Thursday, February 11, 2016
#42 / Mr. Bill
I guess I ought to watch more television. Until last night, I didn't know a thing about Mr. Bill and his connection to Saturday Night Live, but immediately after the California Coastal Commission fired Dr. Charles Lester, its Executive Director, Mr. Bill's image popped up on my Facebook page. The knowledgeable observer who put it there obviously felt that Mr. Bill was properly reacting to the 7-5 vote to terminate Dr. Lester, which vote was taken in a closed meeting from which the public was excluded.
The public did get to present their thoughts before the Commission ducked behind closed doors to terminate Dr. Lester. In fact, I watched a live stream of the Commission's meeting almost all day, from 10:00 a.m. to just about dinner time. Hundreds of individuals, from all over California, came to present their views, and I believe that EVERY person who testified supported Dr. Lester. As one person said, when you added up the members of the organizations which spoke out in favor of Dr. Lester over ONE MILLION Californians urged the Commission not to do what it did.
Those who voted to fire the Executive Director didn't give any significant substantive reason for doing so; however, they did mightily object to various press statements made in advance of the meeting (like my own column in the Santa Cruz Sentinel) that called the effort to fire Dr. Lester a "coastal coup."
Well, as I say, I watched the Commission meeting all day. I watched it till the end. It sure looked like a coup to me, and it was a sad day for the state (and the coast), in my opinion.
Here is an early report from the Los Angeles Times. Watch the newspapers and online reports for more detailed coverage.
In the meantime, I am quite sure that Mr. Bill got it right!