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Council split on candidates for commission


The four Angels Camp City Council members present at last evening's council meeting were divided on who they'd like to see become the city's newest planning commissioner.

Lynda Tusoni, a commissioner since 1994, is stepping down so she can have more free time, and two Angels Camp men — Roger Neuman and Mike Ziehlke — are candidates for her position.

One of them was to be appointed at last night's meeting. But, with Vice Mayor Curly Middleton on vacation, the remaining four members deadlocked.

Angels Camp Mayor Debbie Ponte and Councilman Lee Seaton favor Neuman, while Councilmen William Hutchinson and Paul Raggio support Ziehlke. Both candidates were interviewed before yesterday's meeting for about 30 minutes each.

Because of the tie, the men will be re-interviewed at the council's next meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 16, when all members are to be present. The council's regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 2 has been canceled because of the Labor Day holiday.

"We have two splendid applicants," Raggio said.

Neuman, an Angels Camp resident for the past 12 years, said the general public needs to become more involved in local government.

"I believe I have the experience and the ability to understand complex issues and offer honesty, ethics, integrity and productivity to achieving overall city planning goals," Neuman wrote in a statement.

Ziehlke, a Caltrans employee who has lived in Angels Camp for 40 years, said he'll bring "real life experiences" to the commission.

"The knowledge I bring comes from living here for as long as I have," Ziehlke wrote in a letter to the council. "I have watched this city grow from about 800 people to where it is now. I have learned a lot by watching the city struggle with growth issues. The growth issue, along with infrastructure and public works, go hand-in-hand and need to be addressed together."

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