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SISTERS, OR -- Sisters voters will not have much say in the make up of the next City Council, with only three candidates filing to run for three open seats. Interim City Manager Rick Allen says he would have liked a bigger pool of candidates, following a year marked with turnover. "When you have no opposition, number one: no one wants to hear from you. You don’t have debates; you don’t have discussions. In general, I think you definitely want to have some choices. And Sisters has been through a lot. Only one of the current Councilman was actually elected; they were all appointed." Andrea Blum was appointed about a year ago; she is running for the first time. Chuck Ryan, who serves on several city committees, and local photographer and event promoter Richard Esterman are running for the other two positions.

 

In the past year, the city lost its Mayor, City Manager and a number of Councilors. Mayor Chris Frye moved outside the city limits at the end of August, forcing his resignation and leaving the city with a vacancy on Council and without a Mayor. Allen says - like in Bend - the Mayor is selected by Council, and business is moving forward despite the open seat. "We have four councilman [remaining] and one presides at the meeting. And, the plan is, we are going to appoint one of the two people running to fill the fifth position in the next few weeks, because we know they’re going to get elected because there’s no competition. Now, I qualify that: if someone were to mount a write-in campaign to beat one of those two; you know, you can always do a write-in campaign."

 

Allen says he understands why more people aren’t willing to serve. "These are volunteer jobs and people have to want to do it, they have like doing it, they have to enjoy doing it. And, if you build an environment or if you have an environment that’s too cantankerous, people just kind of go away. So, they get elected and after a year or two, they just resign."

 

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