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Plan to restructure SAN authority in Schwarzenegger’s hands

The California Legislature approved a bill that would restructure the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, leaving the proposal in the hands of Govt. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The bill changes the appointing authority for several board positions, eliminates the salaries for three executive committee positions, and classifies all nine board members as part-time capping their pay at $1,600 per month.

The board could vote to increase the pay for the board’s chair by an additional $500 a month, says Michael Kulis, director of intergovernmental relations for the authority.

The Authority assumed ownership of San Diego International (SAN) in 2003 and is made up of nine members. While the executive committee will still exist, the bill stipulates that it be made up of one city appointee, one county appointee and one appointee from one of the four regional groupings of cities represented.

Senate Bill 10, originally sponsored by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, went through at least seven iterations. It started as an effort to streamline and improve the operations of a board that got off to a “rocky start” in the eyes of many, Kulis says.

The bill also staggers ongoing board appointments so three positions will come open each year and adds three members of the public to the Airport Authority Board’s audit committee.

Schwarzenegger has not yet taken a position on the bill, according to media reports, but Kulis says he likely will decide one way or another before the Authority board meets again early next month.