New police station committee will meet on Tuesday

The new Police Station Citizens Advisory Committee has been announced, and the first meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 28.

The 15-member committee was announced on Thursday by the city, following interviews conducted over the past few weeks by Mayor Opanyi Nasiali, Claremont Police Chief Shelly Vander Veen and City Manager Tara Schultz.

The first meeting will take place at the Hughes Center’s Padua Room at 6 p.m., according to the city.

The committee members are David Burgdorf, Richard Chute, Harold Gault, John Jocelyn, Aundre Johnson, Matthew Jones, Jim Keith, Matthew Magilke, Anthony Nelipovich, Elizabeth Pfau, Katharine Rosacker, Joyce Sauter, Sally Seven, Jess Swick and John Watkins.

The group represents a mixture of supporters and detractors of Measure SC, the June ballot initiative that would have paid for a new police station through a $23.5 million general obligation bond.

Mr. Keith, Ms. Seven and Mr. Swick were all part of the previous police facility ad hoc committee that created Measure SC. Mr. Keith also had a large role in getting out the vote for that measure.

Mr. Magilke and Mr. Watkins were both vocal opponents of the measure throughout the election season.

The group was whittled down from 37 initial applicants.

The committee will be hitting the ground running when it meets on Tuesday. The meeting will cover a number of topics, including project background, next steps and a selection of committee chair and vice chair.

The committee will also look at several paths forward for the Claremont Police Department’s future, including retrofitting the current station, moving to the city yard and building a new facility at the current site.

The group will also receive information regarding an ongoing resident survey, which was initiated by the city in July. The survey will provide a window into why Claremonters voted the way they did in June.

A public forum is also scheduled for September 26, which will also serve as the kick-off for the online feedback process, according to the agenda.

The committee is scheduled to meet throughout the fall and winter and into 2019, where the last meeting is scheduled for May 8. The city council recently approved a new police station measure—Claremont’s third attempt—to be placed on the ballot in March 2020.

Measure SC is the second police station ballot measure to fail in three years, after Measure PS’s failure in 2015.

While SC garnered a clear majority of votes—around 58 percent voted yes—it was well below the two-thirds majority threshold needed for the measure to pass.

Matthew Bramlett


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