By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Public art could be spreading in Keizer.
Earlier this year the first public mural in the city was done at Keizer Florist on Chemawa Road.
Art could be coming to River Road next.
Keizer City Councilors unanimously approved an ordinance last week providing for public art and murals.
Two locations along River Road – Abby’s Pizza at 3451 River Road North and Copper Creek Mercantile at 4415 River Road North – have been identified by the Keizer Arts Commission as locations for new statues.
“The Public Art Ordinance and the Keizer Arts Commission has been dealing with murals and Keizer Civic Center art,” city attorney Shannon Johnson said. “The issue came up about the statue program. There was some sentiment to make everything all together.”
Johnson noted there is already a pad for a statue at Abby’s. Mayor Lore Christopher said the exact spot at Copper Creek could be determined by city staff.
“Shannon felt that when we did the Keizer Arts Commission, we would leave the final decision to ya’ll,” said Christopher, who is chair of the commission that started a few months ago. “It was the intent for it to be a separate art body. This could be expanded to utility box art done by students.”
Jim Taylor noted some concerns with the process.
“If the city okayed that, we’re letting a group far more knowledgeable about art than me make decisions, knowing that if something is objectionable it will come back to us,” Taylor said. “I’m a little nervous about a group that is not elected by the people being a final say.”
Nate Brown, director of Community Development, said guidelines will be established.
“The commission is developing standards,” Brown said. “There will be no nudes since these are public displays. Those policies will be developed.”
That seemed to put Taylor’s fears at ease somewhat.
“I didn’t want to give them carte blanche,” he said.
In other business Nov. 3:
• Cheryl Mitchell, CEO of the Festival of Lights Holiday Parade, gave an update on the 24th annual parade taking place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 down River Road in Keizer.
“Our theme is 12 Days of Christmas, since it is 12 days before Christmas this year,” Mitchell said. “The new thing is we’ve having a custom-made award done for the Grand Sweepstakes Award winner. It will be passed year to year for the sweepstakes winner and comes with a $500 cash prize.”
There are other new parts for the parade this year. Activities on Dec. 13 kick off with a Glow-On party at Town and Country Lanes. Events include the Jingle Buck and Holiday Doe Family Run and Bowl.
After the parade there will be the After Glow Celebration at Skyline Ford. A designated area will showcase entries judged to be the top ones of the parade. The prize cash and trophy will be presented to the winner at this event.
During the parade there will be a new category: golf cart floats. All golf cart owners are being encouraged to decorate their carts in the holiday spirit and enter them into the parade. Those wanting to enter their carts can contact Bob Mitchell at 503-588-5555.
“We wanted to implement a new section for the parade this year,” Cheryl Mitchell said. “Next year it will be a lot bigger and just grow from there.”
Mayor-elect Cathy Clark liked what she saw.
“You guys don’t like Christmas or anything, do you?” Clark asked with a laugh. “Thank you for bringing this great parade to us. It’s been good for the community. The growing amount of activities tells this community is excited about what you are doing here.”
• Council approved the purchase of four new Ford Explorers for the Keizer Police Department, which continues a shift away from Dodge Chargers that have been a majority of the KPD fleet for several years.
The Explorers were purchased at Skyline Ford. Three of them cost $27,067 each while the fourth one cost $26,714.
• Jim Jacks is returning to the Keizer Planning Commission. The Volunteer Coordinating Committee recommended Jacks over Dylan Juran – son of current Planning Commission member Kyle Juran – and Kathy Lincoln. Councilors unanimously approved the recommendation.
Two appointments were made to the Keizer Parks and Recreation Board. The current terms of David Louden and Clint Holland are set to expire at the end of the year. Both applied to stay on the board, with councilors approving the requests.
The term of Robert Jones is also expiring at the end of the year, while Brandon Smith and Roland Herrera will both be deserting their seats since they won uncontested elections last week to join the city council. Thus, three seats on the Parks Board are open come January.