The Sisters City Council has seen its share of dissent in recent months, including an unfortunate effort to oust its highly competent city manager. That misguided effort was quashed largely through the leadership of Mayor Lon Kellstrom. We urge voters to return Kellstrom to the council, to elect two newcomers who can bring fresh perspective, and to approve the proposed annexation of the airport property.
Four candidates are running at large for three positions on the council, and the three with the most votes will take those seats.
Kellstrom, 66, has been mayor for four years and on the council much longer. He said he focuses on fiscal discipline, protecting public resources and pursuing economic opportunity. The previous council, he said, was not business-friendly.
Newcomer Catherine Childress, 66, is a retired Sprint executive who had previously been a teacher. She said Sisters has been good for her family, and she wants to contribute. Her style is collaborative and fact-based, she said, and she wants to see Sisters grow in a controlled way, bringing in family wage jobs. She would bring a mature, analytical approach to city business, informed by her extensive business background and her appreciation for Sisters.
McKibben Womack, 29, runs a landscape business and has served on the city’s budget committee. Although he lacks the extensive experience of Kellstrom and Childress, he stresses the importance of people his age getting involved. His thoughtfulness and perspective would be an asset to the council.
Former mayor Brad Boyd, 51, is also running and has extensive knowledge and many concerns about the way the city has been run recently. His issues deserve the council’s attention, but we believe the other candidates will work better together on the council for the advancement of the city’s interests.
We also favor the annexation proposal that would bring the Sisters Airport into city boundaries, allowing for development that is blocked by its current zoning.