Oak Creek asks for planning volunteers

The town of Oak Creek is asking residents who want to serve on the town's Planning Commission to submit letters of interest so new members can be chosen by June 10.

The request came in response to Planning Commission Chairman Gerry Greenwood's statements at Thursday's meeting that there have been "huge problems for quite awhile" with attendance, and that the Planning Commission has been "just sort of muddling along."

One planning commissioner has resigned unofficially, and another has said he's interested in serving the town in another capacity, Greenwood said at the meeting. The Planning Commission requires a quorum of three to hold a meeting.

"I think that it is important that we do find out who really wants to participate and maybe open the Planning Commission up to some new blood," Greenwood said.

The Town Board will determine which planning commissioners want to keep their seats, then ask for letters of interest for open seats by June 7 and choose new planning commissioners at the June 10 meeting. Also during that time, the town will research ordinances defining the composition of the Planning Commission.

In previous years, there were seven planning commissioners, at least one of whom was a town trustee. When the board was reduced to five members, the town trustee spot was let go, Trustee Mike Kien said.

Kien suggested a Planning Commission of five commissioners and two alternates. He also asked whether any town trustee present would be interested in serving, but none of the four present showed interest.

Town Clerk Nancy Crawford said the town's ordinance states that a town trustee should serve on the Planning Commission, and state statute states that if the Planning Commission has five members, the mayor and a town trustee should serve as "ex officio" members.

Trustee John Crawford suggested that paying planning commissioners for each meeting could increase interest, but Nancy Crawford said that the positions, by law, couldn't be paid.

Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman suggested that once a new Planning Commission is established, members work hard to find a meeting time and day that works well for everyone.

Greenwood said he felt the low attendance was "shortchanging the citizens."

Rodeman agreed and said the Planning Commission "helps us tremendously, and we need to get them to show up."

"It's not quite as dull as some people think land use is," Greenwood said. "It's an education. It's what we have for a process."

-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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