Lily Morgan will resign from the Oregon House to take over as city manager – Oregon Capital Chronicle
State Rep. Lily Morgan, R-Grants Pass, will resign from the Legislature to run a small city in southern Oregon.
The Gold Hill City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Morgan as the new city manager, and she plans to resign from the House before the Dec. 4 start date. Grants pass the Daily Courier Reported for the first time Morgan’s upcoming resignation.
Morgan has been serving in the House since 2021, focusing on public safety and behavioral health. She previously served as a Grants Pass City Councilor and Josephine County Commissioner.
“I think I was able to speak for my community and what impacts us in a way that shows the heart of rural Oregon, addresses the difficult issues we face but also how amazing our people are,” she said. Capital Chronicle. “Even though we are partisan and divided, there is a way to do this respectfully while maintaining our values.”
She told the Capital Chronicle that she did not seek the Gold Hill job until a recruiter reached out to her. She will oversee a staff of four serving the former mining town with a population of 1,300.
But Morgan said she had aspired to one day become city manager years ago, when she served on the Grants Pass City Council and was hired as its new city manager. Morgan returned to graduate school at Southern Oregon University and earned a master’s degree in management because of that experience, but her career took her in a different direction.
Morgan told a group of legislative staffers who crowded into her office to surprise her with a cake between meetings on Wednesday that the most exciting moment for her as a lawmaker came during her first year in office when she advocated for Broad law That regulates synthetically derived cannabinoids, such as delta-8, which are intoxicating but are not regulated the way traditional marijuana is.
One of her colleagues, Democratic Rep. Pam Marsh of Ashland, described Morgan as one of the state’s leading cannabis experts, and Morgan said it’s difficult to step away from her legislative work on cannabis. She also has mixed feelings about stepping down because she is the only lawmaker who has worked in community corrections, as a parole officer and probation officer in Josephine County. She said that experience helping convicted or incarcerated people reenter society gave her a unique perspective on criminal justice issues.
Morgan said she has spoken with other Republicans, including the former president of the Grants Pass Chamber of Commerce, about running for reelection or putting their name forward for an appointment. After her resignation, GOP Election Committee members — local elected party officials who vote on party business, including nominating replacements for candidates or elected officials who have not finished their terms — will select three to five candidates and the Josephine County Commission will select someone from that list to finish Morgan period.
One Republican, real estate broker Dwayne Yunker, planned to challenge Morgan in the GOP primary and has already filed for the position. Two Democrats, Taco Bell dishwasher Dustin Watkins and landscaper Mark Seligman, are also running. The district is considered safe for Republicans.
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