16 applicants, including all current members apply for 5 positions on Elk Grove Planning Commission

The final item on this evening's Elk Grove City Council meeting agenda includes reviewing the entire Elk Grove Planning Commission for possible reappointments or new appointments.

The review of the members came following Bobbie Singh-Allen's election as Elk Grove Mayor late last year. One of her first moves after taking office, which received the support of the other four city councilmembers, was to review city boards and commissions.

For the planning commission, which is the most visible all the city's commissions, all five seats were open for applicants. The city received 16 qualified applicants, including all current commissioners (see applicant list below).  

"There is one commission that is very important," Singh-Allen said during the December 10 meeting, her first as mayor. "The planning commission makes very, very important decisions that relate to our land-use policies."

Of the five current members, the longest-serving is George Murphey, appointed by then-City Councilmember Gary Davis in 2007. At that time, each of the five councilmembers nominated a planning commissioner, and their terms ran concurrent to the city councilmember who appointed them.

The other four commissioners, including Mackenzie Weiser, Andrew Schuck, Tony Lin, and Sergio Robles, were nominated by former Mayor Steve Ly and were appointed by city council consensus. Robles and Lin are the newest commissioners after their appointments last year by Ly in October and March, respectively, while Weiser has served since January 2017 and Schuck since April 2018.  

After the city changed to a directly elected mayor in 2012, all vacancies were nominated by the mayor, and appointments were made by city council consensus. During his time as mayor, Ly was often frustrated by the city council, who balked at appointing his nominees and complained his ability to replace certain planning commissioners amounted to what he said were defacto lifetime appointments.  

Although the planning commission has been viewed as a political stepping stone, only two of four commissioners who sought election to the city council have succeeded. Current City Councilmember Pat Hume was elected in 2006 after serving on the city's first planning commission, and Kevin Spease served on the planning commission before being elected last year to the District 3 seat, but not before losing his first run for mayor in 2016 while he was serving as a commissioner. 

Tonight's meeting starts at 6 p.m. and can be viewed online. 


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