CANNON BEACH — Brant Kucera, who has served as Cannon Beach’s city manager since 2014, has been named the new city manager of Sisters in Deschutes County.
Kucera topped a field of four candidates who visited Sisters for public gatherings and interviews, according to Joseph O’Neill, the city’s finance director. He was selected unanimously by the Sisters City Council Wednesday night.
“I felt it was time for a change of pace as far as my job goes,” Kucera said today. “Sisters is a small city but it’s growing fast and I find that opportunity really appealing to me.”
Kucera, 46, said he feels he has made a lot of “positive changes” at City Hall.
“I think that overall the direction of the city is positive, however there’s still, in my mind, an aggressive agenda that needs to be pursued when it comes to affordable housing, how we’re going to use our room tax money in the future and implementing the water and sewer master plans,” he said.
Kucera’s last day in Cannon Beach will be June 30. He starts in Sisters July 5, replacing Rick Allen, who has served as interim city manager since April 2016. Final approval is contingent upon the ratification of an employment agreement between Kucera and the city.
In Cannon Beach, Kucera succeeded interim City Manager Jennie Messmer.
The previous city manager, Rich Mays, held the position for more than eight years before retiring.
A University of Idaho graduate with a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Michigan University, Kucera was chosen over three other candidates from a pool of 47 applicants. The nationwide recruitment effort was led by the League of Oregon Cities.
Over the past 13 years, Kucera has worked in municipal governments in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Idaho. He had previously managed Pennsylvania’s Borough of Kennett Square before coming to the Oregon Coast.
At a 2014 meet-and-greet at the Surfsand Resort with community members and local officials, Kucera said that he envisioned himself settling down on the Oregon Coast for quite some time.
During his time in Cannon Beach, Kucera helped the city adopt its first strategic plan, which he called “the foundation we’re going to need to move forward as a community.” The plan was developed from a citizen survey that received a 40 percent response rate from the city’s 1,700 residents.
He worked to prioritize and address housing, infrastructure and emergency services needs,
Kucera also served as the city’s emergency manager.
“I had heard he was in the running, but I had not heard anything about any decision being made,” City Councilor George Vetter said. “It’s too bad, but I’m sure we’ll get a good replacement.”