Capitol Alert

Commissioner resigns from California coastal panel

Wendy Mitchell has been a member of the California Coastal Commission for six years. She submitted her resignation Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 to Gov. Jerry Brown.
Wendy Mitchell has been a member of the California Coastal Commission for six years. She submitted her resignation Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 to Gov. Jerry Brown.

A longtime member of the California Coastal Commission resigned from the panel Friday.

Wendy Mitchell, a consultant and former legislative aide, wrote in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown that “after six years on the commission ... I respectfully submit my resignation, effective immediately.”

Mitchell, named to the influential panel by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, had no set term on the commission. Initially created by voters in 1972, the San Francisco-based agency is charged with protecting the natural and scenic resources along California’s 1,000-mile coastline.

Mitchell played a central role in a bruising internal power struggle at the agency earlier this year over replacing commission Director Charles Lester. Mitchell later cited “numerous management and administrative issues” with the agency’s leadership, but critics charged that Lester’s ouster was orchestrated by developers and other business interests.

In Friday’s letter to Brown, Mitchell wrote, “Like you, I believe that sometimes the job of leadership is not to tell the people what they want to hear but in doing what needs to be done.

“I’m proud to have served with my fellow commissioners who made tough decisions and did so with the best of intentions, even when it cost them personally and politically, because they believed what they were doing was best for the California Coast,” she wrote.

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