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Council appoints new Planning, Parks commissioners
Nicole Larson
Nicole Larsen

The Turlock Planning Commission will welcome one new member and the Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission two new members after the Turlock City Council appointed new commissioners at their first meeting of 2016.

Out of the four applicants for the open seat on the Turlock Planning Commission, the City Council voted to appoint Geoff Powers.

Powers is the general manager of Cal Mill and P & F Builders and this is his first position in local government.

"Having worked in the project management and contracting/building industry for the past 10 years, I believe that I bring a good view for the struggles that contractors have with new projects," wrote Powers in his Commissioner application. "I believe that I could help bridge the gap between public policy and the difficulties that contractors have with building projects to help bring everyone together and have strong, successful projects that meet the City of Turlock's vision."

Powers said that he hopes to bring his contractor's perspective to the commission in an effort to further streamline the process developers go through to build new projects in Turlock.

"In Turlock, you still have to submit everything in paper. I'd like to see things move electronically," he said.

"I'm pretty excited," Powers said about his appointment to the Planning Commission. "It's something that interests me. I'd love to provide any help to the city that I can."

Powers will join the Commission that is currently working on updating the City's Zoning Codes, including the Sign Ordinance.

The next Planning Commission meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Yosemite Room at City Hall.

The City Council also appointed two new Parks, Arts and Recreation Commissioners on Tuesday — Michael Foster and Nicole Larson.

Foster is a pharmaceutical sales representative and graduate of Stanislaus State. This is his first position in local government.

"I believe it's really important to give back to the community you live in, whatever contribution you can make. If you're active in your community, you can really make a change," he said.

Foster was a grass roots director for Assembly member Bill Berryhill's State Senate run in 2012 and he was a volunteer karate instructor at Moore's Karate.

He said he is equally passionate about the parks and recreation side of the commission as he is the public arts.

Joining Foster on the PARC will be full-time Stanislaus State student Nicole Larson. Larson is currently the president of the Associated Students, Inc. Board of Directors, the student government body at Stanislaus State.

She is a member of the Warriors women's soccer team and volunteers at many local youth sports camps.

In her application for the commission seat, Larson said she hopes to better integrate college athletics programming the City recreation opportunities.

Foster and Larson will join a Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission that has recently taken over the awarding of Community Events and Activities Grant funding for the City of Turlock and is developing a Community Arts Projects committee.

The next PARC meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Yosemite Room at City Hall.