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Proponents of the misguided conclusion that the City Council should resign miss the crux of the dismissal of commissioners Adler and Roney – the perception of abuse of power. Members of the Planning Commission were involved in a “back-door” review of a request for a permit revocation, which they had been told was not within their purview to contemplate.

The public comment portion of the December 3 Planning Commission meeting turned into an artfully orchestrated, one-sided attack on a previously approved and permitted stringline. Commission members knew what was going to occur, tacitly approved of it, and probably gave advice to the complainant as to how to manipulate this unagendized hearing.

The outcome was a perceived fait accompli. The Commission ignored the advice of the head of the Department of Environmental and Community Development, the Planning Manager, and the City Attorney’s Office on the matter. An improper relationship between certain Commissioners, former Planning Director Drew Purvis, and the couple requesting the revocation, Lou and Paige Adler, was exposed.

When confronted on these improprieties, Roney used the excuse that Commissioner Adler had asked her to “look into this matter.” Commissioner Adler had said that he never discussed unagendized items with other commissioners. One of them lied. Neither one confessed. Since neither would cop, both took the fall.

The Trancas Project is different. As reported, it simply sounds like the city council weighed the lesser of two lawsuits, did their best to end the litigation, and negotiated in a manner that they believed legal. Right or wrong, they certainly were not acting improperly, nor did they knowingly attempt to wield their influence to unfairly benefit one citizen over another.

The final flaw in the analogy is that commissioners are appointed and council members are elected. The citizenry elected neither Roney nor Adler. Stern, Barovsky, Kearsley and Jennings were elected, and they would be doing a disservice to those constituents who believe that they are doing a good (and obviously thankless) job by contemplating resignation.

Lester Tobias

Ed. Note: Tobias is the architect of a home being built on Carbon Beach for which the permit approval was questioned, leading to the alleged December 2003 Brown Act violation