FAIRFIELD — Council members voted 5-0 Tuesday to disband the Fairfield Community Resources Commission and place two members on the Planning Commission until next summer.
The Fairfield City Council made the move to eliminate the four-person commission due to a lack of activity and to better utilize a staff that has been cut. Several on the council urged the importance of the city’s commission members and again stressed the fact that more budget cuts may be coming.
“How many times can we say there is no status quo,” Councilman Rick Vaccaro said. “This is not a knock on anyone who wants to serve on a commission.”
Commissioners primarily deal with city parks and open space, while serving in an advisory role. They are appointed by the mayor to four-year terms.
The commission is supposed to have seven members, but currently only has four after several resignations. Joe Lucchio, principal planner, said the commission has only recommended four motions to the council in the past two years and meetings are often canceled.
With the council’s vote, two of the commissioners will now be selected by Mayor Harry Price to serve on the Planning Commission. Staff has indicated it could be until December before that happens. That will bring the total number of planning commissioners to nine. Those two members will serve until June 30, 2013.
In the meantime, the city must fill one vacancy on the Planning Commission, after Mark Ackerman moved from the city earlier this year. Four finalists for that position have been forwarded to Price for selection and that should be finalized in the next 30 days, said Erin Beavers, director of Community Development.
Three of the four community resources commissioners spoke at the meeting, with different opinions on the topic. Chairman Ricky Horton expressed his displeasure with the move and told the council the Planning Commission may not have the expertise to handle some of the issues that would normally be handled by his commission.
“We will be taking proper representation away from the people,” Horton said. “It has an important role to play.”
Tamer Totah, vice chairman, said although the decision would leave him in no man’s land, he agreed with the idea to merge the two commissions.
“It would be a better oiled machine,” Totah said. “I’m in agreement that having one commission would be better for the city.”
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.