Former Tracy Planning Commissioner Jass Sangha’s next public role is one that she expects will be just right for her.
Last week the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors selected Sangha to be the Fifth District representative on the San Joaquin County Planning Commission. Her appointment to the commission follows former Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman’s election to the Fifth District Supervisor’s seat. Sangha takes the position long held by Stan Morri of Tracy.
“This is a huge honor. I’m humbled to be appointed to the position where Mr. Stan Morri has served for 34 years,” Sangha said. “He’s a very experienced person, so I will be talking to him for future items.”
Sangha ran for Tracy Mayor in 2020 and came in third, with 23% of the vote, behind new Mayor Nancy Young and Councilman Dan Arriola. She also had previously run for Tracy City Council. She said that her role on the Tracy Planning Commission from March 2012 to December 2018 was especially valuable to her, and is the experience she wants to build on.
“It is fun, but it is definitely something you have to dedicate and devote yourself to,” she said. “This is something I feel comfortable with, and I feel good about because I have served on Tracy’s Planning Commission, so it’s something definitely that is more of my arena, where I can give it my full attention without having to campaign for anything.”
She expects the county planning commission job will be similar to what she did in Tracy, though on a larger scale.
“It’s definitely a bigger, wider area that you’re covering,” she said, adding that while she represents an area that includes Tracy, Mountain House, parts of Manteca and Lathrop, and unincorporated areas in south San Joaquin County, she will review matters that affect the county as a whole.
Sangha said she looks forward to the task of educating herself about development and land use issues on that scale, noting that there are plenty of places and people that will be new to her. She knows from experience that it is a big job.
Sangha said that her role as a local businesswoman, owner of Nirvaana Banquet and Event Center in Northgate Village, gives her flexibility to devote much of her time to public life.
“If you’re just sitting at a meeting and you’re not out there in the field, or you’re not there on the location, you don’t have a full understanding of what the real matter, or the issue or the problem … coming up on the agenda is. Being on the city planning commission for so many years prepared me and made me understand that the best way to do it is, be a hands-on person.
“You cannot just go to the meetings twice a month. That is the last thing you do, to go to the meeting and finally discuss and made a decision there, but before that you have to meet the people. You have to be at the location and see the things that sometimes are very different than what it says on the paper.”
The Board of Supervisors appointed her to the commission on Jan. 26 on a unanimous vote. The county pays its planning commissioners $100 per-meeting, which are held at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month.
Sangha was one of three candidates from Tracy for the job. The others were Richard G. Fagin of Tracy, a retired police officer and a retired Tracy Unified School District administrator, and Jacy Krogh, who had previously served on the Tracy Planning Commission and Tracy Transportation Advisory Commission, and is a current Parks and Community Services Commission member.
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