Volunteers needed for city boards


Last updated 11/1/2022 at Noon

The City of Sisters has the reputation of having a highly skilled, motivated paid staff that keeps things humming at City Hall and around town. Another asset in running the City is provided by volunteer boards, commissions, and committees who provide advice and review for, and collaboration with, the staff.

Those entities include the five-member City Council made up of city residents who are elected by the citizens for either four- or two-year terms. The mayor is elected by the Council for a two-year term. Workshops and regular sessions are held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month in City Hall Council Chambers.

The Planning Commission (PC) consists of seven members appointed by the mayor with the consent of the City Council. They review subdivisions, conditional use permits, and master plans. The PC also advises the City Council on development code text amendments, zone changes, and comprehensive plan amendments. They generally meet the third Thursday of each month at 4 or 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. There are three openings on the Commission.

Jeff Seymour has been a member of the PC since 2014, with his current term expiring in 2024. He served as the vice-chair in 2016 and since then has been the chair of the Commission.

He explained that he volunteered to serve on the PC because, “I felt like I had lived here long enough that I needed to give something back. I saw Sisters undergoing massive change… I thought maybe I could bring something to the table.”

He went on to elaborate, “We have had a lot on our plate the last couple of years, requiring me, as chair, to spend 10-20 hours a month on Commission business, chairing meetings, working with staff on agendas and schedules, with extra meetings required.”

Other Commissioners’ time commitment would be less than that.

“As the Planning Commission, the decisions we make have a decidedly long-term impact and sometimes we don’t know what that might be,” Seymour said.

The City Parks Advisory Board (CPAB) serves in an advisory role on matters relating to public parks. The Board consists of seven members, of which two can live outside the city limits, but within the Sisters School District boundary. They meet the first Wednesday of every other month at 4 p.m. Three positions will be open.

The newest City board, the Public Works Advisory Board (PWAB), serves in an advisory role on general Public Works-related matters within the city. They review proposed sewer, water, storm water, street, sidewalk, bikeway, and pedestrian projects. They also assist with prioritizing street construction, public works projects, and/or recommend capital improvement projects. The Board consists of five members, of which two can live outside the city limits, but within the Sisters School District boundary. They meet quarterly, unless more meetings are necessary. There are no openings at this time.

John Herman, owner of the Lazy Z ranch, and his family moved to Sisters during COVID and didn’t feel connected to the community. He contacted then-City Manager Cory Misley for advice on how to get plugged in. Misley knew there was a new City board being formed and suggested Herman volunteer. He is a member of the PWAB and said it is not a large time commitment.

“I like being involved and seeing what other people are doing,” said Herman. “I am endlessly impressed by the City staff.”

The Urban Forestry Board (UFB) serves as an advisory board to the Council regarding matters affecting the management of the urban forest. The UFB consists of five members who are appointed by the mayor with consent of the Council. The board meets the second Monday of every other month at 3 p.m. at City Hall. There is one opening.

The Budget Committee fulfills an important need for citizen involvement in the City’s budget process. The Committee consists of five city councilors and five citizens who live within the city limits. The citizens are appointed by Council and serve three-year terms.

They meet each spring to review the budget proposed by the city manager. Committee meetings are public meetings and opportunity for public input is available. City staff present financial overviews and highlight changes in programs and costs. The Budget Committee may make changes to the proposed budget. The proposed budget amended by the committee is approved and referred to the City Council for adoption. There are three openings.

Applications to apply for consideration for any of the committees are available at www.ci.sisters.or.us/bc. The deadline for turning in applications is November 13. For more information contact City Recorder Kerry Prosser at 541-323-5213.


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