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home : current news : current news October 21, 2018

10/10/2018 8:18:00 AM
Preedin is ready to serve on city council
photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
photo by Jerry Baldock
By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Michael Preedin will take a seat on the Sisters City Council after the November election - one of three candidates who are each running unopposed. He'll be ready.

The Sisters designer has been attending city council meetings since January to prepare for the job, missing only one during that time - on his birthday.

Preedin, who previously served on the Sisters Planning Commission in 2009, recognizes that the Council's primary mission in coming years will be to manage the impacts of growth, making sure the City has the infrastructure in place to accommodate the people who wish to live, work and play here.

"We, as a city council, have to manage that," he said. "It's a management position. It's not a pulpit."

Preedin believes that the city has done a good job in managing its infrastructure to this point. Continuing growth will bring continuing pressure - especially on housing and traffic.

Housing affordability is a challenge, and Preedin thinks the City should plan on some careful expansion to cope with it.

"One of the ways we can make housing more affordable is to have more inventory," he said.

He said he would like to look at the possibility of Urban Growth Boundary expansion, perhaps to the north and east, to bring more buildable land into the inventory. He emphasized that he is talking about hundreds, not thousands of additional houses. He also supports consideration of allowing for accessory dwelling units and supporting multi-family housing.

"We need to facilitate people who want to build apartments, because multi-family is a good way to get some affordable housing in," he said.

He also noted that the City needs to hold developers to deals they have made to provide for some affordable dwelling units.

Preedin also recognizes a need to continue long-term planning for traffic management. He thinks the roundabout has had a positive impact.

"I wasn't a big proponent of the roundabout," he said, "but I think it's helped a little bit. It's certainly helped with the safety part of it."

Preedin indicated that he is personally opposed to allowing marijuana-related businesses in Sisters, he thinks it is appropriate that local citizens will decide the matter in the current election.

"I'll be voting against it myself," he said.

However, he is glad that the City Council has worked on "time, manner, and place" regulations regarding marijuana-related businesses in the event that voters approve them or federal law changes in the future.

"I'll make sure the TMPs are as good as we can get them," he said. He noted that, reviewing what the City has come up with so far, "I didn't see anything that alarmed me."

Preedin noted that the city's contract with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office comes up for renewal in 2020.

"I really want to get the discussion going on having a full-time police department in Sisters again," he said. "It would keep the speeders down a little bit."

Looking long-term, Preedin would like to see the City have an aquatic center - whether public or private or some sort of partnership.

"I think that we're affluent enough to do it," he said. "It's going to take some discussion to see how it would happen."

The soon-to-be-councilor thinks the City should take a relatively hands-off approach to the future of the Forest Service property at the west end of town.

"I think the City should help where they can but shouldn't force a developer too much or tell them what to do," he said. "I'm not a huge proponent of telling someone what to do when they buy a piece of land."

Preedin is the principal of Preedin Design, a residential design and drafting practice based in Sisters.

Growing up in a military family and with military service of his own, Preedin is well travelled - and he's never found a place that he loves as much as Sisters.

"I've lived in six states and two foreign countries (England and Germany)," he said. "Oregon's really the only place I've ever lived that I wanted to go back to after I left."

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Article comment by: Frenchy LeFavor

Our son will perform on the city council to the absolute best of his abilities and those are considerable! We are exceedingly proud of the man our son has become and we know that Sisters will benefit from his future efforts for your city!

Michaelís Mother and Step-Dad

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