Why I’m running as a write-in candidate

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GUEST COLUMN
By BRANDON SMITH

Much has changed in Keizer over the last five years.  In the midst of a recession, the citizens and leadership of Keizer have worked together to positively impact the community in numerous ways.  We have a beautiful new civic center, an amphitheater for public performances, new events like Good Vibrations and the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade, and a public art program.  Due to conservative policies, our budget and economic forecast is in far better shape than many other cities in the region.  Best of all, we continue to enjoy the lowest tax rate of any full-service city in Oregon.   I have proudly served as your city councilor since September 2007, almost as long as my opponent has lived in Keizer.

The coming years hold tremendous opportunities for our city.  Further development of Keizer Station will provide property tax revenue, jobs, and new shopping and dining opportunities for Keizer residents as well as those passing through.  As we move through Periodic Review, the opportunity to evaluate an urban growth boundary expansion will be discussed.  This issue, like every major issue impacting our community, will include vigorous discussion and reasonable people will disagree.  I’m confident in the end the right path forward will present itself.  I’m tremendously optimistic about our future!

My opponent, Mr. Ken LeDuc, adopted the campaign slogan “respectful leadership.” However, his past actions have not lived up to any reasonable standard of respectable.  A couple of examples of concerns that have been expressed to me: at the July 11, 2011 City Council meeting, Mr. LeDuc stated “We need to stop the outside communication of opinions from certain Park Board members I’m going to call out tonight.”  He did not call out anyone, but later told me the name of the volunteer on the Parks Board he was referring to.  These volunteers are some of the hardest-working, most respected members of our community.  Do we really want to ask citizens who volunteer on advisory committees to keep their viewpoints to themselves?  I value the opinions of all members who volunteer their time and energy.

Following the October 1, 2012 council meeting (video available at www.keizertv.com), many people contacted me, urging that I reconsider my earlier decision against running for reelection.  I’ve received a tremendous outpouring of support from those who believe I am better suited in temperament and experience to represent the citizens of Keizer.  I am humbled by their support and efforts.  Together, we can continue to solve our problems and embrace our opportunities as we always have, by truly being open and working together.  I don’t have a catchy campaign slogan; what I do have is a promise to continue the same commitment to all of Keizer in a thoughtful and honest and civil manner.

Please remember to vote and write in Brandon Smith in city counci position #2.

Brandon Smith lives in Keizer. He can be reached at brasmi@gmail.com or at Councilor Brandon Smith on Facebook.

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