“i can’t close my eyes and make it go away”

Part Two of a post on the decision Friday by the California Coastal Commission to fire Executive Director Charles Lester for doing his job making deliberate decisions to protect CA’s coast.

Here is a chart of the votes. Red denotes the “please fire this public servant who was doing his job well” and the blue denotes those requesting “could we please let the Coastal Commission do it’s job”.  Governor Brown’s name was highlighted in red as all his appointees totally coincidentally happened to vote to remove Lester.

  Commissioners Job Appointed By: Date Tenure
1 Erik Howell Councilmember Governor Brown 02/21/14 2
2 Effie Turnbull Sanders Commissioner Governor Brown 01/13/14 2
3 Martha McClure Supervisor Governor Brown 05/20/11 5
4 Wendy Mitchell Commissioner Governor Brown 12/31/10 5
5 Olga Diaz (Alternate)   Speaker 09/09/13 2
6 Mark Vargas Commissioner Speaker 04/24/13 3
7 Roberto Uranga Councilmember Senate Rules Committee 03/18/15 1
8 Chair Steve Kinsey Supervisor Senate Rules Committee 05/20/11 5
9 Dayna Bochco Commissioner Senate Rules Committee 05/20/11 5
10 Mary Shallenberger Commissioner Senate Rules Committee 11/22/04 11
11 Mary Luévano Commissioner Speaker 08/31/15 0
12 Carole Groom Supervisor Speaker 05/20/13 3

SOURCES:  Coastal Commission  and LA Times article linked below.

Just FYI.  Tables and graphs sometimes can make things clearer than a bunch of type-words.


Coverage from the LA Times:

No other commissioners offered explanations following the vote. After giving Lester a moment to speak, they adjourned.

The dismissal takes effect immediately, with senior Deputy Director Jack Ainsworth leading the agency until the commission selects an interim and permanent replacement.

Commissioners took the action in closed session because they said they were bound by law to honor Lester’s right to privacy.But their reasoning did not align with advice from the agency’s chief counsel, who told the panel they were free to discuss any current issues involving Lester’s performance because he had chosen a public hearing to defend himself.”

“This created an atmosphere of public distrust.  We need to set the record straight. There was no coup by developer interests.  But this is like trying to convince people that the fluoride in their water was not a communist plot,”   –  Commissioner Mark Vargas


“I would like to discuss with the press the reasons we are here.  It is not about developers and their consultants. We have been terribly mischaracterized as developer hacks.”  – Vice Chair Dayna Bochco

“You’re getting killed here today, told commissioners.”  – Humboldt’s Ralph Faust everybody!  From the LA Times:  “He urged them to make their decision in public, adding that “whatever it is, own it and defend it.

“A former chairman of the commission, Mel Nutter, said the way the hearing was structured — with hours of public testimony before any commissioners uttered any criticisms of Lester — was “totally backwards.”

“The public was asked in effect to present a defense against a set of charges that were never presented,” said Nutter, a Long Beach attorney. “It was totally backwards and that put the public at a huge disadvantage.””



Coastal Commission fires executive director over objection of hundreds of supporters – LA Times
Commissioners vote 7-5 to dismiss executive director – LA Times

A great stench in Morro Bay – Today’s Editorial in the Times Standard.





2 thoughts on ““i can’t close my eyes and make it go away”

  1. sandserat says:

    I am old and grizzled enough to have worked for the passage
    of the Coastal Act. That we have Faust, Lovelace and Savage
    flitting to Morro Bay to express dismay with the Commission
    makes me sick. These three are responsible for the loss of an
    entire aquatic system along our coast, that was federally delineated
    decades ago.
    These frauds have been undermining the premise of the Coastal Act
    for years now, writ clearly at the results of their works from Clam Beach,
    Little River, Mal’el, Manila Dunes down to the South Spit.
    Erosion, dead trees, loss of wildlife and loss of Base Flood Elevation.
    Made possible by the lack of a decent Press. No reporting on the massive
    adverse impacts, no matter how egregious.

  2. nothanks says:

    I know they’ve done good things to preserve access, but my experience with them was that my buddy wanted to build a deck in Manila and it was $3500 for a hearing with them. When they’re worried about stuff like that, time to reconsider what they are doing. People are crapping behind the mall into the wetlands and they’re hassling people about decks? Get a grip.

    Oh ya, no hearing, but we did build a nice deck. For less than $3500.

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