Thursday, June 11, 2009

Klein to Leave CIRM Chairmanship in 18 Months

The chairman of the $3 billion California stem cell agency said today he would step down from his post at the end of his term in December 2010.

Robert Klein
made the announcement to the Finance Subcommittee of CIRM's board of directors, according to John M. Simpson, stem cell project director for Consumer Watchdog of Santa Monica, Ca.

on his organization's blog, Simpson said that Klein told the directors that he will have spent eight years working on the stem cell endeavor by the end of his term. Klein was also chairman of the 2004 campaign on behalf of Prop. 71 and often says he wrote the ballot initiative.

No apparent successor is in the wings. The post has very specific criteria written in state law, criteria that many believed fit only Klein at the time he was elected to his post by the CIRM board of directors.

Klein's public disclosure of his plans came only six months after he asked for and began receiving a $150,000 salary for half-time work as chairman. Klein, a real estate investment banker with offices in Palo Alto, Ca., previously declined a salary.

The Finance Subcommittee's official business today involved CIRM's budget and financial condition. Klein told the panel he still plans to make an effort to sell state bonds privately to fund the operations of agency. State bonds are virtually the only source of funding for CIRM.

The CIRM staff presented a $12.98 million operational budget for 2009-10, which is a 3 percent decrease from the budget proposed for this fiscal year. CIRM's budget documents posted on its Web site – only one day before today's meeting – did not make any comparisons to actual spending for the current year. But Simpson reported that this year's expenditures are running about 20 percent below the $13.37 million budget approved 12 months ago.

Simpson said directors asked for more details in the spending plan and a comparison to the current year's actual spending when the budget is presented to the full board next week. We will have more on the budget documents on Friday.

Simpson reported the committee lacked a quorum and could not act on the budget. He also said CIRM President Alan Trounson did not attend the meeting. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment