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Political Planning Urged By Mayor

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Mayor Robert J. Harris yesterday called for "politicizing the planning process" and said he will "move cautiously in this direction" in the months ahead. The mayor made his comments as he welcomed delegates to the annual conference of the Michigan Society of Planning Officials. That three-day session ends today. I suppose there will be great public objection to politicizing the planning process which every good-hearted layman wants professionalized," Harris said "but the hard planning decisions are political and must be faced as such. Shall we design the road this way and save $2 million? Or shall we design it the other way and save a certain neighborhood from destruction?" I Shall we strive for a homogenous, middle-class community? or shall we share our blessings with low-income families who will bring more than their share of problems to the city? Harris asked, using these as examples of "political decisions" faced by planners. Stating that the City Council has an effective veto over any Planning Commission concept the mayor said, "It seems wise approach Planning decisions as political and to muster political support for them in the traditional way--private conferences among elected and appointed city leaders, where the Planners ideal is tempered by the elected officials' judgment as to what political leadership dares to attempt." Harris said it is necessary
to get the "big decisions made" to have a close alliance between the chairman of the Planning Commission and the Mayor. "I do not think it matters whether I am mayor or someone else is. I do not think it matters who chairman of the Planning Commission is." The mayor said that, because the Commisson chair does not operate in a politicaI manner, this results in having four Planning bodies--the planning Department director, a shSl h?Wty of the Plañninfcoml m sszon, a hifting majority f I City Council and the city 1 mmistrator "and his lOyaI 1 [partment heads " I si0.said the city's 1 Ision and council have enlightlened representatives and that toe current struggle in Ann Ar creVseT"116-''811610crease the housing supply and to keep down per unit coste : "I He said this wül mean higher densities and more use of town fe.artment houses. orTnn ? me We try t0 annex or zone for apartment houses I se we get the local residëntsl trooping down to City Hall S 10 good reasons why apartmentl houses are a good idealbuÏÏol m this particular location" ï