Possible Coastal Commission Shakeup Looming

The agency’s commissioners will discuss the possibility of firing Executive Director Charles Lester next month.

A letter, sent January 14, from Coastal Commission Chairman Steve Kinsey to Lester gave notice of the commission’s discussing his termination in closed session during the commission’s February meeting should Lester not exercise his right to a public hearing. The letter also Lester the option to resign.

Director Lester chose the public hearing, meaning sparks could fly at some point during three-day long meeting in Morro Bay come mid-February.

Supporters of Lester have not minced words, as Stefanie Sekich-Quinn, coastal preservation manager for the Surfrider Foundation said, “Some of us do believe this is a coup. This is about a bunch of commissioners who are trying to weaken the commission's ability to implement the mandates of the Coastal Act."

Those opposing Lester’s continued leadership cite his management style and lack of transparency on staff decisions.

CountyNews will track this developing story, but for further reading, see the San Mateo County Times, here.


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