LIVINGSTON -- Two resignations and the expiration of a term have created more vacancies on the Livingston Planning Commission than the number of its actual voting members.
The five-member commission is down to two appointed voting members. But business in Livingston hasn't halted as a result. The city prepared for such a scenario some time ago by adding an alternate who can vote if the commission fails to reach a quorum.
Chairman David Blevins, whose term expired Dec. 31, is also staying on until the City Council fills his seat.
A total of nine people have applied for the vacant seats after the city went through two rounds of advertising the positions. One applicant, however, lives in Winton and therefore isn't qualified to hold a seat on the commission. Planning commissioners must live in the city.
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The City Council has called a special meeting to interview all of the candidates in a public forum. The interviews will take place at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, in the council chambers, 1416 C St.
Here are short biographies pulled from each of the candidates' applications:
David Blevins served as the 2009 Planning Commission chairman. He has served eight years on the commission and is a long-time store manager at Sam's Food City. He's also been active on several area recreation teams and is a past president of the Livingston Kiwanis Club.
"I will always look at what is best for the city of Livingston before making a decision," he wrote on his application.
Luis Enrique Flores is a senior research analyst under the Office of Grants and Institutional Research at Merced College. He reports that he was a sociology major at UC Berkeley before receiving a master's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania. He says he has a good grasp on the Central Valley's needs, since graduating from the Great Valley Center's Institute for the Development of Emerging Area Leaders program.
Alex Gonzalez is an economics and government teacher at Livingston High School. He says that he holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Sacramento State University and got his teaching credential and bilingual certification from CSU Stanislaus. He's coached baseball and football for the past four years.
Rosa Kindred-Winzer is a relatively new resident of Livingston, having lived there for three years. She is a former member of the Livingston Citizens' Advisory Committee and is a 17-year employee of the city of Merced in risk management. Kindred-Winzer says in about a year she will complete her studies to receive a bachelor's degree in public administration.
Ronald Kraus is a retired truck driver and former member of the Citizens' Advisory Committee who has lived all his life in the Central Valley. He spent 20 years working for United Grocers in Fresno, 10 years with Arrowhead Water Co., and five years owning and operating his own truck. Kraus says he cares about the growth of the city and preserving farmland around it.
Mario Mendoza kept his application short, reporting that he's a construction supervisor and has worked in construction for several years. He says he knows area government and building codes. He wrote that he wants "to give back a little of what the city has given me."
Hugo Salgado describes himself as a 25-year-old student at CSU Stanislaus who works in sales at Coca-Cola's Modesto facility. He says he's a social science major, concentrating in history, political sciences and economics. "I am a father of a little girl, and I plan on making Livingston a better place for her to grow up in," he wrote on his application.
David Talbott retired in 1995 from a senior management position with Raytheon Co., a defense contractor that makes guided missiles among other things. He holds a bachelor's degree from LaVerne University in LaVerne, and a master's from Pepperdine University.
Reporter Amy Starnes can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.