Bad planning

Commission chairman's departure leaves panel in weaker hands

Of the 13 people on the plan commission (there are two vacancies), three, including Garcia, are openly gay. One, Oscar Monsibais, served six months probation in 1992 on a misdemeanor public-lewdness charge for feeling up an undercover cop in a city park. He, too, lists membership of the Turtle Creek Chorale board as an important experience on his commission application.

Couldn't Chris Luna, the councilman who inexplicably appointed this guy to the plan commission, find anyone--gay or straight--better suited to the job? Isn't there a better job for Monsibais--say, on the parks and recreation board?

What's happening here, quite frankly, is that Ron Kirk, by making Hector Garcia chairman, has lowered the standards of the City Plan Commission. He has allowed Craig McDaniel and Chris Luna--so busy trying to get the plan commission to lay off the strip bars that fill his campaign coffers--to take the reigns of an organization that has been blissfully above the political fray.

Ben Clark's goodbye party was a sad occasion for the people who wished he wasn't leaving and for Clark, who couldn't even garner a proper goodbye from the mayor (who insists he was never invited.)

Mostly, though, it was sad for Dallas--and all the people who will come before the Plan Commission and not know what they're missing.

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