“This is a little unusual,” said Lou Ann Texeira, LAFCO executive officer. “Certainly it’s the first time this has happened since I’ve been with LAFCO, but it’ll work out. We’ll get it done.”
LAFCO is a powerful county commission that oversees land boundaries and annexation issues. There are 58 such boards throughout California.
The two positions – the mayors seat, held by Concord Councilwoman Helen Allen, and the special districts position held by Discovery Bay Community Services District (CSD) Director David Piepho – became available last month following Allen’s retirement from the Concord Council and Piepho’s resignation from the CSD board and subsequent unsuccessful bid for a seat on the Byron-Brentwood-Knightsen Union Cemetery Board. In order to retain a position on LAFCO, commissioners must sit on the board of one of the agencies they represent.
In the case of Allen, a call for nominations to fill her spot on LAFCO went out a few weeks ago and the nomination deadline was set for Dec. 22. According to Texeira, when the City Selection Committee meets at its regular Jan. 6 meeting, a new commissioner to fill Allen’s position will be appointed.
“Because Helen (Allen) didn’t run for a seat on the Concord City Council again, her seat on LAFCO became available,” said Texeira. “There are 19 cities countywide, so there is the potential for that many nominations, although typically we receive maybe three or four. We’ll see what happens.”
Selection committees comprising representatives from each of the commissions appoint LAFCO seats. For example, a group made up of representatives from each of the county’s 19 city councils votes on the mayors seat.
Although no official word has been issued on who is running for the open mayors seat, Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor has said he might throw his hat into the ring, and according to Texeira, it’s also possible that mayors seat alternate – Lafayette City Councilman Don Tatzin – might apply. Applicants for the mayors seat needn’t be mayors, but must at least be members of a city council.
Nominations for the special districts seat are open until Jan. 5, and an appointment is expected at the regular meeting of the Independent Special District Selection Committee on Jan. 24.
There are 44 special districts countywide and the same number of potential applicants, but so far, just one individual, George Schmidt – the sitting alternate – plans to apply for the post.
“I am definitely interested in running,” said Schmidt, who has been on the board of directors of the West County Wastewater District since 1992. “I’ve been an alternate for years and I would like to make a run for it. Maybe it’s my time.”