Red Bank Changes Method Of Planning Commission Appointments; Buys 3 Passats For Police Force

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - by Gail Perry

The Red Bank Commission on Tuesday night considered and approved an ordinance which reduces the number of members on the Red Bank Municipal Planning Commission. Previously, the planning commission consisted of seven people all appointed by the mayor. With the passage of the new ordinance, that number will be reduced to five and the appointment process will be changed so that each of the five city commissioners will make one appointment to the planning board.

The ordinance contains a requirement that each of the five appointees be a resident and property owner in the city of Red Bank.

It is felt that ownership provides a more permanent investment and interest in the city than would be had by a person who lives in rental property and who could easily leave with little to lose.

Commissioner Rick Causer objected to the condition of ownership, and asked for removal of that clause from the ordinance. Vice Mayor Floy Pierce agreed with Mr. Causer that the ownership provision should be eliminated. City Attorney Arnie Stulce advised the board that could not be done since the motion had been made to vote on the ordinance.

A representative from the Citizen’s Neighborhood Pride Association spoke to the commission in support of passing the ordinance with the ownership requirement. This association hopes that each board member will appoint highly qualified individuals to the planning commission, which the group considers an important part of Red Bank.

The Planning Commission is responsible for reviewing any significant building or construction in the city, both residential and commercial. It then makes recommendations to the board of commissioners, which has the final say-so.

On the second and final reading, Commissioners Causer and Pierce joined with the other commissioners to unanimously pass the ordinance as written.

In new business, the board of commissioners voted to allow Finance Director John Alexander to obtain a loan for the purchase of two new police vehicles. The city is acquiring three new Volkswagen Passats to add to the fleet of police cars. It’s bittersweet, said Mr. Alexander, because the third car will be paid for with money from the drug fund. The loan for the other two is not to exceed $53,568.

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