By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Keizer City Councilors continue to fine tune a permit process for medical marijuana facilities in city limits.
City Attorney Shannon Johnson explained an ordinance with the latest updates during the Sept. 2 council meeting.
The issue has been a regular topic in Keizer and other cities around Oregon this past year in light of new state laws that went into effect early this year.
Recent changes by city staff have included a refining of public property to include all parks and any property zoned public, which would exclude water pump stations and Keizer Station Area B and Area C excess properties.
The issue of permit fees is expected to be brought up during the Sept. 15 council meeting.
“You still have to adopt the fees, but I don’t see it as a problem,” Johnson said. “The zoning issue is one that will become resolved by the time someone applies. You can wait until locations are determined.”
Councilor Dennis Koho, who chaired the city’s Medical Marijuana Task Force in the spring, believes the issue has been dragged on long enough.
“I want it adopted tonight,” Koho said.
Councilor Jim Taylor, while praising the task force’s work, wasn’t as inclined to move as fast.
“I would support it, if not for this issue being on the ballot in November,” Taylor said. “As such, this is a little premature. I think we need to wait to see what happens in November. I hate to waste staff’s time and money, but I won’t be supporting this.”
Councilor Cathy Clark expressed concern about the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s part in enforcement.
“That’s a problem when you write legislation on a kitchen table,” Koho said. “I think the issues will be taken care of by legislators.”
The ordinance was approved by a narrow 4-3 margin. Approving were Koho, Egli, Marlene Quinn and mayor Lore Christopher. Against it were Taylor, Clark and Kim Freeman. The topic will come up again as a second reading at the Sept. 15 meeting.
In other business Sept. 2:
• Most fees were waived for the showing of “The Amazing Spiderman” at the Keizer Rotary Amphitheater at Keizer Rapids Park this Saturday, Sept. 13. Gates for the free showing open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at dusk.
Clint Holland with KRA, who made the request for fees to be waived, noted around 900 people showed up for last weekend’s JFK show, a record attendance at the facility.
Council president Joe Egli made a motion for the $286 in fees to be waived. Clark asked for – and was granted – the $52 application fee to be added back. The motion was approved unanimously.
• Several appointments were made to committees. Jerry McGee was appointed to the Keizer Budget Committee, Tanja Homrichhausen was appointed to the Keizer Points of Interest committee, Jeff Lewis was appointed to the Keizer Festival and Events Services Team and Homrichhausen was also appointed to the Keizer Arts Commission.
• Nate Brown, director of Community Development, noted the boat ramp at Keizer Rapids Park is being recognized nationally with an award. Brown explained the organization and the location of the banquet during which the award will be presented, with city manager Chris Eppley checking to make sure he had everything straight.
“So an organization in Chicago is giving an award to a city in Oregon and having the award banquet in Arkansas,” Eppley said. “Now that is awesome.”
• Sept. 17 to 23 was proclaimed as Constitution Week in Keizer. Sept. 17 marks the 227th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention.
Public law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclaimed each year by the president of the United States.