Kuna City Council members have appointed four members to the depleted Kuna Planning & Zoning Commission.
The five-member commission has lost four members, leaving just Stephanie Wierschem on the commission. Stan Sanders (who pleaded guilty to a felony count of destruction of evidence) resigned earlier this year. Corinna Stiles, who is moving to the Washington, D.C., area for a new job, has resigned. Carl Trautman and Curt James also announced their resignations from the commission.
After announcing open commission seats in the Kuna Melba News, two residents responded: Michael Cole and Jim Russell.
“Unfortunately, there were only two respondents willing to commit the voluntary time necessary to make this board function properly,” according to a memo from Mayor Scott Dowdy to City Council members. “It was suggested by staff to dissolve the Design Review Committee and their responsibilities. As you are aware, there hasn’t been a need for their review due to the lack of new commercial development in the area; therefore it makes more sense for the Commission to regain responsibility of directing an applicant with the development process.”
Consequently, Design Review Committee members Kellie Goicoechea, Lee Young and Dana Hennis submitted letters applying for the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Dowdy nominated Cole, Goicoechea, Young and Hennis.
After a Dec. 1 deadline to apply, the city received two more applications from Catherine Gealy and Paul Deason.
Outgoing City Council president Lisa Bachman objected to appointing new Planning & Zoning Commission members before two new City Council members and new mayor take office on Jan. 3. She said she felt the right thing to do would be to allow the new city officials make their appointments.
But council member Doug Hoiland, who was not up for re-election and has two years left in his term, pointed out that three of the four nominees serving on Design Review are known quantities to the city, have already made a commitment to volunteering for the city and have served the city well.
Council member Rich Cardoza, who also has two years left on his term, said he preferred Gealy over Cole, citing Gealy’s experience on the Ada County Planning and Zoning Commission for two years and her MBA from Boston University. Cardoza suggested using Cole as an alternate if one of the other candidates decides not to take the opportunity. Dowdy said he had no objections to Gealy.
Hoiland, Cardoza and outgoing council member Jeff Lang voted to appoint Young, Hennis, Goicoechea and Gealy. Bachman voted no.
Planning & Zoning Commission members are volunteers and serve for three-year terms.