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Bob Watkins, the airport authority chairman, sat down for an hour today with Dianne Jacob, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors, and told her he had no intention of resigning his appointed post.

Jacob said Watkins was “very, very contrite, very sorry, admitted that he’d made a mistake and he wanted to fix it, make it right.”

Jacob yesterday said she’d been troubled by the misrepresentations and lack of disclosure that our coverage has revealed. She said she didn’t intend to reappoint him when his term expires in January, but she stopped short of calling for him to resign. She said she wanted to meet with him first.

After their meeting today, Jacob said she didn’t know whether Watkins should resign.

“When you’ve got someone who comes in and is close to tears and is very sorry,” she said, “I think we should hear him out, see what he does next, see whether he can do enough to retain public confidence in him. Time will tell that.”

Mayor Jerry Sanders has a meeting planned with Watkins next week, and Watkins told Jacob he planned to meet with other supervisors, too.

“He admitted to me that it’s had an effect on his reputation and tarnished his reputation,” Jacob said. “Whether or not that can be fixed will depend on him. I think it may be difficult.”

The Board of Supervisors, which confirmed Watkins’ appointment in 2006, doesn’t have the authority to remove him, Jacob said.

The legislation that created the airport authority — and state Sen. Christine Kehoe’s subsequent update — only specifies the legislative bodies who appoint airport authority members. Once they’re on the board, though, there’s no provision for removing them.

Jacob said aside from Watkins, the Board of Supervisors should have the ability to remove an appointee.

“There should be a process,” she said. “Sandag, the port, the airport. It’s a problem when there is not direct accountability to the voters.”

ROB DAVIS

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