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Council filling pair of planning panel positions
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With two vacancies coming for the Lathrop Planning Commission at the end of the month, the Lathrop City Council will have to decide between five applicants who they want to represent their interests for the next four years.

And both of the commissioners whose terms are expiring want to come back.

Tonight, the Lathrop City Council will formally consider what to do with the vacancies of Bennie Gatto and Ash Ramilay – both of whom are currently serving on the commission. Gatto, the city’s first mayor, just completed a four-year term while Ramilay, who is active in city politics and serves as a member of the Lathrop Lions Club, was appointed to fill the remainder of an unexpired term back in November and wants to seek the full four-year term.

But they have competition.

Also submitting applications were former Lathrop City Councilman Christopher Mateo, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Strategic Planner Jennifer Hopping, and Editor/Translator Taylor Papallo – who earned her Doctorate in Italian from Yale.

The commission, which is responsible for helping shape development in the city, makes recommendations for larger development projects to the city while handling much of the smaller growth and development issues with the council’s blessing.

Gatto, who has been a Lathrop resident for 88 years and was instrumental in helping Lathrop become an incorporated city, most recently served as a director for the Lathrop Manteca Fire District while at the same time he served as a planning commissioner. Tosh Ishihara, who will be on the commission until June of 2020, is currently doing the same thing.

Ramilay, who works as a realtor in Oakdale, has a background in engineering and spent 20 years in the semi-conductor and contract manufacturing industries before making the switch to real estate.

The Lathrop City Council meets on the second Monday of the month at Lathrop City Hall, located at 390 Towne Center Drive, at 7 p.m. For additional information, or to obtain a copy of the agenda, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.