SAN FRANCISCO-San Francisco supervisors have approved three out of four of Mayor Willie Brown’s choices for the city’s currently inactive Planning Commission, but his spokesman says the mayor wants all or none.

Brown’s spokesman PJ Johnston notes that his boss is not expected to swear in the three newly endorsed planning commissioners but is likely to do so for the three approved members of the Board of Appeals. The board voted in favor of all the mayor’s picks for that board, which hears planning and other permit appeals.

Johnston criticized supervisors for failing to state on the record why they were turning down Planning Commission nominee Jeffrey Chen, who around eight months ago joined the city’s Public Utilities Commission.

However, Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who joined a 7-4 majority in voting down Chen, says he had already made his position very clear to the mayor. He says that the PUC, with a proposed $1.6 billion Hetch Hetchy water system upgrade before voters this fall, is undertaking the biggest project in 100 years and points out that Chen had promised to devote himself to preparing for the work.

“The mayor’s proposing to play musical chairs,” Peskin says, pointing out that three of the four candidates for Planning Commission were already serving on other city commissions.

Both Peskin and supervisor Jake McGoldrick, who voted against all the mayor’s nominees, say that Proposition D passed by voters this spring required that each candidate be reviewed on his or her own merits but Brown is demanding that they be considered as a group.

“It’s back to the drawing board,” says Johnston.

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