The City Council of Lake Forest slogged through nearly four hours of agenda items, which was monopolized by interviews of nine of 10 applicants for two Planning Commission seats.
The agenda also included a resident and business survey, and appointments to various county commissions.
Ultimately, the council's No. 1 choice to join the five-member planning commission was Charles "C.J." Brower, 41, a licensed attorney currently attending culinary school while employed as a chef at the restaurant Bandera in Corona del Mar. He received four votes from the five councilmembers.
A second vote was required to fill the second position because no one had the necessary three votes. Andrew Hamilton, 42, a certified public accountant, was chosen on the second ballot with three votes, from Mayor Scott Voigts and newly elected Dwight Robinson and Adam Nick. Hamilton has previously been on a planning commission, serving two years in Tustin.
Voigts, Robinson, Nick and Kathryn McCullough backed Brower in the first vote.
Brower and Hamilton were chosen at the expense of current planning commissioners David Carter, who had 19 years of experience in Lake Forest, and Terry Anderson, who had six.
Councilman Peter Herzog voted for the incumbents.
Herzog said "It's really sad" that Carter and Anderson were removed from the commission.
"We're in the middle of the whole OSA (Opportunity Studies Area) process—the five (development) projects—they're in the middle of going through all those, they’ve done all the work through the last several years to do it. The continuity aspect is key and there was no reason to change. None."
Other applicants for the positions included: Ken Carrell, Mohammad Chaudhry, Nilima Gupta, Amanda Morrell, Joseph Richter and Dino Roman. Richter was not present and didn't interview.
Carrell had previous experience on the Lake Forest Planning Commission. Like Anderson, Carrell fell short in a bid to win one of the two seats on the city council in the November general election.
There was a runoff among five candidates—who received at least one vote and no more than two votes apiece—for the remaining position: Anderson, Carrell, Hamilton, Morrell and Roman.
Editor's Note: The above list was read to the council by the city clerk as the five candidates for the second position; she omitted the inclusion of Carter and errantly named Carrell.
Besides hearing the glowing reports of the survey—96 percent of respondents rated life in Lake Forest as satisfactory and 99 percent rated it at least fair—the council was also involved in the appointment to various commissions.
- Nick was appointed to the California Joint Powers Authority.
- Voigts inherited the position on the Association of Mayors.
- Voigts was retained as representative and McCullough the alternate on the Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency.
- McCullough was chosen to represent the city on the Upper Newport Bay Watershed.
- McCullough was chosen as the representative to the Orange County Fire Authority with Herzog the alternate.
- McCullough was chosen to the Orange County Library Advisory Board and Robinson was chosen as the alternate.
- McCullough was chosen to represent the city on the South O.C. Watershed Area.
Editor's note: This article originally misidentified the mayor as Todd Voigts instead of Scott Voigts.