Changing of the guard

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Ken LeDuc (right) took his oath and officially joined the Keizer City Council Monday evening. At his request, LeDuc took the oath with family members behind him, including a grandson ready for duty. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Ken LeDuc (right) took his oath and officially joined the Keizer City Council Monday evening. At his request, LeDuc took the oath with family members behind him, including a grandson ready for duty. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

It was out with the old, in with the new at Monday’s Keizer City Council meeting.

Most of the old, anyway.

Three councilors formally stepped down Monday, while three new councilors took the oath to begin their four-year terms. Mayor Lore Christopher also took the oath to begin her seventh two-year term.

Noticeable in his absence was outgoing councilor David McKane, whom Christopher defeated in November.

“Councilor McKane is excused,” Christopher said at the start of the meeting. “He’s out of state.”

Councilor Cathy Clark later noted McKane was visiting family but sent an e-mail wishing everyone the best of luck.

Brandon Smith and Mark Caillier were on hand to give their formal good-byes, though neither will be going far. Caillier was appointed by Christopher to be her representative to the Volunteer Coordinating Committee, while Smith has been recommended by the VCC for a position on the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Approval is expected during the next regular council meeting on Jan. 22, a day later than normal due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

Each of the outgoing councilors received a plaque highlighting their contributions as councilor and will have a tree planted in their honor.

In introducing Smith, Clark rattled off the long list of committees Smith was part of since joining the council in 2007.

“If it sounds like a lot, that’s because it is,” Clark said.

Smith noted it was strange to be looking up to the council table after five years.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been worth the time,” Smith said. “I enjoy telling people how great the staff is, because the staff is always so professional…I also want to thank my wife and kids. They gave up five years so I could be here. There were many times I’ve been away.”

Clark also had high praise for Caillier, who elected not to run again after serving his four-year term.

“I’ll tell you what, this guy can plant trees,” Clark said. “If you want something done, give it to Mark.”

Christopher had similar thoughts.

“Mark is like my husband: he gets it done,” the mayor said. “Everything Mark says he’ll do, he delivers. He continues to give and give and give.”

Like Smith, Caillier gave kudos to city staff.

“It’s been a tremendous four years and a tremendous staff,” he said. “You can’t appreciate what you can get done until you have served. Every one of you always puts Keizer first.”

Clark was honored by Christopher for her service as council president the last two years. Joe Egli was named new council president.

Ken LeDuc, Dennis Koho and Marlene Quinn were sworn in by city attorney Shannon Johnson. LeDuc had his family stand behind him while he was sworn in.

The special events meant the council chambers were packed, something not lost on Christopher.

“Sometimes when you see a big crowd you’re not excited, but tonight we are,” she said.

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