By Miriam Raftery
September 4, 2016 (Lakeside) – County Planning Commissioner Michael Beck,founder of the Endangered Habitat League,former head of the Lakeside River Park Conservancy and current board member of theSan Diego River Park Foundation, has drawn sharp criticism from some Lakeside residents over his involvement with the El Monte Nature Preserve LLC that is proposing a sand mine in El Monte Valley. One prominent activist has called for Beck to recuse himself from voting for conflict of interest reasons.
Now Beck, in an exclusive interview with East County Magazine, says he’s always planned to recuse himself from voting on the controversial project—and also defends his efforts to get the best long-term environmental restoration possible for a project he believes will likely be approved as an allowable use under current zoning. No one has asked that the zoning designation be changed, he notes.