Planning and Zoning seats up for grabs

Eight candidates are competing for three open spots.
Monday, May 17, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:08 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Time has become an issue as the Columbia City Council seeks to fill what will soon be three vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The terms of both Michael Perkins and Karl Skala expire May 31. Cyndy Jones, whose term expires on May 31, 2005, resigned six weeks ago because of health concerns. The council hopes to interview the people seeking a position on the commission, but after tonight’s meeting it will not meet again until June 7. This would give the three new commissioners only a few days to prepare for the commission’s first meeting in June.

“The plan is to work all this out at (tonight’s) meeting,” Mayor Darwin Hindman said. “But we are planning on conducting interviews as part of the selection process.”

There is some concern, Sixth Ward Councilman Brian Ash said, over filling the seats before the commission’s first meeting in June.

“We’d obviously like to give the new commissioners more than a few days to review their packets of information before meeting for the first time,” he said.

There is a possibility the candidates will be interviewed in a special council session.

“Interviews will require a considerable amount of time,” Hindman said. “It’s also going to be hard to bring all the council members and applicants together at the same time. If a plan to conduct interviews can’t be worked out, then the City Council will have to make appointments based on the applicant’s resumes only.”

The Planning and Zoning Commission is an advisory board that prepares development plans for the city. In addition to acting as a zoning commission, the board prepares rules controlling the subdivision of land, recommends approval or disapproval of plats of land for subdivision, and recommends legislation to further city planning.

Eight applicants are seeking a seat on the commission.

Sarah L. Forck, 28, is the owner of One on One Personal Training and Massage. She and her husband, a police officer, are from mid-Missouri.

Jeffrey S. Meier, 37, is a manager at the MU research reactor.

Margie Meyer, 55, a technical analysis consultant, served on the commission between 1990 and 1997. She wants to fill the remainder of Jones’ term, which ends in one year. She would then decide whether to seek reappointment.

Michael Perkins, 54, owner of Mike Perkins Construction, has served on the commission for five years and is seeking reappointment.

Stephen Reichlin, 53, is a painting contractor.

Karl Skala, 57, who served on the commission for five years, is seeking reappointment. Skala is a neurobiological researcher at MU’s Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. Originally from Chicago, Skala has lived in the Columbia area for 25 years.

Doug Wheeler, 41, is a real estate agent with Re/Max Boone Realty. He worked previously in the construction industry, has built homes and owns rental property. He has lived in Columbia for 10 years.

The other applicant, Andrew B. Acton, could not be reached for comment

Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission must be registered voters and are required to have lived in the city for one year immediately prior to their appointment. While serving on the commission, members are not allowed to hold any other city government office or position.

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