By Supervisor Todd Spitzer
Last week, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors approved a new agreement with the Grand Jurors Association of Orange County for recruitment services for members of the Measure M2 Taxpayer Oversight Committee. The new agreement includes new provisions to reduce conflicts of interest on the committee.
“I raised concerns last year when a transportation consultant with several OCTA contracts was selected for OCTA’s Measure M2 Taxpayer Oversight Committee,” OCTA Director Todd Spitzer said. “Fortunately, that consultant declined the position, but this episode made it clear that reforms were needed in the selection process.”
Under previous procedures, the Grand Jurors Association selected who they deemed the best qualified applicants, who were then sent to OCTA. OCTA then held a lottery from the pool of applicants sent by the Grand Jurors Association to make the final selection. Neither entity reviewed potential conflicts of interest.
Under the newly-enacted agreement between OCTA and the Grand Jurors Association, two new provisions were added:
Any government official, other than the Orange County Auditor-Controller, must submit an “Intent to Resign” from office as part of the application for membership on the Taxpayer Oversight Committee, and if the form is not submitted, then the Grand Jurors Association will deem the official automatically ineligible for appointment to the Taxpayer Oversight Committee
The Grand Jurors Association will deem any person who has a financial conflict of interest to be automatically ineligible for appointment
These people who are automatically ineligible will not be sent to the OCTA lottery for final selection.