The Latest: Backers urge California coast panel to keep exec

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 10, 2016 4:25 PM
The Latest: Backers urge California coast panel to keep exec

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a proposal by the powerful California Coastal Commission to fire its top executive (all times local).

1:25 p.m.

The embattled top executive of a powerful commission that oversees development on California's famed coastline is getting strong endorsements from a long line of supporters who want him kept on the job.

Hundreds of people packed a meeting Wednesday of the 12-member California Coastal Commission, which is considering whether to replace Executive Director Charles Lester. The panel hasn't given an explanation for his possible dismissal.

Supporters held signs saying "More Lester" and "Save Our Coast," telling the commission that coastal protections would be threatened if Lester is pushed aside.

Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network warned that Lester's removal could threaten beach access for the public and open a new era of unchecked development.

The challenge to Lester's leadership has raised questions about the direction of an agency often caught in the conflict between property rights and conservation.

___

8:40 a.m.

A powerful commission that oversees development on California's famed coastline could oust its top executive.

The 12-member California Coastal Commission is expected to consider the move Wednesday, a change that environmentalists fear could open an era of unchecked development.

Charles Lester has served as executive director since 2011. The panel has not provided an explanation for his possible dismissal.

The commission created by voters in 1972 has broad sway over construction and environmental issues in coastal areas that include some of the most coveted real estate in the U.S.

The challenge to Lester's leadership has raised questions about the direction of an agency often caught in the conflict between property rights and conservation.