In a unanimous 4-0 vote Tuesday night, the Santa Clarita City Council appointed Philip M. Hart, former Logix Federal Credit Union Chief Operating Officer and Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation board member, to fill a position on the city’s five-member Planning Commission.
Following the resignation of Commissioner Charles Heffernan in January, the city opened an application period and received applications from eight local residents to fill the position.
Hart will fill out the balance of Heffernan’s four-year term, set to expire on December 31, 2020.
In addition to Hart, the applicants included Corey Alan Carter, Sarah Darabi, John Lewis Dortch, Dr. Mark Elfont, Jason Warren Gibbs, Philip M. Hart, Dan Masnada and Gary L. Morrison.
Councilman Bob Kellar, who had nominated Hefferman, had created a panel to evaluate the applications. With Tom Cole, the city’s director of Community Development, serving as chairperson, the panel included Tami Edwards, Holly Schroeder, Richard Worflin and Fred Arnold.
“Their decision after a full day of assessing the applicants was that Phil Hart could be the person to fill that seat,” Kellar said. “I want to say, congratulations.”
As Hart made his way to the podium in Council Chambers at Santa Clarita City Hall, Kellar read a short bio.
“Phil has retired from Logix Federal Credit Union, where he served for 28 years as their chief operating officer,” Kellar said. “He’s been a resident of Santa Clarita since 1988, and he’s also given to this community in a major way by being a board member of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation (from May 2013 through 2017). And I just want to say, Phil, what a privilege for you to come on board. I know you’re going to be a phenomenal commissioner and I invite you to say a couple of words.”
“Thank you very much,” Hart said. “As Bob said I’ve lived with my family for 30 years here in the Santa Clarita Valley. And I’ve always been impressed with how well the city has grown over that period of time, responsibly, and also a good way of growing, appropriate for the amount of growth that we’ve had. … I would like to say that I’d be honored and privileged to serve on the Planning Commission.”
Kellar moved to appoint Hart to the position, and Councilman Bill Miranda seconded. They voted 4-0 to confirm (Councilman Cameron Smyth was not present).
“Congratulations, Mr. Hart,” Mayor Laurene Weste said as the audience applauded. “And now, roll up your sleeves, because (City Staff) is going to give you a lot of work to do.”
The five-member Planning Commission advises the City Council on major development projects, property acquisition, specific plans zoning and other planning matters, and meets at City Hall on the first and third Tuesday of the month.
The current Planning Commission lineup is Lisa Eichman, chairperson; Renee Berlin, vice chairperson; and Commissioners Dr. Dennis Ostrom, Tim Burkhart and Phil Hart.
For more information about the city of Santa Clarita’s commissions, visit Santa-Clarita.com or call the City Clerk’s office at 661-255-4391.