Academics and government employees, and let’s face it, many of the people who populate the workstations and offices in municipal planning departments are a combination of both, do not like to have their decisions challenged.
That’s especially by the great unwashed who are neither academics nor planners. The political class does not enjoy oversight. Neither group enjoys having someone overrule the decisions made by the planners and rubber-stamped by the elected officials.
The replacement of the OMB with a local panel was proposed by members of a higher order of the political class, many of whom started their careers as elected officials at the municipal level. That the manner in which the planning panel will be populated has not been disclosed with any degree of detail should not be a surprise. After all, for those whose decisions are subject to scrutiny, the illusion of oversight is far more comfortable than actual oversight.