Changes to the Planning Commission | Letters

Letter to the editor

Changes to the Planning Commission have been proposed without evidence of problems, or complaints regarding capacity, efficiency, or direction. The planning commission has not been directed to address these three objectives that were stated as the motivation for commission reconstitution.

It appears reconstitution by adding paid consultants and reducing citizen members simply moves in the direction of eventual privatization of the planning commission and reducing citizen inputs to after the fact reactive complaints.

If reconstitution is necessary, start with defining what is broken and what new criteria is to be met by the planning commission. If professional planner assistance is required, hire them as consultants instead of as voting members of the commission and replacing volunteer citizens.

Mercer Island is unique and unlike Bellevue, Seattle, or any other area city. Non-resident land use professionals may help. But they will bring their past experiences, prejudices, and philosophies to an environment they have not experienced. Outsourcing the planning commission and reducing citizen involvement will not meet the special needs of our city and citizens.

James Lee, Mercer Island