Governor Brown calls for new nominees to the Coastal Commission

February 1, 2011

Mary Ann Reiss


Governor Jerry Brown has called for nominees from this area to the California Coastal Commission in the wake of reports that the appointment of Mary Ann Reiss, a Republican protege of Assembly member K.H. “Katcho” Achadjian, was tainted by complaints that her nomination process was partially hidden from the public, which reportedly has prompted a large number of requests that Brown replace her. [SLoCoastJournal]

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenneger appointed Reiss in December before he left office.

Some have blamed Schwarzenegger for some city council members not being aware of the process for nominating candidates to replace Achadjian as a result of Schwarzenegger not distributing the request for nominations as widely as state regulations call for. But it appears that the process was followed adequately. He did notify the clerk-recorder’s office properly, and Rodewald did notify the mayors, except that some mayors apparently did not forward the information to members of their city councils.

Julie Rodewald, San Luis Obispo County’s clerk-recorder, said she received a notice from Brown on Friday, January 28, requesting that San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties each conduct their process for making nominations from among city council members and from among county boards of supervisors.

Although Brown did not specifically identify an appointment to the Coastal Commission, his notice strongly indicated that is what the nominations are being sought for “should a vacancy actually occur,” apparently meaning the governor may be considering vacating Reiss’ appointment. No other vacancies on state boards or commissions are under consideration from this area.

Rodewald already had gone ahead and won the support of what is called a Selection Committee—to recommend nominees for certain state boards and commissions, including the Coastal Commission—at a January 14 Committee meeting to consider revised rules of procedures aimed at avoiding the situation where some members of city councils in San Luis Obispo County said they were not aware of the nomination process that led to Reiss’ appointment.

The rules previously called for the mayor of each city to notify city council members, and some council members reportedly have complained that they were not notified. So they felt left out of the process of recommending a new member to replace Achadjian, who had represented this area as a member of the Board of Supervisors before his election to the Assembly last November 2.

The change in rules she proposed now provides for her office to issue notices to city clerks in each city that a governor is seeking such nominations and for their “distribution to all City Council members” by the clerks. In addition, the rules, as she proposed, now provide that the agenda of a Selection Committee meeting and any related staff reports be posted on the clerk-recorder’s website.

Rodewald has suggested three alternative dates for the Selection Committee to meet and make nominations to meet Brown’s request, which must be completed within 45 days after Brown called for nominees.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Does anyone find this article problematic in that Jack McCurdy cites his own article in his own SLO Coast Journal as his source? McCurdy’s SLO Coast Journal is far from a neutral news site.

Second, McCurdy is on the editorial board for the Sierra Club newsletter–an association that clearly should be disclosed when writing about a subject so dear to the Sierra Club.

I don’t have a problem with any reporter who uses facts, no matter the forum.

Jack McCurdy always uses facts – which, unfortunately, don’t seem to matter much to his critics.

That’s a laugh. When you point to yourself as a source there are no facts, just invention. I could easily point to a particular Faux Coast Journal article with huge factual error, but I’m certain your version of the “facts” mirrors McCurdy’s circular references. Jack writes opinion at best.

Quite the conspiracy theory being spun here. Morro Bay, Pismo and Grover Beach are the only three SLO County cities within the Coastal Zone, so only those city councils in SLO County should have even been aware at all. All three councils voted to support Reiss’ nomination.

SLO Supes voted for Gibson, as did the supes in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

I believe Ventura County had a councilman from Ventura City also nominated along with Gibson , as a second choice candidate.

Gov. Arnold chose Reiss because she is a Republican. The new Governor is a Democrat, so he has every right to replace her and anyone else on the CCC who is under his appointment powers. This should be no surprise to anyone. Such appointments are ALWAYS politically influenced.

The nomination process is spelled out in the Coastal Act and Arnold did follow it. Nothing about Reiss’ nomination was improper and to insinuate otherwise is pure poppy-cock.

Now a new nomination process is underway and unfortunately for SLO County, the new appointee might come from Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties. It’s too bad that we could lose having a local person on that commission.

I’m pulling for Gibson, but with a potential 4-year term to serve out, I would expect greater interest from the other counties for this position.

I was prepared to be disappointed in Gibson as supervisor, and he has not let me down.

Mr. McCurdy,

Please explain which “council members reportedly have complained that they were not notified.”

Certainly, Pismo Beach City Council members were aware since Reiss is a Council member for Pismo Beach.

On October 18, 2010, the Grover Beach City Council authorized a letter in support of the candidacy of Pismo Beach Mayor Reiss to fill a position on the California Coastal Commission.

On October 25, 2010, the Morro Bay City Council approved sending a letter recommending the Selection of Mary Ann Reiss as the City Council Member nominee for appointment to the California Coastal Commission.

On November 2, 2010, The County Board of Supervisors approved a Letter recommending Supervisor Gibson and Mayor Mary Ann Reiss for consideration as the representative from the South Central Coast Region of California to the Coastal Commission.

The Tribune ran a front page story on November 26, 2010 entitled “San Luis Obispo County supervisor and Pismo Beach councilwoman were seeking appointment to succeed Katcho Achadjian.”

So who are the uniformed Council Members?

Various City Councils sending letters endorsing Ms. Reiss doesn’t equal having been asked to submit their own candidates.

A more likely scenario is that Katcho made a choice and Arnold said okay.Councils then rubber-stamped.

Nov.26, SLO Trib:

“Melinda Malone of the governor’s press office declined to say whether other candidates are in the mix. The appointment process, she said, is confidential.

In addition, Malone said, whoever Schwarzenegger appoints serves “at the pleasure of the governor.”

Gov.-elect Jerry Brown could, after he is sworn in, replace Schwarzenegger’s commissioner with one he prefers.

Read more:

Seems to me the precedent is being set that every change of governorship will bring a concomitant change in ALL of the appointed commissioners. Is this really what we want?

To some degree it is what I want. When we elect someone such a the gov. or the prez, we elect them because we believe in what their goals are and we want them to be able to accomplish those goals. If they only have people working with them ie the Coastal Commish that oppose those goals or don’t like them personally then nothing will get done. There will be just fighting and stalemates. Elected officials should always stay but appointments should be who the elected officials pick.

It was probably “good old boy” Bruce Gibson who complained. He was MORE THAN TICKED that HE wasn’t selected in the first place. This guy should not even be appointed to dog catcher! Can you spell C O R R U P T?

“…some members of city councils in San Luis Obispo County said they were not aware of the nomination process…”

Did the council members complain anonymously? Is there a way to know WHO complained?

Don’t bother nominating Louise Comar Jerry Brown, a long time friend of my father’s from the days at Santa Clara University is quite disappointed with the way she iS NOT moving forward with our complaint against Robert Grigger Jones and evidence showing Jones committed forgery and fraud with regards to our father’s estate. We have had the conversation Why DA’s office is not moving forward is under question. Our stepmother Elizabeth Meek has admitted Jones forged her signature and she was not in california when the document was signed

How say you Robert Jones………………..want to tell another lie?