Claire Durio, Scott Quillin appointed to P&Z Commission

Durio’s partial term to expire in 2025

Quillin to serve full 7-year term, expiring in 2028

MANDEVILLE — The City Council tonight appointed Claire Durio and Scott Quillin to fill two vacancies on the Mandeville Planning & Zoning Commission.

Durio, appointed with a 5-0 vote, will complete Jeff Lahasky’s unfinished term which expires at the end of August 2025. Lahasky moved outside city limits, requiring him to resign. Scott Quillin, appointed on a 4-1 vote, will serve a full seven-year term, replacing outgoing commission member Ren Clark. District I Councilwoman Rebecca Bush voted against Quillin.

Durio is a licensed attorney in the State of Louisiana and a state-licensed title agent with experience in land use, development, permitting, historic preservation. She is listed as a general partner in her current firm.

Quillin is an engineer, licensed commercial contractor, and project manager at a local company managing large construction projects in the energy industry. He is currently listed as project manager with a local engineering consultant firm. Served on the Planning & Zoning Commission one term from 2009-2016.

The City Council updated its selection procedures in 2020 with the adoption of Resolution No. 20-17, which established a six-step process for making appointments to municipal or district boards and commissions, including the Planning & Zoning Commission. The procedure as adopted includes: 1) Announce at a council meeting the request for resumes; 2) Post the request for resumes on the city’s website and City Hall front door; 3) Publish the request for resumes in the city’s official journal of record (The St. Tammany Farmer); 4) Allow 14 days to receive resumes; 5) Review of the resumes by two members of the City Council (allow interviews by all council members) and then make a recommendation on one applicant (per vacancy); 6) Vote by the City Council to appoint “the candidate who received the recommendation.”

In filling these vacancies, Councilman at Large Jason Zuckerman and Bush handled the recommendation to fill Lahasky’s seat, while Councilman at Large Rick Danielson and District III Councilwoman Jill McGuire handled the seat vacated by Clark.

Bush, who had previously stated that she would like a District I resident appointed to a vacancy, said she and Zuckerman could not agree on her first two recommendations — Cynthia Thompson and Michael Gagliardi — but that they were able to agree on Durio. Zuckerman has maintained that he would only support the most qualified applicant regardless of their district of residence.

Danielson and McGuire recommended Quillin, but Bush took exception, saying, “I cannot support the appointment of a commissioner who has already served, and that’s just my position.”

District II Councilman Skelly Kreller said he disagreed with Bush on the matter. “I have to look at the best… and he definitely comes to the top. I’m not sure where you’re coming from with your comments.”

Each Planning & Zoning Commission member serves seven-year terms, which are staggered by one year and expire August 31 of the expiration year. Durio and Quillin will join five other Planning & Zoning Commission members: Planning Chairwoman Karen Gautreaux (2027), Zoning Chairman Nixon Adams (2023), Simmie Fairley (2022), Mike Pierce (2024), and Brian Rhinehart (2026).

According to the original agenda, the council could only have voted to fill the unfinished term vacated by Lahasky. The updated agenda means the council could fill both vacancies at tonight’s meeting, which they did.

RELATED STORY: Council could fill both P&Z vacancies tonight, not just one

A vote to fill one of the vacancies was delayed at the July 22nd council meeting. A question was raised during that meeting over the availability of the list of applicants for public inspection as required by state law.

The Planning and Zoning Commission appointment provisions are outlined under the Comprehensive Land Use Regulations Ordinance (CLURO) Sec. 2.1.2: “All successive appointments to the Planning Commission (includes Zoning Commission) shall be appointed by a majority vote of the City Council. No person shall be appointed to the Planning Commission until a public hearing before the City Council attended by the nominee has been held.”

The point raised was, can the city hold a “public hearing” on an individual without publishing the name of that individual or individuals in advance. The Louisiana Open Meetings Law (R.S. 42:11 – R.S. 42:28) only states that meeting agenda items must be “described with reasonable specificity.”

Mandeville Daily filed a public records request with the city and received the redacted list of applicants in a timely manner.


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