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Day: April 25, 2012

Mayoral candidate owes back taxes

KEIZERTIMES/File Photo

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Keizer mayoral candidate Joe Egli owes more than $4,000 in delinquent property taxes on a property in Salem, dating back to 2009.

According to records from the Marion County Assessor’s Office, Egli owes $6,086 on a three-bedroom home and shop at 1469 Hickory Street NE in northeast Salem. He told the Keizertimes he has a plan to get himself out of debt before the property goes into default next year.

“It’s a big deal to me because it stresses me out,” Egli said about the debt. “But from what I hear it’s fairly common.”

Of that amount, $4,268 is considered delinquent, with debt going back to the 2009 tax year. A total of $932.44 is interest. The 2011 tax year, which isn’t considered delinquent until May 15, shows $1,818.04 owing, including $69.92 in interest.

The structure and property have an assessed value of $93,350 and a real market value of $170,010, according to the assessor’s office.

Egli said he bought the property when he was operating his painting business, and now that he is working in insurance he has had difficulty finding tenants. The house is currently on the market for $150,000.

The property was bought for investment purposes, and Egli said he’s maintained continuous residency in Keizer beyond what the city’s charter requires of mayoral candidates.

Keizer Fire to seek input on service levels

Michael DeCoss, right, meets Patricia Ann Ricketts, a registered nurse who helped save his life after he collapsed on a River Road sidewalk. Also honored with Keizer Fire’s Bob Wickman Award were Jennifer Whittecar and Renee Cummins. ( Photo courtesy Kelvin Watkins)

By HERB SWETT
For the Keizertimes

What level of service the public wants will be the subject of meetings the Keizer Fire Department will hold soon with Keizer residents.

“I believe the board needs to earn back the trust of the community,” director Michael Kurtz said at Tuesday night’s board of directors meeting. “I’d like to see informational meetings so the department can develop a model after hearing from the public.”

Director Greg Ego said there may not be enough money for the public to get the level of service it needs, but he urged that the department start working on the matter soon. Board chair Joe Van Meter and Fire Chief Jeff Cowan said the immediate need was preparation of a budget, but Cowan said he was prepared to seek staff recommendations once the budget is resolved.

The board directed Cowan to focus on the budget cycle first and then work with the staff to develop a plan for the informational sessions.

Before the meeting, the department presented the Bob Wickman Award to three people involved in saving the life of a Keizer resident, Michael DeCoss, Feb. 28. The three are Patricia Ann Ricketts, a Salem Hospital registered nurse who did most of the work; Jennifer Whittecar; and Renee Cummins.

DeCoss, recently retired owner of a bookkeeping business, was a pedestrian at River Road and Dearborn Avenue that day when he collapsed.  Ricketts saw an unconscious male pedestrian there, and gave him cardiorespiratory resuscitation with Whittecar and Cummins assisting her.

Ricketts said it was the only time she had administered CPR to a human being. Van Meter, in presenting the plaques, told DeCoss, “I’m glad that you’re here.”

“I’m glad too,” DeCoss said.