Since Keizer incorporated, City Council positions have been at-large, giving an edge to those with the most connections and resources. This has led to a Council that does not reflect the entire community.
The Charter Review committee did not make a recommendation on this issue. But as city councillor, Mike will work to establish precincts in Keizer representing a specific area of the city. This will increase the representation and diversity on the Council and ensure that the voices of the entire city are heard.
Keizer primarily has two housing options - single family homes or large apartment complexes. Mike supports building a more diverse array of housing styles to create housing that matches different incomes and life stages. Keizer and the State government have taken steps to allow for diverse housing. But Keizer must be pro-active to encourage the building of the Missing Middle - housing styles that fill the gap between single family homes and large apartments complexes. This includes more traditional mixed-use development that builds housing closer to our daily activities.
By increasing housing options, while still respecting the character of our neighborhoods, we can increase the affordability of housing throughout Keizer and allow people who want to move here to be able to afford a home.
Keizer's Financial Health
Mike supports a traditional development pattern that is compact and efficiently uses our land base while being financially productive. Our existing development has burdened us with too many liabilities and reduced services that can not be paid for with the current tax revenue. Inefficient land use requires more infrastructure, especially on the edge, that can not be paid for by the taxes collected on that development. Using land efficiently increases tax revenue per acre and reduces the need for extending infrastructure without the need to raise taxes.
A compact city increases the quality of life for Keizer residents by reducing the amount of time in a car to accomplish our daily activities, increasing the availability of entertainment options and extending the mobility of older residents, youth and people without access to their own vehicle. This increases property values and tax revenue per acre. This is not a right vs. left issue. This is plain math.
Support Local Businesses
Too many people in Keizer have to leave town for work. This is not because we have a shortage of available land but because we have a Development Code that prevents small businesses from finding affordable, appropriately-sized spaces. Development that lowers the startup costs and placing more customers in close proximity supports smaller, locally owned businesses.
We must also stop trying to entice large corporations to come here at the expense of our locally owned businesses. Local business development tends to be more financially beneficial to the city because locally owned businesses keep money in our community rather than exporting it to far away cities and does not require millions in visible and hidden subsidies.
Our streets should be designed for all users. Inadvertently, street designs make our street less safe for all users, even drivers, by focusing on maximizing speed. Keizer's main streets are Stroads - design standards that focus on moving cars fast while placing all types of uses along them, which decreases traffic efficiency and undermining local businesses. Main streets should be venues for supporting local businesses and creating community wealth. This can only be achieved by designing our streets for all users. I support incorporating NACTO street standards because they are designed Our streets must be safer for all ages and abilities and prevent unsafe driving.
Finally, for our neighbors who do not own a car, our streets need to be designed to treat them with the dignity and respect that they deserve by providing safe walking and biking environments.
Keizer should be a city that welcomes all people regardless of race, ethnicity, and background. I believe we can become that city by working on the issues above. But it takes a cultural shift too. People outside of Keizer must know that we are welcoming to all. As a community, we can only do this by ensuring that all people who live in or want to move to Keizer feel safe here. They must know that they can find a home and make a life here including having schools that provide a great foundation for their children.