As the public hearing on the Coastal Commission director’s fate stretched into its fifth hour, praise kept pouring in for Charles Lester from former commissioners and staffers, environmentalists and coastal residents.
“You're getting killed here today," said former commission chief counsel Ralph Faust, referring to the overwhelming show of support for Lester. He urged the commission to make its decision in a public session, adding that “whatever it is, own it and defend it."
Anna Christensen of Long Beach said the commission’s decision would make history, telling the panel, “You will be judged very harshly, because we know exactly what's going on."
Pam Slater-Price, a former San Diego County supervisor, advised commissioners to listen carefully to the public's opinion and weigh it against whatever concerns they may have.
“The coast and the beaches remain the No. 1 tourist attraction in California, not the built environment,” Slater-Price said. “The reason that we have the Coastal Act is to protect the finest resource that we have.”