Cal City plan­ners are back at full strength

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By AL­LI­SON GATLIN Valley Press Staff Writer

CAL­I­FOR­NIA CITY — Two Plan­ning Com­mis­sion­ers took the oath of of­fice Jan. 14, bring­ing the Com­mis­sion back to full mem­ber­ship af­ter months of ef­fort to fill two va­can­cies.

In­terim Com­mis­sion Chair­man Jim Creighton and res­i­dent Carla Conry were sworn in by City Clerk Denise Hil­liker for two-year terms.

The Coun­cil has been seek­ing to fill two seats for the ex­pired terms of Creighton and Inge Elmes since Septem­ber. In or­der to al­low the Com­mis­sion to con­tinue to func­tion, they were left on the Com­mis­sion on an in­terim ba­sis while the city re­cruited dur­ing a two-week pe­riod. Dur­ing that time, the only ap­pli­ca­tions re­ceived were from Creighton and Elmes, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port.

How­ever, Elmes had to re­sign her seat when she was hired as the city’s Off-High­way Ve­hi­cle Man­ager on

Oct. 28.

Dur­ing a sec­ond re­cruit­ment pe­riod end­ing Nov. 21, six-year res­i­dent Kristy Mundt was the only per­son to sub­mit a let­ter of in­tent for the open po­si­tion, and the Coun­cil con­sid­ered her ap­point­ment on Dec. 10.

How­ever, at that meet­ing ques­tions were raised about the ad­e­quacy of the ap­pli­ca­tion pe­riod no­ti­fi­ca­tion and the Coun­cil de­cided to re­open the process with a dead­line of Jan. 3.

An in­ter­view com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of Mayor Chuck McGuire, Coun­cilmem­ber Don­ald Par­ris, Plan­ning Di­rec­tor Matthew Alexander and City Plan­ner Shawn Monk met with ap­pli­cants on Jan. 8 and asked each of the three the same 16 ques­tions, rank­ing the an­swers. The ap­pli­cant with the high­est score was to be brought to Coun­cil for ap­proval.

This process gen­er­ated the nom­i­na­tion of Conry, who was unani

mously ap­proved.

“There were three good cit­i­zens that were rec­og­nized,” Coun­cilmem­ber Ron Smith said, adding he felt the se­lec­tion process was fair.

There was lit­tle dis­cus­sion dur­ing the meet­ing, although former Coun­cilmem­ber Tami John­son dis­trib­uted to the Coun­cil copies of Face­book post­ing by Conry that she said in­cluded dis­parag­ing re­marks about city work­ers, law en­force­ment, business own­ers and the mar­i­juana in­dus­try.

“I just hope you give that in­for­ma­tion some con­sid­er­a­tion be­fore mak­ing your de­ci­sion,” she said.

Conry said the state­ments were taken out of con­text, were one to two years old and were in re­ac­tion to a pe­riod of ha­rass­ment.

“I should be able to say what I want to say. It is Amer­ica,” she said.

AL­LI­SON GATLIN/VALLEY PRESS

City Clerk Denise Hil­liker (left) ad­min­is­ters the oath of of­fice to Plan­ning Com­mis­sioner Carla Conry (cen­ter) and Plan­ning Com­mis­sion Chair­man Jim Creighton on Jan. 14. Their ap­point­ments bring the Com­mis­sion to full mem­ber­ship for the first time in sev­eral months.

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