We disagree with your editorial criticizing Roberti for dismissing Contreras.
Contreras was a Senate Rules Committee appointee to the Coastal Commission. During his tenure on the Commission, the San Diego-area developer increasingly alarmed those of us concerned with environmental protections. When, on the day of the State Coastal Commission hearing, it became apparent that Contreras would vote in favor of Occidental's proposal to sink wells on a 594-acre site across Pacific Coast Highway, Roberti called an emergency Rules Committee meeting, and Contreras was dismissed.
The Times' characterization of Roberti's attempt to prevent one of the largest oil companies in America from drilling in unstable and geologically sensitive cliffs as a "heavy-handed abuse of power" is nonsense. In fact, it would have been irresponsible for Roberti to ignore the very serious concerns of thousands of residents who live in the area, and all those who must navigate the slide-prone Pacific Coast Highway.
We applaud Roberti for his courage and thank him for his continuing efforts to protect the Palisades and other ecologically sensitive areas along California's coast.
ASSEMBLYMAN TOM HAYDEN