Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lots Of Hats In The Ring

Yikes! I just read the City Council agenda for Tuesday, January 20th and saw that way, way, way down at the end of the program the council will decide which candidates will fill the openings on the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission. This time around there are 37 candidates who've thrown their hats in the ring - it's like graduation at a service academy, for goodness sake!

There are 22 candidates for the two slots open on the Planning Commission, including the incumbents, Eleanor Egan and Donn Hall. There are 15 candidates for the two positions open on the Parks and Recreation Commission, but only Bob Graham has asked to be re-appointed. Unless long-time commissioner Mark Harris has a late change of heart, he will not be on the commission again this time around.

Here's the list of good folks who have asked to be considered for one or both of the commissions:


Planning Commission

1. Robert ((Bob) Banka

2. Ted Butch

3. Scott Clements
4. Gary Craig
5. Eleanor Egan

6. Leah Ersoylu*

7. Donn Hall**

8. Matthew Hoyt*

9. Brittany Koper

10. Maryann Marks

11. Steven Martinez

12. Jeff Mathews

13. Diane McCardle

14. ColinMcCarthy

15. Christopher McEvoy

16. Stephen Mensinger

17. Joaquin Sahagun

18. Burt Sirota

19. Dan Skahill

20. Gabriel Teran*
21. Dan Worthington

22. Jonathan Zich*

Parks and Recreation Commission
1. Dennis Crane

2. Robert Dickson, Jr.

3. Leah Ersoylu

4. Jim Fitzpatrick

5. Robert Graham

6. Jeffrey Harlan
7. Matthew Hoyt

8. Jeff Mathews*
9. Kim Pederson

10. Marnie Primmer

11. Cliff Raits

12. Barbara Steck**

13. David Stiller

14. Gabriel Teran

15. Jonathan Zich

* Individual identified this Commission as first choice preference
** Late application: 1/12/09

Pretty impressive numbers, and that's just the beginning. I don't recall such strong fields of candidates in years. I've gone to the attachment which lists the resumes/letters of interest for each of the candidates and reviewed every one of them. There are many very impressive resumes to be considered - folks with just the right kind of education and experience to prepare them for positions on the commissions. Plus, there are a few familiar names, too.

For Planning Commission, in addition to incumbents Egan and Hall, I see that young Chris McEvoy - a city council candidate last year - has asked to be considered. At the other end of the spectrum, I see that Minuteman Dan Worthington - long-time community activist - has also asked to be considered. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the "inside money" is betting on Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger to be chosen to replace Egan and Hall. McCarthy is a neighbor of The Mouth From Mesa North and has frequently been heard to echo much of his mantra. Mensinger is a business buddy of current commissioner Jim Righeimer and has spent a lot of his career under the wing of George L. Argyros, former Ambassador to Spain, head honcho at Arnel Development and big time political fund raiser.

In the case of the Parks and Recreation Commission, it's unlikely that Graham will be re-appointed. He's proven to be intractable on issues regardless of what the facts or common sense dictate. Long time community activist David Stiller has asked for consideration. He has a long history of solid community involvement and is never reluctant to voice his opinion on issues. Among the others are Jeff Harlan and Marnie Primmer, both of whom have become active in the fledgling Eastside Homeowners Group. Both have solid credentials, too. And, Rob Dickson - a name familiar to those who read the Daily Pilot blog and other blogs around town, including this one - has stepped up for consideration, too. He's an interesting young man with strong views and a tenacity to dig into issues that could be welcome on the Parks and Recreation Commission. This is a real opportunity to re-invigorate what has been a pretty boring, leaderless commission over the past two years.

As always, I look forward to next Tuesday's meeting. It will be interesting for those of us willing to stay up late to see whether the current council will opt to place cronies on the commissions, or if they will choose those with strong credentials and fresh views. I will be fascinated by the choices they have to make for the Planning Commission, in particular. Will they cast aside Egan and Hall - experienced, hardworking, skilled practitioners who have also been loyal "Westsiders", too? If so, will they replace them with McCarthy - another strident voice - and Mensinger - another politically connected guy? It's going to be a very interesting evening.

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Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Wow! That is a lot of candidates!

As for Parks and Recs, Kim Pederson has been pretty involved in the joint use issues. He would be a good candidate as well.

I must admit there are a lot of people I have never heard of applying. I am not sure if that is good or bad.

1/16/2009 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, I'm pleasantly surprised at the big interest in these commissions! It is encouraging that so many people want to be involved with helping the city prosper. I hope that whoever forms the commissions offers some of the remaining candidates the opportunity to serve on advisory sub-committees.

Are any of the candidates for planning actually there not for the benefit of the city, but their pocketbooks?

1/20/2009 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

alex, I agree - lots of interest is a very good thing. Your question is a good one. It would not be a surprise if one or more of the Planning candidates are looking for ways to feather their own, personal nests... I'll leave it to you to review their backgrounds and decide...

1/20/2009 09:14:00 PM  

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