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Council refuses to rescind planning commission appointments

A motion to rescind two planning commission appointments that were approved at the last Sunnyside City Council meeting was struck down by a vote of 6-1 at last night's council meeting.

Sunnyside Mayor Paul Garcia was the lone dissenting vote. He objected to the motion not being heard, which was also struck down by a vote of 6-1.

At issue was the appointment of Darrell Tadlock and Craig Hicks to the Sunnyside Planning Commission at the Oct. 26, 2009 council meeting.

Garcia was out of town on that day and Sunnyside Mayor Pro-tem Jim Restucci added the appointments to the agenda and council approved them.

Sunnyside City Councilman elect Mike Farmer charged that the appointments were done illegally, claiming only the mayor could make said appointments.

Restucci objected to Farmer's comments, stating that what he did was well within the scope of his position. Restucci also said he consulted the city's legal counsel before moving forward with the appointments.

This caused Garcia to charge that Restucci excluded the mayor purposely and deliberately from the deliberations.

"What you did was wrong," Garcia told Restucci.

After the meeting Garcia told the Daily Sun News that he was concerned about the process of the appointees. Garcia stressed he didn't have a problem with either of the two appointees but was concerned about the process.

Restucci told the Daily Sun News that on the day in question he was contacted by members of the planning commission about the two vacant spots.

"They asked me point blank if something could be done about the vacant positions," Restucci said.

The vacancies had been lingering for about a year and the planning commission has been having trouble forming a quorum at its meetings when members were absent.

Restucci said that with the increase in work the council was asking the planning commission to do, he felt there was a sense of urgency to the appointments and acted accordingly.

Restucci also questioned the Mayor's charge that his problem with the appointments was about the process

"If it's all about the process then why didn't he ask for Ted Durfey's appointment to be rescinded," Restucci asked.

At the same meeting when Tadlock and Hicks were appointed Restucci also appointed Durfey to the Sunnyside Municipal Airport Committee.

The Sunnyside Planning Commission meets tonight, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. at the Sunnyside Law and Justice Center.

The council will revisit the Sunnyside Municipal Code at the next council meeting.

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