Temecula council makes appointments to Community Services, Public/Traffic Safety commissions

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The Temecula City Council made one new appointment and reappointed three incumbents to city commissions at the council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

Two seats each on the city’s Community Services and Public/Traffic Safety commissions were up for grabs. The terms for each seat expired in October, but the city council voted to extend the terms temporarily after it realigned its commission system so that seats on those commissions would run through December.

Eric Levine will continue to serve with Community Services, while Brad Sullivan and James Richardson will stay on at Public/Traffic Safety.

Eric Willis did not reapply for his position on the Community Services Commission, and the council named Chris Krstevski to the seat.

Krstevski, who in his day job serves as the city of Escondido’s lakes and open space superintendent, comes bearing references from Escondido Community Services and Communications Director Joanna Axelrod and former Temecula Planning Commission member Thomas Edwards.

Previously, the members of the city’s three commissions and one board were appointed by the city council, under the recommendation of a subcommittee consisting of two council members.

In October, at the same time that the council changed the timing for commission terms, it also voted to change the process so that the full city council would review applications and hear brief presentations from prospective board and commission members, without the involvement of a subcommittee.

The council’s Feb. 11 meeting was its first opportunity to utilize its new board and commission member selection system, and the council had 21 applications from Temecula residents vying for the open commission seats, though two retracted their applications after the fact and some did not show up to the council meeting. The council made its decisions on the four seats after listening to an hour and a half of statements from applicants.

Temecula Councilmember Mike Naggar said he believed reappointing the incumbent commissioners sent a positive message that “if they do a good job, then their reappointment is somewhat assured.”

On the only new appointee, Krstevski, the council liked his past experience – he also served as a park ranger in San Diego County before working for the city of Escondido.

“I think you’ve got some interesting background and connections,” Councilmember Matt Rahn said.

Councilmember Maryann Edwards said Krstevski could “steal a lot of those ideas from San Diego and Escondido and bring them to Temecula.”

The council made its decisions on each of the two commissions unanimously.

“We do rely heavily on these commissions,” Mayor James Stewart said. “They are the hands and feet for the council.”

The council also had encouraging words for the applicants who did not make the cut.

Edwards asked Naggar how many times he applied for his first commission seat before he was elected to the council.

“Twelve,” was his response.

Edwards urged every applicant to apply again.

“Don’t take anything personally,” she said. “Every single person on my list had something fantastic to say.”

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