A new mayor and council means new appointments to local and regional committees and Mayor Gary Soiseth will be at the helm of a majority of them, especially those pertaining to water.
“These fall pretty much in line with past appointments,” said City Clerk Kellie Weaver. “The only difference I see is on the water side but that’s a big interest of our mayor.”
Former Turlock City Council Member Forrest White often took an interest in water issues namely as a member of the Stanislaus County Water Advisory Committee.
When he isn’t serving as mayor of Turlock, Soiseth is a water and energy regulatory analyst for Modesto Irrigation District as well as a farmer in his family’s operation. He will serve on the East Stanislaus Regional Water Management Partnership and the Regional Surface Water Supply Project Advisory Committee with new Vice Mayor Amy Bublak serving as the alternate member for both committees.
Soiseth will also represent Turlock on the City/County Disaster Council with Fire Chief Tim Lohman as the alternate member and the City of Turlock/Turlock Unified School District Joint Meeting Committee alongside Council Member Bill DeHart. An alternate member was not appointed to the education committee to avoid any potential Brown Act violations. Soiseth will also be the member of the Oversight Board to the Successor Agency to the Former Turlock Redevelopment Agency and The Alliance.
Council Member Steven Nascimento will serve on the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District Valley-Wide Special City Selection Committee with Matthew Jacob as the alternate. Jacob will also be the alternate member for the League of California Cities Central Valley Division Executive Committee with DeHart as the member.
Turlock Unified School Board Member Jennifer Carter will represent Turlock on the Stanislaus County Economic Development Action Committee. Turlock Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commissioner Brent Bohlender was reappointed to the commission and will be joined by newcomer Hannah Noonan. The Planning Commission will also welcome two new faces with Steve Hallam and Eric Gonsalves joining the three other commissioners.
Other notable happenings at the Jan. 13 Turlock City Council meeting include:
- The adoption of the council’s 2015 calendar which includes an “aggressive” meeting schedule that will continue through April to institute Soiseth’s 100 day plan which includes public workshops to review the budget, water issues, transportation, and more. The first workshop, focusing on the council’s strategic plan, will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Yosemite Community Room in Turlock City Hall which is located at 156 South Broadway.
- Jacob’s recommendation that the City of Turlock consider updating their website to be more “user friendly” and an accurate reflection of the city’s capabilities. City Manager Roy Wasden said that the City was in an ideal position to tackle the problem and will consider creating a staff driven task force to address the issue.
- Director of Municipal Services Michael Cooke said that the City was able to handle “significantly more rain than we’re designed to handle” during the storms that took place Dec. 11-12. There were three inches of rain that fell in a 12-hour period which proved a good test of the city’s systems.