No shortage of interest to fill police station advisory committee

Thirty-seven Claremonters have applied for a role on the next police station citizen advisory committee.

The names of those who applied were revealed after an application period closed on Monday, July 23. The city is looking for a committee to assess next steps and craft a winning ballot measure ahead of the March 2020 election.

The people who have applied so far come from different backgrounds; some have been a part of a previous police station committee, while a majority of them have not.

They are William Cisneros, George Schnable, Frank Bedoya, Jon Cazarez, Jonathan Wiemann, Kris Ronchetti, Gabriel Raphael, Sally Seven, John Jocelyn, Christina Davis, Michael Camacho, Carolyn Gray, Amy Croushore, Anthony Nelipovich, Richard Chute, Thomas Ray, Rosangela Altamirano, Davetta Williams, Katherine Rosacker, Russell Binder, Harold Gault, Jack Blair, Jim Keith, Terence Kennedy, Joyce Sauter, David Burgdorf, Vanessa Schoenewald, Matt Jones, John Watkins, Jess Swick, Kurt Bumiller, Brian Adams, Robert Bowcock, Christopher Dransfeldt, Matt Magilke, Aundre Johnson and Beth Pfau.

Five applicants—Ms. Seven, Mr. Bedoya, Mr. Blair, Mr. Keith and Mr. Swick—were all previous members of the police station ad hoc committee that put together Measure SC. That measure went down at the ballot box in June after failing to secure a two-thirds majority vote.

Mr. Keith in particular was heavily involved in getting out the vote for Measure SC earlier this year.

At least two applicants, Matt Magilke and John Watkins, were vocal detractors of Measure SC during the election.

The applicants will be whittled down to about 15 members, according to city spokesperson Bevin Handel. Mayor Opanyi Nasiali will be conducting in-person interviews with each candidate next week, he told the COURIER on Monday.

“Obviously, I’m going to hear what they want to say about what they think about the police station and how to finance it,” Mr. Nasiali said.

The applicants will be interviewed “eyeball to eyeball,” according to Mr. Nasiali. Each person will have around 10 minutes to state his or her case to be on the committee, Ms. Handel said.

Mr. Nasiali noted that he would most likely have City Manager Tara Schultz and Claremont Police Chief Shelly Vander Veen in the room with him as he conducts the interviews, which he said should take around two days.

“We want to do this as quickly as possible,” he said. “We want the committee to hit the ground running.”

This will be the third police station ballot measure to be placed before Claremont voters in the past three years. Measure PS, a $50 million parcel tax, failed decisively in November 2015, and Measure SC, which cut the size and the cost in half and changed the financing mechanism, failed this past June.

While SC received a clear majority of support at roughly 58 percent, it was not enough the clear the 67 percent threshold needed for it to be passed. Those who were against the measure took issue with the financing mechanism, contribution from the Claremont Colleges and whether or not Claremont needed a new facility to replace the aging, out-of-compliance current station.

Once the committee is selected, the mayor said he would announce the date when the committee would start. He noted he wanted the committee to meet “either by the end of August or the beginning of September.”

Matthew Bramlett

[Ed. note: this article was updated with a correct spelling of Aundre Johnson’s name]


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