The Keizer Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee met Wednesday (September 19th). A summary of the meeting is below.
City Council Candidates – Position #5:
We were joined by Shawn Lapof and Elizabeth Smith who are running for the Keizer City Council seat being vacated by Councilor Amy Ryan.
We asked each candidate to introduce themselves and talk about why they are running. We then asked them each some questions. A summary of the discussion is below:
Shawn Lapof – Shawn is a graduate of McNary High School and puts great value in helping the community. His family has deep roots here and believes opportunity is important. He wants to be an advocate for employers large and small.
Elizabeth Smith – Elizabeth lives in Keizer and her children grew up in Keizer Schools. She has built a career in the mortgage and banking industry and wants to support businesses along River Road.
Questions (partial list):
What do you see as the largest issue facing Keizer?
Shawn – Engaging the community. He would like to see an increase in the number of volunteers.
Elizabeth – She sees growth over the next 10 years as something we are going to need a plan to tackle.
How do we bring more businesses to Keizer – especially along River Road?
Shawn – We need to improve our transportation system and look at how city regulation affects businesses.
Elizabeth – We have a shortage of land and available office space along River Road. There is only so much the city can do about that.
How do you compliment the current City Council:
Elizabeth – She is used to working as part of a team. She is meeting with current and former members of the council to get their thoughts on the role.
Shawn – He has developed strong leadership skills in his current job where he works as part of a team.
What do you think of the Parks and Police Fees?
Elizabeth – We are seeing the results with the hiring of new police officers and the upgrades at the parks. She supports the fees.
Shawn – He supports the fees. Likes seeing the new officers coming on board and thinks the parks are becoming a gem of Keizer again.
Levy Renewal – Keizer Fire District:
Chief Jeff Cowan discussed the renewal of the Keizer Fire District’s Operations Levy. By state law, the levy must be renewed every five years. The rate remains the same so property taxes will not increase.
Since the last time the bond was renewed call volume for the district has increased by 45 percent. Even with the increased call volume, the department is arriving at calls in less than six minutes 93 percent of the time. The levy represents 25 percent of the fire district’s budget.
For more information about the Keizer Fire District please see their most recent Annual Report here: http://keizerfire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Annual-Report-2017.pdf.
Based on the excellent performance of the fire district, that they have proven to be good stewards of taxpayer money and the fact the public safety is an important part of a vibrant business community, a motion was made to recommend to the Keizer Chamber Board of Directors that we endorse the levy. The motion passed without objection.
Baseball Park Taskforce:
James Hutches reported to the GAC that the taskforce has not yet met. He expects the first meeting to happen soon.
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, October 17th 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