OC Political

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Posts Tagged ‘George Beck’

Jan Grimes Appointed OC Auditor-Controller: We Have Vote Totals

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 16, 2013

My iPad died earlier, right after the final update and I did not get the chance to do an official post announcing that Jan Grimes was appointed Auditor-Controller. It was fairly easy to track the vote totals since only four candidates even made it to the interview process. Following up from earlier I am posting a list of votes that each Supervisor cast yesterday for Auditor-Controller. Later tonight stay tuned for an interview with Supervisor Shawn Nelson that we will be posting in its entirety. Now onto the vote recap:

Round 1

In this opening round, each Supervisor could vote for up to two applicants to advance to the second round with an applicant needing to finish in the top two in order to advance. Here’s the breakdown:

Janet Nguyen

Eric Woolery

John Moorlach

Jan Grimes

Todd Spitzer

Jan Grimes

Shawn Nelson

George Beck
Jan Grimes

Pat Bates

Eric Woolery
Jan Grimes

Here are the results from this round:

Making The Cut

Jan Grimes (4 votes)
Eric Woolery (2 votes)

Missing The Cut

George Beck (1 vote)
James Benuzzi (0 Votes)

Round 2

In this second round, each Supervisor could vote for up to one applicant in order to give an idea of who would be the top choice. Here’s the breakdown:

Janet Nguyen

Eric Woolery

John Moorlach

Jan Grimes

Todd Spitzer

Jan Grimes

Shawn Nelson

Jan Grimes

Pat Bates

Eric Woolery

Here are the results from this round:

Jan Grimes (3 votes)
Eric Woolery (2 votes)

Final Motion

With the top vote getter being Jan Grimes, John Moorlach made a motion to appoint Jan Grimes. Todd Spitzer seconded the motion and the vote which was more of a formality at this point was as follows

Janet Nguyen- Aye
John Moorlach- Aye
Todd Spitzer- Aye
Shawn Nelson- Aye
Pat Bates- Aye

This made it a 5-0 vote on the actual appointment.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Auditor-Controller Interviews: Time To Vote

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 16, 2013

4:55 PM- We are now voting on the top two choices for the office among the four applicants.

4:57 PM- Jan Grimes and Eric Woolery appear to have advanced to the final round but it is not looking good for Eric Woolery.

4:58 PM- We are now voting for the top candidate with the previous total being Beck with 1 vote, Woolery with 2 votes, and Grimes with 4 votes.

5:00 PM- Janet Nguyen is advocating for Woolery but states that she will work with Jan Grimes if necessary.

5:02 PM- Spitzer is talking about his vote as one that is to create an open seat since he is certain that Grimes will not run for re-election.

5:05 PM- Pat Bates feels that Woolery is the best choice for the job based on his experience and wants to back somebody that will run for it.

5:07 PM- Jan Grimes is appointed by a vote of 3-2.

5:10 PM- Check that. The paper ballots were 3-2. The appointment of Jan Grimes was a 5-0 vote.

5:24 PM- We are now adjourned and I am calling it a day. Now interview will be available because all of the applicants are gone and are not accessible for any interviews.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Auditor-Controller Interviews: George Beck

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 16, 2013

4:06- We are taking a sixty second break but George Beck is in the room. Stay tuned, we’ll be right back after these messages from our sponsors.

4:09 PM- In his opening statement he talked about his undergraduate work at UCLA and has done graduate work at Cal State Fullerton. He currently works for the Los Angeles Unified School District and works directly with the food services department. He was the city auditor for Houston, Texas and has an extensive background in the business world.

4:14 PM- He talked about this being a calling for him and not just a job.

4:15 PM- Supervisor Spitzer asked why LAUSD has not broken up into smaller districts. Beck answered that LAUSD has had major problems in the past and breaking it into smaller districts requires certain stakeholders such as unions and other influence groups to get behind it.

4:18 PM- On a follow up question Beck stated that he ran for office in high school (jokingly), but in all seriousness stated that he would run for reelection. Though he does not know if he would run of not given the appointment.

4:20 PM- Supervisor Nguyen asked what operational areas need improvement, if any. Beck answered that he would first have to learn about what the office is like. How automation is going, would be a question he would ask immediately and focus in on this.

4:23 PM- Supervisor Bates asked about his experience with a property tax management system. He answered that his only experience is through paying his own property taxes. On a follow up question he answered that an internal audit function would be appropriate to have under the right circumstances.

4:27 PM- Supervisor Nelson asked about a time when his personal integrity was tested. beck answered that he has not been put in the position to have to make a stand on integrity. In Houston he did have on instance when he was doing an audit and felt that issues existed. Instead of keeping quiet he did bring issues forward to his supervisor in Houston.

4:31 PM- Supervisor Moorlach asked his questions. Beck is not receiving any public pension, has not been sued or involved in any investigation, has never run for public office, and has a Bachelors degree. His CPA license is from Virginia and he talked about his inability to qualify for the license in California or Texas because he did not have the experience requirement met.

4:34 PM- In closing he talked about his appreciation for the opportunity to interview and admitted that his chances to get the job may be slim but he will make the commitment to be a great Auditor-Controller.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

OC Auditor-Controller Resumes, Schedules, and Details

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 11, 2013

We are now moving on to the last few days prior to the appointment of a new Orange County Auditor-Controller. Ironically I learned an interesting tidbit of information while I was sitting at the Orange County Registrar of Voters this week about a candidate who was not initially  planning on running for this position. First off, we learned that two applicants Alexander Yu and Nick Pham have withdrawn their applications and thus will not be taking place in an interview. The one thing that strikes me on this office is that we have no political insiders that currently are involved in this process which is a great thing in my opinion.

330px-Seal_of_Orange_County,_California_svg
I have had plenty of time this morning to learn more than I ever wanted to know about the office of the Orange County Auditor-Controller thanks to jury duty. I actually reviewed financials for the office in order to get a picture of what the new person in charge will face upon taking office.

We list the candidates in alphabetical order since I did not see a schedule of interviews posted up on the Orange County Board of Supervisors website. All we know for certain is that interviews will start at :30 and unless I am sitting in a jury box I will be live blogging it.

Here we go:

George Beck- George Beck seems like a nice enough guy who has experience working for the Los Angeles Unified School District. His resume was a bit odd because I did not understand the timing of his jobs held within LAUSD. It might be because he put the years wrong on his resume but it appears he has taken a demotion in 2012 from LAUSD Deputy Branch Director (Finance) to the new designation of Team Member. This is LAUSD we are talking about, so it is possible that they did some kind of organizational realignment that changed the job titles of everybody.

Beck Resume

James Benuzzi- He has his MBA from Chapman University, the next best thing to Cal State Fullerton. I like the fact that he is a City of Orange guy and has years of experience working in the financial industry. He seems to meet the requirements necessary for the position and I have nothing to really fault or praise the guy for in his resume compared to the others.

Benuzzi Resume

Jan Grimes- She is the current acting head of the department and ironically I called her out in an earlier post for simply running as a caretaker, but it appears that she might be getting some pressure to run. While I was at the OC Registrar of Voters this week an individual came in asking questions about how to open up a committee in support of a candidate. This lady mentioned that she wanted to support Jan Grimes for OC Auditor-Controller. I don’t know what will come of this but paperwork was given to this person yesterday and I do not know what will come of this but I am less concerned about Grimes simply running and then leaving an open seat although she is still not my top choice.

Grimes Resume

Gustavo Rodriguez- I do not think he is a registered voter which surprises me that he has made it this far in the process. I also found the degree verification that he submitted with his application a bit puzzling. In terms of the resume itself he has got a pretty solid background in finance and obviously meets the qualifications (other than being a registered voter) necessary to hold this position.

Rodriguez Resume

Eric Woolery- Much like I picked my 2 favorites for Orange County Clerk-Recorder, I am going to do the same here. Eric Woolery is my personal favorite for this seat and he seems to have support from a lot of people on both sides of the aisle and of all different political factions. I do recall that he used to be a member of the Orange County Board of Education but this predates my time in OC politics. His resume appears to be very strong on the finance side and would be a solid choice for the Supervisors to make for this seat.

Woolery Resume

I don’t know what most of our readers spent this morning doing, but I had the fun task of reading the  Orange County Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Second Quarter Budget Report. Interestingly it appears that the new Auditor-controller will have some issues upon taking office. The following were two issues that stood out to me about the current status of the office.

1) Based on what I read it appears that the office of OC Auditor-Controller currently faces a $535,074 deficit for the previous fiscal year based on what I read. Remember, I m not an accountant but this is a bit bothersome for an agency that should be in the black. I will post the scanned image of this when I am done with jury duty later today.

2)This deficit comes despite being understaffed by 2.54% based on a later page in the document which I will also scan later. This was the best explanation that I originally had for the deficit, being that salaries/benefits often cause the most problems when it comes to budgeting. I hope the Supervisors ask about this in the interviews on Tuesday.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Party Affiliation of Orange County Auditor-Controller Applicants

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on April 4, 2013

Now that we are done with the whirlwind that was the Orange County Clerk-Recorder procedure, it is time to move on to Orange County Auditor-Controller.

330px-Seal_of_Orange_County,_California_svg

We have already provided some coverage of the Auditor-Controller process and who was selected for an interview in a previous post. Here is the important part of the post which was initially released by the office of Supervisor Todd Spitzer in his weekly newsletter:

Here’s the list with background information on each of the interviewees:

  • George Beck, CIA, Mission Viejo
    • legacy replacement program team member, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • former director of accounting, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    • former city auditor of the City of Houston, Texas
  • James Benuzzi, CIA, Orange
    • private sector internal auditor
    • former member of the Audit Oversight Committee, City of Placentia
    • first internal audit manager of the City of Orange
  • Jan Grimes, CPA, Dana Point
    • chief deputy auditor-controller of Orange County
    • former director of central accounting operations
    • former accounting manager of environmental management agency (now OC Public Works)
  • Nick Pham, CPA, Aliso Viejo
    • private sector regional controller
    • former private sector accounting manager
  • Gustavo Rodriguez, CPA, Fullerton
    • private sector financial management consultant
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities
  • Eric Woolery, CPA, Orange
    • Riverside County district attorney’s deputy director of administration
    • former private sector CFO
    • former member of the Orange County Board of Education
  • Alexander Yu, CPA, Ladera Ranch
    • CFO of Tri-City Healthcare District
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities

(CFO is Chief Financial Officer, CIA is Certified Internal Auditor, and CPA is Certified Public Accountant.)

Now we move on to the party affiliation of each of these applicants in order to provide a bit more information on each person applying for the position:

George Beck- Republican
James Benuzzi- Democrat
Jan Grimes- Democrat
Nick Pham- Democrat
Gustavo Rodriguez- Not Registered
Eric Woolery- Republican
Alexander Yu- Republican

This shows quite a bit of balance with 3 Republicans, 3 Democrats, and 1 candidate not registered all advancing to the final interview with the Board of Supervisors. As soon as we get any more information on this process or any of the applicants we will post it here for our loyal readers.

Posted in Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Supervisors | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

More Info: Background Info On Auditor-Controller Candidates

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 22, 2013

The office of Supervisor Todd Spitzer released a list of all seven candidates who will be interviewed for Auditor-Controller in their newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.

We’ll have continuing coverage on Auditor-Controller here on OC Political in the coming days and weeks.

Here’s the list with background information on each of the interviewees:

  • George Beck, CIA, Mission Viejo
    • legacy replacement program team member, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • former director of accounting, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    • former city auditor of the City of Houston, Texas
  • James Benuzzi, CIA, Orange
    • private sector internal auditor
    • former member of the Audit Oversight Committee, City of Placentia
    • first internal audit manager of the City of Orange
  • Jan Grimes, CPA, Dana Point
    • chief deputy auditor-controller of Orange County
    • former director of central accounting operations
    • former accounting manager of environmental management agency (now OC Public Works)
  • Nick Pham, CPA, Aliso Viejo
    • private sector regional controller
    • former private sector accounting manager
  • Gustavo Rodriguez, CPA, Fullerton
    • private sector financial management consultant
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities
  • Eric Woolery, CPA, Orange
    • Riverside County district attorney’s deputy director of administration
    • former private sector CFO
    • former member of the Orange County Board of Education
  • Alexander Yu, CPA, Ladera Ranch
    • CFO of Tri-City Healthcare District
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities

(CFO is Chief Financial Officer, CIA is Certified Internal Auditor, and CPA is Certified Public Accountant.)

Posted in 3rd Supervisorial District, Orange, Orange County Auditor-Controller, Orange County Board of Education, Placentia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

List of 7 Auditor-Controller Finalists: Why Is Jan Grimes On The List?

Posted by Former Blogger Chris Emami on March 20, 2013

Let me first start by saying yesterdays meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors was quite interesting as I did not expect the list of candidates for OC Auditor Controller to be whittled down. Call me pleasantly surprised as we now have our list of 7 finalists for the position which we are posting here for our loyal readers.

George Beck
James Benuzzi
Jan Grimes
Nick Pham
Gustavo Rodriguez
Eric Woolery
Alexander Yu

I have only heard of two individuals on this list and one of them was an absolute shock to me. Jan Grimes was one of the last people who I thought would apply based on statements that I had seen from her in the OC Register. At first I thought perhaps my memory was off, but then I heard this exchange take place:

11:10 AM- John Moorlach recommended that only Jan Grimes be interviewed for the position. I am surprised since she claimed she had no interest in the position based on my recollection.

11:11 AM- Supervisor Spitzer read my mind and also brings up the concern he has with somebody choosing to not finish their term if they get appointed. He is concerned about a candidate being really interested in the position instead of a caretaker.

11:13 AM- Janet Nguyen brings up the fact that Jan Grimes made the statement that she does not want to be elected in 2014 which is why she was not originally appointed.

11:14 AM- We might hear from Jan Grimes as she is in the room. It is up to her according to Supervisor Nelson.

11:15 AM- Supervisor Bates agrees to the idea of interviewing multiple candidates for the position.

11:16 AM- John Moorlach is really pushing Jan Grimes for whatever reason??? He admits that she is only interested in the term ending in 2014.

11:18 AM- Moorlach is concerned that the person appointed will have an advantage in the election and supports a caretaker in order to create an open election for the seat in 2014. I am very confused by this logic???

11:20 AM- Supervisor Nelson agrees with the 3 other Supes that  the remaining 7 candidates should be interviewed.

11:21 AM- If I recall correctly John Moorlach is being a hypocrite. He was appointed to the Treasurer Tax-Collector to fill an unexpired term and then ran for it with the incumbent title.

11:22 AM- FYI I just realized I did not type the 7 names earlier but here they are: George Beck, Jim Benoozi, Jan Grimes, Nick Pham, Gustavo Rodriguez, Eric Woolery, and Alexander Yoo.

11:25 AM- Supervisors Spitzer and Nguyen bring up examples of candidates claiming that they will or will not run and then changing their mind when the time comes to file for office. It is clear that they are both opposed to having a caretaker in the office.

11:26 AM- The item passes 4-1 with Moorlach dissenting to interview the 7 candidates mentioned above.

I decided to spend my late evening researching Jan Grimes after I recalled reading about her having no interest in the position and Supervisor Nguyen & Spitzer confirming my recollection. Here are a few articles that relate to the Auditor-Controller position:

1) The first article that I ran across was from the Voice of OC which discusses the possibility of making the position an appointed one. In order to give background on the article it was written after Deputy Auditor-Controller Shaun Skelly retired. The telling sentence from the article is as follows,

“Now Jan Grimes, whom Skelly appointed as interim auditor-controller, has told supervisors she doesn’t want the job either”

2) Another article that I ran across was a Total Buzz article written by OC Register reporter Andrew Galvin. This article talked about all three positions that the County was taking applications for at the time. He also makes mention of Jan Grimes no longer being in the OC Auditor-Controller hunt.

“Moorlach had planned to propose confirming Jan Grimes, a long-time county employee who has been serving as interim auditor-controller, in that role at next week’s board meeting. Now, that won’t happen.

Grimes has told the board she doesn’t want to take on the role of an elected official, preferring to remain a county employee.

Moorlach said he’s encouraged Grimes to apply for the post and thinks she’ll be the top candidate. Whether she can continue to run the department without becoming the incumbent is being researched by County Counsel Nick Chrisos. Taking over the elected post would mean she’d stop accruing annual leave and sick time and have to cash out what time she has, said Steve Danley, the county’s human resources director.”

I am going to dig a lot deeper on this one but something is really odd about this situation. The argument of having somebody try to gain the appointment as a caretaker for a year and then allow a bloody election for an open seat makes no sense whatsoever. This for whatever reason really bothers me that she didn’t want the position and now is very interested in the appointment (although I have yet to actually hear from her). The one thing that she has got going for her is that she is not a career politician which would bother me far more. We will have to wait and see what happens but I would like to learn a whole lot more about the other applicants left standing and would be far more encouraged by one of them being selected.

As soon as more information becomes available (I am constantly checking for a press release on this) on the final 7 applicants I will be reporting on it for our readers.

Posted in Orange County, Orange County Auditor-Controller | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »