|Summary|| As well vocalized by many public speakers at the March Coastal Commission hearing, deciding upon an interim Executive Director is not a position that the public desired. Virtually all in attendance reiterated what they asked of the Coastal Commission in February: Give us Dr. Lester. Unfortunately, that is not an option.
According to optimistic Commissioners, the search for a new Executive Director is projected to take at least six months. In the meantime, as articulated by Commissioner Bochco, it is critical that Commission Staff feel supported and that there is stability provided to ensure that work carries on. As a result, Chair Steve Kinsey, Vice-Chair Bochco nominated Senior Deputy Director Jack Ainsworth to act as Interim Executive Director while the search is underway. This was strongly supported by Commissioner Carole Groom and many members of the public.
However, Commissioner Roberto Uranga felt that having Mr. Ainsworth as interim director could have negative effects on the hiring process, “…having someone on an interim basis who would also be an applicant would be a hindrance… in encouraging people to apply.” He offered an amending motion that would require Mr. Ainsworth to step down from the position of acting Executive Director if he chose to apply in order to not discourage people from applying to the position.
|Outcome Description||Not wanting to exclude someone from applying to the position of Executive Director purely on the basis that they are in a position to support Commission Staff while acting as the Interim Director, Commissioners voted 6:5 against the amending motion. This means that Mr. Ainsworth will be able to both fill the position of interim Executive Director and apply for the position as well should he choose to do so.|
|Why You Should Care||The ability to apply for the position of Executive Director of the Coastal Commission should be open to everyone. As much as there was concern addressed over whether Mr. Ainsworth’s position would discourage others from applying, there needs to be equal concern over not discouraging others from applying if they are already with the Commission; the person best qualified for the position can come from within or without the Commission, and the hiring process will hopefully, transparently, show that. The process should not start with setting the precedence of who to prohibit from applying.|
|Opposition to Project|
|Coastal Act Policies|
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
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