Gibson not chosen for Coastal Commission

Ventura City Councilman Brian Brennan has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission over San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson and five other applicants for the powerful job.

In making the announcement Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jerry Brown gave Ventura County its first commissioner since 1995.

Gibson sought the post along with San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx, Arroyo Grande City Councilman Joe Costello, Pismo Beach City Councilwoman Mary Ann Reiss, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf and Port Hueneme City Councilman Jonathan Sharkey.

Gibson said that he knows Brennan slightly, and “he shares my values” and is open-minded.

Brennan, 59, has been on the Ventura council since 1997, serving two years as mayor. A Democrat, he is senior executive aide to Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett.

He also was general manager of Chart House Restaurants from 1976 to 1997, chair of the Visitor and Convention Bureau, and is a member of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce.

Brennan is a founding member of the Ventura County chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental group that campaigned against Gibson being named while recommending Wolf and Brennan.

Brennan will serve in the South Central Coast slot on the commission, representing Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. The appointee must be selected from a list of locally elected officials. The job does not require Senate confirmation.

The commission regulates growth along California’s coastline, and is a place where property rights advocates and environmentalists often butt heads.