Council to make appointments to two commissions, two committees


The City Council will interview applicants for two commissions and two committees, starting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

All appointments are for two years, starting July 1.

Three applicants have applied for the three open seats on the Housing and Human Affairs Committee.

Incumbent Marc Bruderer has been a member of the committee since 2012. He lists his occupation as a consultant and graduate student. 

Gail Duncan, also an incumbent, is seeking a fifth appointment to the committee. She wants to expand collaboration with other agencies.

Marisa Peasley has been a resident in Laguna for 23 years. She plans to start a foundation for the homeless.

Planning Commission

Five applications were filed for the three seats on the Planning Commission.

Applicants Anne Johnson, Ken Sadler and Sue Kempf are incumbents. 

The incumbents will be challenged by Ernest Hackmon, and J. Walker Reed.

A business development consultant, Hackmon is a graduate of the city’s Community Emergency Response Team class of 2017, of Leadership Laguna in 2016 and the Citizens Academy in 2014. He chaired the Parking, Traffic and Circulation committee from 2009 to 2017.

Johnson has served on the Planning Commission since 2000. During that time she also served on the boards of the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club and the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, as a member of Senior Housing Task Force and city representative for Leadership Laguna. 

Prior to her appointment to the commission, Johnson was a member of the City’s Recreation Committee and the Vision Laguna 2030 Steering Committee.

Kempf was first appointed to the Planning Commission in 2014, coming off 17 months and eight hearings of the View Equity Committee, which crafted the revisions to the newly-named View Preservation and Restoration Ordinance. 

She is also a candidate for City Council and if elected would be required to resign from the commission.

Sadler was appointed to the commission in 2012, to replace Bob Whalen, who had been elected to the City Council. Prior to the appointment, Sadler, an engineer, had served six years on the Design Review Board. 

Reed is a real estate broker and financial advisor. He has been a resident of Laguna Beach for 42 years, is a graduate of Laguna Beach High School and founder of the Alumni Assn. He has previously served on the Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee and spearheaded the city’s first utility undergrounding project in the El Mirador neighborhood.

Arts Commission

Six applicants are vying for the four open seats on the Arts Commission. Four commission members must be active participants in the arts. Five of the applicants qualify.

Incumbents Donna Ballard, Suzi Chavel, Karen Wood and Michael Stice are seeking reappointment to the Arts Commission. 

Ballard is an architect, just completing her third term. She served as vice-chair of the commission for one year and chair for two years. She is member of the LOCA board of directors.

Chavel is an artist, designer, documentary filmmaker and fine arts photographer. After a hiatus, she was re-appointed to the commission in 2007. She has been a judge of the Festival of Arts Recycled Fashion Show and the Patriots Day Parade.

Karen Wood came to Laguna 10 years ago. She is General Manager of the Irvine Barclay Theater. She has been twice nominated for an Art Star Award for Leadership while Managing Director of the Laguna Playhouse.

Stice has been the alternate commissioner since 2016, stepping in when one of the commissioners is absent.

He teaches at Laguna College of Art and Design and was named communications manager in 2012. He previously worked at Laguna Art Museum for 20 years.

Karen Philippsen was a founding director of the Laguna Beach Hospitality Assn, now called Visit Laguna Beach. She also was a founder of the Sister Cities Assn of Laguna Beach and founding chair of the group’s Fete de la Musique. More recently, she served as chair of the 90th Anniversary celebration of Laguna Playhouse.

Kathe Madrigal is a painter with four public art projects to her credit. Her work is exhibited at the Festival of Arts.   

Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee

Robert Elster, Ernest Hackmon, Christine Lins and incumbents Matt Lawson and Tim Templeton have applied for the four available seats. 

Elster served from 1972 to 1998 a in the U.S Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He retired with the rank of Commander. He was subsequently employed as a medical facility planner.

Hackmon has also applied for appointment to the Planning Commission and if appointed could not serve on EDPC. See his qualifications above.

Lawson has served as chair of the committee since 2015. He was also appointed to the Measure LL Audit-Oversight Committee and chaired the Design Review Task Force. Lawson completed the Citizen Academy classes and CERT training.

Lins recently received her certification of completion of the Leadership Laguna program. She retired in January after 34 years of nursing and 10 years of teaching.

Templeton is a marketing advisor and former member of the city’s TechComm Committee. He is interested in pursuing how technology can benefit the city in emergency situations. 

The hearing will begin at 5 p.m. in the City Hall chambers.

More in-depth information about the applicants is available on the city’s website

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