The Keizer Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee met Wednesday (August 22nd). A summary of the meeting is below.
City Council Race Updates:
The deadline to turn in the necessary signatures to run for Keizer Mayor and City Council is today. At the time of this writing there were no additional candidates collecting signatures so the races are shaping up as follows:
- Mayor Position – Incumbent Cathy Clark is the only filed candidate.
- Council Position #4 – Incumbent Roland Herrera is the only filed candidate.
- Council Position #5 – Shawn Lapof and Elizabeth Smith have filed to run for the seat being vacated by Amy Ryan.
- Council Position #6 – Dan Kohler and Michael DeBlasi have filed to run for the seat being vacated by Bruce Anderson.
The Keizer Chamber is hosting a candidates forum on Thursday, Oct 11th. It will be at 6:00PM at City Hall. Additional information is below.
Sign Code Update:
This week marked the end of a yearlong process to revise the Keizer Sign Code. The process was started to make changes in order to comply with a recent United States Supreme Court decision. The decision mandated sign codes be content neutral. The city could no longer have a code which contained specific rules for “Campaign Signs” or “Real Estate Signs” for example. In short, if you needed to read the sign to see if it was in compliance with the sign code, the rule was no longer legal.
In addition to making the code content neutral and much cleaner, the Keizer Chamber worked with city staff, the Planning Commission and the City Council to make some other changes members had been requesting. These changes include:
Electronic Message Centers – Under current rules, electronic message centers (electronic reader boards) could only change messages once every 24 hours or once every 15 minutes depending on who owned the sign. The new rules allow these signs to change every 15 seconds no matter the ownership.
Political Signs – These signs are now covered under the portable sign category. During the time around elections, an unlimited number of portable signs are allowed as long as they meet the size requirements. The signs must also have the permission of the property owner and cannot be put up in any right of way.
Window Signs – The signs put up in the windows of some local businesses have existed in a gray area. Members asked us to fight for these signs as they sometimes cover up offices or storerooms. These signs are now allowed.
Commercial Real Estate Signs – Since there is no longer a “real estate sign” section of the code, all real estate signs are now portable signs. Under the new code, these signs are allowed up to six square feet. While this is fine for residential real estate signs, commercial signs can be between 16 and 32 square feet. The first proposal would have required a permit and a fee for signs of this size. Commercial realtors asked us to see if we could fix that issue. Working with city staff, we are happy to report commercial real estate signs are now allowed up to 32 square feet without a permit or fee. Please see the sign code for the specific timing and placement requirements.
Baseball Park Taskforce:
Mayor Cathy Clark has appointed a taskforce to help do some long-range planning for the baseball park. The Keizer Chamber was asked to provide a representative for the taskforce. We suggested GAC member James Hutches and he was appointed by the mayor.
Members of the GAC offered a couple of suggestions at the meeting. The first was to undertake a third-party audit of the park to give the taskforce a starting point. The second was to formalize the sponsorship process as more than one organization uses the park.
James will report to the GAC and will represent the Chamber. We will provide regular updates to members in these updates.
September 26th – Community Conversation on changes to recycling rules – 6:00PM at the Civic Center.
October 11th – City Council Candidates Forum – Civic Center – Stay tuned for additional details.
The Keizer Chamber of Commerce is conducting and regulating this candidate forum. The City of Keizer, its employees, officers and agents have no connection with the forum in any manner. Any concerns with the conduct or rules of the forum should be directed to the Keizer Chamber of Commerce only.
Our next Government Affairs Committee Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 19th at noon at the Chamber Office.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact me.
Jonathan Thompson, Chair
Government Affairs Committee, Keizer Chamber of Commerce
Cell: (503) 580-1294