We had to hold our nose when reading this great piece from the union-funded Voice of OC yesterday: Supervisors Taking Issue With OCTA Board Majority. Adam Elmahrek did an excellent job with this, describing how noxious the Orange County Transportation Authority has become after only three years under the “leadership” of ex-Caltrans potentate Will Kempton. Continue reading
The OCTA board of directors has voted to postpone the replacement of retiring CEO Will Kempton. They had settled on his replacement, Darrell Johnson, but they violated the Brown Act in the process. Now they have opted to wait until the new OCTA board members are sworn in, next month.
“One of those who raised concerns was county Supervisor Pat Bates. She later concluded that the vote to appoint Johnson had illegally happened during a special meeting. California’s open-meeting law forbids local agency boards from calling special meetings to consider the compensation of executives,” according to the O.C. Register. Continue reading
For a public agency with a $1.1 Billion budget, you’d think they’d have a smarter lawyer. Per the Register’s OC Watchdog,
…Ken Smart, OCTA’s general counsel, acknowledged that last week’s vote was improper because it took place at a special meeting of the agency’s board. The Brown Act, California’s open meeting law, forbids local agency boards from calling special meetings to consider the compensation of agency executives. The board’s vote on the appointment included a contract with Johnson that was later signed, [OC Supervisor Pat] Bates said. Smart couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on Monday. Continue reading
We could not help but notice that the usual set of local hangers-on, wannabes and coat holders showed up at the OCTA’s Pre-Proposal Conference today for the $4.7 million “Public Outreach for Interstate 405 Improvement Project”. These vendor conferences are usually scheduled by the Authority when there’s a large bid is rendered as we covered last week: I-405 Needs a $4.7M Spokeshole. 17 potential vendor representatives attended, and we particularly recognized these four: Continue reading
The OCTA board of directors approved a proposed bus fare increase after two months of community outreach and discussion about the measure to help address rising operation costs. The board approved the proposal as a way to ensure the agency’s eligibility for the state funds that primarily support its bus system. Continue reading
Former State Senator John Lewis has such a hold on the Republican Party of Orange County that he was able to force the withdrawal of Robert Hammond, their candidate for the 69th Assembly District, so as to pave the way for his Democratic pal Tom Daly. And Lewis also ran the failed campaign of Chris Norby, for the 65th Assembly District. With the loss of Norby’s seat, and the 69th, the California Republican Party ceded a supermajority in the State Assembly to the California Democratic Party.
But Lewis is not the only one to blame. OC GOP Chairman Scott Baugh (a political consultant) and OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen were personally involved in pulling Hammond out of the race for the 69th. And neither of them helped Jose “Joe” Moreno, the Anaheim Republican who, at the last minute, filed for the 69th rather than concede the victory to Daly. Moreno was however undone by allegations that he violated an obscure Federal law – the Hatch Act. Moreno, an employee of the O.C. Health Agency, was accused of this by labor, even though he is a longtime union member. Continue reading