The Shafter City Council interviewed candidates for two open seats on the Shafter Planning Commission, with two incumbents choosing not to run for another term.
Lovedeep Joshan, who has been the manager of expanding Big Stop Market for over 10 years, said that he is interested in serving as a Planning Commissioner because he wants to learn about the operations of the city and how it makes decisions for development and zoning ordinances. He also said that he wants to help the city grow in a positive way.
David Puiser is another candidate. Puiser has lived in Shafter for seven years, moving to Shafter from Oildale to be closer to his wife's grandmother, who lives in Buttonwillow. "I fell in love with Shafter, and I am excited for the opportunity to serve the city of Shafter and help us develop our downtown and other areas of the city."
They were asked four questions, one of them being what they would like to see happen in the downtown area. Joshan said, "I would like to see a few more restaurants in the downtown area, as well as a couple of new businesses. I go through the downtown area everyday, and I think the city would benefit from a few new restaurants and businesses there, a re-imaging of the downtown."
Puiser said that he echoes Joshan's opinion, believing that the city would benefit from some new businesses and a revamping of the downtown area. "My sister lives in a suburb of San Diego, and the downtown area is like having a big city, but a small downtown, if that makes sense. It is great to be able to walk around the downtown area."
The council also welcomed a new employee in the Public Works Department, Carlos Argueta. He has been a Shafter resident for over 10 years, raising his family in the city.
City Manager Gabriel Gonzales said that there was a Candy in the Courtyard event on Halloween day, with each department decorating an area in the courtyard of the City Hall buildings. Each department dressed up and decorated in different themes, passing out candy to children and families. He announced that the winner of the competition between the departments was Public Works, whose staff dressed up and decorated their area as the Addams Family. The whole family was there, including Morticia, Gomez, Grandma, Lurch, Thing, Wednesday and Pugsley. They beat out some stiff competition, which included superheroes, fantasy characters and animals.