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Sheriff William B. Kolender has appointed Bob Watkins to the executive board of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

Watkins is chairman/CEO of R.J. Watkins & Co., a local executive search company, and also serves as chairman of the Lincoln Club, a conservative political action committee.

Speaking Monday before his appointment was announced, Watkins praised the airport authority for the site-selection process that culminated in the Nov. 7 defeat of the Miramar airport ballot initiative.

“From my perspective,” Watkins said, “it was a brand new group of people. They were doing the best they could to site an airport. They tried to do that, did it, and move on. … They had a pretty big task. I give them a lot of credit for doing what they did to try to make it work.”

Watkins, who must still be confirmed by the county board of supervisors, replaces William D. Lynch, a Rancho Santa Fe businessman who was one of the authority’s most vocal supporters of the Miramar airport plan. Lynch’s term expires Dec. 4.

If confirmed, Watkins will earn $150,000 annually in his new position.

ROB DAVIS

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