Susan Diamond was reappointed Tuesday to the Planning Commission, along with two others. (Courtesy photo)

Supervisors approve three reappointments to the Planning Commission

Two mayoral reappointments to the Planning Commission and one reappointment by the Board of Supervisors president were approved Tuesday, bringing some stability to a body that has seen high turnover in the past year.

All three reappointments are for terms ending July 1, 2024.

Two of the commissioners reappointed Tuesday had been appointed to the commission just last year to serve out the remainder of terms of vacated seats.

Land use attorney Susan Diamond was appointed by Mayor London Breed last year to serve out the remainder of the term of Rich Hillis, who vacated his seat to apply to become the next planning director.

Diamond’s appointment last year was approved by the board in a 9-2 vote, with Supervisors Sandra Fewer and Gordon Mar in opposition. Fewer said she wanted someone with more experience working with communities of color. But Breed’s reappointment of Diamond was unanimously approved by the board Tuesday.

“There’s been a lot of turnover on the Planning Commission in the last year and I think we can benefit from some stability,” Diamond told the board’s Rules Committee last week. “The current group has a great working relationship.”

Theresa Imperial (Courtesy photo)

Maria Theresa Imperial was nominated to the commission last year by Board President Norman Yee to fill the vacancy created when former board appointee Myrna Melgar resigned to run for District 7 supervisor this November. Imperial, who co-founded the Bill Sorro Housing Program in 2009, was praised at the time by Supervisor Hillary Ronen as a “champion” of the working class. She was also unanimously reappointed.

“While my time as a commissioner has been short, I believe I have been a conduit for San Francisco’s vulnerable voices,” Imperial told the committee last week.

The board also approved Breed’s reappointment of Joel Koppel, current Planning Commission president, who was previously appointed to the commission in 2016 by the late Mayor Ed Lee. Koppel is is the director of sustainable energy solutions for the San Francisco Electrical Construction Industry.

The commission had another commissioner leave recently, Millicent Johnson, who was appointed to her seat in 2018 by then-Mayor Mark Farrell. Breed will appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

Another recent change came when Dennis Richards stepped down after ethical issues arose over his use of tenant buyouts and a dispute with the Department of Building Inspection. Yee nominated former Chinatown Community Development Center planner Deland Chan as his replacement.

The mayor appoints four members to the commission, subject to approval by the board, and the board president appoints three.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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