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Council to make appointments without public input

The Laguna Beach City Council agreed Tuesday that each member will make an appointment to the Wastewater Management Task Force and the public will not be part of the interviewing or selection process.

Applications will be filed in the city clerk's office and made available to the public, but the council will not be required to choose someone who has applied.

"If a member of the public wants to know why someone was chosen, they can ask the council member," said Councilman Steven Dicterow.

Applications are due Aug. 30, with appointments to be filed with the city clerk by Sept. 6.

"I am comfortable with it," said Mayor Kelly Boyd. "After all, the council let me choose all the appointments to my committee on trees and views and I have already chosen my appointment to the task force."

Applicants must be Laguna Beach residents, which concerned Councilwoman Toni Iseman, who said the committee could use the expertise of someone like Mike Dunbar, former South Coast Water District general manager, who does not live in town.

South Laguna Civic Assn. member Mike Beanan indicated Tuesday that he would be an applicant.

The task force is scheduled to begin meeting in September. A report to the council on its findings and recommendations is due March 4.

Dicterow, Councilman Robert Whalen and a staff member will serve as liaisons between the city and the task force.

The task force is being formed with three goals in mind, according to the staff report:

•Development of recommendations to the South Orange County Wastewater Authority for a long-range strategic plan aimed at sustainable, cost-effective and environmentally sound wastewater management that respects the integrity of the Aliso and Woods Canyons Wilderness Park and coastal waters

•Collection and assessment of information on current operations and 21st century technologies through interviews with and presentations by the authority staff, UC Irvine faculty and graduate students, and invited speakers, with recommendations for improvements and possible removal of sewer infrastructure from the wilderness park

•Consideration and comments on the financial impact of the recommendations.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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