Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday overhauled the city's planning commission, naming former City Councilman Mike Woo and eight others to the commission.
Several of Villaraigosa's appointees have extensive experience in the public and non-profit sectors; only two come from the private sector.
Woo, who was an urban planner before winning election to represent the Hollywood area on the council in 1985, becomes the highest profile member on the nine-member board. Since losing a 1993 mayoral bid to Richard Riordan, Woo has worked for several non-profit groups and for Flexcar, a Seattle-based car-sharing company.
Other appointments to the commission include: Jane Usher, a speechwriter for former Mayor Tom Bradley; architect Bill Roschen; Regina Freer, associate professor and chair of the politics department at Occidental College; Robin Hughes, executive director of the nonprofit Los Angeles Community Design Center; Father Spencer Kezios, pastor emeritus of Saint Nicholas Church in Northridge; Diego Cardoso, director of transportation enhancement programs for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Sabrina Kay, chairwoman and chief executive of Fremont Private Investments Inc.; and Andres Irlando, president of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation.
Eight of the nine appointees need City Council confirmation; Hughes has already been confirmed.
One of the first orders of business for the new commission will be in advising Villaraigosa on a pick for planning director to replace Con Howe, who resigned earlier this year. Villaraigosa has named Mark Winogrund as interim director.
In a separate press conference focusing on the completion of his first 100 days in office, Villaraigosa also said he intends to follow through on his campaign promise to put forward a plan to have the mayor assume direct control over the Los Angeles Unified School District by the end of his first term.
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