By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
During most Keizer City Council meetings, items on the agenda are taken out of order.
An attempt has been made to change that.
During their Oct. 20 meeting, councilors voted unanimously to amend the rules of procedure. In some ways, it was a return to an old form.
In recent years, committee reports and any kind of special presentations have been listed towards the bottom of the agenda. Most times, at the start of the meeting mayor Lore Christopher would change the order and move the presentations to earlier in the meeting.
The motion approved by councilors moves presentations, oaths of office and awards to the top of the agenda, after the roll call and pledge of allegiance. Committee reports are also being moved up on the agenda, instead of being near the bottom. Doing the latter was a suggestion previously made by councilor Dennis Koho, who was absent Oct. 20.
“Many years ago committee reports were (at the front), then they got moved back,” city attorney Shannon Johnson said. “Often things will come forward.”
Christopher said committee reports were moved back for a reason.
“They used to be further up,” she said. “Some are very lengthy, of course that was when Richard (Walsh) was on council. People would sit all night, caring about one of the six issues under administrative action. They had no idea we would spend one or two hours on committee reports. I don’t think this is a problem. I think it works pretty well.”
Councilor Cathy Clark noted the changes made to the agenda at each meeting.
“Whenever there is something special, we move it up every time,” Clark said. “I don’t want to keep rearranging the agenda each time. Let’s just write the agenda that way.”
Councilor Jim Taylor agreed with Clark.
“The way we do it now works, we just need to put it in writing,” he said. “We’ve been doing it, Lore. Let’s just put it in writing what we’re doing now.”
Councilors also agreed to give applicants longer to speak during a public hearing, in light of the recent land use adjustment request for the Herber Farm application. Applicants currently have five minutes to speak; that time will now be 30 minutes total, including rebuttal time.
“This is fashioned similar to LUBA (Land Use Board of Appeals) or the Court of Appeals,” Johnson said. “The applicant can divide the time up. That (30 minutes) includes everybody on the applicant side.”
In other business Oct. 20:
• Members of the Marion County District Attorney’s office were on hand for a proclamation of October being named Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
District Attorney Walt Beglau noted his office prosecutes more than 1,000 cases of domestic violence a year, with 100 such cases in Keizer the past 12 months.
“It changes the heartbeat of the community,” Beglau said. “Keizer is no stranger to this impact. Murder is the most tragic outcome to the pattern of violence we see. It impacts the whole family.”
That was the case in Keizer in 2011 when Lisa Zielinski was murdered by her husband.
Kim Larson and Jayne Downing spoke about the efforts to bring attention to the issue, which has been pushed back into the national limelight recently with several National Football League domestic violence incidents.
“A lot of time people feel they don’t have the support they need,” Larson said. “We’ll walk people through the process. People can reach out and get information so they can be that resource to others.”
Downey said the Center for Hope and Safety has a new larger building at 605 Center Street in Salem. Councilors will tour the new facility during their Nov. 10 work session.
• Ryan Edsall was introduced as the new youth councilor. The McNary High School senior is actually one of two youth applicants. Jeremy Darst was appointed as the youth liaison for the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
• Christy Perry, the new superintendent for the Salem-Keizer School District, introduced herself as well as Erik Jespersen, who recently took over as the MHS principal. Former principal John Honey, who previously was going to stay in the position until January, accelerated his timeline to take over a career technical school program.