Mayor Nominates Cruz and Rodenburg To Fill Vacancies On Planning Commission

LINCOLN–(News Release Sept. 22)–Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird on Wednesday announced her nominations of Dr. Maribel Cruz and Rich Rodenburg to fill vacant positions on the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission. If approved by the City Council and County Board, the pair will serve six-year terms ending in 2027.

“I am grateful to Dr. Maribel Cruz and Rich Rodenburg for volunteering to serve our community as Planning Commissioners,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “They represent a wealth of community knowledge and leadership across a number of sectors, including business and real estate. Their professional and volunteer experiences provide valuable perspectives that will be beneficial as we work to grow Lincoln’s economy and great quality of life for all residents.”

Cruz has been the Director of Leadership Consulting at Talent Plus since 2010. Prior to that she worked at the Gallup Organization for 15 years. She holds a B.A. from Allegheny College and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Cruz serves on the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force and LPS Superintendent’s Advisory Committee and is President of Angels Theatre Company. She previously served as President of El Centro de las Americas, a member of the LPS Bond Campaign Steering Committee, and a member of Friends of the Haymarket Theater.

“I am thrilled to serve Lincoln in its quest to be a city where denizens can thrive,” Cruz said. “The well-being of our community is my primary focus, and I am looking forward to collaborating with others to ensure Lincoln continues to flourish.”

Rodenburg is a Real Estate Broker/Agent and founder/co-owner of Coldwell Banker NHS Real Estate in Lincoln. He is a business entrepreneur and has started and run several Lincoln businesses, including Bike Pedalers and Walton Trail Company. Rodenburg is a volunteer and board member of Lincoln Bike Kitchen and served previously as both President of the Great Plains Trails Network and Chair of the City of Lincoln Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee. He has been a swim coach for nearly 30 years, founding the Lincoln Dolphins swim team and serving as Assistant Men’s Swimming Coach at UNL.

“I have lived in Lincoln for 55 of my 70 years and love our quality of life. I am excited to serve as a member of the Planning Commission to help ensure that we maintain strong neighborhoods, parks, and trails. As a residential realtor, I have my finger on the pulse of most of our neighborhoods and understand our need for more affordable housing. Home ownership strengthens our city and neighborhoods,” Rodenburg said.

The Planning Commission is nine-member body responsible for advising the City Council and County Board on planning and development matters. The Mayor appoints members for six-year staggered terms with concurrence of the City Council and County Board. More information is available at