By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
When Amy Ripp decided to run for a spot on the Keizer City Council, it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision.
The younger of the single mom’s two sons, Zachary, is entering his senior year at McNary High School. Older son Ryan is studying political science at Western Oregon University.
“I’ve been a single mother for 18 years,” Ripp said. “The boys are old enough now, I can make the full-time effort. I feel I can take it to the next level.”
Ripp made the final decision in May to run for the council No. 5 seat being vacated by Joe Egli, who last month announced he’s not running for either council or mayor this year.
Ripp is up against Matt Chappell, the current Keizer Planning Commission member who ran for council against Marlene Quinn and Eamon Bishop in 2012.
“I’d been considering it for years,” Ripp said of running.
For Ripp, the considering wasn’t merely tossing the idea around in her head. She decided to do some research.
“I took several months and did my due diligence,” said Ripp, who was raised in Keizer after coming here at age 1. “I attended several council meetings, went to task force meetings and asked a lot of questions. I asked a lot of people around Salem and Keizer, what they loved and didn’t love about being on council. I wanted to make an educated decision. I felt like this was the perfect time.”
Ryan has already made a name for himself politically, working with state legislators on a couple of pieces of legislation in recent years, including one that limits protests outside of funerals.
“We have influenced each other,” Ripp said. “I’m close to both boys. I encourage both of them to follow their heart with a passion. I’ve been able to see Ryan play that out. Seeing that reminds me to do the same. I told my boys, there’s nothing you can’t do if you put in the time commitment.”
The co-owner of Triple B Striping and EcoStar Carpet Care, Ripp has been active in the local business community since moving to Salem in 1997, followed by a move back to Keizer in 2000. She is part of the Chambers of Commerce in both Salem and Keizer and is founder of the Salem Chamber Business Women, in addition to being vice chair of the Keizer Network of Women.
Ripp has been active in the community in general. She counts her first volunteer experience as picking up rocks at the age of 10 to help make the first Keizer Little League field and has been involved with a number of causes and organizations since.
“I have also mentored and encouraged both students and my sports teams to volunteer and, more importantly as a mother, I’ve encouraged my own boys to give back with a happy heart,” she said.
Ripp said her top priority is continued public safety, awareness and security.
“Keizer has always felt safe to me,” she said. “I want to ensure that that remains the case for years to come. I believe that this can be done through adequate budgeting and staffing. First and foremost is my commitment to the public safety of our community.”
Ripp would also like to see more employers wooed to Keizer.
“I am encouraged by the recent additions of Silverton Health and Kaiser Permanente and I support additional employers that will support the current medical facilities,” she said. “I am in support of increasing the availability of additional land for the purpose of increased business, which in turn supports local living wage jobs.”
Ripp picked up an endorsement from Keizer Mayor Lore Christopher on June 23.
“I am 100 percent endorsing the campaign of Amy Ripp for Keizer City Council,” Christopher wrote, in part, on her Facebook page. “She has already proven herself as a leader in Keizer for many years.
“I am very impressed by this single mother of two boys, a volunteer for the Keizer Fire District, local business owner and fiscal conservative who wants to continue my work of bringing local jobs to Keizer. You have my endorsement and vote.”