I’m totally behind the continuing efforts of the Tribune editorial page to oppose what it calls today “The Grant Park Land Grab,” and I commend it’s bold-face list of members of the Chicago Plan Commission, which will vote on the land grab on Thursday, but I think the Trib fell one step short in failing to call into question the very legitimacy of the “Chicago Plan Commission.”
The Chicago Plan Commission is not, as citizens may reasonably assume, an independent board of experts passing sage judgement on the building proposals that come before it. Instead, the Commission is part of the city’s Department of Planning and Development. It’s members are all appointed by the mayor. In fact, the mayor is one of the Commission’s members. And its decisions are non-binding. Just call it the Potemkin Planning Commission.
As Mick Dumke reports at Clout City, the members who aren’t named Richard M. Daley might as well be – including six aldermen, current and former Daley staffers, Daley campaign contributors, and Daley’s chair of the CTA who also happens to sit on the board of the Children’s Museum.
How will the Plan Commission vote? The tension is killing me.