A former member is back among his comrades on the Spokane Valley Planning Commission.
Fred Beaulac – who served on the commission for five years following incorporation and also a vice chairman during his last year – was chosen by Mayor Tom Towey out of three applicants to fill the vacancy created by the recent departure of Marcia Sands.
The council confirmed Towey’s appointment in a 4-1 vote July 3. Council Member Dean Grafos voted no. Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels and Council Member Brenda Grassel were not present for the meeting.
Other applicants were Kevin Anderson, retired manufacturing manager of Energy Products of Idaho, and Robert McCaslin, a teacher in the Central Valley School District and son of the late 4th District senator and former City Council member Bob McCaslin.
Towey, a former planning commissioner himself, said the decision was a difficult one but has been impressed with Beaulac’s knowledge and attendance record. He missed only two meetings in five years.
Towey also said it was important to pick an applicant that could be brought up to speed in a hurry as the city moves forward with approving its Shoreline Management Plan.
“All three candidates were so close and would be a positive to the Planning Commission,” Towey said. “We have some real tough issues between now and Dec. 31.”
The Planning Commission voted to approve a draft of the shoreline plan at its June 28 meeting.
Sands, when a member, asked to recuse herself from discussions on the plan due to her job with the state Department of Ecology, which ultimately must approve the final city document.
Also at the July 3 meeting, the council heard a presentation from Finance Director Mark Calhoun on ways the city could possibly pay for a new City Hall. While the city has $3.8 million available for the project, much of the money has been eyed for other projects. The city currently leases space at 11707 E. Sprague.