Council announces appointments for two commissions

The City Council reappointed at the June 5 meeting two incumbents to the Arts Commission and three incumbents to the Planning Commission.

Arts Commission newcomer Donna Olsen Ballard will serve with incumbents Mary Pratt Ferguson and Nicholas Hernandez for terms ending July 1, 2014.

Ballard is an architect with BB Architects Inc. in Laguna Beach.

Ferguson is also a member of the boards of the Laguna College of Art & Design and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and a past chairwoman of the Art Stars Awards.

Hernandez, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Chapman University, is a sculptor. He has served two years on the commission and said the experience will make him a better commissioner in the future.

Anne Johnson, Rob Zur Schmiede and City Council candidate Bob Whalen were reappointed to the Planning Commission.

"There are several extremely important issues coming before the commission in the next two or three years," said Johnson. "Experience will be important."

Johnson, a retired college teacher, has served on the commission since 2000.

Zur Schmiede, deputy director of development services for Long Beach, has been a commissioner since 2001. He previously served on the Design Review Board.

Whalen was first appointed to the commission in 2008.

"We are underway on several initiatives, including a review of downtown parking and a review of the Downtown Specific Plan, among others, and I would like to continue to be part of that process," Whalen wrote on his application.

However, he is a candidate for City Council and, if elected, could not serve out his term.

The council was also prepared to appoint a new member to the Recreation Committee, but no one applied.

Current committee member Nicholas Kinsman is a Laguna Beach High School graduate this June and will stay on the committee until he leaves for college, at which time the committee will lapse to five members.

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