Gail Eastman On OCTA: Two More Years!

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman

Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman

The City Selection Committee meets tomorrow evening to vote on appointments to a number of regional governmental bodies, including the Orange County Transportation Authority Board of Directors.

Quick tutorial: there are three OCTA directors from each supervisor district: the county supervisor; the one-city/one-vote seat; and the population-weighted seat. In the Fourth Supervisor District, the population-weighted seat is held by Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Gail Eastman, who was elected to the seat a year ago to fill the remaining year of the term when Lorri Galloway was termed off the council.

Here’s how the City Selection Committee voting for the city-representation OCTA Board seats in each supe district: for the one-city/one-vote seat, each city in the supervisorial district has a single vote, cast by mayor or the mayor’s designated proxy. In the population-weighted seat, each city has a weighted vote equivalent to its percentage of the supe district’s population. Anaheim has a little more than 48% of the Fourth District’s population, and has 48% of the vote for the population-weighted seat. In practical terms, it means that Anaheim’s mayor, in tandem with the mayor of one other Fourth District city, determines who has that seat ion the OCTA Board.

The OCTA Board is deliberately structured that way in order to ensure the large cities, which tend to be bigger users of both transit and transportation, have a strong voice in setting OCTA policy – while balanced by small city representation in the one-city/one-vote seat. It’s analogous to how the House of Representatives and the Senate were set up the balance the interests of small and large states.

Since the current OCTA Board structure was instituted, a member of the Anaheim City Council has had the population weighted seat. Gail Eastman has it now, and Lorri Galloway, Tom Tait and Curt Pringle preceded her.

Gail Eastman has served well and honorably for the last year, and ought to be re-appointed to a full two-year term. Being an OCTA Director isn’t like sitting on the Vector Control District board. It takes time for directors to get their feet wet and come fully up to speed with what OCTA does, in order to become fully-effective directors. Three different individuals have held this seat in three years (Tait, then Galloway, then Eastman), so stability and continuity is in order.

Of equal consideration is the importance of preserving Anaheim’s direct presence and voice on the OCTA. Anaheim is Orange County’s largest city, both size and population, and it more “multi-modal” in terms of transportation than any other city in OC. It would be self-destructive for Anaheim to surrender its seat on the OCTA Board.

Anaheim isn’t the first and will not be the last city council to be troubled by political and personal conflicts, and there is a time and place for those conflicts to play themselves out. No one can reasonably dispute it is in Anaheim’s interest for the population-weighted seat to be represented by an Anaheim councilmember – which the city has now in Gail Eastman – which makes this one of those matters which reasonably remains outside the gravitational pull of council politics.

That was the was reasonable, common sense mindset that prevailed last year, and will presumably do so again tomorrow night at City Selection Committee.

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  1. Excellent article, Matt. Well written and helps those of us who don’t understand the system gain greater insight into how these important seats are filled
    Let’s hope the mayor and the city selection committee do what is best for Anaheim and leave short sighted political grudges off the table tomorrow night

  2. The mayor needs to vote for someone in Anaheim to fill this seat. He is delusional if he thinks someone else out there will look out for Anaheim. Tait always preaches that he is protecting the residents of Anaheim. If he were to vote against Anaheim, this is a huge deviation from what he has been preaching all along. We are all watching, Tait. Please do the kind and right thing and protect our city.

  3. Many of us parents will remind Dr. Jose Moreno that we were not kidding when we said we would be against his re-election or any election he is involved with. When we, the parents of Juarez, asked for his support to keep our principal, Dr. Baeza, many people said it was a routine move. He crossed his arms and refused to help us. And yet he defended a volunteer whose credential had been suspended. How is that for looking out for our kids. Then we find out that the principals who were in their fifth year this year were going to stay because Moreno and his board voted to give all power over principal transfers to the Savvy Superintendent.

    Moreno is serving as the Clerk of the ACSD School Board. That means he could be up for board president. Well if he and his puppet superintendent have all the control imagine what they could do against good Latino principals. They have attacked Dr. Baeza and are continuing to do things that do not benefit the community that Moreno claims he is representing. Maybe we should sue him and this Board for not electing Latinos who really do look out for Latinos. Moreno, be warned, we will oppose you as Board president and we are going to oppose you in any election. YOU ARE PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER ONE!!!

    • Above comment posted in error, was meant to be posted in todays blog:
      AUHSD going to By-District Elections; Jose Moreno and ACSD stick with at large system.

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