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Archive for the ‘Orange County Transportation Authority’ Category

TCA CEO Resigning

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 7, 2014

The Transportation Corridor Agencies’ CEO Neil Peterson will be resigning this week, according to the agenda posted Friday on the agency’s website.

Both TCA Boards will be voting on a “settlement agreement and mutual general release” with Peterson. Michael Kraman will be appointed as acting CEO. Kraman currently serves as the Chief Engineer for the TCA, and was appointed interim CEO after Peterson went on administrative leave.

Peterson had been under fire recently due to the lobbying contracts that were never voted on by the full Board of Directors. One contract was had inflated almost $500,000 without a full Board vote. While not fully Peterson’s fault, these contracts were hidden due to CEO signing authority ($25,000 or less) and a special provision that allowed the Chair of the Foothill/Eastern Board to approve contracts over $25,000 if they were for an emergency legislative purpose.

The special Chair provision has since been repealed by the full Board, and Peterson has the subject of several lengthy closed sessions regarding his performance as CEO. This led to the eventual administrative leave and now, apparently, resignation.

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OCTA Board Members Discuss State Lobbyist Contract

Posted by OC Insider on March 4, 2014

Yesterday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Executive Committee discussed the state lobbying contract that the agency has with Sloat, Higgins Jensen and Associates (SHJA) because of recent FPPC violations by the firm.

If you are unfamiliar with the FPPC violations against Kevin Sloat, who is the principal at SHJA, this article will help fill you in. Sloat was fined a record $133,500 by the FPPC for hosting numerous political fundraisers that counted as “prohibited campaign contributions, and arranging and giving gifts to California lawmakers.” Some of the lawmakers warned by the FPPC for holding events at Sloat’s house include Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Lou Correa (SD-34), Senator Bob Huff (SD-29), and former Assemblyman and current SD-34 candidate Jose Solorio.

OCTA has contracted with SHJA since 2002 for state lobbying and consulting services. Unlike the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ lobbying contracts, this particular contract was approved by the full OCTA board and extended on multiple occasions by the full Board. According to the staff report, SHJA’s services to OCTA include “representation with the Legislature, Governor’s Office, various state departments, agencies, boards, committees, commissions, and staff; advising on state legislation, proposed regulations, and state budget proposals which could have an impact on OCTA; assisting with the preparation of and advocating for OCTA’s legislative program; reporting on state transportation and related developments of importance to OCTA; and updating the Board as specified. SHJA also provides a monthly verbal update on its Sacramento advocacy to the Legislative and Communications Committee.” OCTA’s contract with SHJA lists Kevin Sloat as the contract manager, with several lobbyists that work for SHJA as the legislative advocates.

During their presentation, OCTA staff made it clear that there were many initiatives OCTA was trying to accomplish, and that an interruption in service, i.e. a new lobbyist, may disrupt those initiatives. The staff recommendation was to issue an RFP for the state lobbying services, with a new condition that any FPPC issues be disclosed in the proposals.

Supervisor Todd Spitzer, referencing his time in the state legislature, stated that Sloat is well-respected in the capitol but that this was not a one-time violation.  Spitzer noted that it was likely that SHJA would lose credibility as a result of this finding, and that it could have a negative impact on OCTA.

Irvine Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway, who is also the OCTA Vice-Chairman, noted that the situation is similar to the recent one involving Matt Cunningham. Cunningham held two contracts with OCTA, which were suspended after some poorly thought out photos of a teddy bear were published on the Anaheim Blog page that received national coverage. Lalloway attempted to connect the Sloat and Cunningham incident, and thought if one deserved to be suspended (Cunningham), that the other (Sloat) should be suspended as well to preserve the integrity of the agency.

Michael Hennessey, who serves as a public member on the Board, stated that the comparing the Cunningham and Sloat situations was “weighing morality against need.” He stated that “if Cunningham is bigoted toward Latinos, he’s the strangest bigot I’ve met since he is married to a Latina, his children are half Latina, and if you go to a Christmas party at his house, it is largely Latinos.” He went on to note that if Cunningham’s services were absolutely critical (like OCTA staff was attempting to convey with Sloat), his contracts would have not have been suspended as quickly, and the matter would have been brought to the Board, similar to the current situation with Sloat.

After some other comments by the committee members, Supervisor Spitzer motioned to remove Kevin Sloat’s name from the contract entirely, and replace it with OCTA’s primary legislative advocate Moira Topp as the contract manager. Topp is still an employee of SHJA, but the committee felt that the perception of corruption lays with Sloat as opposed to the rest of the firm. Additionally, the motion included a provision that Sloat could not do any kind of advocacy on behalf of OCTA at any level. Finally, the motion called for an expedited RFP for the lobbying services, to be brought to the Board in April. The motion eventually passed with Lalloway voting no. The full OCTA Board will vote on this issue next Monday, March 10th.

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Tait Unseats Eastman from OCTA, Brothers Edges Beall for LAFCO After Los Alamitos Flips, and Other Fun City Selection Committee Vote Break-Downs

Posted by Chris Nguyen on November 14, 2013

As those of you who read the blog today know, the City Selection Committee (who are the mayors of each Orange County city) met tonight to fill various seats on regional boards and commissions.  For details on each seat, read my post from this morning.

For those of you reading my live blog of the City Selection Committee, you may have noted the relative lack of vote recording (and indeed several of you emailed or texted me asking for to break the votes down more specifically). That was due to the auctioneer-like speed with which David Vazquez of ACC-OC read off the votes.  Thanks to David and to SCAG’s Kevin Gilhooley for helping me fill in the gaps during and after the meeting, so I can prepare this post below that shows how every single city voted for every single seat (except for a possible mishap in my notes regarding the OC Senior Citizens Advisory Council).

Only OCTA has population-weighted seats; three population-weighted seats and two one-vote-per-city seats are up this year while the other two population-weighted seats and three one-vote-per-city seats are up next year.  All other boards and commissions are appointed on a one-vote-per-city basis.

OCTA 4th District (Population-Weighted Seat)

The big headline of the night from the City Selection Committee is the decision of the 4th District mayors to unseat Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman (R) from OCTA by replacing her with Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait (R).  Buena Park and Placentia voted for Eastman while Anaheim, Brea, Fullerton, and La Habra voted for Tait.

 City Population Percentage Tait Eastman
Anaheim 346,161 48.03% X
Brea 41,394 5.74% X
Buena Park 81,953 11.37% X
Fullerton 138,251 19.18% X
La Habra 61,202 8.49% X
Placentia 51,776 7.18% X
TOTAL 720,737 100.00%

While Tait won the vote 4-2, this was a population-weighted seat, so Tait won 81.44% to Eastman’s 18.55%.

OC LAFCO

LAFCO was the only seat that went to multiple rounds of voting.  This seat expires in June 2014 and fills the vacancy resulting from the resignation of Peter Herzog (R-Lake Forest).  Sam Allevato (R-San Juan Capistrano), Tony Beall (R-Rancho Santa Margarita), Cheryl Brothers (R-Fountain Valley), Dean Grose (R-Los Alamitos), Barbara Kogerman (R-Laguna Hills), and Steve Mensinger (R-Costa Mesa) sought the seat.  Brothers with 13 votes and Beall with 7 votes advanced to the run-off.  Grose had 4 votes while Allevato, Kogerman, and Mensinger each had 3 votes.

Awkwardly, Allevato and Brothers failed to win the votes of their own cities while Mensinger’s city was the sole city that failed to show up for the City Selection Committee meeting.

Allevato Beall Brothers Grose Kogerman Mensinger
Aliso Viejo X
Anaheim X
Brea X
Buena Park X
Costa Mesa
Cypress X
Dana Point X
Fountain Valley X
Fullerton X
Garden Grove X
Huntington Beach X
Irvine X
La Habra X
La Palma X
Laguna Beach X
Laguna Hills X
Laguna Niguel X
Laguna Woods X
Lake Forest X
Los Alamitos X
Mission Viejo X
Newport Beach X
Orange X
Placentia X
Rancho Santa Margarita X
San Clemente X
San Juan Capistrano X
Santa Ana X
Seal Beach X
Stanton X
Tustin X
Villa Park X
Westminster X
Yorba Linda X
TOTAL 3 7 13 4 3 3

 

The second round delivered more intrigue.  In the Beall-Brothers run-off, each achieved 16 votes until it was discovered Placentia had not cast their ballot.  Placentia then voted for Brothers giving her a 17-16 lead over Beall (remember that Costa Mesa was not present to vote).  However, an appointment requires an absolute majority of the 34 cities, so 18 votes were required.

In the second round, all three of Allevato’s votes (Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Yorba Linda) went to Beall.  Of Grose’s four votes, three went to Brothers (La Palma, Seal Beach, and Villa Park) while one went to Beall (Los Alamitos).  Of Kogerman’s three votes, two went to Beall (Laguna Beach and Laguna Hills) while one went to Brothers (Anaheim).  Of Mensinger’s three votes, two went to Beall (Fountain Valley and Fullerton) while one went to Brothers (Irvine).  Brothers lost Dana Point to Beall.  Beall held on to all of his own first-round votes.

Beall Brothers
Aliso Viejo X
Anaheim X
Brea X
Buena Park X
Costa Mesa
Cypress X
Dana Point X
Fountain Valley X
Fullerton X
Garden Grove X
Huntington Beach X
Irvine X
La Habra X
La Palma X
Laguna Beach X
Laguna Hills X
Laguna Niguel X
Laguna Woods X
Lake Forest X
Los Alamitos X
Mission Viejo X
Newport Beach X
Orange X
Placentia X
Rancho Santa Margarita X
San Clemente X
San Juan Capistrano X
Santa Ana X
Seal Beach X
Stanton X
Tustin X
Villa Park X
Westminster X
Yorba Linda X
TOTAL 16 17

 

Since it requires an absolute majority of 18 votes to appoint, a third round of voting was held, again with Beall and Brothers.  Los Alamitos made the critical flip to give Brothers the critical 18th vote in the third round, allowing her to defeat Beall 18-15.

Beall Brothers
Aliso Viejo X
Anaheim X
Brea X
Buena Park X
Costa Mesa
Cypress X
Dana Point X
Fountain Valley X
Fullerton X
Garden Grove X
Huntington Beach X
Irvine X
La Habra X
La Palma X
Laguna Beach X
Laguna Hills X
Laguna Niguel X
Laguna Woods X
Lake Forest X
Los Alamitos X
Mission Viejo X
Newport Beach X
Orange X
Placentia X
Rancho Santa Margarita X
San Clemente X
San Juan Capistrano X
Santa Ana X
Seal Beach X
Stanton X
Tustin X
Villa Park X
Westminster X
Yorba Linda X
TOTAL 15 18

 

OCTA Districts 2 and 5 (Population-Weighted Seats)

In votes with less intrigue, the OCTA 2nd District seat was easily retained by Matt Harper (R-Huntington Beach).  Harper’s Council colleague, Joe Shaw (D-Huntington Beach), nominated himself and voted for himself, but Harper won all of the other cities’ votes.

City Population Percentage Harper Shaw
Costa Mesa 111,358 18.98%
Cypress 48,547 8.27% X
Fountain Valley 56,180 9.57% X
Huntington Beach 193,616 32.99% X
La Palma 15,818 2.70% X
Los Alamitos 11,626 1.98% X
Newport Beach 86,436 14.73% X
Seal Beach 24,487 4.17% X
Stanton 38,764 6.61% X
TOTAL 586,832 100.00% 48.03% 32.99%

 

The OCTA 5th District seat’s intrigue was second only to that of the 4th District seat.  Incumbent Frank Ury (R-Mission Viejo) survived a challenge by Robert Ming (R-Laguna Niguel).  Ury won the two largest cities (Lake Forest and his own Mission Viejo) Ming won three of the four medium-sized cities, but Ury held on to all the small cities.  For purposes of this, the large cities are populations over 75,000, the medium-sized cities are populations between 35,000-75,000, and the small cities are populations under 35,000.

City Population Percentage Ming Ury
Aliso Viejo 49,477 9.17% X
Dana Point 33,863 6.28% X
Laguna Beach 23,105 4.28% X
Laguna Hills 30,703 5.69% X
Laguna Niguel 64,065 11.88% X
Laguna Woods 16,500 3.06% X
Lake Forest 78,501 14.55% X
Mission Viejo 94,824 17.58% X
Rancho Santa Margarita 48,550 9.00% X
San Clemente 64,542 11.96% X
San Juan Capistrano 35,321 6.55% X
TOTAL 539,451 100.00% 32.84% 67.16%

 

OCTA Districts 1 and 3 (One City, One Vote)

The one-city-one-vote seats in the 1st and 3rd Districts were far less interesting than the population-weighted seats.

The OCTA 3rd District seat had zero intrigue, as Al Murray (R-Tustin) retained the seat in a vote by acclamation.

The OCTA 1st District seat was fairly simple since there’s only three cities that can vote.  Steve Jones (R-Garden Grove) retained his seat by winning the votes of his own city and of Santa Ana while Diana Carey (D-Westminster) won the vote of her own city.

Carey Jones
Garden Grove X
Santa Ana X
Westminster X
TOTAL 1 2

 

OC Housing and Community Development Commission

This one was straight-forward.  Irvine Mayor Steven Choi (R) won the seat by unanimous acclamation of all 33 cities present.

OC Waste Management Commission Districts 1 and 3

In the 1st District Waste Management Commission seat, Michele Martinez (D-Santa Ana) won the seat with the votes of her own city and of Garden Grove while Margie Rice (R-Westminster) won the vote of her own city.  Rice had previously occupied the seat, but Martinez defeated Rice’s bid to return to the commission.

Martinez Rice
Garden Grove X
Santa Ana X
Westminster X
TOTAL 2 1

 

In the 3rd District Waste Management Commission seat, Mike Alvarez (R-Orange) won the seat with the votes of his own city, Irvine, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda while Beckie Gomez (D-Tustin) won the vote of her own city.  Gomez had previously occupied the seat, but Alvarez defeated Gomez’s bid to return to the commission.

Alvarez Gomez
Irvine X
Orange X
Tustin X
Villa Park X
Yorba Linda X
TOTAL 4 1

 

San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy

For the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, Troy Edgar (R-Los Alamitos) retained his seat by the acclamation of all 33 cities present.

OC Senior Citizens Advisory Council

For the OC Senior Citizens Advisory Council, there were more seats than candidates, so every vote was by acclamation:

  • 1st District Seat #1 – OC Political apologizes for illegible notes making this result unclear, but either the seat was continued to the next meeting, or the seat was won by Barbara Barker of Garden Grove, who is not a city councilmember
  • 2nd District Seat #1 was won by Prakash Narain (R-Cypress)
  • 2nd District Seat #2 was won by incumbent Lillian Kammerer of Fountain Valley, who is not a city councilmember
  • 3rd District Seat #1 was won by Beckie Gomez (D-Tustin)
  • 3rd District Seat #2 was won by Gene Hernandez (R-Yorba Linda)
  • 5th District Seat #1 was won by incumbent Kathryn McCullough (D-Lake Forest)

1st District Seat #2, both 4th District seats, and 5th District Seat #2 were continued to the next meeting.

Orange County City Engineers Flood Control Advisory Committee

For the Orange County City Engineers Flood Control Advisory Committee, there was exactly one candidate per seat, so every vote was by acclamation:

  • 1st District: Incumbent Marwan Youssef of Westminster retained his seat
  • 3rd District: Mark Carroll of Irvine regained his former seat
  • 4th District: Jim Biery of Buena Park regained his former seat
  • 5th District: Steve May of Laguna Beach won this seat with no opposition

The City Selection Committee can fill seats on this committee only from the ranks of members of the Orange County City Engineers Association.

Orange County’s California Identification Remote Access Network Board (Cal-ID RAN)

This seat was continued to the next meeting.

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