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City Council Needs More Women

First published in the Nov. 10 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The City Council needs to appoint more women to city commissions.
Of the 30 commissioners on the city’s six commissions, only five are women, 17%. Three of the commissions have no women, including the powerful Planning Commission, which hasn’t had a female commissioner in more than seven years.
Is the lack of women on commissions because women don’t apply? Not at all. Last month when the city council was filling two commission vacancies, four women and two men applied. Council appointed the two men.
Is the lack of women because the women aren’t qualified? Again, no. For last month’s vacancy on the Public Works & Traffic Commission, one female applicant was a professional at a public utility, the other female applicant was an MBA/Girl Scout leader/PTA president who has walked all 87 miles of the city’s streets, and the male applicant was an employment attorney with no training or experience pertinent to public works or traffic. Council appointed the male. When council interviewed the applicants, of the three council members who voted to appoint the male, two missed the interviews.
A striking contrast is our school district, the best in the state, where the superintendent and all four assistant superintendents are women.
The City Council needs to do better with its commission appointments.

David Haxton
La Canada Flintridge

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