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Daily Pilot

Planning Commission vacancy may be filled

After prematurely picking Edward Salcedo's replacement in January, City Council will consider proceeding with appointment.

By Bradley Zint

6:40 PM PST, February 2, 2013

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The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday will consider reappointing a vacancy on the Planning Commission in order to correct an error it made last month.

During the Jan. 15 meeting, the council should not have appointed a third commissioner without sufficient prior notice, according to a directive from the city clerk's office made days after the meeting. To fill Commissioner Edward Salcedo's seat that expires in February 2015 — which he suddenly resigned from on Jan. 14, citing unspecific personal and business reasons — would have required more than a day's notice, city officials have said.

The council had unanimously appointed Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy for the seat after City Attorney Tom Duarte opined that the council could make a motion to waive policy and proceed. Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissented on the motion.

Jim Fitzpatrick, a former planning commissioner, and Timothy Sesler were also appointed for four-year Planning Commission terms during the meeting.

Fitzpatrick resigned his elected seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District hours before Salcedo made his announcement. At the time, Fitzpatrick was facing a lawsuit contending that his prior concurrent service on both the Sanitary District and Planning Commissioner was incompatible.

Councilwoman Sandy Genis has filed a request to rehear those two appointments. Her request, dated Jan. 22, cites state code requiring a public posting of the vacancy and subsequent waiting period by which to fill an unscheduled vacancy of a committee, board or commission.

Should the council approve her request Tuesday of the first two Planning Commission appointments, a rehearing is scheduled for Feb. 19.

The council is also poised to appoint four members to the Parks and Recreation Commission after delaying the selection process from the Jan. 15 meeting. Sixteen residents have applied for the terms, two of which end February 2015. The other two expire February 2017.

A $125,000 expenditure from the general fund toward the city's 60th anniversary celebration is also up for council consideration.

Shaheen Sadeghi, owner and operator of the Lab and the Camp, two centers on Bristol Street that brand themselves as "anti-malls," is scheduled to receive one of the monthly mayor's awards.

The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

bradley.zint@latimes.com

Twitter: @bradleyzint