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Day: October 22, 2010

Foreclosures

Just when Americans thought things couldn’t get any worse, along comes the foreclosure mess, which could very well jeopardize the buds of recovery from the worse economy climate in decades.

Across the country, in 23 states, a moratorium on home foreclosures was implemented by financial institutions in response to allegations that sloppy and potentially fraudulent paperwork led to questions about the validity of many of those repossessions.  Not all banks stopped all foreclosures, but enough did to open the entire process to question.

It has been reported that some servicers simply ran foreclosure affidavits through a computer-signed factory; some employees admit they never even read through most of the documents to ascertain whether a property should be seized.

That has created a flood of foreclosures on homes, some of which should not have been in that position.  There are many stories of the horrors homeowners have faced during this debacle—not knowing their home was being foreclosed on or even being foreclosed on when they don’t have a mortgage.

What led to the current situation, in part, was a desire to decrease the cost of a loan to the consumer.  That was done with a company called the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) that tracked servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans.  MERS says its process eliminates the need to file assignments in the county land records, which lowers costs by reducing recording revenues from real estate transfers.

The problem for Oregon homeowners with that scenario is that the party foreclosing does not always have the legal right to do so.  Oregon is a non-judicial foreclosure state which means that a lender does not have to go before a court to proceed with seizure of a property—the agreement is between the lender and the buyer.

Mortgages titles were digitized into a private system and were not endorsed as required by state real estate law and IRS rules.  More than 60 percent of American mortgages are recorded with MERS which declares it has the authority to foreclose on properties.  Some homeowners have been broadsided by foreclosure proceedings initiated by MERS.  But MERS is not the lender.  Foreclosures involving MERS are now being scrutinized since they neither receive documents or copies of documents related to a loan. MERS disclaims that they hold any interest in their database. It appears to possess no authority to execute documents on behalf of MERS in connection with any loans in the MERS data base. Earlier this month a federal judge in Oregon issued an injunction blocking Bank of America from foreclosing on a borrower’s home. United States District Court Judge Garr M. King said that under Oregon law, the borrower was likely to prevail on the argument that the use of MERS had invalidated the mortgage.

Homeowners have been battered enough during this recession and they shouldn’t have to face foreclosure from a company that has no standing in seizing the property.

This issue needs to be addressed by the Oregon legislature when it convenes in January.  It should clarify state statutes on who owns a mortgage and who has the authority to start any foreclosure proceedings.  To leave the process in the hands of an unseen group working at the behest of bankers doesn’t do our national and state economy any good.

The lenders need to show that there is cause for foreclosure and provide all the documents as needed.

—LAZ

Republicans set to win elections

By ROSS DAY

By nearly all accounts, the upcoming election on November 2 is going to cause a substantial shift in the political landscape both nationally and here in Oregon.  On a national level, most political pundits believe that the Republicans are going to make tremendous gains in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

In Oregon, Republicans are expected to pick up seats in both the Oregon House of Representatives and the Oregon Senate.  Some observers actually think the Republicans in the Oregon Senate may actually take over the majority.

And then, of course, is the governor’s race in Oregon, where Republican Chris Dudley is facing off against Democrat John Kitzhaber.  The Republicans have not held the governorship in Oregon since 1986.  Currently standing at 24 years, the Republicans’ losing streak in Oregon is the longest active losing streak in the nation.

But there are signs that Chris Dudley is going to break that streak this year.  First of all, the mood of the electorate nationally as well as in Oregon is decidedly against the Democratic Party.  Oregon has been hit particularly hard by the recession, and has consistently out-paced the national average for unemployment.  The Democrats have been in charge in Oregon over the last four years, and most voters blame the Democrats for the desperate circumstances that Oregon finds itself in.

Second is the Democratic candidate for governor himself.  John Kitzhaber is a former governor of Oregon whose last four years were less than productive, and many people trace Oregon’s economic troubles to the year 2002, when the Oregon Legislature and then-Governor Kitzhaber held five special sessions to try and balance the state’s budget.  Polls have shown that voters see John Kitzhaber as simply “more of the same” policies that have brought Oregon to the point where Oregon is facing a $3.2 billion shortfall in its budget and record unemployment.

Third, the Republicans have nominated in Chris Dudley an unconventional Republican who has a unique populist appeal, which causes some to compare Dudley’s candidacy to that of both former governors Vic Atiyeh and Tom McCall, two popular Republican governors.  Chris Dudley has established himself as a common sense Republican who isn’t afraid to buck his own party when Dudley believes it is the right thing to do for Oregon.

Fourth, Dudley’s ideas are gaining momentum.  Witness the recent grade Dudley received from two national education organizations – Education Reform Now and the Education Equality Project (both organizations are heavily involved in President Obama’s “Race to the Top” program) – which both gave Dudley’s plan to reform education in Oregon an ‘A’.

Fifth are the traditional tangible issues in every campaign.  Chris Dudley has raised a lot more money than John Kitzhaber.  Frankly, Dudley has raised more money than either of the previous Republican nominees for governor, enabling Dudley to effectively communicate his plan to lead Oregon’s comeback to Oregonians.  Dudley’s fundraising advantage is significant, given the fact that the public employee unions in Oregon have already given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Kitzhaber campaign.

Finally, there is the theme that continues from the 2008 election – change.  John Kitzhaber is a former governor of Oregon, whose ideas have been tried before, and as anyone who remembers the debacles masquerading as special legislative sessions in 2002 can attest, Kitzhaber’s ideas today are no different from his ideas of only eight years ago.  The candidate that represents change in this election is Chris Dudley, not John Kitzhaber.  That is a substantial advantage in this day and age for any political candidate.

There is no question that the political stars are lining up for a victory for Chris Dudley in November, even with the decidedly Democrat voter registration advantage in Oregon.  It will be interesting to see if Dudley can take advantage of these opportunities and become the first Republican governor elected in Oregon since 1982.

Ross Day lives in Keizer.  He is general counsel and executive director of Common Sense for Oregon.

Keizer has a DAR group

By CORALE GOESCH and KARIN LIGHTNER

How many of our Keizer residents are aware of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and how many know thereis a DAR chapter right here in Keizer?

The Anna Maria Pittman Chapter of the DAR is based in Keizer, and was organized in December 1985. That means our chapter has been an active Keizer organization for 25 years. Our members are a proud group of women who can directly trace their heritage through a long deceased great-grandfather and/or great-grandmother who supported the American Revolution.

The namesake of our chapter, Anna Maria Pittman, was born in New York City,  in 1803. When the Methodist Church decided to send missionaries to the west to work with the native population, Miss Pittman told the Missionary Board that she wished to go, too. She was among three unmarried women sent with “the First Reinforcement” in 1836, arriving in June, 1837 in the Oregon territory.

Miss Pittman became the first white woman to be married in Oregon, marrying Methodist missionary Jason Lee. The following June she became the first white woman to give birth to a child in Oregon, and the first to die in Oregon, two days after the birth and death of her infant son. Anna Maria Pittman Lee and her son are buried in the Jason Lee Cemetery on D Street in Salem, along with many other early Oregon pioneers.

Our chapter meets on the first Wednesday of the month, September through May, at the John Knox Presbyterian Church. We actively seek women who are interested in joining our group. If you are interested in joining DAR, and think you can trace your lineage directly back to an ancestor who was involved in supporting the American Revolution, we would be happy to help you with the research and the application process.

If you would like more information, please call Corale Goesch, Regent, at 503-393-3971, or Ruby Pantalone, Registrar, at 503-393-8334.

Jim Bair

J. Bair

Jim Bair, of Keizer, died Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010. He was 52 years old.

A Celebration of Life service is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at Salem Vineyard Church. Reception will follow.

Bair had been fighting chronic rejection after receiving a double lung transplant in September of 2008.

Born April 28, 1957, in Seattle, he married wife Lisa on Jan. 21, 1987. He enjoyd fishing, camping, volunteering in the community and spending time with family.

Survivors include: his wife, Lisa; two sons, Ryan and Chris; sisters, Char and Sandra; and brothers, Leroy and Lyle.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Jim Bair Fund at West Coast Bank in Keizer.

Life without regret

Salvador Reyes

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

If Salvador Reyes were a different type of person, his hair would tell his story.

It’s a bit limp, a bit thin, less full of life than the man himself. He might let his story be dictated by his hands. They’re troublesome lately, they get cold easier than they once did leaving him with a pins-and-needles feeling and difficulty gripping things. But, they’re only the reason he opts to sit inside the coffee shop rather than in the cooling evening air. These things aren’t Reyes’ story, they’re just the latest adaptations and the result of his most recent battle with stomach cancer – the doctors say this one is terminal, but he’s responding well to treatment.

Reyes’s story, and who he is despite his current struggles, began nearly 30 years ago on a Thursday morning in Mexico.

“I’d just graduated from eighth grade and my brother woke me up to tell me he was planning on visiting one of our other brothers in Salem,” Reyes said. “I asked him when he was leaving and he said 15 minutes.”

It was a big decision for the 14-year-old Reyes, one of 10 siblings, because it meant more than just a visit, it meant he might stay in the U.S. He sought out the counsel of his mother.

“We’d had a big fight a few days before about a decision she’d made for me. I thought it should have been my decision to make and we fought,” Reyes said.

Wise woman that she was, his mother turned the tables and said this was one he would have to sort out for himself.

Reyes and his brother bought tickets to the border and hopped a fence. Another brother met them on the other side. After a brief stop at Disneyland, they arrived in Salem the following Wednesday. He was more fortunate than some others in similar situations who were forced by circumstances to work to support the family. Instead, his siblings offered their support as long as he stayed in school and out of trouble.

“It was a good deal and it helped me make the right choices,” Reyes said.

The first order of business was enrolling at South Salem High School and trying out for the Saxon soccer team.

“I tell people I was born with a soccer ball, I’ve been playing since I was a little kid,” Reyes said. He shares his name with one of the great players on his favorite soccer team, Chivas of Guadalajara – it spawned his nickname, “Chava.”

At South, he met Eric Johanson, the head coach of the soccer program for the past 29 seasons. He might have been the most experienced player to try out for the team, but other barriers prevented a happy union.

“I cut him as a freshman. I think it’s probably one of my greatest regrets,” Johanson said. “The main reason I cut him was he spoke no English and I spoke no Spanish so we had a significant communication barrier. Fortunately, a year later, his English was a lot better even though my Spanish level hadn’t changed.”

Reyes’ impact on the team was immediate. The South program had been strong since its inception two years prior, but their performance spiked the year he joined the team.

“Sal was the most sophisticated player on the team, a leader and personable. Everyone liked being around him,” Johanson said.

By his junior year, everyone in the league knew him.

“I’d get triple-teamed. I would end up dishing the ball to everyone else. I didn’t get the goal, but we got the win and that was important,” Reyes said.

His teammates helped guide the trajectory of his life in more ways than they probably realized at the time. Many were not native U.S. citizens and the differing backgrounds meant the struggles they encountered adapting to American culture were the same at some levels. More than that, Reyes found that they looked to him for advice during practices and on the field.

“They would do what I told them and – sometimes – it would work, but they were listening,” Reyes said. He was picked for all-state teams in his junior and senior years. In 2008, Johanson made him the first, and so far only, inductee from a soccer team to the South Salem Hall of Fame.

He first met Brad Victor in his junior year. At the time, Victor was head coach of the Willamette University soccer team and scouting new recruits. Reyes was high on his list of wants, but Reyes viewed Willamette as beyond his grasp.

“He came by that first year handing out information packets and I waited until he left, but I threw them in the trash. I planned on going to college, but Willamette wasn’t it. There was no way it would be feasible,” Reyes said.

Victor knew Reyes was a talented player, but it was this story that hooked him.

“He ended up being a darn good person,” Victor said. “The type of person we wanted to have on the team.”

The following year, Victor took his pitch to another level. He met with Reyes’ family and explained how they could put the tuition cost within reach through a combination of grants, loans and a work-study program.

It was a big year for Reyes in many ways, he was too old to be adopted by his siblings and achieve citizenship by that means. Marriage was another route and he began talking with his then-girlfriend, Rosanna, about it.

“I told her the situation, but I also told her that if we got married, I didn’t want it to be because of the papers,” Reyes said.

The couple recently celebrated their 25th anniversary.

At Willamette, Reyes continued to excel at soccer, but Victor remembers off-the-field moments the most. Part of Reyes’ work-study program included lining the field and maintaining the dugout.

“He was there when we poured the concrete pad for the new dugout and his initials are still there,” Victor said. Reyes also became a friend and companion to Victor’s mother helping out around her home.

“The thing about Salvador was he always played about two feet taller and 50 pounds heavier than he was in real life, on or off the field,” Victor said.

When it came time to decide on a career, the answer was fairly obvious.

“I wanted to coach and teaching and coaching go hand-in-hand,” Reyes said.

Twenty-one years ago, he started as a physical education teacher at Bush Elementary School and he’s been there ever since. Physical education may have been his foot in the door, but it wasn’t long before colleagues discovered his in-room abilities.

Sylvia Rincon got to see him in action when he was her supervisor as site director for the Bush migrant summer program.

“I really got to know him differently as a teacher,” Rincon said. “He’s great in the classroom with kids.”

When school started back up the next year she recommended him to help teach the school’s English Language Development program.

In gym classes, Bush principal Michelle Halter, has often seen him go above and beyond the call of duty.

“He spends a lot of time working on character-building traits like rules, responsibilities and good sportsmanship,” Halter said. “He always has an extra moment to spend with his students.”

Rincon, who has taught all three of Reyes’ sons, Daniel, 18, Josh, 16, and Michael, 11, said he is the consummate role model for all the students at Bush.

“Sal respects the students and he demands respect. Even having been so sick, he still puts out so much energy and getting things ready and participating with the kids to motivate them,” Rincon said. “He teaches the kids there are no excuses. He’s going to make the best of what it is and facing his illness is part of that.”

His dependability is a hallmark and much-appreciated trait at the school.

“There have been so many times we’ve upset his P.E. classes because we needed the gym for something else and he’s never said, ‘no.’ He just makes it the best experience for his class,” Rincon said. Last week, colleagues at the school and throughout the district presented Reyes and his wife with a check for $1,400 and access to a time share so the couple could take the honeymoon they never had.

Throughout his career, soccer has been ever-present. He held the head coach position at McKay High School for several years and followed it up with assistant coaching positions at Blanchet and McNary high schools.

Miguel Camarena, head coach of the Celtic soccer program, knew Reyes long before he had the opportunity to acquire Reyes’ skills as part of his staff. The two met across the field when Camarena coached at Silverton and Reyes was at McKay.

“I saw the way he was coaching his team and liked it. I saw his knowledge of the game and the way he treats his players,” Camarena said.

Reyes took a break from coaching at Blanchet anticipating the opportunity to watch Daniel play as a Celtic, but Camarena saw it as an opportunity. Between Reyes, Camarena and former athletic director Mike Maghan the three came up with a plan that would allow Reyes to coach and still watch Daniel from the sidelines.

Camarena and Reyes also bonded over Chivas, their favorite team. At a preseason practice one year, Reyes came out in McNary shorts and shirt, but sporting a Chivas hat. When Camarena told him he’d forgotten his Celtic cap, Reyes produced it and put it on top of the Chivas one. Later in the the game, Camarena complained of being cold and Reyes stripped off his jersey revealing the Chivas jersey underneath. When Camarena asked if he had the complete Chivas outfit. Reyes replied, “Do you want to see my socks?”

Camarena was conducting soccer camps in July 2009 when he got a call from Reyes, saying he needed to talk. After the camp, he and Camarena met to talk about the reason behind the stomach aches he’d been suffering in the prior months – a cancerous stomach tumor.

Reyes coached through the season. He got to watch Daniel score a goal in a varsity game, but when the boys made it to the playoffs, Reyes was in the hospital preparing to undergo surgery that would remove 70 percent of his stomach.

Daniel played the last 15 minutes and two 10-minute overtimes in the playoff game against Roseburg that sent the boys to the quarterfinals. When Camarena called Reyes from the game to report their success, the boys sang “Ole Ole Ole” into the phone.

“That’s the thing about Chava,” Camarena said. “No matter what, he’s always been an excellent soccer player and, believe me, he can still play the game like he did in his 20s.”

The surgery went well, but this past summer, Reyes got the news that the cancer spread to his intestines and it was in Stage 4, the final stage.

Life is never fair, nobody ever claimed it was, but Reyes isn’t one to focus on the negative.

“It’s something I’ve talked about with my family. This news. I’m the most active, the most athletic and the most healthy of all ten of my siblings. It was a real shock, they just kept asking, ‘why you?’ There’s no use asking why because you’re never going to know. Let’s concentrate on what’s ahead and what’s important,” Reyes said.

If that’s the case, it’s fitting that this chapter of his story end the lessons he will leave behind someday: stay in school, go to college, live life properly so you enjoy it with no regrets. There’s another one, but he’s much too modest to put it into words: never underestimate the impact you have on the lives you touch.

Last year, after his original diagnosis, Reyes polled a group of his third grade students regarding their knowledge of cancer. He was surprised at how many hands shot up and then spoke about his own diagnosis.

As the students retreated to their other duties for the day, one came up to him and said he was going to become a doctor so no one ever had to get cancer again.

“If that’s what comes of this, then I have no regrets,” Reyes said.

Rolanda Joyce Barnett

R. Barnett

Mrs. Barnett, of Keizer, died Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. She was 76.

Born to Albert and Cornell Heard May 13, 1934, in Los Angeles, she met and married Robert L. Barnett in April 1971. Together they moved to Keizer for retirement in 1993.

She worked as a custodian, pediatric nurse, payroll clerk and permit technician, and enjoyed reading, fishing, bowling, crocheting, knitting, cooking, listening to music and watching westerns.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and sister, Elgilena Heard. Survivors include: Her husband of 39 years, Robert; daugthers, Tina M. Mimms, Yvonne A. Mimms and Jacqueline (Capice) Simms of Los Angeles; brother, Albert (Mary) Heard and niece Lisa C. Heard-Goines of Cincinnati; granddaugthers, Robin and Jennifer Mimms of Keizer; and four grandsons, Julius Roberts, Christopher Coleman, Marcus Simms and Brandon Simms of Los Angeles.

Services were held Friday, Oct. 15, at Pauline Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Salem. Online condolences can be left at www.anewtradition.com/obituaries.

Arrangements by Crown Memorial Center.

If you have nothing nice to say…

I have been watching the local political commercials on television and have been aware of increasing negative ads.

It made me question what the candidates really understood about government and the office they were running for.  I have never run for a political office, but common sense would tell me to follow a protocol in place for political campaigns.  Using the advice from a campaign manager, I would start a fund raising campaign and ask friends, family, and organizations at all levels to donate money and lend their support. This would mean investing the hard earned money I have raised where it would do the most good. Television commercials are expensive, thus I would plan my message for the average person to understand in a fifteen-second spot.

While watching television I see a campaign ad in whcih the candidate is pictured in a small window of my television screen stating “I approve this message” or the mice size print on the bottom of the screen  reading “the party is responsible for the content.” A television commercial should be able to tell me in a few seconds what office the candidate is running for, the responsibilities of that office, and how the candidate is going to solve the problems the office is in charge of.

If not solve the problems, then tell me what ideas they will present to better my community or lifestyle. The job and responsibility of those in charge of the campaign is to invest the money raised wisely.

The ads I see from both parties are destructive. The ads are more about what the opposition (opponent) have not accomplished, done wrong, or what organizations they support that is against our better interest

Wayne Garcia, a reporter from Channel 12 asked  the candidates running for governor  “Why the negative campaign ads on TV?” Both  candidates admitted the commercials were  not productive. Yet, it was their face on television saying ”I approved this message.”

My questions are:  What experience does each candidate bring to the office? What problem solving skills and experience do they have? What is their ability to share and communicate with other party members and to relate to me, the common person? The money raised and invested in negative TV ads is a poor investment in my opinion. Others would disagree with me, citing the fact I watched the ads and remembered them. This is no time in Oregon history to be playing games with my future. To the corporations lending their name to support the candidates: I say, this public support does not reflect anything about the ability of the candidates to solve my problems, work with government, or get along with others. Thus, these organizations can keep that information private and financially lend support out of goodwill and tax purposes. Can you guess who I am supporting and what measures I am approving?

Allen Prell lives in Keizer.

Council passes sign regs., votes to remove troublesome tree on Linda Ave.

This tree in the middle of Linda Avenue is set to be removed. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Relaxed rules on temporary signs were passed by the Keizer City Council Monday, Oct. 18.

The council must formally approve an ordinance enacting the new regulations at its next meeting, but no one came to speak at Monday’s public hearing on the matter.

They also announced a proposal to postpone purchasing new fluoridation equipment for several of the city’s wells will be before the council on Nov. 1. The move would not end city-wide fluoridation at the wells where equipment is already installed.

The passed rules include allowing A-frame signs as temporary signs so long as they are 6 square feet or less in size. The changes also reduce the amount of signage allowed for real estate: Six square feet for residential and 16 square feet for commercial properties. Currently the maximum size is 32 square feet for all real estate signs.

Further rules on temporary signs: They cannot be less than 50 feet from other A-frame signs, can be placed only on private property, cannot block a sidewalk, exit or other pedestrian area, and must be taken inside when the business is closed.

Regarding feather signs – those feather-esque flags featuring a company logo – they would be allowed as a temporary sign. Despite their prolific presence in the city, these were not allowed per the sign code.

In other business, the Council:

• Agreed by consensus to remove what has been termed a troublesome tree in the middle of Linda Avenue.

Keizer resident Roger Wedner testified the tree “has been a problem … for 18 years.”

He said the tree is unlit and a high barrier around it has caused traffic crashes for years. [MAP: 9]

“The barrier that’s currently around the existing tree has to come down because it doesn’t meet any engineering standard … if you crash into it,” Kissler said. “… It’s just a big blockage in the roadway.”

Kissler proposed a median with a six-inch curb.

The council agreed to remove the tree and reconsider the issue in six months. Wedner acknowledged some on Linda Avenue want the tree to remain.

• Appointed Ron Bersin and Kim Freeman to the Budget Committee.

Celtics clash with fine-tuned Olys

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

After a streak of four losses there’s only one option left for the McNary High School varsity football team according to their coach.

“Our next step forward has to be a win,” said Rick Ward, McNary head coach.

The Celts take on the Olys at Sprague Friday, Oct. 22. Game time is 7 p.m.

McNary lost its most recent Central Valley Conference clash to South Salem, 34-21, while Sprague picked up its first CVC win last week over North Salem in a 55-41barnburner.

The Olys were led to the win by runningback-cum-quarterback Jordan Giza who rushed for 151 yards in the team’s 361-yard rushing attack for the night. Sprague passed for another 120 yards .

“We have to stop Giza,” Ward said.

That may be a tall order for the Celtics who allowed South’s Jake Fohn to run for for 162 yards in the team’s last outing, but the two team’s match up better, said Garren Robinett, a McNary senior.

“It seems like we’re a shoelace away from winning a game and Sprague is a matchable opponent,” Robinett said. Robinett is closing in on more than 700 receiving yards for the season.

McNary will be counting on another big game from quarterback Kyle Ismay, the conference leader in passing yards, 1,745, but the team will have to avoid the costly mistakes that led to their South Salem loss – a dropped snap, a blown snap and a tally of more than 30 yards in penalties on the team’s last drive of the South Salem game.

“We need to work on going hard every play until the whistle blows, and maybe even after that,” said Celt Jake Short, a senior.

Cleaning up the mistakes may be simply a matter of learning to trust each other more, Robinett said.

“When we’re being aggressive and trusting Kyle and it seems to work out. When we don’t, it’s easy to see what happens,” he said.

No matter the outcome McNary will have an opportunity to compete in a play-in game for a state playoff berth but, at this point, a win – any win – will help put them in the proper mindset.

“We need a win in the CVC,” said Celt Mike Gerasimenko. “It’s extremely important.”

Special election on big box may cost about $20K

Members of Keep Keizer Livable deliver petitions to the Keizer Civic Center Monday, Oct. 18. They said they’ve collected about 3,770 signatures. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

A decision on whether big-box retail restrictions will be on a March 2011 ballot should come by Nov. 2, officials said.

Keep Keizer Livable collected approximately 3,770 signatures, just about 1,000 more than necessary to make the ballot. However, the petitions must be verified to show each signature belongs to a registered Keizer voter.

Signatures will be forwarded to Marion County, and the city has 15 days after Monday, Oct. 18 (the date the petition was filed with the city) to announce whether the measure will qualify for a special election ballot in March 2011.

It’s expected costs of administering the election will be anywhere between $22,822 and $27,387, said City Recorder Tracy Davis.

Davis said the expected cost of the general election came from Marion County’s elections supervisor. She said the estimated cost for an election outside the primary and general are about $1.25 to $1.50 per voter; Keizer had 18,258 registered voters as of July 21. Davis said an exact figure should be available in early January.
The measure would restrict retail buildings larger than 65,000 square feet to Area A of Keizer Station. This is where Target, Lowe’s and all other Keizer Station development has taken place to date.
The petition is the latest round in what has turned into a three-year battle between Keep Keizer Livable, several city councilors and developers Chuck Sides and Alan Roodhouse, who propose building a discount grocer as the centerpiece of a development at the southeast corner of Chemawa Road and Lockhaven Drive – a site perhaps better known at this point as Area C.

The area had been limited to stores no larger than 10,000 square feet; developers sought – and got – changes to the development code allowing stores as big as 135,000 square feet, and a subsequent amendment allowed that number to go even higher.

Sides, who was at the civic center on an unrelated manner when the group came in, said the master plan for Area C could be ready as soon as next week, and won’t look substantially different than it did when an informal version was presented to Keep Keizer Livable a few months ago.

“They’re a very energetic group,” Sides said of the petitioners. “That’s what activists do.”

It started out as more or less a neighborhood squabble – Kevin Hohnbaum and Jane Mulholland, a married couple who live near Area C, founded Keep Keizer Livable.

On Monday, the two, along with 10 or so other supporters, dropped off boxes of signed petitions at the Keizer Civic Center.

And they acknowledge the battle has gotten bigger than Area C.

“The people of Keizer are very, very interested in what’s happening here,” Mulholland said. “… All of this started because we read a little article in the Keizertimes.”

Going door-to-door supporting the measure was encouraging, Mulholland said, saying she personally got about 90 percent of the households she visited to sign the petition. Overall the group reports success between 65 and 70 percent.

“It’s affirming that many, many people in our city want some control over where the growth is,” said Cathey Philbrick, who has been volunteering on KKL’s behalf.