Barragan, Castaneda & Skeels: Planning Commission interviews Monday

August 04, 2006
Santa Paula News

Some familiar names are vying for a seat on the Planning Commission to fill the void left by the departure of Jennifer Matos who, due to career pressures, opted out after several terms of service.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesSome familiar names are vying for a seat on the Planning Commission to fill the void left by the departure of Jennifer Matos who, due to career pressures, opted out after several terms of service. Former Santa Paula High School Trustee Eric Barragan and retired Fire Chief Paul Skeels - who stepped down as the cityís first full-time department leader in recent months - have applied for the Planning Commission seat, as well as Andrew Castaneda. The trio will be interviewed by the City Council Monday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hallís Administrative Conference Room.Barragan had recently been active in land-use issues - including development in Adams and Fagan canyons - as a cofounder of ONE Santa Paula, which supported both measures that were narrowly defeated at the ballot box. Barragan also had run for a seat on the Santa Paula Union High School District Board of Trustees, but failed in his attempt to recapture the seat. Barragan, a city native, had served on the board until he stepped down due to personal issues.
Skeels, a city resident since the mid-1970s, first joined the Santa Paula Fire Department as a volunteer and was the peer-appointed chief until about 1989, when he became the departmentís first full-time chief. When he initially announced his recent retirement, Skeels said that he would reopen a law office and stay involved in the community.Castaneda, the owner of Santa Paula-based Castaneda Construction, could not be reached by deadline for comment.The Planning Commission has undergone changes in the last few years, including shrinking the body that considers zoning and land-use issues from seven to five members. Commissioners are appointed by the City Council to four-year terms, and it is expected that they will announce their decision at the meeting following the Commissioner interviews.



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