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City regains a plan commission...with new look

February 21, 2013

    The City of Decatur has a plan commission again — one with two more members than ever before and three new faces.
    The new members are Jack Macklin, Dennis Scheumann and Larry Isch.
    The changes were unveiled at Tuesday night's meeting of city council.    At council's previous meeting, it was announced that due to the city's hiring of a civil engineer some months back, the plan commission fell under a new section of law. That forced the commission to go from seven members to nine, all members staying on had to resign and be reappointed, the city engineer had to be on the board (or a representative of), and the manner of selection had to be changed.
    With all seven members of the previous board resigning, the city was left without a plan commission for a couple of weeks, hardly a disastrous situation.
    So here is the way the new board shapes up. Mayor John Schultz now  has five appointments to make, so he named Steve Hakes, Greg Kitson, and Barb Engle  from the previous board, then added Macklin and Scheumann.
    The terms have to be staggered, so Hakes and Kitson will serve two-year terms, Engle and Macklin three-year terms and Scheumann a four-year term.
    City Engineer Nathan Rumschlag appointed himself to a one-year term and city council named Councilman Charlie Cook, a previous member of the board, to a four-year term.  Bill Karbach, a member of the Board of Works and Safety, remains on the commission, chosen by the Board of Works to serve a new three-year term.
    Meanwhile, Isch, a member of the park board, was selected by that board to serve a four-year term.
    Got it?
    Eventually, all terms will be for four years.
    Mayor John Schultz said the new commission had its first meeting earlier Tuesday.
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