Two immovable objects — the California Coastal Commission and the marine artist Wyland — have butted heads for three years and the result is a missed opportunity for the public and the state.
Wyland's hugely popular design of a humpback whale tail on a specialty state license plate has been replaced by another humpback whale tail design, and apparently quite a lot of money was spent on it. The commission itself says the Wyland plate has been the best-selling of the state's pricey specialty plates, which cost vehicle owners $50 to purchase and an additional $40 to re-register every year.
Will the new plate measure up? Only time will tell.
State bureaucrats decided to eliminate a proven money-maker; the plate racked up $60.2 million in sales over 16 years. The Wyland design was donated to the state in 1995, costing California nothing. The new plate required the paid services of two artists and untold hours of staff time in reviewing submissions.