SISTERS, OR -- Sisters City Councilors hope to have a new City Manager in place by summer. Rick Allen has served as Interim City Manager for nearly a year, and is now helping to find his own replacement.
Allen says Councilors are looking for someone with experience managing a much larger city, but who wants to live in a small town. "If you look at Sisters’ land use, planning, growth, heavy with tourism – it requires someone with kind of a knowledge base and deeper understanding of a broad set of issues that is not often found in towns of 2,500 people."
Former City Manager Andrew Gorayeb resigned last year amid criticism of an abrasive leadership style. Allen tells KBND News the Councilors are now looking for a very specific person. "We want to get someone that can work well with people, hear them out, kind of work together to bring the community together. As you know, Sisters has had some problems over the last few years, where folks all want to go on different paths. And, that’s really because people come to Sisters for different reasons. So, the new Manager is going to have to learn about all of those different sub groups and then try and mold them together and move the city forward."
They’ve already received more than 20 applications and Allen says that number could double by the end of the week, due to the region’s popularity. "Central Oregon is a desired location to live; and then, within Central Oregon, Sisters is a desired place to also live and obviously, if you can find a good job. We have that going for us – there are so many people that are looking for open space in the outdoors." According to the job posting, the Sisters City Manager makes $95,000 - $115,000 a year, with "excellent benefits."
A handful of finalists will meet later this spring with community groups who will then make recommendations to Councilors. Allen expects a final decision before Memorial Day, and hopes the new City Manager will start July first.