Sonora, CA — Many packed the room in support of former county supervisor Laurie Sylwester, but the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors instead chose a local business owner to fill an open planning commission seat.
District Three planning commissioner John Latorre was recently removed from the District Three seat after he moved to a home in District One. District Three Supervisor Evan Royce noted that he preferred to have a commissioner that physically lives in the district. There were six applicants for the seat and Royce moved to appoint Heidi Lupo of Strawberry, who is the Director of Operations at Pinecrest Lake Resort. Her application notes that she has strong ties to the community, is a small business owner, and has strong leadership skills.
Royce stated, “I feel very strongly that Tuolumne County needs to have a future filled with prosperity for both working families and retirees….one of the things that I’ve felt for a long time that has lacked in representation is there haven’t been young people who have been struggling with the challenges that are facing people trying to make a living here and raise a family. That’s why you see a declining population, in my opinion, and why you see declining school enrollments.”
Lupo thanked the commission for considering her application while holding her young child.
Prior to the selection of Lupo, the Board heard from a handful of residents in support of former Board of Supervisor Sylwester, a professor at Columbia College. Sylwester addressed the board for nearly 10 minutes about her background, beliefs and ability to ask difficult questions. She noted that many supporters of her were in the audience, and at least 20 people then stood up. Former commissioner Latorre also spoke in favor of Sylwester.
The Supervisors thanked the community members for attending the meeting, and encouraged them to get involved in future county decisions. The vote to approve Lupo was 5-0.