Angels counselor named

Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat /

The Angels Camp City Council welcomed two new members Tuesday and agreed to keep the same mayor and vice mayor in place for the next two years.

Shortly after freshman Councilman Wes Kulm and Mayor Elaine Morris were sworn in for new four-year terms, the council interviewed a pair of applicants for a vacant council seat.

Outgoing appointed council members Scott Behiel and Roger Neuman were honored at the outset of the meeting. Each chose not to seek election to a full term. Morris and Kulm were the only two applicants for three open seats in last fall's election and thuswere declared elected without appearing on the ballot.

Civil engineer Walter Gloskowski and retired mechanical engineer Lambert J. "Bert" Sobon interviewed Tuesday for the remaining vacancy.

A third applicant, Bret Harte High School senior Andrew Granucci, did not attend the meeting.

The council selected Sobon on a 4-0 vote.

Kulm said he looked for the candidate with the best "common sense approach" to governance. He praised Sobon on the strength of his professional experience, which included handling nuclear regulatory compliance with General Electric and in private consulting. He also noted his prior community service, including time on the citizen advisory panel for the city's 2009 General Plan land-use document update.

Sobon didn't mention it during the interview, but he also volunteers to perform highway litter control, Vice Mayor Jack Lynch said.

"That's the kind of person that he is," Lynch said.

Sobon, 73, said he hopes to live out his retirement in Angels Camp with wife, Sharon, with whom he has five grown children.

He pledged to "do as much as I can to promote growth, business and all the amenities that you would expect" in the community.

He said activities to promote the historic downtown commercial district are off to a good start, but to be cautious about promoting some businesses more so than others.

As for plans to develop an Angels Creek Trail, "there's a segment of our population who would use that extensively," Sobon said, referring to younger families, but that "people my age probably wouldn't be interested in it unless there was some special attraction or event."

Councilman Stuart Raggio nominated Morris to continue as mayor.

"When (previous mayor) Jack Boeding passed away (in September 2011), Elaine stepped up … and she's done a great job," Raggio said. "I think she should continue."

Lynch nominated Raggio to take his place as vice mayor, but he declined. Raggio then nominated Lynch to remain in the position. Morris and Lynch were re-appointed in unanimous votes.

The Union Democrat
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