! !! I would bet money that it would be shot down BIG TIME! Sad to say Keizer is going to go down hill. Ill be moving if a wal-mart moves in. Thanks Keizer council you suck!

  16. Teresa says:

    I can’t believe all of the moaning about the way the measure was worded. It was very clear if you would just have read what you were voting on. There was no confusion there. Yes meant they should restrict big box stores and no meant they should not.

  17. Stacy says:

    It will be a Walmart. Don’t be fooled by the lack of information on who it will be. Walmart never announces in advance because of fear of picketers which have been successful at running off Walmarts in the past. Has anyone seen Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices? You can rent it on Netflix. It is interesting because it was not from a liberal perspective, but rather focuses on the small business that were run out of town including a local hardware store and a gun store. It should be required viewing for all of the City Council members! I was really hoping that with all of the Keizer Renaissance projects and art installations that Keizer cared more about projecting a classy image, and cared more about it’s local small businesses. Disappointing!

  18. mari sharp says:

    Hello Walmart — can’t wait. Say “Good-bye” True Value, Target and other local stores, and a big “Hello” to a boost in minimum wage jobs and cheap china imports! I’ll be saving a pretty penny, but adding a bastardy buck to the megamanagement of this wonderful “trickle down” monopoly!
    I have always avoided this monstrosity of a market, but if this is what Keizer wants–I’ll travel to Portland for my shopping, anything local that i may I need I will go directly to the Keizer Walmart when it opens — I will not shop at any local Keizer stores again–ever, once this big box opens.
    Hooray for Keizer, maybe we can open a few more indoor soccer fields!

  19. Roger says:

    Mari and Stacy,
    It is a free market. Target is a local store and wal mart is bad. Safeway is a local store? Albertson’s is a local store? Roth’s is local. I am assuming they pay double their part time employees health care and $15 per hour. I am sorry but the argument is better suited for another country. You may like China where the free market doesn’t apply and the government chooses businesses. If these local stores have a value people will continue to patronize them. I pay double for many products because I like the company or the person owning it. Unfortunately for Keizer I have no allegiance to where I buy my food. I prefer to bag it myself and do not care if the clerk knows my name. I shop strictly on price. Other people want this and will continue to go to places that perform these services. I perfer for all businesses to have their chance to succeed and competition is good. Perhaps no one will work for Wal mart if they are a horrible employer. Till then support the businesses you seem fit and let other people have the same freedom.

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