Bruce Garlich - Distinguished Leader
As you might remember, following a hard-fought campaign for City Council last year in which he finished third, our friend Bruce Garlich planned to serve out the remaining two years of his appointment on the Planning Commission. Unfortunately, personal health reasons forced him to resign that position earlier this year. He's been dealing with those issues ever since and I'm happy to report that he is making good progress.
In addition to his tenure on the Planning Commission, Bruce has been an active and valued volunteer in many organizations in our community, including the Senior Center and the Boy's and Girl's Club Boards. He has worked tirelessly in these and other activities, bringing his experience, wisdom, leadership and integrity to each endeavor.
At their annual awards dinner on May 17, 2007 the Orange County chapter of the American Planning Association (OCAPA) recognized Bruce for his very significant contributions to our city as a Planning Commissioner by presenting him with their "Distinguished Leadership Award - Citizen Planner". The following is the text of the article published in "The Orange County Planner", that chronicled Bruce's award:
Bruce Garlich has been working just as hard in his retirement as he did during full-time employment as an aerospace engineer. For more than 25 years, he has served as a citizen planner, including three consecutive terms on the City of Costa Mesa Planning
Commission, one as its Chair. As a planning commissioner, Bruce has shaped or acted on major plans or projects that are now changing the face of the city, including its 2000 General Plan, Segerstrom Concert Hall, and at least two of the projects that earned citations earlier this evening. One measure of Bruce’s influence is the 800 Google "hits" generated by his citizen planner activity
over the past couple years. In supporting his nomination, his fellow commissioners cite Mr. Garlich's "ability to communicate complex issues in a language that [real] people understand.” He is fair, they attest, he leads by example, and he always does his homework, enabling him to ask "the hard questions." Bruce Garlich, they declare, "is an inspiration."
As far as I'm concerned, that last sentence sums up Bruce's activities in this city. He has dedicated much of his post-retirement life to making Costa Mesa a better place for all of us to live, work and play. If you were fortunate enough to watch him on the Planning Commission you saw the steady hand of reason on the helm - whether he was the Chairman or not. One only has to watch the current version of the commission once or twice to see just how much that steady hand is missed.
Congratulations to Bruce on this most recent and well-deserved recognition. We hope to see him back more fully involved soon.