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Smith remains on commission
• Has served on the Planning Commission for 11 years
Laurie Smith.jpg
Laurie Smith

Laurie Smith is staying on the Ceres Planning Commission after being reappointed for another four years. She has been serving as its chairperson.

Smith, 58, was appointed in January 2007, December 2010 and December 2014. Her new term will end in December 2022.

“Her experience and demeanor has been outstanding,” commented City Manager Toby Wells who recommended her reappointment. Ceres Mayor Chris Vierra added that he supported her reappointment “wholeheartedly.”

“I know that Laurie has been a stellar performer on the Planning Commission and somebody that I have identified as very knowledgeable,” said Vierra of Smith. “I think she’s a key asset to the Planning Commission and I support that.”

Councilman Mike Kline said he served four years on the commission with Smith and said she was a “tremendous help to me and I think that I learned a lot from here.”

In 2007 Smith was one of seven applicants who wanted to succeed Rob Phipps’ seat on the Ceres City Council after his death. The council appointed Bret Durossette instead.

The 1977 graduate of Bossier High School in Louisiana earned her bachelor’s degree in political science in 1983 from Cal State Long Beach. She is an administrative services officer with the city of Modesto’s Community & Economic Development Department.

Laurie has lived in Ceres since 1986.

Others serving on the commission are Gary Del Nero, Bob Kachel, Couper Condit and Dave Johnson. 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.

In 2016 Kachel and Del Nero were appointed to four-year terms. Condit has been serving since April 13, 2015.