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New Planning Commissioners named

Thursday, June 20, 2019 by Jo Clifton

At the end of Wednesday’s special called meeting, Council approved appointments to several commissions, including the Planning Commission. Mayor Steve Adler said, “Volunteer service to this commission is critical and we’re fortunate to have a group of individuals who are willing to volunteer their time. The city charter recognizes that Planning Commission members who are directly or indirectly connected to real estate or land development should only comprise one third of the full commission. And we believe that with this slate of appointees we have a commission that fulfills the charter’s language and intent.” Community activist Fred Lewis had questioned whether the previous commission was in compliance with that charter provision and Attorney General Ken Paxton sued eight commissioners alleging a charter violation. Adler said that in light of that provision, as well as Council’s desire for a broad range of experience on the commission, applicants were required to complete a form describing their background and experience. He said that information is available to the public. The new members of the commission include Claire Hempel, appointed by Council Member Paige Ellis, and Carmen Llanes-Pulido, appointed by Council Member Kathie Tovo. The new commissioners will join the group July 1. The reappointments include Fayez Kazi (Garza), Patricia Seeger (Alter), Greg Anderson (Flannigan), Conor Kenny (Casar), Patrick Howard (Harper-Madison), and three from Adler: Awais Azhar, Yvette Flores and James Shieh. James Schissler, an engineer, and Karen McGraw, an architect, will no longer be on the commission. However, Ellis appointed Schissler to the Downtown Commission.

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