Passing the gavel in Canyon City

<p>Former Canyon City Mayor Dorman Gregory has retired from the city post.</p>


CANYON CITY – Dorman Gregory, whose tenure in Canyon City public office and community service spans 40-plus years, has traded in the mayor’s gavel for a fishing pole.

Gregory retired last month from his most recent stint as the town’s mayor.

The longtime Canyon City resident was honored with a plaque at the Jan. 15 city council meeting, with thanks for his years of service to the community.

He’s succeeded in the mayor’s post by Steve Fischer, who was elected last year.

The decision to retire did not come easily for Gregory.

“I hated to walk away from it, but it’s time to let some younger ones in,” he said. “I’m almost 71, and just said, ‘that’s enough.’”

Gregory had two stints as Canyon City mayor: from 2000-2004, and again starting in April 2008, when mayor Don Mooney resigned. Gregory finished out Mooney’s term and was re-elected the following November for a four-year term.

That’s not the only hat he’s worn in town.

Gregory was with the Canyon City Fire Department for 23 years, from 1970-1993, first as a volunteer fireman and later as assistant chief. He also was a city councilor, taking on that title Jan. 8, 1975.

He served on the council – either as a councilor or mayor – continuously until his retirement last month.

Dorman and his wife, Phyllis, have lived in Canyon City for 43 years. When the Gregorys moved to Grant County in November 1969, they rented a home in John Day for a couple of months and then bought a house in Canyon City.

When asked about memories of his time as mayor, Gregory cited one event that stands out for him: when the town teamed up with John Day to install a new sewage system, which was completed in 1980.

“We tied in with John Day, and did lots of good work,” he said, to get the two cities hooked up to a brand new system.

He’s still thankful for the cooperation of the City of John Day with the project.

“I’m pretty proud of that,” he said.

Recently retired Canyon City city recorder Tammy Bremner said, “Dorman was here for many major improvements. The town is a better place, thanks to his many years of service.”

Gregory said that everyone he’s worked with has been great.

“The people who live here in Canyon City, and John Day too, are really mellow folks,” he said. “I never had any huge problems with anyone,” he added.

“When it comes to government stuff, they are really great people,” he said.

So what does the future hold for the Gregorys?

The retirement list includes more visits with a daughter who lives on the coast, fishing, and “chasing the grandkids around.”

The couple have two daughters, a son, and seven grandchildren, four in high school. The Gregorys keep busy attending their sporting events and other activities.

Gregory also plans to spend more time in his shop, where he builds birdhouses to sell at events such as ’62 Days.

For starters, Gregory said that he and his wife are “going to sit back and just enjoy ourselves.”

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