L.A.'s 'Secret Search' For A Planning Director?

Hardly anyone knows that the second largest city in the nation is seeking a new planning director.
March 5, 2005, 11am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Los Angeles, the second largest city in the nation, needs a new planning director, but the search has been decidedly low-key. The position listing on Planetizen is terse and understated:

"This position also requires comprehensive knowledge of the principles, practices, purposes, scope and techniques of various phases of city planning, land use and/or policy planning, zoning and federal, state and local laws, as they relate to city planning."

Downtown News columnist Sam Hall Kaplan names some of those who have been put forward for the job, including "Cindy Miscikowski, the respected outgoing councilwoman who actually applied for the job 12 years ago, losing out to Howe. Others mentioned include Martha Welborne, at present director of the Grand Avenue effort; planning advocate Deborah Murphy, who once worked under Howe; and Pasadena guru Marsha Rood. Also broached are two activist academics: Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University; and Robert Harris, former dean of architecture at USC and an urban designer of note."

"Until about a week ago there was no national search.... All too apparent is that the bureaucratic powers-that-be want to keep the selection process close to their vests, and more than likely will tap one of their own. There even has been talk of shifting some boxes in the city's organizational chart to, in effect, subvert Planning to the Department of Building and Safety."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Friday, March 4, 2005 in Los Angeles Downtown News
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