SISTERS, OR -- The Sisters City Council is already working to hire a new City Manager, following last week's resignation of Andrew Gorayeb. The former City Manager had been on paid administrative leave due to employee complaints, prior to submitting his resignation at Thursday night's City Council meeting. Officials have refused to elaborate on the nature of those complaints because of an agreement with Gorayeb.
City Councilor David Asson tells KBND News accepting his resignation and paying a severance package seemed the lesser of two evils, since it was possible Gorayeb would sue the city. "Given the complexities of HR law and codes, and so on, different councilors had different perspectives on it. I think that we ended up providing an excessive severance package; others contend it was the proper thing to do in order to avoid more complications." Gorayeb could have gotten his job back, but he refused to accept terms that included a probation period, evaluations and management training. Instead, he will receive 12-months of pay and benefits worth more than $100,000.
Asson says they are now moving forward with hiring Gorayeb's replacement. "We're going to hurriedly interview new applicants for a permanent City Manager. We hope to even start interviewing as early as [this] week. We know that there are several qualified people who are willing to apply and we are contacting them." He admits they've had trouble with the last two City Managers, but he says they've already heard from interested candidates. "From what I've gathered, these people have approached us. So, I guess Sisters is still a very dynamic place and people want to come here. That has been a question, it has been a worry. But, from what I can tell, at least three are very interested."
Councilors hope to have a permanent person hired within the month.