Commissioners named despite sentiment for other applicant

Posted: Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Nothing can be taken for granted, veteran Juneau Planning Commissioner Mark Pusich said Tuesday, the night after his reappointment.

On Monday, the Juneau Assembly approved reappointment of Pusich, Jim Scholz and Jacquelyn Fowler to three-year terms on the Planning Commission. About a month ago, the Assembly failed to approve the reappointments.

"We're all doing a very good job," Pusich said.

In December, Assembly members voted for the Human Resources Committee to reconsider its recommendation to reappoint the three members. The Human Resources Committee is composed of all nine Assembly members.

Assembly member Stan Ridgeway chairs the committee, which met before Monday's Assembly meeting. He said Tuesday that Monday's reconsideration was not unanimous.

Ridgeway said four candidates drew support for the three open seats.

"I personally would like to see Nancy Waterman on the commission," he said. "Maybe next time."

Waterman applied for one of the three Planning Commission openings advertised in the fall, as did the three incumbents and two others. In her application, she noted she had been active in community issues, including those related to transportation and schools.

Ridgeway said a motion recommended by the Human Resources Committee to appoint Waterman to the next Planning Commission opening was not considered Monday. City Attorney John Hartle advised that any open seats on the commission would have to be advertised for 30 days before they could be filled.

Assembly member Randy Wanamaker, who serves as the Assembly's liaison to the Planning Commission, said he agreed with the reappointment of the three commissioners.

"I think it was the right thing to do," he said.

Pusich, a civil engineer with R&M Engineering, has served on the commission for about six years. Scholz has served for a little more than a year, and Fowler for a little less than a year, after being appointed to finish terms for commissioners.

In December, two residents addressed the Assembly to question its committee's recommendation to reappoint Scholz, regional sales manager for transportation company Northland Services.

Scholz said he didn't understand why people questioned his qualifications for the commission.

"What brings this board strength is diversity," he said.

He added that he was glad the matter is resolved.

Fowler, a state administrative employee, said she agreed, adding she is happy to serve as the Assembly wishes.

"I'm a volunteer," she said.

• Tony Carroll can be reached at tony.carroll@juneauempire.com.



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