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Another battle brews as Coastal Commission looks to hire new director

Visitors are few at Carbon Beach, the so-called
Visitors are few at Carbon Beach, the so-called "Billionaires' Beach," on the first day of the opening of a new access route. The California Coastal Commission opened a third public path to Carbon Beach.
Nick Ut/AP

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The search for a replacement for Charles Lester promises to be contentious, after last night's firing of the top executive of the California Coastal Commission.

The powerful agency that manages development on California's coastline voted 7-5 to oust Lester - after an impassioned hearing of nearly 12 hours. Environmentalists say Lester was fired because of pressure from development interests. Critics of Lester say his management of the office was plagued with delays and that decisions lack transparency.

Who are some contenders to replace Lester? What qualifications and sensibilities will she or he need to bring to the job?


Steve Kinsey, Chairman, California Coastal Commission

Fred Gaines, a Calabasas councilman and attorney who has represented developers and property owners before the commission for 25 years

Sarah Sikich, Vice President, Heal the Bay  - nonprofit environmental organization based in Santa Monica