Watson chooses Kaleta to replace Abbott on P&Z

KINGMAN - District I Supervisor Gary Watson will ask the Board of Supervisors to appoint Pete Kaleta to fill former Planning and Zoning Commissioner Bill Abbott's seat.

Abbott resigned in November because of a number of concerns he had with the planning and zoning process and with how the public was treated.

Watson was going to appoint Kingman resident Dustin Lewis to the seat at the Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this month, but his appointment was pulled from the agenda after it was determined that Lewis lived within the Kingman city limits.

According to Arizona Revised Statutes, in counties that have only three supervisors, each supervisor can appoint three members to the County Planning and Zoning Commission; of those three appointees, only one can be from an incorporated area.

Currently, Commissioner Jack Pozenel lives in the Kingman city limits.

New applications for Abbott's position were due to Watson's office Monday morning.

Kaleta was one of "seven very fine individuals from Mohave County interested in the Planning and Zoning Commission position," Watson said.

"The others who were considered are Jaynell Chambers, Elno Roundy, Aline Parker, Denise Bensusan, Richard Veradt and Anita Waite.

"I wanted a person with the same philosophy that I have on water conservation, reuse and sustainability," Watson said.

"I also wanted someone with the proper formal education and work experience."

The only state requirements to serve on a planning and zoning commission are that the person be a qualified elector; that the person serve without compensation, except for travel expenses; and that their appointed term last at least four years.

The county requires anyone interested in serving on the commission to fill out an application. The application is the same one that is used for all appointed commissions and boards in the county.

The 13-page application asks for a detailed work, military service and education history; a report of any violations of the law including traffic tickets; a background and credit check; whether the person has served or is serving on any other county boards; a description of what skills the person has that will benefit the public and the board; and the signing of a loyalty oath that requires the applicant to act professionally, make unbiased decisions, exercise good judgment and consider what impact their decisions will have on the county.

Kaleta, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, met all prerequisites, according to Watson.

"He has a total of 37 years of experience," Watson said.

"He worked in the Public Works Department of the city of Phoenix for 18 years and actually worked for close to seven years with Mohave County on wastewater collection and the county water system.

"As for conservation and sustainability issues, Mr. Kaleta lives in a residence north-west of Kingman that is off the grid. He produces his own electricity through wind and photovoltaic systems. He is very familiar with the total aspects of conserving our natural resources and is a very fine and dedicated individual. I am pleased to nominate him for this position on the Planning and Zoning Commission."

The Board will vote on the nomination during its Jan. 18 meeting, which begins at 9:30 a.m. in the County Administration Building in Kingman.