The California Coastal Commission voted 7-5 to dismiss Executive Director Charles Lester on Feb. 10. The vote took place after an emotionally charged meeting in Morro Bay. Lester had held the post since 2011. According to the Associated Press, the commission “received about 29,000 letters and emails, virtually all of them supporting Lester’s leadership. But a letter from the Los Angeles County Business Federation, an alliance of 155 business groups, faulted the commission’s staff for a lack of accountability and regulatory overreach.” Founded in 1972, the commission is tasked with protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations, and has sweeping authority over virtually all development along more than a thousand miles of coastal lands.
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