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DiMartino approved to serve on Danville Planning and Zoning

By KERRY STEINHOFER
kerry.steinhofer

Danville City Commission voted Monday to approve the appointment of Vince DiMartino to the local Planning and Zoning Commission.
At the previous Danville City Commission meeting, Mayor Mike Perros made the recommendation that DiMartino be appointed. But after discussion about the appointment, Commissioner J.H. Atkins made a motion to table the item until the next meeting in order to give commissioners more time to consider Perros’ recommendation.
DiMartino is a world-famous trumpeter who moved to Danville in 1993 when he became a distinguished artist in residence at Centre College. He continues to teach at Centre today and has served as music chair and is currently coordinator of the Centre College Instrumental Program, according to a biography provided by Perros.
“I think the fact that Vince is very well-traveled, the fact that he has seen many different festivals, many different endeavors by many different communities, not only domestically but also internationally, I think his capacity to bring many ideas to planning and zoning and to even our attention is a definite plus,” Perros said said at the previous city commission meeting.
At Monday’s commission meeting, Atkins motioned to bring Perros’ recommendation back up for discussion and approval.
“We respect [the Mayor’s] recommendations, but we like to know what the options are, and it’s the right thing for the community to know that we have looked at them all or that we have that opportunity,” Commissioner Rick Serres said.
Atkins said since he tabled the issue at the last meeting, he wanted to be the first to make a motion to accept the recommendation and appoint DiMartino to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“This item was tabled at the last meeting because we had some concerns — more about process, not about the person,” Commissioner Denise Terry said. “I do not know Mr. DiMartino personally, so this is not about him.”
Terry said she cares about the diversity and makeup of Planning and Zoning, as well as the rest of the city’s boards and committees.
“My main point is I really think we need to strongly consider the diversity of our volunteers and our committees and not just race and gender and age, but also industry,” Terry said. “We need to think about their background and what their training is.”
“To be honest with you, this is not somebody I personally would have picked, and that’s being honest, but this is not about him, but about the position,” Commissioner Kevin Caudill said. “And I think for people who have had their hand in this committee for a long time, they know how it runs, and I think this is one of those committees where that kind of previous knowledge is important.”
Terry said that several people who know DiMartino have expressed to her that he does travel quite a bit and they are concerned about his availability and the time commitment the appointment would demand.
“I appreciate his willingness of Mr. DiMartino to serve, but I think it needs to be in a different capacity,” Terry said.
There was a discussion with City Manager Ron Scott about holding a workshop focused on the process of selecting someone to be appointed to a board or committee. There is the potential of a workshop being held in October to discuss the issue.
“I take great pains in thinking through these recommendations,” Perros said. “Finding a name and body is not the challenge, but understanding what is needed on these committees and then matching them up to the challenge.”
For future appointments, Perros challenged the city commissioners to attend different committee meetings in order to see what the ins and outs and strengths and weaknesses are for the specific committees.
“I will be making my recommendations based on the knowledge of the committees’ makeup, the issues as they exists and the weaknesses, as well as the strengths of the committee,” Perros said.
“In this case, I don’t (have) any reason to believe he wouldn’t do anything but a great job,” Caudill said. “Even though I wouldn’t have picked him, I will support the mayors decision.”