Former Lodi City Council candidate Jane Lea was turned down for a seat on the city's Budget/Finance Committee by a 3-2 vote.
Lea, who was nominated by Mayor JoAnne Mounce for the advisory committee, didn't have the financial background that is desired for the position, councilmen Bob Johnson and Larry Hansen said at Wednesday's council meeting.
Johnson, Hansen and Councilman Phil Katzakian voted to reject Lea's nomination and seek more applicants for the seat.
Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock said she shares her colleagues' concerns about Lea's qualifications, but she endorsed the nomination because Lea was the only applicant.
Lea, who lives on Lodi's Eastside, is a community activist who led support for Measure H, which would have rolled back a water rate increase in 2006. She also fought eminent domain on the Eastside in 2001.
She was nominated to replace Frank Alegre, who chose not to continue on the committee.
Johnson, Lea's most outspoken opponent, named several people with significant business or finance background who were previously turned down for the committee. He said that some of the previous applicants should be contacted.
"My problem is there is nothing (of substance) on the application," Johnson said. "Where's the beef?"
Mayor JoAnne Mounce defended her nomination of Lea, saying that business experience isn't necessary to serve on the committee.
"I would point out we also have a grocery clerk (on the committee)," Mounce told Johnson.
Lea said on Thursday that the application doesn't ask for financial or business background. She said she was a landscape contractor for 10 years, doing payroll, providing job estimates and dealing with money on a regular basis.
Terms: Four years.
How they are selected: Mayor makes the appointments, but they are subject to ratification by the City Council.
Meeting dates: Second Monday of each month at 6 p.m., Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.
One seat is vacant.
- Source: City of Lodi.
- The Lodi City Council increased garbage rates, effective April
1. The rate for a 38-gallon refuse cart will increase from $21.19
per month to $21.94, and a 64-gallon container will go up from
$31.86 monthly to $32.99. The entire rate schedule is available at
- The council approved plans for improvements to Lodi Lake Park,
including a new boat house donated by Meehleis Modular and the Lodi
The city will also add keystone block retaining walls, concrete switchback ramp system, curbs, pavers, wrought iron fencing and a custom steel guard railing. The water, sewer and electrical system at the lake will be modified. These improvements will be financed by the state 2002 Park Bond Act and the 2002 Resources Bond Act.
- The council issued its Community Improvement Award to Crystal
Kirst, developer of properties at 501 and 503 Maple St. and 740 S.
Garfield Ave., for improving the neighborhood.
- Richard Jones, representing Lodi Unified School District, was
appointed to the Greater Lodi Area Youth Commission; Reyes
Jaramillo, Rosie Ortiz and Virginia Snyder were appointed to the
Lodi Improvement Committee; and Suzanne Schultz was appointed to
the Senior Citizens Commission.
- Source: News-Sentinel staff.
"If they don't like the application, they need to change the application," Lea said. "I applied according to what the application asked for."
Now that she knows the council desires people with business or financial experience, Lea said she will reapply when the seat is opened again. She will add her business experience to the application she submitted, Lea said.
Lea added that she was most likely rejected because her opposition to the city establishing a redevelopment agency and because she isn't close to Johnson.
"Unless you're Bob's friend or neighbor, you don't get to sit on the commission," she said.
Johnson replied, "I'm sure she's talking about one appointment I made in David Kirsten. He's the only neighbor I appointed."
Johnson was mayor in 2007.
"I think I appointed dozens when I was mayor," Johnson said. "I'd be hard-pressed to say that a vast majority were close friends and neighbors."
Mounce praised Lea's passionate commitment to Lodi and noted her experience in running for the council in 1998 and 2006. Running for council shows that she is familiar with budgetary matters, Mounce said.
Hansen also praised Lea's commitment while at the same time saying she isn't qualified for the committee.
Budget/Finance Committee chairman John Johnson, who is not related to Bob Johnson, said he wasn't necessarily endorsing Lea's appointment to the committee, but noted that the committee doesn't necessarily need CPAs and other financial experts.
"We just don't get into the numbers that much," John Johnson said. "I think we need to have well-rounded people on our committee."
During a break in the meeting, Katzakian said he had nothing against Lea, but he was disappointed that only one person applied for the seat.
"I can think of three people I could have called," Katzakian said.