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Planning commission getting a new look

After tonight’s Nevada City Council meeting, at least one new planning commissioner will be seated and two others could be reappointed by different city council members.

City councilor-elect Reinette Senum said Tuesday she will nominate Robert Wright, who worked in the energy industry for many years, to the five-member board that approves landscaping and architecture plans for building projects.

Wright, 62, will be joined by John Parent. He will be nominated by Robert Bergman, who soon will be the former vice chairman of the Planning Commission. Bergman was elected to the council in June along with Senum and incumbent David McKay.



Each planning commissioner is appointed by a city council member to serve in most cases a four-year term.

Parent is the chairman of the Planning Commission. He was appointed in 2004 by Sally Harris, who did not seek re-election in the June 3 contest. The 66-year-old said Tuesday he looks forward to a second term.




“I haven’t found it adversarial at all,” he said. “The whole atmosphere at City Hall has changed. We’re working together and finding solutions.”

Bergman said Parent, who has a degree in architecture and has co-owned two businesses in Nevada City, was an easy choice.

“I worked very well with him. I know how much he cares,” Bergman said.

Wright and his wife, Peggy, moved to the area in 2000 from Dallas. They now live in Col. Lamberts’ old house on Coyote Street in Nevada City.

After working for many years in what he called the traditional energy field in New England and later Texas, Wright said he shifted his ambitions to the clean-energy industry, which brought him to California.

Wright is now retired. He recently joined the Miners Foundry board of directors and belongs to the Center for Nonprofits Leadership Board. He also was a KVMR board chairman for two terms.

“I consider myself to be in the giving-back period of my life,” he said Tuesday.

Harris could have another chance to appoint a planning commissioner tonight after she is sworn in as an interim city council member. She said Tuesday she wants to discuss how to handle her appointment with the City Council.

Harris did mention current Planning Commissioner Greg Wolters when discussing her options. Wolters was appointed by Steve Cottrell, who will be leaving the council tonight after serving four terms.

Dix Sullivan, appointed by Vice Mayor Barbara Coffman, and Evan Phelps, McKay’s appointment, are the other members of the Planning Commission.

To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail pbutler@theunion.com or call 477-4239.


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