Thursday, January 21, 1999
We all know there''s no love lost between King Albert, the Monterey Action Committee (MAC) and Planning Commissioners Molly Erickson and Walter Keintzel. E&K''s efforts have contributed a voice of dissent to the planning process, which, of course, is exactly why Albert wants their heads. Who needs democracy when you''ve got benevolent wisdom? Last week it was Judy Lehman from the Historical Preservation Commission. This week it''s Erickson and Keintzel. Off with their heads! Who has time for dissent?
But mere dissent doesn''t seem like a justifiable reason for forcing both Erickson and Keintzel from the Planning Commission in late January. Both E&K''s commissions are up in June, so why not let their terms run out? What''s the sudden rush? Albert says the two acted inappropriately as commissioners and he points to a public comment Erickson made last June--criticizing the city--while representing herself as Chair of the Monterey Planning Commission.
So why didn''t Albert make naughty planning commissioners an issue in November, when he was running against challenger and MAC member Barbara Bass Evans? (And why can''t Erickson criticize the city while she works hard in its best interest? Magic Johnson, then Chair of President Clinton''s HIV Commission, blasted both Clinton and the commission for not being effective. His criticism helped to move the commission forward and bring more attention to HIV issues.)
Squid is just speculating, but is it that the Cannery Row Marketplace plans are coming up before the Planning Commission next month and E&K could well challenge the city on the developer''s project size and scope? (This despite the fact that Albert could well have the needed votes for the Marketplace--even without E&K''s ousters).
Mayor Albert, you should have said that if re-elected (along with Councilmember Don Edgren) that you''d immediately ask for Erickson and Keintzel''s resignation because you didn''t like the way they address the throne. (The two have hardly done anything treasonous since Nov. 3).
In a democracy, it''s the role of the mayor and council to appoint intelligent, informed, independent thinkers. But perhaps a king prefers to have fools do his bidding.
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