Ex-Conservancy Official Will Head New Streisand Center

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A candidate seemingly chosen before the job was advertised has been named academic director of the Streisand Center for Conservancy Studies to be based in Malibu, winning out over more than 100 other applicants for the $70,000-a-year post.

The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, a state parks agency, has given the job of running the environmental research and conference center to Madelyn J. Glickfeld, a professional planner and former conservancy board member. An internal memo last fall appeared to say she would get the job.

The unsigned memo was written more than a month before the position was advertised.

Conservancy officials involved in the selection said Tuesday that Glickfeld's appointment was not predetermined, and that her professional qualifications and knowledge of the Santa Monica Mountains made her the best choice for the job.

"It is not too illogical to assume that after 111 or even 11,000 applications, she still might come out first," said Jerome C. Daniel, chairman of the conservancy board.

In a Monday evening meeting that concluded after midnight, the board voted 7 to 1 to put Glickfeld in charge of the Streisand Center, to be based at the Ramirez Canyon estate that Barbra Streisand donated to the conservancy last year.

Glickfeld, a staunch environmentalist and member of the state Coastal Commission since 1987, must also be approved by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, an affiliate of the conservancy. But that approval, which was expected Wednesday night, seemed assured because three of the authority's four board members have voiced support for Glickfeld.

Conservancy officials said 111 candidates, some of them highly qualified, responded to advertisements for the post of academic director. But a memo obtained by The Times from conservancy files under the state Public Records Act appeared to concede the job to Glickfeld before it was advertised.

The three-page memo, titled "Ramirez Canyon to Do List," is dated Nov. 2, 1993--about two weeks before the Streisand donation was announced and more than a month before the director's job was advertised.

Tasks outlined in the memo included "consider where to put program manager Madelyn and asst." On another page, the memo referred to the "program manager (Madelyn G. posn)."

Conservancy officials said they believed the memo was written by a staff member of the Mountains Conservancy Foundation, a nonprofit group that receives grants from the conservancy and is involved in maintaining the Streisand estate.

A member of the conservancy board at the time, Glickfeld already knew of Streisand's gift and had expressed an interest in running the conference center, officials said. She resigned from the conservancy board in November, in part so she could seek the job.

However, the memo "probably should have used terminology that was more descriptive of the position and not a person," said Belinda Faustinos, deputy director of the conservancy.

Some conservancy officials said Tuesday that they were unaware of the memo until a conservancy critic who also had obtained a copy raised the subject at Monday night's board meeting.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
69°