By: OC Supervisor Lisa Bartlett
On Tuesday, at our regularly scheduled meeting, the Board of Supervisors discussed taking a formal position on Assembly Bill (AB) 1217, authored by Orange County Assemblyman Tom Daly.
The current composition of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is determined by the Joint Powers Agreement that created the authority and under which it operates, as amended. The OCFA Board of Directors has 25 members. Of the members, 23 represent “partner cities.” The County is represented by two members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Members of the OCFA Board of Directors hold office until the selection of a successor by the appointing body. Each member also appoints an alternate to act in each director’s absence, who must be an elected representative of the governing board of the member. Each director and alternate serves at the pleasure of his or her governing body.
If passed into law, AB 1217 would change the composition, selection method and terms of the OCFA Board of Directors, increasing representation by County supervisors from two members to three while decreasing the representation of city board members from 23 to 10. The bill specifies that the Board of Supervisors will select its three members to serve terms of two years on the OCFA board. City membership would include one member from each of the five supervisorial districts, to be selected by an Orange County Fire Authority City Selection Committee on a population-weighted voting basis. A similar population weighted voting basis is used to determine certain seats on the Orange County Transportation Authority. Finally, one member from each supervisorial district also would be elected by the City Selection Committee based on a “one city, one vote” basis.
My colleagues and I voted to take a “watch,” position for the time being. I am highly concerned with regards to the impact AB 1217 will have on the Fifth District’s South County cities that are represented on the OCFA Board. I will continue to actively monitor AB 1217 and will be proactively engaging and meeting with South County City Councilmembers to address the potential negative impacts this bill has on the Fifth District, and collaboratively work towards a solution that ensures adequate representation of the Fifth District cities.
To view the AB 1217 analysis please click here.