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Three new faces join influential Citrus Heights Planning Commission

From left to right: Paul Makhnovskiy, Talaya Turner Mike, and Michael Nishimura, have been appointed as Citrus Heights Planning Commission members. // Youtube

Sentinel staff report–
The Citrus Heights City Council last week appointed three new residents to join the city’s seven-member Planning Commission, which plays a key role in approving projects and often serves as a stepping stone to higher office.

New members include Paul Makhnovskiy, Talaya Turner Mike, and Michael Nishimura. Tom Scheeler will also serve another term on the commission after being nominated by newly seated Councilman Tim Schaefer.

Makhnovskiy is a 15-year resident of Citrus Heights, who previously applied for a seat on the commission before being selected this year. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and works as an information technology specialist with CalPERS. His application lists a goal to encourage “the use of vacant lands within the city to create additional homes.”

Turner Mike is the daughter of former Councilman Mel Turner, who passed away in 2017 while serving a second term in office. She grew up in Citrus Heights and returned last year. She holds a BA in communication and currently serves as a records clerk with the City of Rocklin Police Department. Her application lists a goal to see Sunrise Mall become a popular destination again, and help businesses thrive.

Nishimura is a 30-year resident of Citrus Heights who served as the manager of Elephant Bar at Sunrise Mall for 20 years and has also served as President of the Sunrise Oaks Neighborhood Association. His application lists a goal to see redevelopment of Sunrise Mall and Auburn Boulevard.

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The trio of new members will join four existing members: Marcelle Flowers, Janelle Ingle, Andrew Van Duker, and Tom Scheeler. With the new additions, the commission is now made up of all relatively new members, with the longest-tenured members only serving since 2019.

The Planning Commission meets up to twice a month and is tasked with making decisions on land-use related proposals, approving or denying subdivision requests, holding public hearings and reviewing proposed ordinances. The commission also makes recommendations to the City Council on major projects, as it did for the new City Hall and Medical Office Building project and the 260-home Mitchell Village development off Arcadia Drive.

Historically, the Planning Commission has served as a stepping stone for leaders to gain experience before moving up to an elected position on the City Council, as was the case with Councilman Tim Schaefer in 2020 and Councilwoman Porsche Middleton in 2018.

During their Jan. 14 meeting, the City Council also appointed Marcus Bergman to the five-member Construction Board of Appeals. The appeals board meets rarely and only on an as-needed basis to hear complaints from those aggrieved by a decision of the city’s chief building official and also assists in matters related to materials and methods of construction, as well as interpreting technical codes.

There are two remaining vacant positions on the appeals board, which were left unfilled due to Bergman being the only person to apply. Those interested in applying can submit an application to the City Clerk’s office, at (See application form)

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