Take Action: As the California Coastal Act celebrates its 40th year as the most effective coastal protection legislation on the globe, pro-development interests are attempting to terminate Dr. Charles Lester, the Executive Director of the Commission for not being developer friendly enough, although no cause has been given for such a drastic action. Dr. Lester has refused to resign quietly, and has called for a full public hearing on his proposed termination, which will take place on Wednesday, February 10th in Morro Bay.
The California Coastal Commission is the agency tasked with protecting 840 miles of some of the most beautiful coastline in the nation. The Commission was established by voter initiative in 1972 and was later made permanent by the legislature through the adoption of the California Coastal Act of 1976. The Coastal Commission is comprised of a 12-member board with members appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Senate Pro Tem, and it appears that it is the Commissioners appointed the Governor who are leading the effort to fire Dr. Lester.
Ironically, the effort to terminate Executive Director Lester comes at a time of strong Commission accomplishment, including increased public transparency and a recently received administrative authority that allows penalties to be administered against individuals who violate the Coastal Act’s coastal access provisions at $11,500 per violation per day.
The attack on the Executive Director Lester is an attack on the Coastal Act. This attempted coup d’etats is a power grab in an attempt to undermine the integrity of the Coastal Program, gain control over an independent Staff, and make the Commission more “developer-friendly” without any public accountability or transparency.
On February 10th the Coastal Commission will hold a hearing on this matter, and funded busses are available to transport people to the hearing. If you would like to attend the hearing, funded busses will be transporting people to the hearing to show support. If you are interested in taking a trip to Morro Bay, and attending the hearing, click here.
Click here to take action and support the Coastal Commission and Executive Director Charles Lester who is tasked with protecting the coastal environment.