Bainbridge Island Review


Former city councilwoman in line for post on Bainbridge planning commission

December 11, 2012 · Updated 9:55 AM

A former city councilwoman and a new transplant to the island may be joining Bainbridge Island's planning commission.

The city council will be asked to confirm three appointments to the advisory body at the council's meeting Wednesday.

An interview panel that was comprised of two council members is recommending the appointments of Debbie Vann and Scott Hicks to the planning commission. City officials are also asking that Maradel Gale be given another term on the commission.

The terms are for three years, and run until Dec. 31, 2015.

Vann is a retired social worker who previously served on the city council from 2002 to 2006.

Vann said she led the overhaul of the city's Critical Areas Ordinance while she was on the council, and said she has a philosophy of "good government."

"I have a clear understanding of the critical role the planning commission plays in reviewing the numerous types of land-use reviews it performs for the council," Vann said in her application to a seat on the commission.

"I believe that I can bring my experience to a group that I greatly admire," she added. "I know many of the commissioners and am consistently impressed with their wide range of expertise and their working together to help advise the council. This is a group of people who work extremely well together, listen to each others' opinions, and collaborate in a respectful and thoughtful manner."

Hicks is a recent arrival to Bainbridge Island from North Palm Beach, Fla. He moved with his family to Bainbridge in August.

A professional coastal/civil engineer, Hicks previously worked in Washington as a coastal engineer on the staff of a medium-sized engineering firm in Edmonds from 2000 to 2003.

His earlier volunteer work in Florida includes service on the North Palm Beach Waterways Board, the town of Palm Beach Shore Protection Board, and the North Palm Beach Planning Commission.

Five people volunteered to serve on the planning commission, and the candidates were interviewed for the job by Councilwoman Sarah Blossom and Councilman Steve Bonkowski.

Blossom and Bonkowski are also recommending another term for Gale on the planning commission.

Gale, a retired professor who taught land-use law at the University of Oregon, is a co-founder and current board member of Sustainable Bainbridge. She was also the founder and first president of the Oregon Environmental Council.

Other applicants for the vacancies on the planning commission included Steven C. Garwood, the finance director for the Suquamish Tribe; and M.C. Halvorsen, a real estate broker.



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