By Andrea Papagianis

The Planning Commission took part in its yearly reorganization last week, nominating and selecting two commissioners to serve as chair and vice chair of Dana Point’s development governing body.

Commissioner Liz Claus was nominated and selected as chairwoman in a 4-1 vote, herself the lone dissenter. Claus’ nomination was followed by one for Commissioner April O’Connor, who also voted against herself in a 4-1 vote for vice chair.

Claus, who served as vice chair during the last year, replaces Commissioner Gary Newkirk as the body’s figurehead. Commission members took the time that night to thank Newkirk for his leadership.

“There is a quiet dignity about you,” O’Connor said to Newkirk.

Claus and O’Connor will serve in their current capacity until next spring when the body will again be reorganized. The terms of Chairwoman Claus and Commissioners Newkirk and Susan Whittaker expire in March 2015. All members are appointed by the City Council.

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