Following a series of public interviews, the Brentwood City Council recently named three people to the city’s Planning Commission including an incumbent, an area businessman and a retired city manager.
In January, Mayor Joel Bryant brought three names before the council. They were Emily Cross, David Dolter, and Faye Maloney. They would have served two-year terms expiring on Dec. 31, 2022, but councilmembers balked and said they wanted to interview candidates.
Terms for Cross, Cyndi Hankins and Seana Fippin had expired Dec. 31, leaving three open seats. Dirk Zeigler and Anita Roberts fill out the board.
In February, the council winnowed the pool of applicants to Cross, Jim Barnett, Derrick Bullington, David Dolter, Faye Maloney, Dave Sparling, and Sinziana Todor. Prior to a virtual meeting March 3, Barnett withdrew and Maloney said she could not attend.
Dolter, a Trilogy neighborhood resident who served as city manager in Redondo Beach and Santa Monica, outlined his experience in municipal operations and real estate development emphasizing the importance of residents’ quality of life. Dolter also once served as a planning commission president.
Asked what the planning commission’s main responsibility was, he said, “to keep the city council out of trouble.”
Sparling told the council of his business experience with Thermo Fisher Scientific and his frequent attendance at local planning meetings.
“I’ll bring in a business approach,” he told the council.
Cross, who had just completed two and a half years on the commission, told the council how her hard studying to obtain a doctorate in education would allow her to bring an analytical approach to planning issues.
Following the candidate interviews, Councilmember Jovita Mendoza challenged Cross’ qualifications for reappointment.
“I just didn’t hear any analytics (from her) in a year of meetings. I just don’t know why you would recommend her,” Mendoza said to the mayor.
Mendoza noted her preference for Todor.
Cross, Dolter, and Sparling each received enough votes from the council and will serve two-year terms on the commission.