I am writing in response to Sam Hall Kaplan's column, "Hope for Local Planning Boards," (Nov. 23), in which he refers to "civil serpents," presumably the employees of the Los Angeles City Planning Department.
I find it appalling that a newspaper of your caliber would allow such a grossly insulting comment to be published, and I believe that an apology is owed to the department staff by Mr. Kaplan and by yourself.
At the very time when dialogue and shared opinions are most needed if we are to formulate a plan for the future that responds to the needs and concerns of our entire community, Mr. Kaplan appears bent on promoting confrontation. Rather than offering the merits of his position, Mr. Kaplan is now reduced to name calling.
I can assure you that the men and women who staff our planning department stand second to none in integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the city. To imply, as Mr. Kaplan does, that they are corrupt and manipulative is a serious charge. If Mr. Kaplan believes what he says, let him make specific charges and offer his proof. But if he cannot prove those charges, and will not offer a public apology, then both he and The Times are engaging in the worst sort of demagoguery.
WILLIAM G. LUDDY
Luddy is vice president of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.