FALLS CITY — Mac Corthell, Falls City city manager, said his favorite part of the Sept. 9 city council meeting was introducing William Sullivan.

Sullivan is a participant in the AmeriCorps Resource Assistance for Rural Economies (Rare) program administered through the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement.

He is a graduate-level student and will work in Falls City for 11 months on community development projects. Sullivan graduated from New York University, has served in the Peace Corps, and has background in community organizing and outreach.

Corthell said each year, about 300 cities and other entities apply for a Rare candidate, but few make the cut.

“Falls City was selected as one of those,” he said. “It’s a very competitive process — only 20 to 30 are awarded to about 300 applicant entities per year.”

Sullivan will continue the work started earlier this year with the city’s community visioning and economic sustainability project. The initiative began as community meetings to brainstorm economic development. Those ideas have been passed to a steering committee and specialized groups.

“That is what our Rare is going to be doing, getting us past that, giving us the capacity to go from really awesome plans and a lot of energy behind them to actually putting shovels in the ground and making a difference,” Corthell said. 

Sullivan also will improve the city’s website and update Falls City’s planning handbook.

“I will be serving 1,700 hours between now and the end of next July as the community development and outreach coordinator,” he said Monday after Corthell introduced him to the council.

The cost to the city is $23,500. Grants from PacifiCorp Foundation and Ford Family Foundation of $3,000 and $10,000, respectively, have help cover that expense.

“We are actually only paying about $10,000 for William to be working in our community,” Corthell said.

Sept. 9 was Sullivan’s first day on the job, and he said he’s looking forward to working with city leaders the rest of the year.

“Thank you to Manager Corthell, Mayor Gordon and the city council for everything that has led up to this point, for providing me with the opportunity,” Sullivan said. “I’m excited to be here.”

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