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Several submit applications for open seat on Sanibel Planning Commission

By Staff | Feb 16, 2018

Nine people have filed applications to fill the vacancy on the Sanibel Planning Commission.

At the board’s January meeting, Commissioner John Talmage submitted his resignation via an email, citing the duties of his job. He was absent from the meeting and had already missed the prior one.

“I hate doing this, but I have to resign,” he wrote to the city. “My responsibility downtown makes Tuesdays too difficult and, while my love is Sanibel, my job is Fort Myers.”

Talmage serves as the chief of staff for the Fort Myers city manager.

“I just have too many conflicts,” he said in a phone interview following the meeting.

“It’s just not fair to the city and the community,” Talmage added at the time.

At noon Feb. 14, the window closed for people to submit applications for the vacant position.

“There are nine applicants,” City Clerk Pamela Smith said.

She pointed out that Talmage’s term will expire in January 2020.

“So it’s for a partial term, not a full term,” Smith said of the appointment.

Those who have applied include:

– Thomas F. Foley, year-round resident and self-employed attorney and arbitrator

– William A. Mills, year-round resident and building contractor with Mills Brothers Inc.

– Thomas T. Rothman, year-round resident and retired electrical engineer and engineering manager

– James C. Urbelis, eight-month resident and self-employed engineer and tennis teaching pro

– Tim Garmager, year-round resident and executive coach with TIGAR Consulting Inc.

– Roger W. Triftshauser, year-round resident and retired orthodontist

– Walter B. Cheatham, year-round resident and outdoor education coordinator with Sanibel Sea School

– Matthew A. Kirchner, year-round resident and general contractor with Kirchner Contracting Inc.

– Jonathan E. Tongyai, year-round resident and general contractor and professional photographer for Island Homes and Island Photography

The Sanibel City Council is expected to appoint an applicant to the seat at its March meeting.