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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Planning Commission ushers in new chair
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano
When the Planning Commission meets tonight, it will be under a new chair. Commissioner James Shieh will be at the helm after a recent vote at the commission. In an uncharacteristically close vote, commissioners Patricia Seeger, Tom Nuckols, Trinity White, Karen McGraw, Todd Shaw, Stephen Oliver and Shieh cast votes for the new chair. Commissioners Fayez Kazi, Angela De Hoyos Hart, Jeffrey Thompson, Greg Anderson and James Schissler voted to have Kazi in the role of chair. After Kazi was nominated by Anderson, Shaw nominated Shieh, saying, “I think under the scrutiny we are having with the public … I think we need someone who is a little bit more centrist and really able to look at the broad spectrum of opinions and guide us through some very complicated issues. Shaw said that while Kazi “has what it takes” to run a meeting effectively, he pushed for the election of Shieh in the interest of “balanced perspective.” Shieh will replace Oliver, who is stepping down from the commission entirely. Oliver’s service was commemorated at the end of the meeting with a plaque that reads “World’s Best Chair” and includes a tribute to “visionary leadership, dedication and guidance.” It continues, “You brought balance, strength, patience and understanding to one of the most challenging situations the commission has encountered. We would follow you into the flames all over again.”
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