Dirk deWerff
Dirk deWerff

With the Dec. 19 deadline fast approaching Sanibel has received only two applications for the two open seats on the Planning Commission, a departure from recent stampedes to be on the board.

The city had received applications from Thomas Rothman and Jonathan Tongyai as of the close of business on Friday. The City Council plans to fill the two vacant seats at its 9 a.m. Jan. 8meeting at MacKenzie Hall.

Also coming open is the seat of Dr. Phillip Marks, Planning Commission chair, and he has applied for reappointment.

Two seats on the seven-member Planning Commission opened up on Dec. 5. Planning Commission Vice Chair Holly Smith was named to fill a vacancy on City Council. Also that day, former Vice Chair Chris Heidrick submitted his letter of resignation, effective Dec. 31.

One appointee will serve a partial term expiring on Jan. 14, 2019 and the other will get a full term through Jan. 11, 2021. The application form is available online at the city's website.

At its meeting on Dec. 12, the Planning Commission named Dirk deWerff, for now the commission's junior member, to replace Smith as vice chair. He will serve in that role until the commission reorganizes early next year.

deWerff was appointed to the commission last May to fill the seat of Jason Maughan when Maughan was elected to City Council. The council appointed Karen Storjohann to the Planning Commission last January to replace Tom Krekel, who chose not to seek reappointment.

The city now waits to see how many more applications appear between now and the deadline. If recent history repeats, it can expect more. deWerff, who has served on planning commissions in other cities, was picked from a field of nine. Storjohann was also selected from among nine applicants, among them deWerff, Rothman and Tongyai.

An electrical engineer, Rothman is a former member of City Council and has also served on the Vegetation Committee and has been on the boards at Community Housing and Resources and Sanibel Community Association.

Tongyai is a certified general contractor and home inspector. He is past president of Sanibel Captiva Kiwanis Club and has volunteered for Zonta, FISH, CROW, Sanibel School and SCCF.