San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx said Tuesday she will seek a vacant seat on the state Coastal Commission, giving the county four applicants for the powerful job.
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson, Pismo Beach Councilwoman Mary Ann Reiss and Arroyo Grande City Councilman Joe Costello also want the job. Reiss currently holds the position.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who will make the appointment, put out a call for applicants Jan. 25 and is expected to choose by the end of February.
Reiss was appointed by Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He and Reiss are Republicans, whereas Brown, Gibson, Costello and Marx are Democrats.
Marx’s entry could create an awkward moment at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting when the board is scheduled to nominate Gibson and Reiss.
However, Chairman Adam Hill told The Tribune on Wednesday that if Marx and Costello get their paperwork in on time, there is a chance the board could recommend all four of them.
“Why make us choose sides?” Hill said, when it is ultimately the governor’s appointment.
The city selection committee, which consists of the county’s seven mayors, also will meet and make a recommendation. It, too, could opt for all four.
Marx said she has long been an advocate of the Coastal Commission and has followed its activities. She was a member of the county Parks and Recreation Commission in the early 1990s and worked to increase access to the coast for citizens, she said.
Marx added that people have urged her to run, including John Laird, the state’s new natural resources secretary. Laird, an environmentalist, ran against Sam Blakeslee for a state Senate seat last year, losing by 4 percentage points.
The job must go to an elected official in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura counties. A call to the governor’s office asking whether the other two counties had applicants went unanswered.
The California Coastal Commission, created by voters in 1972, has 12 voting members and three nonvoting members. The powerful — and controversial — board controls land use along California’s coastline.
Gibson represents the county’s North Coast on the Board of Supervisors, and Reiss sits on the City Council of a city that is on the ocean. Neither Arroyo Grande nor San Luis Obispo has territory on the Pacific.
The seat became vacant when former county Supervisor Katcho Achadjian was elected to the state Assembly.