The council in 2013

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There will be a changing of the guard at Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting. Three councilors will end their terms, three new members will take their place.

We salute Councilors Mark Caillier, David McKane, and Brandon Smith for their service.  We welcome their replacements Dennis Koho, Ken LeDuc and Marlene Quinn. The out-going councilors became known for their deliberative style, being sure they knew an issue before they voted on it. All three were well-versed in the topics that came before the council and never shied from asking questions.

The three incoming councilors will have to find their own style. They will have to get up to speed on issues they will face in the next few years, and there is no shortage of topics that will garner public opinion.

One of the first issues will be to pass judgment on the report Jacque Moir’s task force submits. Moir, a former city councilor, was tapped by Mayor Lore Christopher to head the group that will devise guidelines for how the city council engages with those who testify before it.

Two issues the new councilors will have to become conversant in quickly are the Urban Renewal District and its Keizer Station LIDs, and Area C development.

It seems there won’t be a shovelful of dirt turned over anytime soon in  the development in Keizer Station’s Area C. Though the city council voted to approved the remands from the Land Use Board of Appeals, that is not the end. The approval of that remand is open to further appeals.

The local improvement district (LID) payments will be front and center as the city decides what the next step is on the two parcels in Keizer Station Area A that are deliquent on their payments.

In some ways it wll be the procedures rather than the outcome that will test the council in 2013. The brouhaha at the December meeting of the Volunteer Coordinating Committee showed that some residents feel the process is preordained, or rigged. Some took their concerns to the last city council meeting of the year last month.

Interested Keizer citizens will be watching how the new councilors deal with the internal politics of committee appointments and how they will respond and interact with those who testify before them.

The best thing for the three new councilors to do is to learn the ins and outs of the issues they’ll be deliberating in the next few months. They should get input from average citizens throughout Keizer. With public input and a grasp of the subject at hand,  the new councilors will be be effective from the start and do what is best for Keizer over all.

—LAZ

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