Have you ever had a look at who is serving on our Orange County Commissions? I would imagine not, but my curiosity was piqued when I worked on a post about the corrupt and powerful people that actually run our County – not the politicians but the special interests, developers and lobbyists who work the back rooms and fund the PACs in order to get people elected who will do their bidding.
What I found as I looked at our County Commissioners blew me away. Folks this is not good news. Take a look at, for example, the Orange County Planning Commission. These are the people who approve new developments in our County. So who is on the Planning Commission? Check this out:
- District 1 (Supervisor Janet Nguyen) – Anthony Thuc Nguyen – his online bio admits the guy has worked as a real estate agent.
- District 2 (John Moorlach) – Michael C. Adams – the president of Michael C. Adams Associates, a planning consulting firm specializing in municipal planning, development entitlement processing and urban design. What? This guy makes a living as a planning consultant and he is on our County Planning Commission? Wow. How is that not a conflict of interest?
- District 3 (Todd Spitzer) – vacant
- District 4 (Shawn Nelson) – Cameron Irons – president of Vanguard Commercial. The guy sells commercial real estate!
- District 5 (Pat Bates) – Elizabeth Hall, the Chair of the Planning Commission. She has a law practice.
You know what we don’t see on the Orange County Planning Commission? No community activists. No environmental experts. No one who might actually question proposed devlopments. The Commission, with the exception of their Chair, is full of folks who, in one way or another, make a living off real estate and planning.Just
And why would lobbyist/consultant/PR hack Matt Cunningham get appointed to the City of Orange Planning Commission (he finally got off that Commission two years ago) and the Orange County Parks Commission? There are two other lobbyist/consultants/public affair guys on that Commission – Bert Ashland and Faubel’s pal Justin McCusker, who is apparently going after Faubel’s former post on the Santa Margarita Water District’s Board. And there is a realtor on that commission too, Paul Kott. Why would these people be on a Parks Commission? Duh! So developers can get their way of course…
Look at these guys. Not one of them is a community activist. None of them give a damn about open space, the environment, or O.C. families. It is just pathetic.
The Orange County Historical Commission seems to be the exception to the rule. Their commissioners actually seem to have backgrounds in that subject, without conflicts of interest. Their commission must not have much pull. I will have to more carefully scrutinize their board members next time around.
The OC Public Libraries Advisory Board also has some decent names on it. The worst name I saw on that list was that of Phil Tsunoda, the career politician who we’ve written enough about already.
There are by the way literally dozens of Orange County Boards and Commissions. Click here to see a list of all of them. We will tackle a few more of them in our next post.
And yes, the Commissioners do have to disclose their sources of income, but while the County has a web page about that you have to go to the O.C. Hall of Adminstration to actually see that information. Lame!