Interim Parks Director a State Government Vet
The acting interim director of the California Parks and Recreation Department is a veteran of California state government.
Janelle Beland, 41, of Sacramento, had been undersecretary of the California Natural Resources Agency before Gov. Jerry Brown appointed her interim state park director following the resignation of Ruth Coleman on July 20, according to a statement from Brown's office.
A Democrat, Beland has served as senior advisor and caucus director for Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. Previously, she served as chief of staff to Sen. Leland Yee from 2006 to 2009. Beland served as principal consultant to and legislative director for Assemblymember Mike Gordon from 2004 to 2005 and Assembly Committee on Rules Chair Cindy Montanez from 2002 to 2004.
She was a legislative and government affairs associate for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California from 2001 to 2002, a consultant to the Speaker’s Office of Member Services from 2000 to 2001, and a deputy press secretary for the California Department of Justice from 1999 to 2000. Beland was director of broadcast operations for the California Channel from 1992 to 2007.
Brown made the appointment after officials learned the parks department sat on nearly $54 million in surplus money for as long as 12 years, even as state park closures were ordered.
Coleman resigned and her second in command, acting chief deputy director Michael Harris, was fired.