San Clemente city staff are moving ahead in the process of finding a coastal administrator who would be tasked with directly handling coastal issues and beach restoration efforts as the topic of coastal erosion grows in relevance.
The City Council received an update on the matter Tuesday, May 2, as staff was previously directed to include the role in the city’s Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget, as well as create a job description and competitive salary range.
Councilmember Victor Cabral and City Manager Andy Hall met with Jayme Timberlake, the City of Oceanside’s own coastal zone administrator, last month to learn about her position and how to integrate it into the city’s overall structure and function.
The Oceanside City Council created the role in December 2021, tasking the position with administering activities related to sand replenishment, coastal resiliency planning and more, and supporting the city’s efforts to protect coastal resources, in addition to a multitude of other responsibilities.
The annual salary range was listed between $96,684 and $129,564, according to the website californiacitynews.org, which lists available city and county jobs.
Cabral pointed out that he and Councilmember Mark Enmeier, who comprise the council’s Beach Subcommittee, had jointly recommended creating such a position.
“It’s an issue that I think, for years, has been neglected,” said Cabral. “I think that the model that’s used by the City of Oceanside and what we learned from that person is valuable.”
He added that he was part of another meeting with a representative from Imperial Beach who proved helpful, and said he wanted to make a concerted effort to create, advertise and budget for San Clemente’s own coastal administrator.
“I wanted to let the public know that none of us … have forgotten about the importance of our beaches,” said Cabral.
Hall said staff is working on finalizing the job description and reminded the council that recruiting for a position can take time.
“Perhaps, with the support of the council, we would like to start at least doing some recruiting and maybe some outreach,” said Hall. “Again, if we were to begin to recruit this position now, it’d probably be several months before that position would be on board.”
Starting at an earlier date would help land a candidate close to the July 1 start of the upcoming fiscal year. Hall added that staff is confident the city would be able to pay for the new position and still have a balanced budget.