Tuesday evening was a time to celebrate for the Mayor and City Council, the evening marked one more important step for the city.
The men and women selected to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals were approved Tuesday night.
Filling the five-member Zoning Board of Appeals:
- Marcia Brandes, Business owner
- Wayne Knox, Project Manager
- Amreeta Regmi, International Development Specialist
- Eric Christ, General management marketing
- James Blum, Attorney
And the five members named for the Planning Commission:
- Alan Kaplan, Business Owner
- Mark Middleton, Attorney
- Mark Willis, CPA
- Matt Houser, Project Manager and Landscape Architect
- Italia Metts, Project Manager
Charged with selecting the members to fill the seats were Lynette Howard, the Dist. 2 Commissioner on the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners, John Kachmar, city consultant and Pond & Company's Michelle Alexander, the acting liason for the city.
"We had 31 fantastic applicants," announced Howard during her presentation to the City Council. "Applicants were also selected so that all three voting districts were represented," she said. "We wanted to ensure the members represented a diversity in experience that they could bring to the table."
Kachmar said he was impressed that so many had stepped up to be a part of the two volunteer bodies. "I didn't see anyone I wouldn't recommend," said Kachmar.
It was a give-and-take process in choosing the 10 members said Kachmar who admitted it took some "personal compromise between the three of us" because all were considered excellent candidates.
The candidates occupations were taken into consideration so that each commission body would have a varied representation of experience and backgrounds from which to draw.
Howard said each of the panel members asked questions of the candidates as part of the application process. "We hope we've given you a very strong panel from which to choose," said Howard.
Mayor Mike Mason said he couldn't have been happier with the outcome. "Thank you for your service," Mason said to Howard, Kachmar and Alexander who spent nearly two weeks interviewing the candidates.
The selection process was unique in that citizens were given the opportunity to apply for one of the commissions and that a separate committee selected and recommended their choices to fill the seats. In many instances each City Council member is allowed to appoint members to the Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals.
"We wanted the city to have every advantage," said Mason who thought the best way was to allow the citizens to apply for the commission seats.
But the ultimate goal is as its always been, a chance at "self determination, controlling our quality of life and building a strong infrastructure," said Mason.
With the appointments to the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission, the city is well on its way to that goal said the mayor.