New councilors sworn in
Last updated 1/18/2023 at Noon
Three City councilors were sworn in at the January 11 Council workshop. Returning councilors Michael Preedin and Gary Ross were elected to four-year terms and Susan Cobb to a two-year term. Following the oath of office, all five councilors received training on roles, protocols on public meetings, and records and ethics from the City attorneys of Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis.
City councilors reelected Michael Preedin to serve as mayor for the next two years, and Andrea Blum was elected Council president.
In other business, Interim City Manager Joe O’Neill reported that Creekside Campground reservations went live online on January 3. All spaces were immediately reserved for Sisters Folk Festival, Sisters Rodeo, and the Quilt Show, plus many other reservations throughout the summer. The City has already taken in $62,000 in reservation fees, compared to $56,000 last year at this same time.
The City has been awarded $500,000 in American Rescue Plan funds by the Deschutes County Board of County Commissioners. The City made a request for the funds in 2022 and asked that they be designated for distribution to the City when they had a definite plan for an affordable housing project. The City is working with Northwest Housing Alternatives on plans for an affordable housing complex to be built in what is now Heavenly Acres.
Students in the Sustainable City program at the University of Oregon will continue to work with the Sisters School District on possible use of the current elementary school building after the new school is completed. During winter quarter, architectural students in the program will be working on design possibilities for the building.
The new Parks Master Plan should be completed this week and ready for review by the City Parks Advisory Board at their February 1 meeting.
Council approved a contract for Cable Huston LLP to provide code compliance hearing services. When violations of the City code are not voluntarily corrected by the offending property owner, one option to encourage compliance is to issue a civil penalty, which can be appealed to a hearings officer who may affirm, set aside, modify, reverse, or vacate the decision based on a preponderance of the evidence. The City doesn’t currently have a hearings officer, so the contract with Cable Huston LLP will provide those services.