WatchSonoma Watch

Ex-council candidate named to Petaluma Planning Commission



The Petaluma City Council unanimously appointed a former council candidate Monday to the Planning Commission.

Ray Johnson (PD FILE, 2010)

Ray Johnson, who ran unsuccessfully in 2010, received votes from all six council members present. He was the only applicant.

Some council observers suggested the appointment process could become political based on changes a previous council made to its planning boards after the council majority changed hands.

But Johnson’s appointment to the seven-member commission spurred no controversy.

Since 2009, the commission has tilted strongly toward the slower-growth philosophy. That year, a new City Council majority essentially fired all members of two volunteer planning boards mid-term and replaced them with a new Planning Commission more aligned to its slower-growth philosophies.

Johnson is ideologically aligned with more pro-development Council Members Chris Albertson, Mike Harris and Mike Healy. Healy was absent Monday.

Mayor David Glass, Vice Mayor Tiffany Renee and Councilwoman Teresa Barrett are typically more skeptical toward growth.

Planning Commission Chairman Curtis Johansen didn’t reapply for his seat.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com.

6 Responses to “Ex-council candidate named to Petaluma Planning Commission”

  1. @ Stay Positive says:

    Please stop trying to suggest there was majority support. The facts are that there is zero precedent to reject an applicant when there is only one applying for one open seat. There was nothing they could do – and it was a single vote not for Ray, but for all applicants who applied where there were either more openings than applicants or an equal number. He has been rejected every time, but this time he just got lucky that no one else applied.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Stay positive says:

    @No controversy? – if this was a problem to you or the council, you or your friends would have stepped up for the planning commission seat. You did not so CONGRATS to Ray Johnson and thanks to ALL council members including the mayor for the majority vote. In the meantime, find something else to do besides criticize someone who had the strength to stand up yet again.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. another nail... says:

    in Petaluma’s coffin. Johnson will rubber stamp any development that comes his way. He is a complete puppet.

    And Ms. Carter (or your editor): Please stop telling lies that Gabe Kearney (who this article conveniently omits) is a progressive or a liberal or for smart growth. He isn’t any of those and you know it. Nobody else put their name in for Planning Commission because nobody that isn’t pro-development could get ever 4 votes from the council majority.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. sadie says:

    Go Ray!! Bring some common sence and patience. Working on the planning commission you will need it.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  5. No controversy? says:

    That’s funny, he was appointed with “no controversy”. There wasn’t a single additional applicant for the position. This story reads as if everyone on the council was happy to bring in Ray, whose funding for his run for council was mostly made up of himself and developers in hopes that he would rubber stamp their projects with as few mitigations as possible…at the expense of the community. Not even close.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  6. BS says:

    Absurd, Ray the Republican was only appointed because no one else applied – which is unfortunate because by his own admission, he has zero understanding of CEQA and doesn’t tend to read. This is really shoddy reporting but at least the headline for this version of the story is different than the one in Petaluma 360 – which leads with the “unanimous” claim. He, along with all other applicant to committees and commissions in which there were either more vacancies than applications or an equal number of positions as applications. They were all appointed by default in a single step….it wasn’t at all that the council members all got behind Ray (as much as this would delight his fantasy), there simply was no other applicant and in such situations, people get in by default. What a joke.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

Leave a Reply