West Hills : Calemine Named LAFCO Executive
The county’s Local Agency Formation Commission filled its vacant executive officer job on Wednesday, picking an alternate board member whose consulting work with development firms had raised conflict of interest concerns.
Larry J. Calemine of West Hills was elected unanimously by the commission, which is empowered to create cities and special districts in unincorporated areas. The executive officer runs day-to-day operations of the agency.
On Wednesday morning, after the panel emerged from a closed-session meeting and commission Chairman Thomas E. Jackson announced that the group had selected Calemine, the development consultant quipped: “Three months, and that’s it?”
In September, Calemine and a second candidate for the $75,000-a-year post were forced to withdraw their applications because both had applied for the job while serving on the commission as alternate board members.
When the commission picked Stan Eisner, head of Ventura County’s LAFCO--and the only remaining candidate--Eisner refused and the commission had to start the process again.
Calemine’s candidacy was also troubled by his reluctance to disassociate himself from developer and real estate interests that might have business before the board.
But in a reapplication letter for the executive officer’s post submitted to commissioners last month, Calemine wrote commissioners: “In the event I am selected for the position of LAFCO Executive Officer, any client that even thinks about any business before LAFCO or has any pending business in Los Angeles County unincorporated area will immediately be dropped as a client.”