Dickman joins Planning Commission
Last updated 5/9/2023 at 11:32am
Jeremy Dickman is one of two brand-new Planning Commission members this year.
Dickman and his family have lived in Sisters since September 2020, but have been based in Central Oregon for 23 years, with a three-year gap for law school.
Dickman graduated from the University of Oregon in 2000 and worked for The Bulletin in Bend as a copy editor for two years. After that, he fell back on his high school dream of becoming an attorney. He had always imagined being a defense attorney. He did some public defender intern work at the University of Oregon, but he decided he wanted to pursue being a lawyer more seriously. Based in Colorado Springs, he worked as a public defender intern in Colorado during his third year of law school.
"Then I got the idea that I was going to have to pay back student loans, and I got the first job I could find in Central Oregon because I love mountain biking and snowboarding," he said.
Dickman has worked in tax law for Fortress Financial Services in Bend since 2005. He took a year off to work as a cannabis attorney in Bend and Central Oregon.
"I think it was when I went to a movie at Sisters Movie House 10-12 years ago, I thought maybe I could live in this town," he said.
When Dickman met his current wife, they combined their families, with their sons being similar in age, and moved to Sisters.
"We heard the schools were amazing here, and they love their friends and their neighborhood; it's as close to a kid paradise as you can get," he said.
Dickman sought appointment to the Sisters Planning Commission this year through the encouragement of his wife. His wife is a career city planner with a public policy and planning degree, and works for the Central Oregon Builders Association.
"She saw the opening for a planning commissioner, and she suggested that I apply. I had some land-use law experience when I was doing cannabis law, when you submit land-use permits to get a grow started; I had a feel for the public meetings and the land-use process. I thought it was interesting, and it was the only other corner of law and thought this is kind of fun," he said.
The age of his kids allowed him to attend meetings and make it feasible for him and his family.
"It'd be great to have more millennials and Gen Z'ers to do public service work," he said.
Dickman's first public hearing as a planning commissioner was regarding the Sunset Meadows development. He recused himself from the meeting, having not participated in any prior meetings
"I didn't get on the Planning Commission with any sort of agenda, I don't want to get rid of certain businesses or stop growth or make it explode. The past few years in the country at large, the political landscape has been to get people on the boards to change or fix things," he said.
When it comes to serving on public service boards, Dickman believes that "if you don't, then somebody else is co-opting your voice.... It's important because you get to use your voice and do the grunt work that helps the society run," he said.
Being on the Planning Commission gives Dickman some social "juice," especially post-pandemic, and engaging with people has been great for him while still working from home.
Dickman also coaches little league and basketball with his kids in the Sisters schools.
"I got the same feeling coaching. You are a little worn out, but you feel like you are a person in the world. I was surprised I got picked to be on the Board, but I am glad to be here," he said.