Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday removed three Democrats from the California Coastal Commission -- including former California Resources Secretary Mary Nichols -- and replaced them with three Republicans, including an executive at his former talent agency.
Steven H. Kram, chief operating officer of the William Morris Agency, will join the 12-member commission, which meets monthly to rule on development and construction along the state's 1,100-mile coastline, ranging from offshore oil drilling to expansion of the decks of oceanfront homes.
Kram, who donated $5,000 to help elect Schwarzenegger last fall, was not immediately available for comment.
Nichols, who was appointed in one of former Gov. Gray Davis' last official acts, served less than a year. The two other commissioners being replaced are Cynthia McClain-Hill, a Los Angeles lawyer, and Humboldt County Supervisor John Woolley.
The others appointed by Schwarzenegger are Meg Caldwell, director of Stanford Law School's Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program, and Humboldt County Supervisor Bonnie Neely, who served on the commission from 1988 to 1993.
"California's coastline and beaches are some of our most valuable assets," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. The appointed commissioners, he said, "will represent the interests of all Californians as we strive to protect and restore our coast for the sake of future generations."
The governor has one more commission appointment to make. The other eight commissioners are appointed by the leaders of the Assembly and state Senate.
"We're pleased the governor is turning his attention to coastal protection," said Mark Massara, who tracks the commissioners' votes for the Sierra Club. "All his appointments start with a clean slate. His environmental legacy will, in part, be determined on how these commissioners vote."