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City Council appoints 7 new commissioners, panelists

Two nominations by Councilman Boydston rejected

Posted: July 14, 2012 4:07 p.m.
Updated: July 14, 2012 4:07 p.m.


Santa Clarita City Council members appointed seven new commissioners or panelists out of nine open advisory positions this week, returning eight-year veteran Diane Trautman to the Planning Commission.

The council rejected two other nominations from Councilman TimBen Boydston.

Both Boydston, elected to the council in April, and Councilman Bob Kellar, re-elected in April, had four commission positions to fill during the city’s new fiscal year, which began July 1. A ninth commission position was open due to a resignation.

Boydston — who noted during his campaign the importance of council member-appointed commissioners — nominated Trautman for the Planning Commission; longtime Open Space Preservation District critic James V. Farley to the panel that monitors open space spending; Newhall resident Valerie Thomas to the Arts Commission; and Canyon Country resident Al Ferdman to the parks commission.

During her time on the Planning Commission, Trautman was considered the member most sympathetic to environmental causes. Farley has been a vocal critic of the Open Space Preservation District. Both Thomas and Ferdman, who heads the Canyon Country Advisory Committee, are sometimes outspoken critics of the city.

Kellar nominated his currently serving members of respective commissions and panels, and all were unanimously approved. Councilwoman Laurene Weste nominated Susan Orloff to an unscheduled vacancy to the panel that monitors open space spending, and that was approved.

Boydston’s Trautman and Farley nominations were also unanimously approved, and both nominees received accolades from other council members either during or after the meeting.

But his other choices drew a pause from his peers.

Kellar eventually seconded Thomas’ nomination to the Arts Commission and voted in favor, but Mayor Frank Ferry and Councilwoman Marsha McLean voted against Thomas.

Weste at first abstained, but when City Attorney Joe Montes told the council an abstention on a split vote was considered to be a “yes,” Weste changed her vote to “no” and Thomas was declined as an arts commissioner.

Ferdman’s nomination was never seconded.

“Well, I’m disappointed, and that’s it,” Thomas said Wednesday in reaction to the Tuesday night vote.

“It wasn’t totally unexpected,” Ferdman said Thursday. “I considered that there might be varying things that might occur.”

Ferdman said he is considering running for City Council in 2014, and that might have been a factor in declining his appointment. As an experienced member of the Open Space Preservation District Financial Accountability and Audit Panel, he said he saw the parks and recreation commission appointment as a logical progression.

After the silence that greeted Ferdman’s nomination, Ferry said a 1991 city resolution governs the options Boydston has for new choices to the commissions. Montes backed him up.

Ferdman said he was suspicious of Montes’ statement, and Boydston said he wants more information.

“I will be requesting the documents and the policies which the city was referring to,” Boydston said. “I would have to be sure that I agree that the law is being followed before I take my next step.”

He said he would nominate two new individuals to the commissions at the next council meeting, which is Aug. 28.



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