Former Commissioner Elvis Dias rejoined the Turlock Planning Commission Thursday night to fill a recent vacancy.
Dias served on the Planning Commission from January 2007 through December 2014 and sought reappointment to his third term in January.
Mayor Gary Soiseth appointed Eric Gonsalves and Steve Hallam to the Planning Commission, who were approved on 4-1 by Council in January, over Dias.
At the time, Councilmember Steven Nascimento disagreed with the appointments and thought there were better candidates with more experience, including Dias.
“I appreciate the Mayor’s evaluation of the candidates, but there are seven very qualified candidates, one of which is Elvis Dias, who has been a member of that commission since 2007, and two of which serve as alternates on that commission,” said Nascimento at the Jan. 13 meeting. "I feel that those individuals, having attended the meetings for the past two years, or since 2007 for the case of Mr. Dias, would probably have been better choices in respect to their commitment to the community and commission."
Hallam, who was one of the two appointments selected over Dias in January, vacated his position on the Planning Commission earlier this year.
“As one of the most experienced planners on the commission, former Commissioner Steve Hallam offered great insight into the recent process that changed our city's zoning ordinances,” said Soiseth about Hallam. “In just a brief time, he made a major impact at City Hall. I wish both Steve and Jan well as they enter their next chapter.”
To fill the vacancy left by Hallam, Soiseth appointed Dias to the commission, who was unanimously approved by Council on May 12. Dias sworn-in to the Planning Commission at the July 16 Planning Commission meeting.
“Commissioner Elvis Dias brings a great level of understanding and familiarity to the Planning Commission,” said Soiseth. “Through his years of service, Elvis has proven to be a strong advocate for farmland preservation, disciplined growth, and smart planning.”