The state’s newest Coastal Commissioner, Mary Ann Reiss of Pismo Beach, may have a short tenure at her new job, but the man who could replace her is not taking anything for granted and is wishing her well.
“I am looking forward to working with her,” said San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson.
Gibson — an environmentalist Democrat — and Reiss — a Pismo Beach city councilwoman, a real estate agent and a Republican — both applied for the seat on the Coastal Commission vacated by former Supervisor Katcho Achadjian. He had to resign from the commission when he was sworn in as the Central Coast’s new assemblyman Monday.
The next day, lame-duck Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed his fellow Republican, Reiss, who had served on the commission as Achadjian’s alternate.
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However, coastal commissioners serve at “the pleasure of the governor,” which means that Gov.-elect Jerry Brown, a Democrat, could evict Reiss early next year and replace her with Gibson.
“Typically he (a new governor) will make his own appointments,” Gibson said. “I sort of expect he will.”
If Brown puts out a call for applicants, Gibson said, he will “look at where I am” and “if I can take on that responsibility, I would very much like to.”
Brown is not obligated to replace commissioners and, even if he does, there is no guarantee that Gibson would get the job.
In the meantime, Gibson said, he is happy that Reiss, with her knowledge of the Central Coast’s coastal issues, is on the commission.
The Coastal Commission was created by voters in 1972. It has 12 voting members and three nonvoting members. The powerful — and controversial — board controls land use along California’s coastline.