Kranz makes pick for planning commission |

Kranz makes pick for planning commission

Courtesy photo/Sierra SunLarry Farinha

Placer County Supervisor Bruce Kranz nominated a new District 5 representative to fill a vacant seat on the Placer County Planning Commission.

Auburn resident Larry Farinha, who owns an engineering firm, will represent Lake Tahoe to North Auburn on the planning commission, which serves as an advisory body to the county board of supervisors.

Farinha will replace former Commissioner Michelle Ollar-Burris’ once supervisors approve his appointment at their meeting in Auburn next week.

Supervisors removed Ollar-Burris from her seat due to an on-going investigation regarding potential violations of land-use law stipulated in the state Subdivision Map Act.

“This was a long, drawn-out process. I certainly couldn’t allow this to keep on going,” Kranz said in a phone interview. “You just couldn’t get anything done if people kept calling up making allegations all the time.”

Supervisor Kranz said he appointed Farinha because “he is very meticulous.”

“You have to be committed to [the issues],” Kranz said. “And he committed to me that he would put in whatever time was necessary to do a good job.”

A fifth-generation Auburn resident, Farinha’s Placer County roots date back to the 1800s. He owns and operates an engineering construction company.

“I feel that I can bring a certain element of expertise that perhaps has been lost in the past,” Farinha said in a phone interview. “[An element] that comes from someone who works for a living.”

But, he is “not as familiar as he’s going to be in the future” with issues pertaining to Tahoe, Kranz said.

Because North Tahoe resident Larry Sevison is already serving on the planning commission as an at-large representative ” Sevison was appointed by the entire board of supervisors ” Kranz said he was looking for someone who could represent the rest of his district, which stretches across approximately two-thirds of Placer County.

“I only know what I have read about [Tahoe] issues in the papers, truthfully,” Farinha said in the interview.

But, Farinha said he will do what it takes to familiarize himself with Tahoe’s issues. He said he intends to visit the basin with Supervisor Kranz.

“I’ve been told it requires a lot of time, but that’s a pretty general statement,” Farinha said of the commissioner’s duties. “I will be as dedicated as I can be. There will be a lot of time spent doing the job properly.”

Kranz said he wanted to stay away from an appointee who could influence his own livelihood on the commission ” avoiding a situation similar to that of Ollar-Burris.

“The decisions [Farinha] makes don’t have any influence on his job,” Kranz said. “That was a concern I had, of course.”

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