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.
As we reported Friday last, Moorlach, Bates question appointment of new OCTA CEO, four of the five County Supervisors (in our opinion, the most powerful and enduring members of the 17-member OCTA Board) had issues with the nature and haste of Darrell Johnson’s appointment. Only lame duck termed-out Supervisor Bill Campbell, yet to be replaced by Supervisor-elect Todd Spitzer, supported Johnson for the position.
Just interpreting the news stories, with no inside information, it appears the opposition to Johnson is only based in the manner that he was selected. We’ve not heard any questions as to his experience (which seems primarily in trains and not buses, the Agency’s primary responsibility) or competence.
It is somewhat encouraging that the Agency looked internally for its next CEO, and did NOT do an expensive and lengthy external search — the results of which LAST TIME produced and hired a candidate that lasted only three years, supported an enormous bus fare increase, supped and drank with the Anaheim transportation cabal who talked him into supporting a $0.5 BILLION streetcar/train station with our Measure M tax money and got behind a ridiculous proposal to put toll lanes on the 405 freeway in a veiled attempt to funnel money to the long failing 73 toll road.
Johnson can certainly do no worse.
12/4 Update from the union-funded Voice of OC: Appointment of OCTA’s Chief Exec Violated State’s Open Meeting Law