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Ungricht steps down as mayor

Terry Ungricht announced on Thursday he is resigning as mayor.

Photo by Jolene Guzman
Terry Ungricht announced on Thursday he is resigning as mayor.

FALLS CITY — Terry Ungricht, the mayor and city manager of Falls City, resigned his mayoral responsibilities on Thursday.

Ungricht has been elected to the position twice and has been serving unpaid as the city’s manager since 2015. He remains the unpaid city manager.

“I’m not leaving. You are not getting rid of me,” Ungricht said. “I just felt it would be best with the change in staff and a few of the added responsibilities I had to take on as city manager.”

He said his resignation clears up what he views as ethical questions about serving in an elected and administrative capacity.

For example, he said that so far City Clerk Domenica Protheroe has handled land use issues for the city. She’s retiring soon, which means Ungricht, as city manager, will be helping customers with land use questions or changes. As mayor, he’s on the planning commission, which means he may be asked to vote on appeals of decisions he made.

“As mayor, I sit on the planning commission too. Ethically I have a problem with helping people with their property when I might be on the planning commission where they might bring an appeal to,” Ungricht said.

He noted that it might be best to have another person take on mayor duties, something he said he’s neglected since picking up city manager responsibilities.

“I have not been as good a mayor as everyone says. I’ve been good on the city part, but I haven’t been attending the regional meetings, the monthly mayors’ meetings because of the amount of time I put in,” Ungricht said “There are some areas that we’ve been hurt with me serving as mayor and city manager. It’s out the norm of city governing in Oregon. I just feel it is time and it’s best.”

Resident Lilli Boettcher spoke at Thursday’s council meeting, thanking Ungricht for his service as mayor.

“You’ve been one of the fairest mayors and the one who has done the most for the city,” she said. “Thank you for what you’ve done.”

Protheroe, who has worked at the city since 2011, said his leadership as mayor hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“I have to say, I know you are resigning tonight, that’s it’s been an honor to work with you both as mayor and city manager,” she said. “We are going to miss you as mayor, and like Lilli said, I’ve worked under a number of administrators, a number of mayors, all had their good points. You have been phenomenal.”

Ungricht’s call for a vote approving his resignation was met with “Do we have to?” from Councilor Charlie Flynn, but ultimately passed on a 4-2 vote.

“It’s been an honor in serving the citizens of Falls City,” Ungricht wrote in his resignation. “I appreciate the faith the at citizens show by voting me into the position in the last two elections.”

The city will be taking applications until Friday from qualified residents who wish to serve as mayor.

The council will meet on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Falls City Community Center to appoint someone to serve the remainder of Ungricht’s term.

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