By naming David M. Gillece acting president of Center City-Inner Harbor Development Corp., Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke now has his own appointees in charge of the city's three major development agencies. Does this mean that he is finally ready to put his stamp on a process that was crafted and fine-tuned during William Donald Schaefer's 15-year tenure as mayor?
Signs point in that direction. For example, the mayor has asked Mr. Gillece to report within 45 days about merging the Baltimore Economic Development Corp. into Center City. This indicates Center City's days as a largely independent entity are over. It will be more tightly under the Schmoke administration's overall planning umbrella. Not only will its functions change but so will those of the planning and housing departments.
This reshuffling is long overdue.
Since he came to power three years ago, Mayor Schmoke has never clearly stated how he wants these overlapping and competing planning groups to relate. This has led to duplication and second-guessing. The resulting confusion may be why so many developers complain about the way the city handles their projects -- an ironic twist because the Schmoke regime has been nearly as pro-development as was former Mayor Schaefer.