On March 5, PLAN-Boulder sent a letter to the City Council regarding board appointments:

Dear Council members,

PLAN-Boulder County would like to recommend a few specific candidates for board appointments for your consideration, though we recognize that interviews have not yet taken place. We regret not having done so earlier, but obtaining the applications to give fair consideration to candidates has been unnecessarily difficult.

Planning Board
PLAN-Boulder County hopes that the current Council will be able to move in the direction of creating a clear vision of the direction the city wants to go in new developments, rather than simply reacting to developers’ proposals. In order to do this effectively, good Planning Board appointments will be critical. We hope that appointing Crystal Gray to a full term will be your first step. Crystal has been an excellent board member during her one-year appointment, and her experience and commitment to careful, active listening and deliberation will be needed on Planning Board.

Our first choice for new members of the board is John Gerstle, which of course conflicts with our recommendation that he be appointed to the Open Space Board of Trustees. John showed excellent judgment and skill at bringing parties together and guiding staff during his years on the Planning Commission, he knows Boulder and its values thoroughly as a result of his history here, and increased his understanding in the last election by interacting with a wide range of citizens.
Finally, as a third recommendation for Planning Board, we support the candidacy of Liz Payton. She has been an effective member of the Landmarks Board, her application is the most thoughtful of any of the applicants, she has been a community leader in a number of areas, and her work on the Boulder Blue Line has been a great contribution. She would be an outstanding appointment.

Open Space Board of Trustees
Since the appointee this year will be replacing Allyn Feinberg, it is particularly important that he or she has a broad understanding of the system and the responsibilities of the trustees to protect all the Charter purposes, rather than being interested primarily in one user-group agenda.
We are impressed by the thought shown this year in all the applications. Our preferred appointment would be John Gerstle. John grew up with the open space system. Either he or his brother George was one of the children in the original campaign poster for the open space tax, and John has been closely involved with Boulder’s open space ever since. He understands in detail all the complexities facing OSBT, and his performance on the County Planning Commission demonstrated his effectiveness in listening to all parties and in working with other appointees to make wise decisions.

Since John has also applied for Planning Board, and Council may want to appoint him there, our other recommendation for OSBT is Dan Luecke. Dan is less familiar with the details of our open space system, though he knows it well as a user, but his extensive experience in public lands of all kinds and in managing stakeholder groups with divergent interests would be useful on OSBT. His emphasis on basing decisions on science, empirical data, and careful consideration of competing interests is encouraging. Dan has not had a dog in any of our recent fights, and would come to the board without a specific agenda, but we believe that his intelligence, experience, and open-mindedness would provide the basis for good decision making on the board.

Thanks for your consideration,
Sarah McClain & Ray Bridge, Co-chairs,
for the PLAN-Boulder County Board