OCEANSIDE — Out of the five candidates who interviewed with City Council for an appointment to the Planning Commission, incumbent Tom Rosales was selected in a unanimous vote March 20.Rosales has served on the Planning Commission for four years.
Several council members said they do not always agree with his commission decisions, but appreciate his research and thoughtfulness.
“I don’t always agree with his decisions, but he has made it clear what his findings and thought process are to reach those decisions,” Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said.
Sanchez added that Rosales has built relationships and brought harmony to the Planning Commission.
Councilman Gary Felien also praised Rosales’ thoughtfulness and even temperament while serving on the Planning Commission.
“It takes a certain openness to be on the commission, reach fair outcomes, and learn the nuances of planning,” Rosales said. “It took me two and a half years to reach a comfortable level and have a real good sense of what it takes.”
Rosales said he would work for city economic growth while keeping both short-term interests and long-term goals in mind and not sell the city short.
Rosales spoke favorably of mixed-use projects and thoughtful smart growth.
“I would incorporate smart growth carefully and deliberately with lots of collaboration and community input,” Rosales said. “Not everyone is agreeable with the idea. It needs to be done in a deliberate manner with lots of input.”
Rosales said he would address community opposition to projects on a case-by-case basis and listen carefully to community input.
Rosales has worked for the South Orange County Wastewater Authority for 20 years. In his occupation he has dealt with the California Coastal Commission, California Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish and Game and other regulatory agencies.
Fellow candidates who applied were David Zernik, Sharon Newbery, Robert Mikulay and Larry Barry.
Planning Commission terms last four years. There are seven commissioners total. City Council appointments of commission seats are made on a rotating basis. The Planning Commission is the only city commission that is not appointed solely by the mayor.