Controversial Commish Says Critics Had 'No Effect' On His Stepping Down

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Terrance Alan
Just as critics of San Francisco's Entertainment Commission are saying that the much-maligned body has reached a crisis point, one of its most longstanding and controversial members has announced he's stepping down.

But in an interview with SF Weekly this afternoon, Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Alan said  the criticism he's faced had "absolutely no effect whatsoever" on his decision to leave the commission when his term expires.

The commission, which regulates nightclubs and other venues with entertainment permits, has come under fire in recent months for perceived conflicts of interest and favoritism of the nightclub industry. Alan, one of the commission's founding members, has been at the center many of these charges.

But, he said, he actually reconsidered his decision to step down after a Chronicle article this Sunday which re-capped allegations against him for conflicts of interest and ethics complaints.

"It was not my intention to hand those who seek to fabricate controversy a sense that they had a victory in causing me to make my decision," Alan said.

Alan, who said he has been living with HIV for more than 20 years, said he made his decision to step down based on health concerns, particularly an upcoming shoulder reconstruction surgery.

He said he had not considered whether or not he would ever rejoin the Entertainment Commission.

"[The Entertainment Commission] has been a passion and a labor of love for some 15 years, and of course if I felt that labor of love threatened, I might consider any action that would help keep our grand project moving forward," Alan said.

Asked if he was worried about recent suggestions that the Entertainment Commission be scrapped, Alan said, "I would leave it to the wisdom of the Board [of Supervisors] and the voters to make any changes."

Alan's position on the commission is reserved for a representative of the nightlife industry.    Those might be interested in replacing Alan on the commission will be able to submit their names and resumes for consideration. The Board of Supervisors has the ultimate authority to approve Alan's replacement.

"It's going to open the possibility of a fresh start," said commissioner Jim Meko, who has often criticized the commission for tilting too heavily in favor of nightlife interests.

"We'll see where the appointing authorities choose to go on this." 
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