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Planning Commission resignations expected

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 by Jo Clifton

The Austin Monitor heard rumors Monday that at least two members of the Planning Commission named as defendants in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ken Paxton are planning to resign this month. Architect Trinity White, who was appointed by Council Member Ora Houston to represent District 1, confirmed that the July 24 commission meeting will be her last. However, she hastened to add that her decision is not related to the lawsuit. Paxton’s suit seeks to remove eight of the 13 members of the commission, alleging that the number of members of the commission whose jobs are related to the development industry constitute a violation of the city charter. Paxton named architects Karen McGraw, James Shieh and White, engineers Fayez Kazi and Jim Schissler, as well as Tom Nuckols, an assistant county attorney who specializes in real estate matters, former real estate broker Patricia Seeger, and Greg Anderson, director of community affairs for Habitat for Humanity, which builds low-income housing. White has two young sons, a 5-year-old and a 15-month-old. The 5-year-old, she said, has been asking whether someone else could go to some of these meetings. Referring to the major work of the commission, White said, “CodeNEXT took a lot of time and energy, and I’m burned out. … If I stayed on I just wouldn’t have the stamina to put all of my energy into it as I have in the past – and I need to make room for somebody with a little bit more freshness.” White said it had been a great honor to serve District 1, adding that she might decide to volunteer for the city at some point in the future. “But my kids will never be little again, and the city will be here.” When asked about Nuckols, White said she had heard that he also intended to resign this month. Nuckols did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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