Ball Road Basin Power Plant Update: Will Edison Select CPV Project?

One of the milestones on Competitive Power Ventures’s proposal to build a 400 megawatt power plant in OCWD-owned land in Anaheim arrives next week.

On Thursday, January 30, Edison will notifies offerors who responded to its 2013 request-for-offers whether or not they’re projects have made the shortlist for consideration for contracts.

If CPV’s offer doesn’t make the shortlist, it’s my understanding their  proposal for a Ball Road Basin power plant is dead – as far as this RFO is concerned.

Readers will recall that the OC Water District Board of Directors voted on December 9 to approve leasing Ball Road Basin to CPV for the purpose of building a power plant (although some directors declaimed they were not actually voting for the construction of a power plant even as they voted to approve a land lease for that express purpose).

The vote was 6-4, the bare majority necessary to approve the lease, which would have failed on a 5 to 5 tie. One of those six was Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker, who was appointed in August of 2012. [Three of the 10 OCWD directors are appointed by the city councils of Fullerton, Anaheim and Santa Ana, respectively; the remaining seven are elected by single-member districts. OCWD directors are paid $221.13 per day of service, up to a maximum of 10 days per month. They’re also eligible for health insurance, life/accidental death and dismemberment insurance, retirement benefits and an electronic equipment allowance.]

On Tuesday evening, the Fullerton City Council took up appointments to regional bodies, and voted 3-2 to remove Whitaker from the OCWD Board and replace him with Councilwoman Jan Flory. Whitaker was also removed from the Santa Ana River Flood Protection Agency and the Water Advisory Committee of Orange County.

Flory attended the December 9 OCWD Board meeting and spoke during public comments, urging the district not to approve the power plant lease. A majority of the council expressed the opinion that Whitaker did not represent the consensus of the council; Councilwoman Fitzgerald said her concern wasn’t over the power plant vote in particular, but inconsistency in his approach to issues as an OCWD director.

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  1. It’ll be interesting to see how the OC GOP Central Committee reacts to a Republican actively voting out another Republican to install a Democrat on an influential governing board.

    That’s got to be fairly rare.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Just as it would be interesting to see how they would react to Tom Tait choosing as his two appointees to the Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections two liberal Democrats: Bill Dalati and Vivian Pham – the latter who had directed tens of thousands of dollars to left-wing OCCORD and had only moved to Anaheim a couple weeks before her appointment.

      That’s got to be fairly rare.

      • I believe they were silent on the issue. Do they only attack certain republicans that veer from their purported values?

      • No doubt, but you’ll have to concede it’s not exactly a fair comparison.

        We’re talking about a special district that spends tens of millions of taxpayer dollars.

        We’re also talking about conspiring with elected officials from the opposing party to REMOVE an elected official. This was extraordinary action well beyond an initial direct appointment.

        This wasn’t a direct appointment to an advisory board. This was a coup d’état. She had the option to nominate herself for the spot or to give it to another Republican on Fullerton’s council. She chose to do neither and handed it to a Democrat.

        I think she should get censured for it, but that’s hardly my decision.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Censured? Oh good, Ryan. Because more intra-party cannibalism is just what the OC GOP needs. Maybe someone can bring up this pinprick of a point during the 2016 endorsement process. The Yahoo Caucus will eat that kind of triviality up.

          • That’s exactly my point, Matt. This kind of intra-party cannibalism is not what the OC GOP needs.

            They should step and and inform her that she royally screwed up.

  2. Jennifer Fitzergald credentials as a Republican needs to be questioned.

    The above article was taking potshot towards Whitaker.

    Replacing a bright councilman like Whitaker was more of internal politics, which pols like Chaffee, Flory and Fitzergald show their true colors that being nasty can get them somewhere in the arena!

    • Matthew Cunningham

      It’s not a potshot, Allen. I just reported what happened.

      Besides, you’re in no position to criticize anyone for taking potshots – at fellow Republicans or anyone else. It’s practically your stock in trade.

  3. Who were the other members who voted yes? Or was the intent of the story to point out that Whitaker was voted out and what he lost in compensation. What inconsistencies was Fitzgerald refering to? Were any of the other yes votes from a city council? I know that is a lot of information to expect from a blog post. I am a novice and do not yet know the proper protocol

    • The other YES votes were Democrat Jan Flory and Republican Jennifer Fitzgerald!!

      • I think suzy is looking for the breakdown on the vote from OCWD. Fullerton’s vote to remove and replace was made by the awkward majority of Chaffee (D), Flory (D), Fitzgerald (R) vs. Whitaker (R) and Sebourn (R).

        While I don’t feel that removing Whitaker was appropriate, at least I can understand it. Why he wasn’t replaced with Fitzgerald or Sebourn is a complete and total mystery to me.

        It also makes it clear that in spite of a majority of votes cast for Republicans, Fullerton is in fact controlled by a majority dominated by Democrats. Being a large fixture in North Orange County, the central committee should be very alarmed by this.

        • Matthew Cunningham

          Hmmm. The OC GOP should be very alarmed about this, but NOT about the coordinated liberal Democrat effort to take over the largest California city with a GOP council majority — Anaheim — by carving it into single-member council districts.

          That makes perfect political sense.

          • Well, one, there’s nothing here stating that they couldn’t in fact do both.

            Two, your argument doesn’t follow. Single member districts do not, in fact, mean the GOP loses its majority. It might, but it does not mean that it will. I’d even argue that the loss is just merely possible and certainly not probable.

            In this case, the GOP has clearly lost its majority– which it earned at the ballot box– because one of its members took it upon herself to cannibalize another Reep for posturing purposes. That’s a definite loss . . . not a possible or even probable loss.

            She should get tapped on the shoulder for that.

  4. @Allen Wilson: pot, meet kettle.

  5. I guess I wasn’t specific with my question. I know about the Fullerton City Council vote, I was asking about who were the other 5 yes votes on the OC water board. Also, are there specifics inconsistencies that Fitzgerald noted, or was it just a general statement?

  6. Matthew Cunningham

    These OC Water District Directors voted to lease the Ball Road Basin for a power plant: Cathy Green, Denis Bilodeau, Steve Sheldon, Bruce Whitaker, Shawn Dewane, Roger Yoh. All but Whitaker are elected from their respective districts.

    Fitzgerald’s was a general statement.

  7. Thank you Matthew.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      You’re welcome. I should also note the names of the OCWD directors who opposes leasing Ball Road Basin: Harry Sidhu (Anaheim’s appointee), Vince Sarmiento (Santa Ana councilman and the city’s appointee), Phil Anthony and Kay Barr.

  8. Finally a real Republican is standing-up in Fullerton. Kudos to Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald.

    For too long Fullerton has been run by phony Republicans like Chris Norby and Bruce Whitaker.

    To them, public office has always been about getting a pay check, and nothing more.

    Look at the facts. Bruce Whitaker has NO job or income outside of what government pays him. Both he and Norby have always relied on the taxpayers to earn a living. They like to spout Republican philosophy, and have got nothing done.

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