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Vacancies Galore: Politicians Leaving Mid-Term Leave Seats to Be Filled

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 17, 2012

Empty chairThere were a lot of vacancies this year.  Three countywide posts and one school board seat remain vacant.  All salaries noted below are base pay.

County

Four of Orange County’s eight countywide posts went vacant during 2012.

  1. Orange County Clerk-Recorder: Tom Daly (D) vacated the seat this month to become the 69th District’s State Assemblyman.  Numerous candidates have either expressed interest behind the scenes or are rumored to be interested; none have made public statements.  The job pays $139,256.40 (that extra 40 cents won’t even get you enough postage to send a letter).  Apply online here by January 15.
  2. Orange County Auditor-Controller: David Sundstrom (R) vacated the seat in January to become Sonoma County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector (yes, that really is a single office in Sonoma County).  The job pays $173,097.60 per year (that 60 cents is crucial).  Apply online here by January 15.
  3. Orange County Public Administrator: John Williams (R) resigned in January or February depending on how you interpret his resignation, un-resignation, and re-resignation saga.  Former Assemblyman Ken Lopez-Maddox (R), who is also a former Garden Grove Councilman and former Capistrano Unified School District Board Member, is the first to publicly throw his hat in the ring. (12/19 Update:The previous sentence was ambiguously worded, so to clarify, Lopez-Maddox is running for the seat in the regularly scheduled June 2014 election but has not indicated if he will apply for the appointment.)  The job pays $30,000 per year (but the Board of Supervisors frequently consolidates it with the more lucrative appointed post of Public Guardian).  Apply online here by January 15.
  4. Orange County Superintendent of Schools: Bill Habermehl (R) vacated the seat in June, deciding it was time for him to retire.  Seven of the eight countywide posts are filled by the County Board of Supervisors when there’s a vacancy.  This is the eighth post, and the County Board of Education appointed Al Mijares (R) to fill the seat.  The job pays $287,500 per year.

Many people have argued Clerk-Recorder, Auditor-Controller, Public Administrator, and various other County posts should be appointed by the Board of Supervisors instead of elected positions.  Good luck with that.  Just six months ago, 60.5% of Orange County voters rejected making Public Administrator an appointed position.

City Council

They move with great speed to fill Council vacancies in Little Saigon.

  1. Garden Grove City Council: Bruce Broadwater (D) vacated the seat this month to become Mayor of Garden Grove.  Minutes after Broadwater became Mayor, the Council held the vote to fill his newly-vacated Council seat.  New Councilman Chris Phan moved to nominate the November election’s 3rd place finisher, Phat Bui, but he failed to get a second on his nomination. Councilwoman Dina Nguyen (R) moved and Councilman Steve Jones (R) seconded the nomination of defeated Councilman Kris Beard (D), who came in 4th in the election, and the Council voted unanimously to appoint Beard to the seat.  Beard was out of office for mere minutes.  The job pays $8,093 per year.
  2. Westminster City Council: Tri Ta (R) vacated the seat this month to become Mayor of Westminster.  In stunningly rapid fashion, the Westminster City Council left his seat vacant for mere minutes before appointing Margie Rice (R) after Ta replaced Rice as Mayor.  In other words, Ta and Rice simply swapped seats.  The jobs pays $10,206 per year.

The County’s smaller cities took a little more time.

  1. Stanton City Council: Councilman Ed Royce, Sr. (R) vacated his seat for health reasons in February.  Rigoberto Ramirez (R) was appointed to fill the seat in March.  Ramirez is up for election to a four-year term in 2014.  The job pays $10,200 per year.
  2. Villa Park City Council: Councilman Bob Fauteux (R) passed away in February.  Rick Barnett (R) was appointed to fill the seat  in March and won election to a four-year term in November with no opponents.  The job pays nothing.

School Board

For the second time this year, the Anaheim Union High School District Board is filling a vacancy.

  1. Anaheim Union High School District Board (February): Earlier this year in February, Jan Harp Domene (D) passed away unexpectedly at the age of 60.  The board appointed Annemarie Randle-Trejo on a 3-1 vote in April.  OC Political covered this process.
  2. Anaheim Union High School District Board (December): Jordan Brandman (D) vacated the seat this month to become an Anaheim City Councilman.  The board will fill his seat early next year.  The job pays $9,731.52.

Brandman originally won his AUHSD seat in a February 2008 special election after a petition overturned the appointment of Harald Martin (R), who was selected by the Board to fill the seat left vacant due to the unexpected passing of Denise Mansfield-Reinking (R) in May 2007.

The AUHSD board is on its third vacancy in six years.

Special District

  1. Municipal Water District of Orange County, Division 3: Director Ed Royce, Sr. (R) vacated his seat for health reasons in February.  Wayne Osborne (R) was appointed to fill the seat in March and won election to a four-year term in a four-way race in November.  The job pays $26,594 per year.

3 Responses to “Vacancies Galore: Politicians Leaving Mid-Term Leave Seats to Be Filled”

  1. Ken Lopez-Maddox said

    To be clear, I intend to run a vigorous campaign for Public Administrator. The voters were very clear about wanting this position to remain elected. I have not yet decided whether or not I will apply for the appointment.

  2. Bruce said

    Question for candidate for Public Administrator:

    What experience do you have in public administration? Since you mentioned voter’s will, have you ever been recalled in a election?

  3. Clifford Heaton said

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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