The City of Sisters has requested that city council candidate Richard Esterman provide additional information and documentation to demonstrate that he is a resident of the City of Sisters. The city charter requires that a candidate for council be a resident of the City for a year prior to the election.

Esterman's home in Tollgate went on the market in late September. Esterman told The Nugget he needs to downsize and he said he began renting a small house in town at 153 Oak Street in October 2015. He reported he has been using his Tollgate house as his office.

Questions have come into the City regarding Esterman's actual residency and on Monday, October 24, City Attorney Jeremy Green sent the candidate a letter seeking clarification. The City provided a copy of the letter to The Nugget.

The letter notes that Esterman filed a candidate statement on July 14 identifying 153 Oak Street as his place of residence and indicating plans to move to 329 Jefferson Way.

"City is concerned that your actual place of residence is in Tollgate," Green wrote.

Esterman told The Nugget in a recent interview that he had been sleeping at the Jefferson Way address because he prefers it to the Oak Street house.

The letter cites water consumption records and garbage service requirements as the basis for its concern.

"For the period commencing on September 23, 2015, and ending on April 22, 2016, there was not any water consumption at Sisters Property," Green writes. "Thereafter, water usage has been minimal. In addition, City understands that garbage service has not been provided to the Sisters Property during the relevant period. The lack of water usage coupled with the fact that garbage service has not been provided to the Sisters Property is a strong indicator that you have not resided at the Sisters Property during the relevant time period."

The city is requesting that Esterman provide an explanation of the lack of water consumption; an explanation for garbage service not being provided; and evidence that Esterman has resided at the 153 Oak Street property during the past year. Electricity bills showing continuous usage would be considered documentation.

The attorney's letter requests that the documentation be provided by 5 p.m. on October 31.

What, if any effect, the questions over residency will have on Esterman's candidacy are not clear.

"It will most likely not be resolved by the election," City Manager Rick Allen told The Nugget.

According to the city charter, the city council is the ultimate arbiter of whether or not a councilor or candidate is a qualified resident of the City of Sisters.

Richard Esterman could not be reached for comment at press time.