Keizertimes. (Salem, Or.) 1979-current, July 22, 2016, Image 1

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    SINCE 1979 • VOLUME 38, NO. 32
SECTION A
JULY 22, 2016
$1.00
BURNING QUESTIONS
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
A planned survey of Keiz-
er residents on the issue of
parks funding has a looming
deadline and may be headed
back to the drawing board.
The members of Keizer
Parks and Recreation Advi-
sory Board are hoping to as-
sess just how much city resi-
dents are willing to pay for
increased parks maintenance
and improvements, but how
they are going to put the
question before residents re-
mained something of a mys-
tery after a meeting Tuesday,
July 12.
The goal is to gauge
Keizerites' willingness to pay
an additional fee – and how
much – on their utility bills
to create a dedicated parks
fund.
Board members Matt
Lawyer and Donna Bradley
presented their co-members
with a draft questionnaire,
but it didn’t take long for ev-
erything from the length of
the survey to specifi c ques-
tions to come under fi re.
Even before those ques-
tions began, some mem-
bers took issue with how
topreface the survey. Lawyer,
along with Jim Taylor and JT
Hager, hoped to include a
statement regarding why the
questions are being asked.
“It’s because of our low
tax base that we are unable
to maintain the parks at the
level that is satisfactory and
that’s unlikely to change in
the near future,” said Taylor.
“I would want to know
why you’re doing a survey.
It’s a simple answer: we’re
underfunded,” Hager added.
“The parks master plan is a
good plan and we haven’t
come close to having enough
money to implement it.”
Bradley contended that
the survey had missed the
mark thus far.
“This is a starting point to
fi nd out what people want,
not what they’ll pay,” she
said. “It should be a two-part
process, ask what they want
now and later ask what they
would pay.”
While an additional sur-
vey would incur additional
costs, Lawyer said it would
also take longer than the
board originally envisioned.
It hopes to present the sur-
vey fi ndings to the council in
January.
Board members also con-
tested the specifi cs of the
draft survey, which current-
ly includes questions about
which parks maintenance
on city park’s survey
KEIZERTIMES/Derek Wiley
Joshua Rist is taking over
the MHS choir program.
and amenity improvements
residents would like to see
get priority as well as how
much they would be willing
to pay.
In the draft survey, resi-
dents would be presented
with $1, $2, $3, $4 or $5 op-
tions, but some board mem-
bers felt the numbers posed
questions of their own.
“I would eliminate $1 and
$2 option because that’s not
enough funding. That's like
asking if you want to feed a
family of four on a two-
person budget? We
should start with
$3,”
Hager
said.
“We haven't
come close to
having enough
money to
implement it.”
— JT Hager
KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson
McNary
taps its
new choir
director
Taylor pushed back.
“I would like to keep the
$1 and $2 in because when
this comes back, we have to
prove that there are people
who want to pay some-
thing,” he said.
Board members Scott
Klug and Richard Walsh felt
some sort of explanatory
statement should be added
to each of the dollar fi gures.
“Someone can look at
these numbers and not have
any idea which ones
take care of the
problems we’re
f a c i n g ,”
Klug
said. “If
there’s
a
certain amount
that we are under-
funded, I want to know
what that is as a resident of
the city.”
“We could show which
fi gures would keep us under-
funded, which ones would
maintain existing facilities
and which ones would per-
mit us to build new facilities
and fi elds,” Walsh added.
Walsh also expressed con-
cern over the spread of the
dollar fi gures.
“Looking at the options
we have, (responders) are go-
ing to think $1 is low and
$5 is high and that we want
them to pick the number in
the middle,” he said.
Robert Johnson, Keizer’s
parks supervisor, said a $1.50
fee would allow the city to
add one full-time and one
part-time parks employee,
which would allow the city
to perform routine mainte-
nance on an annual basis.
“You could do a bet-
ter job of maintaining turf
year-round,” Johnson said.
However, little, if any, money
would
be left over
for parks im-
provements at the
$1.50 level.
“Watering and mowing
would be a step up,” Walsh
said.
Johnson said he and Bill
Lawyer, Keizer Public Works
director, are developing a
table of possible funding lev-
els with descriptions of what
each option would permit
the city to do within Keizer
parks.
Taylor eventually suggest-
ed withholding the dollar
fi gures completely.
“We ask if they are willing
to support a minimal fee,”
he said. “Community meet-
ings will be where we get
the number and they tell us
how much they’re willing to
pay. If we ask for a number in
relation to the wrong ques-
tion, the results are going to
be skewed.”
As a way to move the
conversation forward, Law-
yer asked board members to
submit their survey revisions
in writing and come to the
August meeting prepared to
talk about which commu-
nity groups are going to be
asked for input.
"We have to remember
that we are trying to present
this to the council so they can
move the process forward,"
Lawyer said.
By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Joshua Rist knows what
it's like to be dragged to
choir.
At 16 years old, taking
classes at Linn-Benton
Community College in
Corvallis, a friend managed
to get Rist to give singing
a try for the fi rst time.
“I fell in love pretty
hardcore,” Rist said. “It
really changed my life, the
experience of being part
of a community that was
really dedicated. It was
an instant family. It was
exactly like what I have
my kids do now—grab a
friend and bring them to
choir.”
While he continued to
love music, even playing
in a rock band after high
school. Rist didn't know
he wanted to direct until
a summer mission trip to
Nigeria.
Rist
was
teaching
piano lessons on a battery
powered keyboard outside
of Abuja, the capital, when
he met the director of a
small youth choir.
“They were trying to be
a choir that would initiate
social change and reform,”
Rist said. “They wanted to
change the world through
this little group. He really
believed in the power of
music.”
Rist was invited to work
with the kids as a traveling
music teacher.
“I didn't know anything
about directing a choir at
that point but I thought I'd
give it my best shot,” Rist
said. “I taught them a song
and played with them for a
couple minutes. I felt really
Please see CHOIR, Page A9
Twelfth Night
at KRP
PAGE A3
Keizer author
has new
novel
PAGE A5
Small hands
needed for
mural
PAGE A7
Food truck plan gets council nod
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Plans to allow food trucks
to operate more freely in
Keizer cleared another
hurdle at the Keizer
City Council meeting
Monday, July 18.
City
councilors
unanimously
approved
a
motion
directing
staff to draft
an ordinance
allowing
m o b i l e
food vendors to obtain
permits and set up along
River Road North and
some areas of Cherry Avenue
Northeast.
Food trucks are currently
permitted in Keizer, but only
for 90 days in each calendar
year. The new ordinance will
allow them to operate year-
round.
“Our current ordinance
has been a signifi cant
limitation for mobile food
vendors hoping to operate
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Mural's fi rst portrait
a labor of love
KEIZERTIMES/Eric A. Howald
KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson
along River Road,” said Nate
Brown, Keizer community
development director, while
presenting the plan to the
council.
Before the plan was
forwarded to the council, the
Keizer Planning Commission
discussed changes to the rules
governing food trucks at
length during two monthly
meetings earlier this year.
Councilors asked several
questions during the public
hearing on the matter, but
no one from the community
offered testimony.
The
plan
highlights
include:
• Creation of an annual
permitting process for mobile
food vendors.
• Signage changes that
allow mobile food vendors to
have a sandwich sign during
Please see FOOD, Page A6
Nancy Erickson-Ward works on a portrait of her father, Tony
Vittone, at the Iris Parade mural.
By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
When the mural at Town
& Country Lanes is complete,
Nancy Erickson-Ward will
have contributed to the
process in many ways.
She will have instructed
some of the volunteer
artists and painted some
components herself, but
there's one spot that will be
uniquely her's – a portrait
of her father, Tony Vittone,
the one-time sole proprietor
and later co-owner of the
bowling alley.
“It's emotional because
this is my dad, and I want it
to look just like him,” Nancy
said.
Her
father's
portrait
will likely be the fi rst to be
completed on the 140-foot
mural, but it's caused her no
small amount of anxiety.
“I went home the other
day and I wanted to cry
because I didn't think it
Please see LOVE, Page A7
Celts to
state
tourney
PAGE A10