Two new members sought for commission

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— As a junior member on the city's Planning Commission, Shelley Pastachak figured the upcoming revision of the decade-old Community Development Code was a good project to work on before ending her public service.

That was six years ago.

After City Council passed the code in July, Pastachak had accomplished her mission, and as far as she was concerned, it was none too soon.

"I wasn't expecting it to last this long," she said.

Pastachak spent more than seven years on the commission and held the chair position for three years. She was the longest-running member of the commission when she dropped off.

She and Commissioner Tony Connell each decided over the past few months to step down from the commission after seeing the code through to its adoption.

The Planning Commission now has six members and is looking for two new commissioners to embrace the code crafted by their predecessors.

After reducing the commission from nine to seven members earlier this year, the city needs one full commissioner and an alternate to replace the departing members. The City Council appoints commissioners.

Current Planning Commission Chairwoman Kathi Meyer said the alternate position should not be overlooked as a token spot. The alternate who fills in for any commissioners who can't be at the meeting or who have to step down from an application because of a conflict of interest has voted on virtually every project to come through the city in the past year, Meyer said.

Meyer said she hopes the city can find commissioners with some of the same skills Pastachak and Connell brought to the table. Pastachak is an architect working for herself and Connell is a civil engineer who often brought his expertise in engineering and public works to discussions.

"We have plenty of lawyers. We have plenty of brokers. What we need are folks with a nuts and bolts understanding of the planning process," Meyer said.

Meyer, encouraged any interested parties to apply to fill out the terms of the two commissioners, which end March 31, 2003.

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