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City panel applicant works for councilman

Frank Ferry’s secretary seeks post on Parks and Recreation commission

Posted: July 4, 2008 12:21 a.m.
Updated: September 4, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Council members will decide Tuesday who will fill eight open commission and panel seats.

Councilman Frank Ferry will pick from a pool of 13 applicants for a spot on the parks commission and one applicant, Janell Cornell, works as Ferry’s secretary at Bishop Alemany High School where Ferry is principal.

“It means nothing,” Ferry said Friday when asked if his connection to Cornell at work will influence his selection decision on Tuesday.

As of Friday afternoon, he said he had not yet decided who he’ll pick. He knows lots of the candidates, he said. Five of the applicants are his personal friends. One is his neighbor, he said.

“I am going to pick someone who is supportive of youth sports and youth activities and has the background of helping with all teenage issues,” he said. “I’m looking for someone with that kind of background and on the commission can give that kind of information directly to the commissioners.”

He said he has appointed numerous people to the various commissions during his 11 years on the council and he never tells them how to vote.

“Whoever I appoint just does their job and I stay totally out of it,” he said.

Cornell, who said she has worked with Ferry for six years as his assistant, said Friday she doesn’t think she has an unfair advantage over the other applicants.

“I think he’s very fair,” she said.

The Valencia resident said she has lived in Santa Clarita for about 11 years and wants to give back.

“I love kids and I raised my own kids in the valley and I just thought it would be something I could do to give back to the community,” she said.

The applicant Ferry chooses to appoint will fill the parks commissioner seat vacated by Laurie Ender, who was elected to the council in April.

The remaining seven spots on the commissions and panel will be appointed or reappointed as follows:
n Mayor Bob Kellar will appoint one Planning Commission seat, one parks commission seat and one audit panel seat.
n Councilwoman Laurie Ender will appoint one Planning Commission seat, one Parks Commission seat and one audit panel seat.
n Councilwoman Laurene Weste will appoint one unexpired audit panel seat.

The city received nine applications for the Planning Commission, 13 for the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission and six for the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel.


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