We had to put off other topics for the following because this is so timely and important? Sarah Gorman’s media release last Jan. 8 announced the Planning Commission Vacancy Special Recruitment. This is because of Michael Jordan’s departure from the Planning Commission after his election to City Council. He served on the Planning Commission for over 10 years. But that’s not all; he also volunteered on the Creeks Board, Water Commission, Downtown Santa Barbara and Hospitality of Santa Barbara. Thus he brings to City Council 20 years of city government know-how. All of his experience is home-grown Santa Barbara style. This is lucky for us, as it appears Cathy Murillo is punting City Council for her political climb to state Assembly and parts yonder. And with the novice members that make up the City Council, it is fortunate to have Mr. Jordan preside as the voice of reason and with a wide range of institutional knowledge. All the while, he raised a family and worked a full-time job. Do you think you could fill his shoes? Since 1923, the Planning Commission has been an extremely important body of decision makers in regard to land-use policy and development standards. These include amendments to the city’s General Plan, Local Coastal Plan and the Zoning Ordinance. All of these affect where you live and where you play. You don’t need to be a planner or an architect or a developer. You have to be willing to ask critical questions, to do your homework before the meetings, and your vision and decisions must be based on preserving what draws us here and keeps us here in this beautiful town. The application is at www.SantaBarbaraCa.gov. The deadline is Feb. 14 by 5p.m. Talk about being an influencer!