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Lisa Bartlett Stripped of Authority to Approve Contracts at TCA

Posted by Craig P. Alexander on February 17, 2014

There are a lot of reasons I am supporting Laguna Niguel City Councilman Robert Ming in his race for Orange County Supervisor, 5th District (Robert Ming for Supervisor) that have nothing to do with his opponents’ shortcomings.  However there are also a lot of reasons I oppose Lisa Bartlett’s (the Mayor of my city Dana Point) bid for that seat too.

She has turned out to be a big / nanny government politician who voted in Dana Point to ban plastic bags, increase hotel taxes, increase staff at the city, etc., etc., etc.  Now it turns out she has approved very questionable contracts over at the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency where she is the current chair of the board.  Apparently the agency in 2008 passed a resolution to allow the chair of the board to approve contracts over $25,000 without the rest of the board’s approval and not in a meeting open to the public if the contracts were for a “legislative purpose.”  According to an article over at the Voice of OC (Toll Road Agency Chair Stripped of Authority) this resolution was continuously carried forward as automatic language in the agency’s budget adoption process.

As the chair, Ms. Bartlett approved contracts with vendors, such as former Governor Gray Davis’ law firm Loeb & Loeb, that were not for a “legislative purpose.”  Setting aside that the Board should not have given the chair that authority in the first place, it is alleged that Ms. Bartlett abused this clause repeatedly.  I will not go through all of the examples or Ms. Bartlett’s excuses for her conduct as the Voice of OC article does a good job of laying that out.  I recommend that the reader follow the link above to the article to obtain the facts about this disappointing situation.

Kudos to Supervisors Todd Spitzer and Shawn Nelson (who sit on this TCA board too) for calling out Ms. Bartlett on this abuse and stripping her of this authority.  These types of contracts should always be presented to the entire board in open session for questions, debate and approval and for the public to have a chance to comment on them.  Kudos to the rest of the board for voting to end this foolishness and bring the contracting process of this agency back into the light of public scrutiny where it always should have been.

Years ago I was a supporter of Ms. Bartlett.  Others warned me of her real leanings.  I regret not listening to those warnings.

She should not be promoted to Orange County Supervisor!

3 Responses to “Lisa Bartlett Stripped of Authority to Approve Contracts at TCA”

  1. As I often share with voters, and candidates for elected office, one of the disadvantages of any incumbent is his or her voting record. Backlash could occur on a city council vote to higher office, or simply sitting on a Board where you cast votes that impact taxpayers. You will be exposed and should be held accountable for any skeletons in your closet. In time they will be uncovered even up to the highest office in the land as we have read about including the White House.

  2. Todd Spitzer said

    I am not calling out Lisa. I sat on both TCA boards for six years before as a County Supervisor and served as the SJ Board Chair as well. TCA is a great success story. But it has operated, at times, as a shadow agency. It has not operated as a government agency where transparency is expected and demanded. The ends do not justify the means.

  3. Penny Maynard said

    Lisa Bartlett did not vote to increase hotel taxes in Dana Point. The fees were added to overnights “by the hotels” themselves in order to utilize this revenue for marketing Dana Point as a destination. This helps residents thru TOT, in DP long before Lisa came on the scene, by increasing property values as the city provides additional improvements.

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