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City Council to make appointments tonight

Published: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 8:14 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

Petaluma City Council members are set Monday to fill vacancies on three subcommittees with community volunteers and elect several teenagers to an advisory commission.

The adult appointments, one each to the Planning Commission, Senior Advisory Committee and Youth Commission, don't look to be controversial.

In years past, appointments to the planning commission have been used to bolster City Council members' influence over the way the city is run, deepening divisions between political factions on the council.

All three planning commission applicants — Daryl Johnson, Houston Porter and David Powers — applied for openings on the board in June, when the council appointed four new commissioners.

The current vacancy, created when newly-appointed commissioner JT Wick took Sonoma County's top planning job last month, expires June 30, 2016.

Johnson, 54, is a construction and design adviser for the Petaluma Health Center. He is a lifelong Petaluma resident, a member of the local Elks Lodge and the Petaluma Area Pilots Association.

He has received awards for his work on real estate projects and for the Theatre District project in Petaluma in 2006.

“I am very interested in the future of Petaluma's sustainability and building aesthetics,” he said in his application.

Johnaon said he supports infill development, higher densities and mass-transit friendly housing and commercial development called for in the city's general plan.

Porter, 43, who has lived in Petaluma off and on for 20 years, manages his family's rental properties in town and is awaiting the results of his bar exam to pursue a career in law.

He was appointed to a position on the city's youth commission this summer, served on the Cinnabar Theater board from 2009 to 2012 and has volunteered for several nonprofit groups in Sonoma and Marin County. He said he has managed staffs of 75 or more employees and 300 or more volunteers.

He said “better parking downtown and as least one more freeway overpass would certainly help” with traffic congestion.

Powers, 69, a retired small business owner and professional photographer, has lived in Petaluma for three years.

“Seeing the town with a set of new eyes. I feel I would bring a fresh perspective to local issues,” he wrote in his application.

Powers said he supports expanded public transit and traffic calming measures like road diets to encourage alternatives to auto traffic and reduce traffic congestion in Petaluma.

In June, Johnson received votes from Mayor David Glass and Councilwoman Teresa Barrett, who also voted for Powers. Four others were elected with votes from the majority, including Chris Albertson, Mike Harris, Mike Healy, Kathy Miller and Gabe Kearney.

Monday's appointee will join commissioners Gina Benedetti-Petnic, Jocelyn Lin, Richard Marzo, Jennifer Pierre, Bill Wolpert and council liaison Miller.

Wayne Miller is the only applicant for the Senior Advisory Committee vacancy.

Three applicants are vying for one adult seat on the Youth Commission: Christopher Borders, Michelle Marble and Rosaleen Shelley.

The council is also set to appoint five teens to the youth commission: Sarah Burfoot, Jocelyn Edmonson, Tessa Hughes, Hannah Haakenson and Hank Miller.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 11 English St.

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