Competition for Coastal Commission Vacancy Heats Up
October 22, 2012
Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone quietly resigned from the California Coastal Commission at the request of Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, a bit of Democratic political calculus; Stone is poised to win a seat in the state Assembly on Nov. 6, and by vacating his seat early, the speaker can appoint a new Central Coast representative in time for the Commission's Dec. 12 meeting in San Francisco.
Stone is backing Monterey County Supervisor Jane Parker as his replacement, and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted to nominate Parker to the powerful seat.
The speaker appoints four of 12 commissioners, one of which is a city or county official from Monterey, Santa Cruz or San Mateo counties. As Pérez's Nov. 3 deadline for nominations draws near, competition is shaping up.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors will vote Tuesday on whether to nominate Supervisor Carole Groom, former San Mateo city council member and mayor. Groom's environmental accomplishments include leading the charge on a countywide ban on single-use plastic bags.
The Monterey County Board of Supervisors is also slated to discuss who to nominate, though no one is poised for automatic approval; Supervisors Parker and Simon Salinas have both expressed interest in the seat.
Some nominees, including Seaside Mayor Felix Bachofner, who was nominated by county mayors, are up for re-election on Nov. 6. That irked Ron Chesshire, CEO of the Monterey/Santa Cruz Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, who complained to Pérez about the hurried appointment schedule in an Oct. 10 letter.
"Our concern was, wait until after the election and have a full menu of officials to choose from," Chesshire says. "You could conceivably wind up with somebody like [District 5 supervisor candidate] Marc Del Piero being elected, and not being nominated."
Del Piero is running against incumbent Dave Potter, who held the Coastal Commission seat prior to Stone. Former Seaside Mayor Ralph Rubio, who's challenging Bachofner, has also expressed interest in serving on the Coastal Commission.