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Anderson to serve on Planning Commission again

Monday, April 25, 2022 by Elizabeth Pagano

After some debate, City Council has approved the appointment of Greg Anderson to the Planning Commission, once again. Council voted on the appointment following an executive session where they discussed whether Anderson’s presence on the board would invite another lawsuit from the Texas attorney general. Texas AG Ken Paxton has sued the city more than once over a provision in the city charter that requires that “a minimum of two-thirds of the (commission) shall be lay members and not directly or indirectly connected with real estate and land development.” Anderson, who works for Habitat for Humanity, was named in both suits as a real estate professional. Despite that, Council Member Chito Vela, who made the appointment, maintained he was not and pointed to Anderson’s application as proof. “He is a lay member within the meaning of the charter,” he said. “I don’t want the city of Austin to be bullied by the attorney general of Texas into deciding who we can or can’t appoint. I just think that we should stand up for the independence and judgment of the citizens of Austin.” Council Member Ann Kitchen, who voted against the appointment, said she respected Vela’s position, but could not support the nomination. “We were involved in a lawsuit before, and this particular individual was named in that lawsuit,” she said. “From my perspective, it’s too much of a risk, and I don’t want to move forward with this.” Anderson’s nomination was approved in a vote of 6-4, with Council members Kitchen, Kathie Tovo, Mackenzie Kelly and Mayor Pro Tem Alison Alter voting in opposition. Council Member Leslie Pool was absent.

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