For a quarter century, Barb Willis of Escalon has been giving her time – and expertise – to the residents of the community.
Many might not even know it, as she is a member of the Escalon Planning Commission, a panel that typically meets once a month and handles any number of issues, from proposed business expansion to housing developments.
The Planning Commission often sees ideas, plans and proposals before they make their way to the Escalon City Council, with planners providing insight and recommendations for the council on those projects that come before them.
On Monday night, Willis was recognized for 25 years of service as an Escalon Planning Commissioner.
“In 1993, we had been living here for five years,” Willis told council members and those attending the council meeting on Monday night, including her husband, Dave Willis. “I was commuting to Stockton for work and realized I wasn’t doing anything for my community, for Escalon.”
She decided to change that and applied for the position of Planning Commissioner, adding that former councilman and mayor Gary Haskin and current councilman Ed Alves were both serving as planning commissioners at that time as well.
With a background in regional planning and public administration, Willis felt she could provide some value serving on the panel.
“I have enjoyed the heck out of it,” she admitted. “Assessing, analyzing … and I’ve just been re-appointed, so I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be on the Planning Commission as long as I’m re-appointed.”
Mayor Jeff Laugero presented a special proclamation to Willis to mark the occasion of her 25 years of service.
“Twenty-five years ago, it was a great appointment,” he said of her initial term on the panel. “Thank you for what you have done for this city.”