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Johnson appointed to Planning Commission
Dave Johnson
Dave Johnson was appointed to the Ceres Planning Commission on Monday evening, Dec. 11. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/Courier photo

Dave Johnson has been named to the Ceres Planning Commission in the wake of the resignation of Hugo Molina.

Johnson, a Ceres resident since 1975, was the lone applicant for the job although the city received interest after the application period closed. Instead of extending the application period to consider more applicants, the council made the appointment on Monday.

"I look forward to serve the community and make a difference," Johnson, 56, told the council.

Johnson, who has been in real estate and the housing industry his whole life, said he previously applied for a commission appointment. Currently he is employed in safety and customer service for a construction framer out of Sacramento.

"I've been around Northern California enough to see what needs to be done in the future," said Johnson.

Mayor Chris Vierra presented Molina, who served on the Planning Commission from January 2010 until this month, was a certificate of appreciation.

"It's been an exciting journey," said Molina. "It has been a privileged serving the city of Ceres. I have grown a lot. I came to know a lot of great people. I've had the opportunity to have an input in a lot of the projects that we now see around. I've always been grateful to you for the opportunity that you gave me to serve as a planning commissioner."

He commented that the job wasn't easy and that he walked away from many meetings "hoping that we made the right decision."

"Today I walk away from the Planning Commission hoping that I leave a lasting impression on the city in the choices I made," said Molina.

Vice Mayor Mike Kline served with Molina on the commission and expressed appreciation for his friendship and his service.

"I think you have always been somebody that has been very rational and stable in your decisions," commented Mayor Chris Vierra.

Molina owns and operates the Palmwest Insurance Services in Los Banos. He ran unsuccessfully for City Council in three-person races in 2011 and 2013.

Johnson joins Bob Kachel, Gary Del Nero, Laurie Smith and Couper Condit on the commission. Commissioners serve four-year terms and are appointed by the Ceres City Council. The commission examines development applications and helps craft city growth and land use policies.

A year ago Kachel and Del Nero were appointed to four-year terms. Condit has been serving since April 13, 2015. Smith was first appointed in 2007. Her term will be up in December 2018.

Also on Monday, Brandy Meyer was reappointed to serve as Ceres' representative on the Tuolumne River Regional Park Citizens Advisory Committee. Her four-year term expires on Dec. 31, 2021.

Former committee member Leonard Shepherd commended the choice, saying Meyer was a "very, very good person to be on that committee. She loves the park, she loves the committee and loves Ceres just like I do."