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Amy Sowa named ‘Recorder of the Year’


ROSEBURG, Ore. – Roseburg Assistant City Manager/City Recorder Amy Sowa was named ‘2022 Recorder of the Year’ Thursday, Sept. 29, by the Oregon Association of Municipal Recorders.

Sowa, who returned to her hometown of Roseburg to become the city recorder in April 2018, was announced as the winner of the prestigious award at the 2022 OAMR Annual Conference banquet Thursday evening at Best Western Plus Agate Beach Inn in Newport, Oregon. Sowa was named assistant city manager/city recorder in March 2021.

“She is well-deserving of the award. She is very personable and easy to work with. She’s also very dedicated to our city,” Mayor Larry Rich said Friday, Sept. 30.

As a certified Master Municipal Clerk with nearly 20 years of experience, Sowa has extensive expertise with legislative and council procedures, records management, organization and administration, special projects and public relations. Every day in her role as the assistant city manager/city recorder for the City, Sowa has epitomized professionalism and dedication to her job and community.

Sowa was nominated because of the pivotal role she has played in the City’s efforts to tackle one of the most challenging issues facing Roseburg and all communities right now: homelessness. In cities large and small throughout Oregon -- especially along the Interstate 5 corridor – the number of unhoused people is rising, and communities must grapple with increased conflicts and concerns.

In the last year, Sowa made an outstanding contribution to her city when she voluntarily stepped up to take on a special project that was not previously part of her job – nor an ordinary job duty of any staff at the City of Roseburg. She has helped Roseburg take critical initial steps to address challenges that can easily divide a community.

Sowa did this by first spearheading an educational/exploratory phase as the Roseburg City Council made a foray into understanding homelessness and Roseburg’s current level of services. She also volunteered to become the staff liaison for the City Council’s newly created Homeless Commission – and then find the right property for the City’s first low-barrier emergency shelter and a nonprofit to operate the facility. At the same time, she researched and wrote municipal code and ordinance updates to support the commission’s and Council’s efforts to address those challenges.

One of the City’s major accomplishments as a result of all this work was the June 23 grand opening of the Gary Leif Navigation Center – the City’s first low-barrier emergency shelter with wraparound services – through a partnership with a local poverty-fighting nonprofit, $2.5 million in state funding and $300,000 in community grants.

“Amy stepped up to be our staff liaison for the Homeless Commission. She is the glue that keeps everyone working together and moving forward to accomplish the goals of the Homeless Commission,” Rich added.

The commission has also begun an effort to open an urban campground for unhoused individuals. Sowa will provide staff support on that effort and serve on the group tasked with considering potential properties.

Sowa will continue to play a major role to reach success in everything the City Council and City staff implement to continue addressing challenges involving homelessness. She’s very committed to seeing the navigation center be successful and spearheading new efforts to address future issues as they arise. Her accomplishments as Roseburg’s City Recorder and these special projects to address homelessness within just this past year have earned her great respect in the community.

Posted by RoseburgAdmin