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LEMOORE — New faces and perspectives are coming to Lemoore City Council this summer.

The council appointed its latest member, Christopher Schalde, to fill the vacant District C seat Tuesday night. 

“I’m proud to have been appointed for Lemoore City Council,” Schalde said. “I want Lemoore to be a community we are proud of.”

It took the council several tries to appoint the District E seat. After six nominations of other council members but no consensus of a final candidate, Avenal State Prison teacher Hugh Allen was appointed. 

Allen was present for the study session but failed to show for the vote and oath of office. He later withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday afternoon, according to a city media release.

“After last night's meeting and careful consideration, I have decided to withdraw as a candidate from District E for the great city of Lemoore," Allen said in a statement.

City staff will revisit District E applicants from the eligible list for appointments at the Aug. 20 meeting. 

Schalde has served both as a high school teacher and a volunteer at the Lemoore Fire Department for over two decades, he said. 

Schalde was born in Lemoore and has lived in the city for the past 38 years. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in agricultural sciences and a minor in agricultural business. 

“You walk down D Street and there are too many vacant lots,” Schalde said in his appointment speech. “I want that (business) back; I think I can be an integral part to bring that back.”

Schalde also wants to focus on offering more accessible youth programs to the community and increasing public safety. 

The District C seat became vacant after past council member Chad Billingsley announced his resignation and moved to Colorado. The District E seat became vacant after past council member Holly Blair had missed five consecutive meetings due to her recent arrests. 

Besides appointing members, the council also approved all ten items on the consent calendar and observed recognition of Parks and Recreation volunteers and sponsors. 

A public hearing on the annexation of additional territory to Zone 11 of the Landscape and Lighting District No. 1 was also held.

On May 21, Lemoore City Council approved a resolution to annex and include the additional territories.

A public ballot was distributed to property owners within the area in order for them to consent to the annexation and levy of assessment, which would be an additional $116 applied per existing and new lot each year.

During the public hearing at the Tuesday meeting, all property owner ballots voted no to the annexation and levy of assessment, which would provide about $8,000 for maintenance.

The failure to pass the resolution will burden the general fund or not provide upkeep of the district, according to a city staff report.

Mayor Eddie Neal, along with council members David Brown and Stuart Lyons, agreed they were happy with Tuesday's appointment of Schalde. 

"We’re still a team and we still need your input - the good, the bad, the ugly, the sad," Brown said. "We can’t do this without the people of Lemoore. And this council has to work together as a team also."

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