Elections have consequences, as they say – and that aphorism played out Tuesday night as the Anaheim City Council re-organized its representation on regional government bodies. Members of the new council majority claimed the lion share of appointments to regional bodies like the OC Sanitation District while the remnant of the Tait-Moreno majority – Councilmembers Jose F. Moreno and Denise Barnes – were generally reduced to alternate status. The council voted 6-1 to approve the nominations, with Moreno dissenting.
Rather than take the appointments one-by-one, Mayor Harry Sidhu nominated what was essentially a slate, which was voted on en banc with some minor changes.
Orange County Water District: former Councilman James Vanderbilt resigned his appointment prior to the council meeting, and was replaced by District 2 Councilman Jordan Brandman.
Orange County Sanitation District: District 1 Councilmember Denise Barnes was replaced by District 4 Councilmember Lucille Kring. Barnes replaced Kring on the OCSD Board of Directors two years ago when the Tait-Moreno majority took control of the council. While Sidhu had nominated District 6 Councilman Trevor O’Neil as alternate, Barnes asked to be the alternate, to which O’Neil acceded.
Metropolitan Water District: District 5 Councilman Steve Faessel was re-appointed to the MWD Board of Directors.
Transportation Corridor Agencies: Kring was appointed to the TCA Board, replacing District 3 Councilman Jose F. Moreno – who had replaced Kring two years earlier. Faessel was appointed as alternate.
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Orange County Council of Governments (OCCOG): Termed-out Councilwoman Kris Murray had been Anaheim’s representative. O’Neil was appointed to fill that vacancy.
Santa Ana River Flood Protection Agency (SARFPA): The council ratified Sidhu’s nomination of Faessel, replacing Moreno on that board.
HAZMAT Authority: Sidhu nominated Barnes for re-appointment, which was approved by the council.
Four Corners Transportation Coalition: Sidhu nominated Moreno, who declined. The spot will be filled at a future council meeting.
Fire Training Joint Powers Authority: Faessel replaced Moreno as the city’s representative; Brandman was appointed as alternate.
AUHSD Foundation: The council re-appointed Tom Morton, the city’s executive director for Convention, Sports & Entertainment. The city’s other two appointees had been Vanderbilt and former Mayor Tom Tait. The council re-appointed Morton. Sidhu nominated himself and Barnes – who declined the nomination citing scheduling reasons. The council then appointed Sidhu, and the remaining vacancy will be filled at a future meeting.
“If you just want to entirely wipe me out from agencies leave me on I’ve already served on,” said Moreno. “And I would love to hear your rationale as to all these appointments and the qualifications of the folks you’ve nominated before I can vote.”
It was a curious demand: when the Tait-Moreno majority unceremoniously replaced members of the old majority as the city’s regional government representatives, Moreno offered no qualifications-based explanation, nor did he demand one. He offered no explanation as to why he was more qualified for the TCA Board than Kring, who had served on it for seven years. Nor did he opine as to how Barnes was more qualified for the OCSD Board than Kring – who had served on that board for four years and was in line to be the next Chair.
Kring interjected to remind him of that, and asked not so rhetorically what qualified Moreno for his recent appointment to the OCTA Board of Directors (The answer to that, of course, is political).
As noted, the council then voted 6-1 to approve Sidhu’s nominations, with Moreno voting “No.”
Lucille Kring Appointed Mayor Pro Tem
Next, Mayor Sidhu nominated Councilwoman Lucille Kring, and O’Neil seconded it.
Barnes nominated Faessel, who declined.
Kring’s appointment was approved 7-0.