Terrence retires from Clovis Planning Commission

From left to right: Clovis planning commissioners Alma Antuna, Mike Cunningham, Billy Terrence, Paul Hinkle and Amy Hatcher take a group photo after Terrence’s last meeting as a member on the commission, June 28, 2018. Valerie Shelton/Clovis Roundup

Recently elected as a Fresno County Superior Court judge, Clovis planning commissioner Billy Terrence resigned from his duties on the commission on June 28.

Thankful for his dedication to the city over the last year, city staff and fellow commissioners gave Terrence a proper send off, complete with giving him the gift of a superbly handcrafted wooden gavel made by commissioner Mike Cunningham.

“I am pleased to see that you obtained the lofty goal of superior court judge and I have no doubt that this is likely an interim step and we’ll be calling you ‘Mr. Justice’ one day,” Cunningham said to Terrence.

City planner Bryan Araki called Terrence a “refreshing commissioner” who “picked up the ball and started rolling right away” last May.

“His very first night on the dais came a project that was just a simple conditional use permit for a property at Bullard and Temperance, but it became very contentious and there were a lot of neighbors there that night. We thought Billy was wondering what he got himself into but we then realized he loves that stuff and that is why he ran for judge,” Araki said. “He presided over 60 public projects which accounted for over 120 items on the agenda in just that one year. Some of those were for the Loma Vista community centers north and south, California Health Sciences University, a couple hotels, and, of course, the Dry Creek Preserve Master Plan. We didn’t know that we would ever get through that one when it started four years ago, but Billy saw us through it.”

Commissioner Alma Antuna said Terrence brought a calmness to the commission and was able to bring order when matters got contentious. Commissioner Amy Hatcher commented that Terrence didn’t talk much, but when he did he was profound. Chairman Paul Hinkle added that working with Terrence was rewarding.

“You had some great things to say and you’ve educated us and I look forward to seeing what you do next,” Hinkle said.

Terrence thanked city staff as well as the city council for giving him the opportunity to serve.

“I love Clovis,” Terrence said. “I became very interested in the planning commission when I saw a picture of the intersection of Fifth and Clovis Avenue back from 1982. For those of you who remember, it was an A&W Root Beer stand on the northeast corner and really nothing beyond that to the north. When you look back at the vision people had for our town 30 years ago to say ‘we have an idea of what we can do in Old Town Clovis’ and you look at it today, that was a big reason as to why I wanted to be involved in the planning commission.

“You see that people care about our town not just today but the future of our town, so with that I have a whole new appreciation for the city planners and the job they do … The idea that I only got to serve on this commission for a year is a difficult one for me. I wish I could have served longer. My new obligations will take me somewhere else, but for the time I got to spend here and the time with my fellow commissioners, I thank you.”