Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rothman fils named to Commission

The rumor has been around for over a week, but I now have confirmation that 21 year-old Jason Rothman, son of Mayor Elliott Rothman has been named as a Planning Commissioner. I haven't been able to acertain who appointed him, but I'm sure that it was either the Mayor or the 5th District.

While I don't know Jason's qualifications, I would hope that he's at least an urban planning major in college. Without such bona fides, it appears to be either nepotism or quid pro quo. Either way it really doesn't pass the "smell test." I can't believe that, if it's the district 5 appointment, that there isn't anyone in Phillips Ranch with better qualifications than the 21-year-old mayor of the city to make planning decisions. And if it's the mayor's appointment, it's the entire city we're looking at.

Again, this is not an attack on Jason Rothman, just a questioning of how things are done in the city.

Jason's first Planning Commission meeting is tonight (Wednesday) in the council chambers at 7:00 pm. I'll be there as they're considering a CUP and variance for an MRI center to go in to the former PAL market/98 Cent store on Orange Grove at Monroe.

I'm sure that Ed will have one of his posts with the map of items on the Planning agenda (put you on the spot Ed).


meg said...

Goodgodalmighty! That is the very definition of chutzpah.

I am writing City Council and the mayor about this forthwith.

Anduhrew said...

All I can say is "wow."

Anduhrew said...

does anyone know what he looks like?
is this him?
copy and paste the link and scroll to the bottom.

Anonymous said...

Ok.... what pisses me off even more than the obvious that it is a conflict of interest to put the mayor's kid on the planning commision, is that Rothman knows how this looks and doesn't even care how it appears to the citizens of Pomona.
The arrogance of this guy is astonishing.
People... we need to seriously watch his every move. It is well known that he has a reputation for graft. Mark my words he will be caught with his hands in someones cookie jar. We need to be there when he is and send him packing.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Oh my. Where does one go to review the credentials of appointment officials? Any chance we get the fun of a confirmation hearing?

Anduhrew -- I think the link may have been cut off; would you mind re-posting (the copy/paste results in a "file not found" message)

Pride in Garfield Park said...

I just googled Jason Rothman Pomona. I think I found the link Anduhrew pointed us to:

Evidently, this Jason Rothman works in "the sperm lab" AND hosts a jazz radio show. According to his profile, this Jason Rothman is/was a biotech major.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Well, my attempt to post the link also got cut off. Here's a piece-mealed version:

John Clifford said...

Sorry PoGP, no confirmation on commission appointments. BTW: I got the confirmation of his appointment by checking the agenda for tonight's meeting. On Saturday there were only three commissioners, today there was the fourth. Again, I'd heard the rumor that he had been appointed over a week ago but wasn't prepared to go "public" until I had a confirmation.

I'm going to tonight's meeting, so I'll let everyone know how things went. With only four agenda items, hopefully it will be fairly quick and easy.

Ed said...

Sorry about missing on the Planning Commission map and not being more active in Pomona, lately.

And here's wishing all our volunteers who serve on a commission my sincerest thanks. Please take the position seriously!

Until I catch my breath, I'm just trying to roll with the punches, .

Anduhrew said...

i have many regrets not being able to attend these meetings. If only I were not in school I'd attend them all! my grades are the priority (selfish as it is) but i gotta get into grad school!

calwatch said...

Some of you folks should probably apply for the commission spot, or some existing commissioners could be persuaded to take another spot. A lot of the minor commissions don't have qualified candidates. Now, I think that there should be tremendous interest in the planning Commission, which does actually have power, but someone should wave a resume with more qualifications in front of council at public comment, or post their resume here, so that the excuse that "there are no qualified candidates" can't be used.

calwatch said...

On item 30 of last December's council agenda you have a list of applications for commissions. There were six applicants to the planning commission, from various districts. I would call some of those six and ask them if they are more qualified than the mayor's son, and have them come up to the podium and try to shame him publicly that way.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Jason Rothman's appointment came from District 6, Stephen Atchley

John Clifford said...

As promised, I attended the Planning Commission last evening.

Yes, based on the seating, it appears that Jason Rothman was appointed by Stephen Atcheley. And also yes, it appears that this Jason Rothman is the one pictured on the Web site that was referenced by Anduhrew.

As for the meeting itself, I have to admit that Mr. Rothman fils comported himself quite well for a first time out. He was as professional as any of the other commissioners (with the exception of Ed Starr who, as Deputy City Manager of Montclair, actually is a professional). He asked very pertinent questions and, despite his very recent appointment, appeared to have actually read the materials prior to the meeting. Hopefully these are good signs.

As for the actual issues at the meeting, there were four items:

The first was a modest expansion on a home on south Gibbs who wanted to add a third bedroom and second bath. This would reduce the setback on the property to below required. It was approved.

The second was for an expansion and addition of a master suite to a home in Phillips Ranch where they wanted a variance on the setback at the rear of the property. It was approved.

The third issue was the one that I was interested in, which was the approvals for a Medical Imaging company to remodel and expand the former PAL Market on Orange Grove near Garey, next to the Shell gas station. The remodeled building would be done in a Spanish eclectic style. I did speak on the issue and was able to get a couple of minor alterations. One was purely aesthetic concerning street lights that they wanted to put in the parking lot, the other was to have them put in "right turn only" signs on the exit from their parking lot, since Orange Grove curves and is very highly traveled at that location and there would be a natural tendency to want to head back to the freeway by making a left turn instead of going around the block and getting on the freeway from McKinley.

I agree with Calwatch's observation that we really need more people to serve on commissions. The pay sucks, but the potential to do good for your city is great. And one of these days I might even take that advice. For now I feel that my efforts are better served from teh outside.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

To recap: We have a 21 year old biotech major (Class of 2009, according to his Facebook profile) serving as a city commissioner. Definitely better than any internship I had while in college!

I'm assuming Jason will do a fine job in the position, and I wish him the best.

Still, the nepotism is shocking.

Anduhrew said...

at least jason rothman's facebook says he's an anarchist. might turn out well!

KSPC Fan said...

If this is the same person as "Dj Rothman" on KSPC's ( then I think we are going to have entertaining meetings! I listen to his show once in awhile, they are thursdays at 10 in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some more lively younger active blood is what we need... except for the fact that it's connected to the darn mayor. That's the only thing that makes it questionable.

John Clifford said...

I might agree if the young blood had an active interest in land use questions. But is a young person, who doesn't own property, lives at home with his parents, have a business, or life experience, the person who we really want to have making decisions on the future of the development of our city?

Remember, the planning commission will be heavily involved during the next year in the development of the new general plan. That includes zoning and density. That general plan will be the foundation document for the development of the city over the next couple of decades at least.

If the person had shown an interest, i.e. studied land use, urban planning, etc., then I might be swayed by that argument. But in this case I have to question it. At least our newest councilperson, Danielle Soto, has some of that background, if not the life experience or property ownership.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

Jason, if you're reading this, please tell us a bit about your self, your background/qualifications, and your hopes and dreams for our city.

If anyone happens to know Jason personally, kindly invite him to stop by the blog to introduce himself. 'Tis time we met the man.

John Clifford said...

For those who haven't seen it. Monica Rodriguez wrote a story for the DB on Jason Rothman's appoitment to the Planning Commission.

Stephen Atcheley's comments on Rothman's appointment might have seemed more genuine if the application didn't specify "Planning Commission, District 6." Kind of makes it look like Rothman knew which district he'd be repping. He lives with his parents in District 5 (Phillips Ranch) but he's representing District 6 (North of the 10). Hmmmm. Still doesn't smell well.

Pride in Garfield Park said...

If you, too, would like to apply to serve as a city commissioner, visit:

And, if you'd like to learn more about our new commissioner, the application states, "Submitted applications are considered a public record and are subject to review by anyone upon request." Questions of particular import include:

COMMUNITY SERVICE (List boards, commissions, committees and community organizations on which you are currently serving or have served, and the number of years, offices held and in what city)


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND (Optional – Include professional or vocational licenses or certificates)

WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING of the objectives and goals of the Commission to which you are seeking

BRIEFLY EXPLAIN what in your background, training, education or interests, you feel qualifies you for this appointment.

HOW would you utilize the above-stated qualifications to help achieve the board’s/commission’s objectives and

meg said...

PiGP points out that commission applications are a matter of public record. In fact, a devoted reader who wishes to remain unnamed for the moment has filed a request to see Young Master Rothman's application, and we have been promised a debriefing once the request has been granted. Stay tuned.

LinknPark said...

I know this is going to warrant like 50 of you to throw small objects in my general direction, but our city government has been corrupt for a long time (easily 25 years or so) including the epitomous and overtly idealized Pomona Mayor that I will not mention. I managed to watch from a far in Chino Hills as Pomona languished for no good reason other than terrible leadership and a disinterested citizenry. The only good clean part of Pomona with a decent reputation outside of the city you ask; hands down Phillips Ranch.

What did anyone in city government do to help the situation in Pomona improve over the last 20 years; I dont know. We still have flagrant prostitution, drug peddling, gang violence, homicide, cronyism and nepotism in city government, and all of this in greater numbers than any city that immediately surrounds us, and for what reason? The powers that be didnt want to get their hands dirty.

I wasnt going to say anything, but you guys "sit" around here and complain about the government and our elected officials, but dont do anything about it. Some of you supported George Hunter who was still a political insider and not one of your own. The people in the historic districts of Pomona and Northern Pomona need to strongly organize and start affecting real change in city government (including reaching out to the disenfranchised in southern Pomona); otherwise, what good is bitching on a blog doing for anyone.

I too am skeptical that Rothman is going to miraculously change the city for the better, but guess what, he comes from the only part of the city thats really worth a crap and not surrounded by the violence and crime that plagues much of Pomona, so thats a good start.

calwatch said...

We all vote. Some of us sit on commissions, or show up at city council. A few of us may have even run for office. The problem is that all requires time and money, which is always a precious commodity.