Mary Ann Reiss, the Pismo Beach city councilwoman appointed in December to the California Coastal Commission, has been told her services are no longer needed, as the governor mulls naming someone new to the post.
Her absence means there will be no Central Coast representative at the commission meeting next week in Santa Cruz, unless Gov. Jerry Brown names a new member from the area before then. There is a Pismo Beach item on the commission agenda.
The composition of the California Coastal Commission has strong implications for California’s coastline.
Created by voters in 1972, the commission controls land use along the coast. It has 12 voting members and three nonvoting members.
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The musical chairs go-round on the Coastal Commission appears to be a result of party politics.
Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the governor, and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed fellow Republican Reiss toward the end of his term. Brown is a Democrat.
Reiss told The Tribune on Wednesday that “there was some concern” about her being appointed late in Schwarzenegger’s term. Others appointed toward the end of his term drew similar concern, she said.
In theory, Reiss could still be reappointed. She has reapplied and is one of four applicants from San Luis Obispo County.
The other three are North Coast County Supervisor Bruce Gibson, Arroyo Grande City Councilman Joe Costello and San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx.
The county Board of Supervisors has endorsed Gibson and Reiss and has placed an item on its Tuesday agenda that would support Marx and Costello.
The city-selection committee, made up of the county’s seven mayors, endorsed Gibson and Reiss, but explicitly did not back Costello and Marx. The mayors noted that Marx and Costello do not represent coastal communities.
The position must be filled by an elected official from Ventura, Santa Barbara or San Luis Obispo County. Reiss said Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf is seeking the post, as are two officials from Ventura County.
The governor will not release the names of applicants. He is expected to make an appointment within the next two weeks. He put out a call for applicants Jan. 25 and said he would decide within 45 days.