To the Editor:

We would like to thank City Manager Cory Misley and City Councilor Andrea Blum for educating our group on April 11 about how our City government operates, who is responsible for what, and how citizens can get involved in making Sisters a better place. We are so grateful for all the volunteer work Andrea puts into her work as a councilor, and for the passion and dedication Cory showed us for making sure Sisters thrives.

They taught us that the City operates on a $15,836,348 budget for FY 2018-19 to administer water and sewer, city streets, parks and land-use planning, public safety, and the economic development of Sisters. The City Manager, who is hired by the council, makes sure that the City’s policies and contracts are administered, oversees staff, and makes recommendations to the council on many issues.

There are five city councilors that are elected for four- or two-year terms; three are open positions every two years. The top two vote-getters get four-year terms, and the last gets a two-year term. The Mayor is chosen from within the council, by the council. The mayor runs council meetings and officially represents the City in public. Three councilor positions will be open in the 2020 November election, including Mayor Ryan’s, Councilor Blum’s and Councilor Esterman’s seats. Qualifications for running are simply that candidates must be a qualified elector and live within the Sisters City limits for at least 12 months immediately preceding the election, and agree to volunteer their time to make decisions on behalf of the citizens. Other helpful, but unrequired, qualifications are: a passion for making the city thrive, an ability to listen to all sides, some government experience, like work of volunteering, and trust in City staff. Andrea inspired us to run for city council ourselves, saying, “the reason to run is because you’ll get to learn a lot of new things!”

Cory encouraged citizens with questions about the City to simply call him or other staff on the phone. Our town is still of a size that he has time for individual questions! If people need to voice their opinion, they can speak briefly at the beginning of each council meeting, during visitor communication time. They also read the letters to the editor in The Nugget. Regular council meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

They also told us about volunteer opportunities for people interested in getting more involved in the City, who aren’t quite ready to run for election. People can volunteer on the various advisory committees such as: parks, housing, economic development, planning, urban forestry, and budget.

Susan Cobb

Indivisible Sisters

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To the Editor:

As this is Earth Day week, I’ve been reflecting on how we can do a better job of taking care of our Earth. I, like many people, am in awe of the recent pictures of a Black Hole, an estimated 55 million light years away and 5 million times larger than our sun.

With so much talk and money being spent on colonizing Mars wouldn’t we be wiser to put greater effort into cleaning up our Earth’s oceans?

Currently, our oceans are estimated to have more than 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste in them, which all too frequently ends up in the fish we eat, and in the stomachs of other ocean-faring mammals and birds. It’s estimated that only 14 percent of our plastic is collected for recycling… let’s do a better job.

Dale Payne

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To the Editor:

It has been a couple of months since my last letter and I am happy to report that our enrollment is up slightly after the holiday break and continues to be above our projected enrollment for the year.

The unofficial theme of our last board meeting was partnerships. Sara Miller presented on the Sisters Kids Choir supported by Sisters Folk Festival. We had approximately 50 elementary students involved in the program, and they had a great showing at the Kids Choir Festival in Bend.

Next, Carol Packard reported on another successful Sisters Science Fair. This great partnership with the Sisters Science Club showcased and supported both community and student work in the field of science. Students competed in the tennis ball launch and balloon cars in addition to displaying and presenting projects from a variety of our classes and clubs. It was a great day of supporting and promoting science education.

Our last guest was Larry Holeman. Larry shared information about our new internship program that was developed in partnership with Sisters EdCo, Better Together, the Sisters School District and Sisters and Central Oregon businesses. Through this partnership, our high school students are able to engage in paid internships and receive credits for their experiences. As a student or a business, if you want more information, please contact Rick Kroytz at Sisters High School.

Finally, we discussed the survey results for moving the start of the school day back from an 8 a.m. start time to an 8:30 a.m. start time. Although the majority of the responses were in favor of this change, we would like to hear more from those that were not in support of it so the district can better understand the challenges this change may create for our community. For those that have concerns about this potential change, I am scheduling listening sessions to hear your feedback. These sessions will be on the evening of May 7 at 6:30 p.m. and May 8 at 9:30 a.m. at the Superintendent’s Coffee. Both sessions will be held at the Sisters School District Office.

Curt Scholl

SSD Superintendent