News - January 19, 2011

Fifteen apply for Planning Commission

by Sandy Brundage

Serving on a commission in Menlo Park isn't everyone's idea of a good time, judging by the dearth of applicants for each vacancy. But the Planning Commission may be an exception. Fifteen residents will sit down for interviews on Tuesday, Jan. 18, in hopes of filling the seat left empty by former Commissioner Kirsten Keith's election to City Council.

Several familiar names popped up on the list, such as Transportation Commissioner Charlie Bourne, community activist Don Brawner, and JoAnne Goldberg, wife of Planning Commission Vice Chair Vincent Bressler — which could make for lively discussions around their dinner table.

According to City Attorney Bill McClure, there's no law against spouses serving on the same commission. He pointed out that since the Planning Commission consists of seven members, there's less potential for an inadvertent Brown Act violation than on the smaller City Council, should spouses confer outside meetings and then privately talk to a majority of their colleagues.

The city clerk's office provided a complete list of applicants: Kenneth Baker, Richard Baum, Shawn Blackburn, Charlie Bourne, Don Brawner, S. Kelley Bryant, JoAnne Goldberg, Lawrence Lee, Waibun Lee, Christian Molick, Raymond Neal, Kathleen Pederson, Michael Stoner, Doug Vort, Peipei Carol Yu.

The intent to make a final selection on Jan. 25, according to City Clerk Margaret Roberts.


Sacrificing their regular Tuesday night meeting, the Menlo Park City Council will interview the 15 applicants for the Planning Commission during the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 18. Public comments will be taken before the interviews begin. The session starts at 2 p.m. in the council conference room at the Civic Center (701 Laurel St.).


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