News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City manager bids farewell to Sisters

City Councilor Gary Ross bid farewell to City Manager Cory Misley at the August 24 Council meeting with his own rendition of “Happy Trails.” That meeting was Misley’s last before his departure for new employment at Portland State University in September.

Throughout the evening, councilors showed their affection for Misley with good-spirited cajoling and teasing. At the end of the evening, councilors presented Misley with a handcrafted platter from Canyon Creek Pottery’s Ken Merrill depicting the Three Sisters mountains on a black background.

Misley shared his final thoughts with the Council and staff, thanking everyone as he signed off:

“This is my last City Council meeting for a while after seven years of meetings in La Pine and Sisters. It has been a privilege, and a lot of fun. We can hold our heads high for how much good work we got done. We put our minds and our hearts into a lot of the work, and it shows. That means something for sure.

“I’ll never forget that I was in this job when I turned 30 and that’s a milestone – ‘where were you when?’ And the pandemic. That was a curveball that none of us saw coming when I took this job. That was a whole other layer that we worked through together – both in elected roles and administrative roles. A pretty unique experience. Something we’ll never forget, or maybe, hopefully, never experience again.

“A big thank-you, and I look forward to keeping an eye on all the good work that all of you [City Council] are doing and the staff is doing. They’re rock stars and their hearts are in the right place, and I’m really proud of them,” Misley concluded.

Many compliments and thanks came Misley’s way before his final day in the office, August 31.

Mayor Michael Preedin said, “Working with Cory over the better part of four years has been fantastic. Cory has a strength of looking at an individual situation and suggesting varying courses of action for City Council to take. To say he was very good at his job is an understatement. Our next city manager has their hands full to match the momentum that Cory has


Council President Nancy Connolly said, “After my early years on Council with constant change and different personalities, it has been a joy working with Cory in his role as city manager. He is a highly skilled administrator who possesses strong team-building abilities. So much progress has been made in the City with Cory at the helm and he will be greatly missed.”

Sisters Public Works Director Paul Bertagna said, “Cory provided great leadership through one of the most challenging times of growth that the city has ever experienced.”

The city manager built relationships with other public agencies whose work impacts the City.

Sisters District Ranger Ian Reid told The Nugget, “All of us with the U.S. Forest Service in Central Oregon appreciated Cory’s steady leadership and vision as Sisters City Manager. He got a ton done in a relatively short amount of time, which included some very complicated projects. We will miss his can-do attitude and wish him the best in his new position.”

“I am sorry to see Cory leave the City of Sisters,” said Sisters Fire Chief Roger Johnson. “While the Fire District has always had a great relationship with the City, the level of cooperation on critical public safety issues was enhanced under Cory’s leadership.”

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work for Cory,” said City Finance Director Joe O’Neill. “He is an exceptional leader and his management style, communication, initiative and goals embody that. Cory is leaving big shoes to fill and will be missed by all of us.”

The city manager also worked with the local business community, particularly in helping to navigate pandemic-related restrictions.

“I just want to say thank you for the investment you’ve made into the Sisters community,” said Sisters Coffee Company’s Jesse Durham. “Your contribution, ideas, and commitment to intentional growth will have a positive impact on Sisters for years to come. Best of luck in your new endeavors!”


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