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Four hope to succeed after 6 others failed to get picked
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Two months ago the Manteca’s City Council rejected six applicants as not being “qualified” or “interested enough” to serve on the Manteca Planning Commission

The council will try to fill the remaining vacancy on the commission tonight when they meet at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Four additional Manteca residents submitted applications after the position was re-advertised. They are Kirk Dall, a home inspector and Realtor; Jason Laughlin, a field representative for Assembly member Health Flora; Gerard Machado, semi-retired who worked as a regional manager for a health plan; and Satpreet Singh, an accountant.

Based on remarks by the council in mid-December when they appointed Leonard Smith and Ron Laffranchi to the commission and Parminder Singh Sahi as the alternate, any of the applicants that do not show up at tonight’s meeting to make a pitch to the council why they are the best choice to serve on the commission will not be considered.

The council on Dec. 18 rejected Armajit Dhaliwal, Barron Gonsalves, David Cushman, Stephanie Kong, Geraldine Williams, and Richard Silverman.

Three of the council members — Jose Nuño, Gary Singh, and Ben Cantu — indicated through various comments two months ago that they preferred candidates that had a strong grasp of planning related issued.  Smith and Laffranchi fit the bill due to their previous service with the planning commission. Smith served 8 years and Laffranchi has served as an alternate. Nuno and Singh both have served on the planning commission while Cantu noted he had nearly 30 years working with the planning commission primarily in his role as a city planner.

 The other two current commission members are Jeff Zellner and Eric Hayes. Both of their terms end in December 2020.

The planning commission is considered the most high profile board in city government after the City Council. In the last three elections, half of the six council members seated were serving as planning commission members when they were elected.

Commission members are paid $40 per meeting.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email