Local Politics

Thursday, Feb 21 2013 05:38 PM

Government roundup: City recruiting new planning commissioners

By The Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield City Council is looking for two people to serve on the Planning Commission to replace members Justin Batey and Dustin Dodgin, whose terms will end on April 30.

Batey represents Ward 5. Dodgin, representing Ward 3, has been a short-term member, replacing Dean Haddock when Haddock resigned last year due to a conflict when he was elected to the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District Board of Trustees.

The Planning Commission maintains and interprets the city's general plan, and recommends methods of implementation. It also maintains the city's zoning ordinance and makes recommendations for improvement, reviews the city's capital improvement plan, reviews and approves subdivisions and parcel maps and conducts hearings.

Ward 3 Councilman Ken Weir and Ward 5 Councilman Harold Hanson will nominate the two new commission members, and the full City Council will appoint them.

Applicants have to be Bakersfield residents throughout their terms, publicly disclose certain information about their economic interests and undergo ethics training.

For an application, visit the city clerk's office at City Hall North, 1600 Truxtun Ave., or www.bakersfieldcity.us. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on April 3.

Residents interested in serving on the Planning Commission are encouraged to contact the corresponding City Council member regarding their interest and qualifications.

Republican Congressman David Valadao will co-chair the Portuguese-American Caucus, along with Fresno Democrat Jim Costa and Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, for the 113th Congress.

"... (T)he positive contributions Portuguese-Americans have made to our society are evident," Valadao said in a press release. "As a first-generation Portuguese immigrant, it is important that I do my part to represent this community while in Washington.

"Additionally, Portugal is a key NATO ally and a crucial partner to the United States in the Mediterranean. Ensuring a strong U.S.-Portugal defense relationship is critical to our national defense." he added.

The caucus, which now has 19 members, was defunct for eight years before it was reinstated for the 112th Congress with Costa's help, according to the National Organization of Portuguese-Americans. Valadao represents the 21st Congressional District, including parts of Kern, Kings, Fresno and Tulare counties.

State Assemblyman Rudy Salas , D-Bakersfield, has been named to the California Workforce Investment Board, he said Thursday.

The board assists the governor in setting policies to encourage effective workforce development and meet the requirements of the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998. Members include representatives from the state Legislature, business, labor, education and training.

Salas said his appointment is an opportunity to create jobs in the Central Valley and throughout California.

"Job creation in my district and statewide is my number one priority in the Assembly," Salas said in a press release. "This board gives me an opportunity to work on this issue with a dedicated group comprised of people from the public and private sectors (who) all have this same goal."

Salas, a former Bakersfield City Council member, represents the 32nd Assembly District, which includes all of Kings County and parts of Kern County including sections of Bakersfield.

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