FlashReport Editor Jon Fleischman dropped the above in Facebook this morning, questioning why no one on the Orange County Fire Authority Board seems willing to challenge the expected election this evening of current Vice Chair Steven Weinberg to Board Chairman.
Considering the flak the OCFA’s received recently from the Register, Fleischman’s right in questioning why the GOP isn’t stepping forward with a fiscally conservative candidate to run this overpaid, bloated, union-controlled firefighting and paramedic operation.
We’ll presume that Board member and Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway believes he’d have a conflict of interest in having himself nominated. Irvine’s beef with the OCFA started here two weeks ago: Irvine: Fix the OCFA fire-fee inequity. Two other Register stories also covered the controversy: Fire authority may offer discount to Irvine and Council to consider $123 million offer.
The Register’s Tony Saavedra has an excellent reputation as an experienced and savvy investigative reporter, and can be trusted to have his facts straight. That Irvine’s apparently been taken for over $18 million ought to be of interest to a conservative OCFA Board member — this looks like it’s just Weinberg’s “turn” as he’s risen to the top of the bowl. This collegially accepted, unspoken-of but understood pecking order for Board positions works the same way at the OC Transportation Authority, which is how the thoroughly disliked and incompetent Greg Winterbottom has been elected to chair the OCTA twice. Winterbottom keeps being reappointed by that Board as a Public Member, denying the post to non-electeds who could truly represent taxpayers against Winterbottom-supported mega-expensive and unjustified Measure M-depleting projects like ARTIC and Anaheim’s streetcar debacle.
We’d love to see Irvine take a very close look at how they’re being hosed by the OCFA and consider establishing their own NON-UNIONIZED Fire and Paramedic operation. To accomplish that, a good start would be for a fiscal conservative to step up, run and win this Chairmanship and get control of an out-of-control local government bureaucracy.