The Sisters City Council at the May 15 meeting, encouraged by certain staff members and based on facts that were not entirely accurate, approved to make Williamson and Hill connecting streets from the new Hayden development at McKenzie Meadows Village.

These roads will connect through the Village at Cold Springs, continuing through the new Village at Cold Springs East and continuing on to Rail Way. This decision will turn our privately owned and maintained roads into a major traffic thoroughfare with hundreds of extra cars per day.

This approval also potentially committed your tax dollars being allocated to cover the legal costs that this decision will incur.

Why will your tax dollars be spent on this decision?

The City Council ignored the data presented to them that these were designated private roads by the City in 2005 when Hayden submitted their original master plan for the Village at Cold Springs. We own all these roads, pay taxes on these roads, and all the homeowners pay for all costs to maintain these roads. The City Council also ignored their own codes — which outline how these streets were to be built — and allowed them to be built not following their specifications.

All of this is in clear violation of the City’s own transportation plan, and yet was inaccurately presented to the City Council and Planning Commission. Certain City staff members pushed for these roads to be connected without concern for the safety of the children that play in their yards, ride their bikes on these narrow streets, the adults that ride their bikes on these streets and those of us that walk on these sidewalks. Another comment made by Mr. Bessman, the traffic engineer consultant that lives in Bend, was that the narrow streets will automatically slow traffic down. Yet, on April 15, Mr. Bessman drove down Fremont, turning onto Williamson and was in the middle of the street, past my house as I was pulling out of my driveway, well in excess of the posted speed limit. Is this a “do as I say, not as I do”?

The key item we requested was to have emergency gates installed at the west end of Williamson and Hill. I provided the City and City Council with those specifications which I had received from Doug Green, the fire safety manager for the Sisters/Camp Sherman Fire District. Based on comments from the Council members, they either did not read this information or didn’t understand it.

It was very obvious the way the entire April 24 meeting was set up, it was geared to promote the City’s agenda and program and not to help the citizens of Sisters that live in the Village at Cold Springs. At the City Council meeting on April 24, all the City planners, the consultant traffic engineer and Hayden were given unlimited time to present their information, which in some cases was not accurate.

When it came time for those of us that will be directly impacted by their decision, to present our concerns and recommendations, we were given only three minutes each AND NOT ALLOWED TO SHOW OUR SUPPORTING DATA ON THE SCREEN.

It also should be noted that nobody on the City staff nor the City Council live in the Village at Cold Springs, so they will not be affected by their decision. Their decision will impact over 300 citizens of Sisters. I also question how many of the staff and Council members actually visited the Village at Cold Springs, drove the roads, saw the blind spots, saw the narrow roads and realized the potential safety concerns.

This is how your City Council and the City staff, that your taxes pay for, operate. They give several variances to the big guys who do not live here and don’t contribute much to the city or the citizens, but they will not do anything to help those of us that live, work, own businesses and pay taxes in the City of Sisters!

Remember this at the next election.