Butler Returns to Murrieta Planning Commission

Thomas Butler is sworn in as a Planning Commissioner by city clerk Sarah Manwaring. Murrieta 24/7 photo: Kristen Spoon Thomas Butler, previ...

Thomas Butler is sworn in as a Planning Commissioner by city clerk Sarah Manwaring.
Murrieta 24/7 photo: Kristen Spoon

Thomas Butler, previously a member of the Murrieta Planning Commission, returned to that position when he was chosen from among four finalists for appointment to the commission by the Menifee City Council on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

Butler received three of the five votes cast on written ballots by council members. His previous experience as a Planning Commissioner -- including chair of that commission -- and knowledge of city government appeared to be a factor in his selection to fill the vacancy created when Ruthanne Taylor Berger resigned to accept a seat on the Riverside County Planning Commission.

"Ruthanne was extremely knowledgeable about city government; that's what her expertise was," said council member Alan Long before final interviews were conducted during Tuesday's council meeting. "We have several large projects coming, so I'm looking for someone with the least amount of learning curve necessary to do the job."

Butler, a 21-year Murrieta resident and attorney for 25 years, cited his experience on the Planning Commission when Loma Linda University Medical Center was approved as an example of his ability to make informed decisions about upcoming projects, including the arrival of a Kaiser facility in Murrieta.

"I have undergone constant training and have attended seminars about CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act)," Butler said. "I have also attended just about every recent City Council and Planning Commission meeting."

Butler's term will expire June 30, 2017. Eleven applicants were considered for the position before four finalists were chosen.

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