Wheeler appoints new planning commissionerBy: Laura O'Brien, Loomis News Correspondent
Robert Black, a third-generation Loomis resident, is the newest Town of Loomis planning commissioner.
Town council members unanimously approved Black as Dave Wheeler’s pick for the planning commission at the Feb. 12 council meeting.
Black is a former planning commissioner and replaces Sue Bordelon, who was chosen by Gary Liss. Bordelon is a founding member of PlacerSustain.
Black’s appointment did not generate discussion by Council or from members of the public.
Black has been banker for almost 40 years and said in an interview he specializes in small business financing for commercial construction. He said he grew up on a local fruit ranch and worked at the High Hand and Blue Goose fruit packing sheds “like so many Loomis kids did.”
“I’ve seen a lot of change from an agrarian society here,” Black said. “I want to see reasonable, well-planned, well-thought-out growth. We do need some growth.”
He acknowledged that “there’s got to be consideration given for existing surrounding homeowners and business owners when considering growth and the impact.”
Black said he ran for town council in 1992, but lost to Rhonda Morillas. He then was appointed to the planning commission in the early 1990s and served one year as chairman.
Wheeler selected Black from six potential candidates.
“He came in to be, number one, the most willing, and he had some experience. I think he’s a good level thinker,” Wheeler said in an interview.
“We want to keep the semi-rural atmosphere, but we also realize in order to keep Loomis Loomis we have to maintain our infrastructure. To maintain our infrastructure we have to have more revenue just to maintain what we currently have.”
When considering possible development, Wheeler said traffic patterns should be considered.
“Right now, Taylor Road and Horseshoe Bar – at times of the day it’s pretty maxed out,” he said.
Black said freeway-related business could be a possible source of income to the Town.
“We want to minimize the impact on the town with the traffic, but yet still generate tax revenue from freeway-related businesses,” he said.
Black said he brings experience in development, zoning, land use and finance to the commission. He also serves as the veterans’ service officer for the local American Legion post.
“I like Dave Wheeler and what he wants to do in helping Loomis,” Black said. “I’m glad to help him and anything I can do to help the town. I think everybody needs to participate in the town government.”
Morillas, who was re-elected to council, reappointed Jean Wilson to the commission. Wilson’s and Black’s appointments are effective March 1.
The other planning commissioners include Mike Hogan, appointed by Miguel Ucovich; Janet Thew, appointed by Walt Scherer; and Pat Miller, appointed by Sandra Calvert.
“It’s important that people who are on the planning commission understand the big picture of what needs to happen,” Wheeler said.
“(Black) loves Loomis, and I think that’s the number one qualification.”