Talent moves forward on remaking planning panel

Talent residents unhappy with a proposal to restructure the city Planning Commission now feel the City Council has listened to their concerns and will incorporate some of their ideas in a new approach, they say.

The council will consider the plan to restructure the Planning Commission at its May 6 meeting. Several public hearings and joint study sessions between the council and the commission have taken place since the proposal surfaced in February.

"We think they have been pretty responsive to some of the issues," said resident Ron Laupheimer. "The major issue that we had was the concept of (commissioners) being dismissed without cause. They served solely at the pleasure of the City Council."

Laupheimer was worried that commissioners could be removed without cause or a hearing if they made a decision that someone on the council didn't like. City planner Mark Knox told the council that a hearing is required by state law before dismissal.

The proposed ordinance to restructure the commission calls for a five-member body (down from the current seven-member group). It incorporates language about how commissioners could be dismissed. The newest version of the ordinance drops the idea of the mayor appointing a council member to the commission as the non-voting chair.

— Tony Boom, for the Mail Tribune

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