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New hand on the gavel

For a the first time in 14 years a new hand will be holding the gavel at Keizer City Council meetings. By most measures Cathy Clark is the most prepared and most experienced person to ever take the oath of that office.

Clark and three councilors will be sworn on Monday night’s meeting. Of those three new counilors Brandon Smith served once before and Roland Herrera worked for the city’s public works department for many years. Amy Ripp will bring her enthusiasm and years of community volunteering to the council.

The spotlight will be on Mayor Clark. She takes the helm of the council after eight years as a member, which includes serving as council president. Two things will become apparent quickly for interested and casual viewers—the new mayor is whip smart and she loves her community.

Though Clark earned a masters degree at Kansas State University she says she is a life-long learner. She wants to know everything she can regardless of the topic. Her thirst for information and knowledge should not prolong council meetings, though. There is a time to seek infomration and at times quizzing a witness speaking before the council is not that time. Clark will be challenged maintaining her job at the Oregon Education Investment Board and being mayor. Keizerites expect to see their mayor at community events; they expect their mayor to be conversant in all things municpal. We have confidence Clark is up to the challenge and will attack it with gusto.

We have every hope that the new mayor will be as successful as her predecessor to build coalitions, not only among the councilors but also with a variety of  community groups and businesses. She can call on her eight years of serving on the council and 14 years of observing Lore Christopher deftly handling the job as guidance.

No two mayors are alike. The Lore Christopher era is over and it is now time for the Cathy Clark era as she becomes the ctiy’s sixth mayor in 32 years.

She’s experienced. She’s knowledable and she’s ready. We can’t ask much more from our mayor than that.