Temecula City Council changes process for board, commission appointments

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The city of Temecula will change the way it appoints citizens to board and commission positions in the city government, council members voted Oct. 8.

Temecula has three commissions – community services, planning and public and traffic safety – along with one board, the Old Town Local Review Board, each of which has five members.

Previously, the members of each were appointed by the city council, under the recommendation of a subcommittee consisting of two council members, for three-year terms ending in June for the planning commission and Old Town Local Review Board in October for the community services and public and traffic safety commissions.

With the new changes, the full city council will now review applications and hear a brief presentation and interview prospective board and commission members to make appointments without the involvement of a subcommittee.

The community services and public and traffic safety position terms will be changed to expire in December, while the other positions will retain the same timing, so that a board member will serve during either a fiscal or a calendar year, city clerk Randi Johl said.

Under the previous process, appointment applications were limited to a 30-day window. That window will stay the same under the new process, but at the suggestion of Mayor Pro Tem James Stewart, the council resolved to create a year-round interest list so anyone who wants to join a board or commission can be notified when the application window begins

“We all live such busy lives, and it’s so easy to miss a 30-day deadline,” Stewart said.

There was some discussion on whether to keep the in-person presentation and interview process, but the council ultimately decided to keep it.

“There are people who don’t really present themselves well on paper, but verbally, you can see the passion and you can hear it in their voice,” council member Zak Schwank said. “Or vice versa, someone can look great on paper, and they’re stammering up there and they just don’t seem to have the passion or the desire.”

Council member Maryann Edwards agreed.

“I want to see somebody who loves Temecula, wants to protect it, preserve it, take care of it for their children and their grandchildren,” she said. “That can’t always be conveyed on paper.”

Public safety commissioners Brad Sullivan and James Richardson, as well as community services commissioners Eric Willis and Eric Levine, all have terms that are set to expire in October. The city council voted to extend their terms temporarily until December to align with the new timing for terms.

Will Fritz can be reached by email at wfritz@reedermedia.com.