Psst. Want to hear a secret? Well OK then, just don’t tell the papers or anyone at Monterey City Hall. Knowledge is power and loose lips, and all that.
Here goes: At least 12 people have applied for appointment to the Monterey Planning Commission and there’s a good chance a couple of them will be appointed next Tuesday. And there is quite a behind-the-scenes effort underway at the moment to make sure one of the favorites doesn’t make it.
The applicants are:
- Paul W. Davis
- Mike Dawson
- Sharon Dwight
- Daniel Fletcher
- Thomas Hamrick
- Terry Latasa
- Bill McCrone
- Stephen Millich
- Luis Osorio
- David Stocker
- Susan Theodore
- Kathleen Wall
Davis, Osorio, Stocker and McCrone are on the commission now and have been for a while. There hasn’t been much public discussion of the applicants, largely because Mayor Clyde Roberson thinks the applications are confidential. Fortunately for the forces of light and common sense, they actually are public record.
Normally, Planning Commission appointments in Monterey receive scant attention. That’s partly because the commissioners tend to stay put and openings don’t occur that often. Mayor Roberson is changing that up, however. He and the other member of the City Council’s nominating committee, Alan Haffa, sent emails to a couple of the incumbents a few weeks back, politely but clearly suggesting they look for some other way to be of service. Davis and Stocker got the notes but not the message for they both submitted applications for reappointment.
The mayor’s note said he thinks there should be limits on how long commissioners serve. Most of the rest of the council seems to agree on that though one council member, Libby Downey, thinks there should be some policy set on that question or, at the very least, an open discussion and maybe even some talk about qualifications and that sort of thing. When it came time for a second to that motion last week, council chambers got really quiet. The other four council members surely had reasons for their silence but they weren’t sharing.
Anyway, the bookie who services City Hall says the odds are good that Stocker and Fletcher are history, and by that, he doesn’t mean the Historic Preservation Commission, though there are applicants for that as well. (Carole Dawson, Charles Denley, Laurie Hambaro, Jennifer Lambert-Hamrick and Jerilynn Smith-Crivello.)
The odds-on favorites to fill in for Stocker and Fletcher as of Wednesday were Mike Dawson and Sharon Dwight, both of whom have been exceedingly active in their neighborhood organizations. Dawson has run for office several times and come close. He’s a nice guy, exceptionally knowledgable on city affairs.
Dwight has been a tireless advocate for neighborhood funding and is well known in and around City Hall. Too well known, according to some.
Back before Roberson was mayor, Mayor Chuck Della Sala sent a strongly worded letter to Dwight, calling her down for creating “an unwelcome and inappropriate confrontation” with planning commissioners in June 2014. Read it for yourself.
The letter started making the rounds Wednesday. I got it from a Twitter posting by Herald reporter Phil Molnar. There’s more to the story than that but I’ll let him tell it.
The good news is that McCrone is likely to stick around even though he is one of the City Hall’s all-time top feather rufflers, agitating as he has against sweetheart lease deals at Fisherman’s Wharf. Coming up soon is a political fight over the amount of parking near the wharf and losing someone with McCrone’s knowledge and stamina now might have signaled that the public was going to come out on the short end. Roberson would rather appoint just about anyone other than McCrone but in politics timing is everything.