Orange County Board of Supervisors
Orange County Board of Supervisors
|Nonpartisan (5) (de jure)|
Republican (4) (de facto)
Democratic (1) (de facto)
Length of term
|March 12, 2019|
|March 3, 2020|
The Board consists of five Supervisors elected by districts to four-year terms by the citizens of Orange County. The Supervisors represent districts of approximately 600,000 people.
Supervisorial elections take place in June, with run-off elections (if necessary) in November. Supervisorial terms begin the first Monday after January 1 after the election. Vacancies on the Board are filled via special election since Orange County voters adopted a county charter in March 2002. Prior to the adoption of the charter, vacancies on the Board were filled by appointment by the Governor of California. The December 1996 appointment of Laguna Niguel City Councilman Thomas W. Wilson by Governor Pete Wilson (no relation) was the last time that a gubernatorial appointment was used to fill a supervisorial vacancy (Supervisor Marian Bergeson had resigned to become the California Secretary for Education). The January 2003 special election of former State Assemblyman Bill Campbell was the first time that a special election was used to fill a supervisorial vacancy (Supervisor Todd Spitzer had resigned after he was elected to the State Assembly to replace the term-limited Campbell).
The current members of the board of supervisors are:
- District 1: Andrew Do, Republican, (since February 3, 2015)
- District 2: Michelle Park Steel, Republican (since January 5, 2015)
- District 3: Donald P. Wagner, Republican (since March 27, 2019)
- District 4: Doug Chaffee, Democrat (since January 7, 2019)
- District 5: Lisa Bartlett, Republican (since December 2, 2014)
The board makes decisions relating to land use, public utilities, and transportation, both directly and indirectly through its power over budgets and appointments to boards, committees, and commissions. Services that are ultimately managed by the board include regional parks, water, sewers, animal control, buses, freeways, and commuter rail.
History and issues
In the conservative political climate of Orange County, a number of the problems and controversies encountered by the board in its history have been related to questions of the proper size and role of government.
Until the 1970s, there was no countywide bus service. At the urging of supervisor Ralph B. Clark, city buses were bought, and the city bus system later became the Orange County Transportation Authority. In 2009, supervisor John Moorlach questioned whether OCTA should continue to exist.
In 1994, Orange County declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy due to a high-flying investment scheme created by treasurer Robert Citron, a Democrat.
In 2015, the board of supervisors called for the resignation of Judge M. Marc Kelly after Kelly gave a 10-year sentence to a convicted child molester, deviating from the state-determined minimum 25-year sentence.
The First Supervisorial District consists of the cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and Westminster, the unincorporated community of Midway City, and the northernmost three square miles of the city of Fountain Valley north of Warner Avenue, including Mile Square Regional Park.
The Second Supervisorial District consists of the cities of Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, and Stanton, along with two-thirds of the city of Fountain Valley that are south of Warner Avenue and southwestern portions of the City of Buena Park. It also includes the unincorporated area of Rossmoor.
The Third Supervisorial District consists of the cities of Orange, Tustin, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda, most of the City of Irvine, as well as the Anaheim Hills area in the city of Anaheim. It also includes the unincorporated areas of El Modena, MCAS El Toro, Modjeska Canyon, Olive, Orange Park Acres, Santiago Canyon, Silverado, Trabuco Canyon, and Tustin Foothills.
The Fifth Supervisorial District consists of the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano, along with small southwestern portions of the City of Irvine, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, and Las Flores.
The Second Supervisorial District consisted of the cities of Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, and Stanton, as well as the western half of the city of Garden Grove. It also includes the unincorporated areas of Rossmoor, Sunset Beach, and Surfside.
The Third Supervisorial District consisted of the cities of Brea, Irvine, Orange, Tustin, Villa Park, and Yorba Linda, as well as the Anaheim Hills area in the city of Anaheim. It also includes the unincorporated areas of El Modena, MCAS El Toro, Modjeska Canyon, Olive, Orange Park Acres, Santiago Canyon, Silverado, Trabuco Canyon, and Tustin Foothills.
The Fifth Supervisorial District consisted of the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, and Las Flores.
Since voters adopted Measure V, the creation of the county charter, in March 2002, vacancies on the Board of Supervisors have been filled by special election.
January 28, 2003, Third District special election
The first special election used to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors was held on January 28, 2003. Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer had resigned on November 19, 2002 in preparation for taking office as a member of the California State Assembly on December 2 to replace the term-limited Bill Campbell. Campbell, in turn, easily won the special election to fill the remaining two years of Spitzer's term.
|William A. Wetzel||1,548||4.4%|
|Robert Louis Douglas||585||1.7%|
February 6, 2007, First District special election
The second special election used to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors was held on February 6, 2007. First District Supervisor Lou Correa had resigned when he took office as a member of the California State Senate on December 4, 2006 to replace the term-limited Joe Dunn. Garden Grove City Councilwoman Janet Nguyen won the special election to fill the remaining two years of the term by seven votes over Garden Grove Unified School District Boardmember Trung Nguyen (no relation) after a protracted recount battle (ironically, Correa had defeated Assemblywoman Lynn Daucher for the Senate seat after a protracted recount battle, as well). Both Nguyens had unexpectedly finished ahead of the front-runners, recently retired State Assemblyman Tom Umberg and Santa Ana City Councilman Carlos Bustamante.
|Brett Elliott Franklin||1,739||3.8%|
June 8, 2010, Fourth District special election
The third special election used to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors was held on June 8, 2010, and was consolidated with the regular primary election for the next term for the seat. Fourth District Supervisor Chris Norby had resigned when he took office as a member of the California State Assembly on January 29 to replace Mike Duvall, who had resigned from the Assembly in the wake of a lobbyist sex scandal. Fullerton City Councilman Shawn Nelson won the seat by 12% over Anaheim City Councilman Harry Sidhu.
While Nelson won the special election to fill the remaining seven months of Norby's term, the special election was consolidated with the regular primary election, so Nelson and Sidhu advanced to a November run-off election to win the four-year term due to begin in January 2011. Nelson won the election for the 2011–2015 term by a 63%–37% margin.
|Rose Marie Espinoza||7,616||12.3%|
January 27, 2015, First District special election
The fourth special election used to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors was held on January 27, 2015. First District Supervisor Janet Nguyen had resigned when she took office as a member of the California State Senate on December 1, 2014 to replace the term-limited Lou Correa. Ironically, Nguyen had been elected as First District Supervisor in a February 6, 2007 special election to replace Correa, who had resigned when he took office as a member of the California State Senate to replace the term-limited Joe Dunn.
|Chuyen Van Nguyen||1,879||3.9%|
March 12, 2019, Third District special election
The fifth special election used to fill a vacancy on the Orange County Board of Supervisors was held on January 27, 2015. Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer had resigned on January 7, 2019, when he took office as District Attorney of Orange County after defeating incumbent Tony Rackauckas.
|Donald P. Wagner||30,240||42.0%|
|Kristine "Kris" Murray||5,338||7.4%|
|Kim-Thy "Katie" Hoang Bayliss||1,366||1.9%|
Following are the special districts managed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors
- Flood control
- Development agency
- County Service Area
- Sewer Maintenance
Harriett Wieder became the first woman to serve as Vice Chair in 1980 and as Chair in 1984. Patricia C. Bates and Janet Nguyen became the first pair of women to serve as Chair and Vice Chair concurrently in 2009.
Janet Nguyen became the first Asian American to serve as Vice Chair in 2009 and Chair in 2010. Lisa Bartlett and Michelle Park Steel became the first pair of Asian Americans to serve as Chair and Vice Chair concurrently in 2016.
|1889||William H. Spurgeon|
|1895||Franklin P. Nickey|
|1910||George W. Angle|
|1911||Thomas B. Talbert|
|1931||John C. Mitchell|
|1935||John C. Mitchell|
|1941||Willis H. Warner|
|1949||Willis H. Warner|
|1960||Cecil M. Featherly|
|1961||William H. Hirstein|
|1962||William J. Phillips|
|1963||Cecil M. Featherly|
|1964||William J. Phillips|
|1965||William H. Hirstein|
|1967||David L. Baker|
|1968||Cecil M. Featherly|
|1969||William H. Hirstein|
|1974||Ralph B. Clark|
|1977||Thomas F. Riley|
|1980||Ralph B. Clark||Harriett Wieder|
|1982||Bruce Nestande||Roger R. Stanton|
|1983||Roger R. Stanton||Harriett Wieder|
|1984||Harriett Wieder||Thomas F. Riley|
|1985||Thomas F. Riley||Ralph B. Clark|
|1986||Ralph B. Clark||Bruce Nestande|
|1987||Roger R. Stanton||Harriett Wieder|
|1988||Harriett Wieder||Thomas F. Riley|
|1989||Thomas F. Riley||Don Roth|
|1990||Don Roth||Gaddi Vasquez|
|1991||Gaddi Vasquez||Roger R. Stanton|
|1992||Roger R. Stanton||Harriett Wieder|
|1993||Harriett Wieder||Thomas F. Riley|
|1994||Thomas F. Riley||Gaddi Vasquez|
|1995||Gaddi Vasquez||Roger R. Stanton|
|1996||Roger R. Stanton||William G. Steiner|
|1997||William G. Steiner||Jim Silva|
|1998||Jim Silva||Thomas W. Wilson|
|1999||Charles V. Smith|
|2002||Thomas W. Wilson|
|2003||Thomas W. Wilson||Jim Silva|
|2005||Bill Campbell||Thomas W. Wilson|
|2007||Chris Norby||John Moorlach|
|2008||John Moorlach||Patricia C. Bates|
|2009||Patricia C. Bates||Janet Nguyen|
|2010||Janet Nguyen||Bill Campbell|
|2011||Bill Campbell||John Moorlach|
|2012||John Moorlach||Shawn Nelson|
|2013||Shawn Nelson||Patricia C. Bates|
|2015||Todd Spitzer||Lisa Bartlett|
|2016||Lisa Bartlett||Michelle Park Steel|
|2017||Michelle Park Steel||Andrew Do|
|2018||Andrew Do||Shawn Nelson|
|2019||Lisa Bartlett||Michelle Park Steel|
|Year||1st District||2nd District||3rd District||4th District||5th District|
|1889||William H. Spurgeon||Jacob Ross, Jr.||Sheldon Littlefield||Samuel Armor||A. Guy Smith|
|1891||Joseph Yoch||Joseph W. Hawkins||Louis Schorn||William N. Tedford|
|1895||Franklin P. Nickey||Joseph W. Hawkins||William G. Potter||A. Guy Smith|
|1899||R. Edwin Larter||DeWitt C. Pixley||John F. Snover|
|1903||Hudson E. Smith||Jerome Fulsom||Dallison Linebarger||David MacMullan||Upton C. Holderman|
|1907||George W. Moore||George W. Angle|
|1910||Thomas B. Talbert||Fredrick W. Struck|
|1917||S. Henderson Finley|
|1919||Nelson T. Edwards||Howard A. Wassum|
|1923||Leon O. Whitsell||George Jeffrey|
|1927||John C. Mitchell|
|1929||Charles H. Chapman|
|1933||William C. Jerome||Leroy E. Lyon|
|1935||N. Elliot West|
|1937||Steele Finley||Harry D. Riley|
|1939||Willis H. Warner|
|1941||Fred C. Rowland||James A. Baker|
|1943||Irvin George Gordon|
|1949||Cecil M. Featherly||Ralph J. McFadden|
|1955||William H. Hirstein|
|1957||William J. Phillips|
|1958||Benjamin O. Reddick|
|1959||Claire M. Nelson|
|1963||David L. Baker||Alton Allen|
|1971||Ralph B. Clark||Ronald Caspers|
|1975||Laurence Schmit||Thomas F. Riley|
|1981||Roger R. Stanton||Bruce Nestande|
|1985||Roger R. Stanton|
|1987||Gaddi Vasquez||Don Roth|
|1993||William G. Steiner|
|1995||Jim Silva||Marian Bergeson|
|1997||Charles V. Smith||Todd Spitzer||Thomas W. Wilson|
|2003||Bill Campbell||Chris Norby|
|2007||Janet Nguyen||John Moorlach||Patricia C. Bates|
|2015||Andrew Do||Michelle Park Steel||Lisa Bartlett|
|2019||Donald P. Wagner||Doug Chaffee|
- "March 2019 Third Supervisorial District Vacancy Election Info". Orange County Registrar of Voters. Archived from the original on February 23, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- "Editorial: Maybe throw OCTA under the bus". Orange County Register. August 16, 2009.
- Greenhut, Steve (May 7, 2010). "Referendum on unions in OC". Orange County Register.
- Foxhall, Emily (April 21, 2015). "O.C. judge who gave lenient sentence to molester is asked to resign". Los Angeles Times.
- "Chronological History of Orange County Board of Supervisors". County of Orange, California.
- Joseph Hawkins was a registered Democrat during his first term as a Supervisor but was a registered member of the Populist Party for his second term
- DeWitt Pixley was elected as a Silver Republican but became a Democrat during his term
- Willard Smith was appointed by Governor Friend Richardson in August 1925 to replace Leon Whitsell, who had resigned to become a California Railroad Commissioner
- Benjamin Reddick was appointed by Governor Goodwin Knight in August 1958 to replace Heinz Kaiser, who had died in office in July just a month after being reelected
- Thomas Riley was appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan in September 1974 to replace Ronald Caspers, who had died in office when his ship disappeared in June just nine days after being reelected
- Philip Anthony was inaugurated in November 1976 (two months early), as Robert Battin had been disqualified from office eight months before the expiration of his supervisorial term
- Edison Miller was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in July 1979 to replace Ralph Diedrich, who had resigned from office
- Roger Stanton was a registered Democrat during his first term as a Supervisor but was a registered Republican for his final three terms
- Gaddi Vasquez was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian in March 1987 to replace Bruce Nestande, who had resigned from office
- William Steiner was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in March 1993 to replace Don Roth, who had resigned from office
- Donald Saltarelli was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in October 1995 to replace Gaddi Vasquez, who had resigned from office
- Thomas Wilson was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in December 1996 to replace Marian Bergeson, who had resigned to become State Secretary for Education
- Bill Campbell won a January 2003 special election to replace Todd Spitzer, who had resigned in November 2002 to take a seat in the State Assembly
- Janet Nguyen won a February 2007 special election to replace Lou Correa, who had resigned in December 2006 to take a seat in the State Senate
- John Moorlach was inaugurated in December 2006 (one month early), as Jim Silva had resigned one month before the expiration of his supervisorial term to take a seat in the State Assembly
- Shawn Nelson won a June 2010 special election to replace Chris Norby, who had resigned in January 2010 to take a seat in the State Assembly
- Andrew Do won a January 2015 special election to replace Janet Nguyen, who had resigned in December 2014 to take a seat in the State Senate
- Lisa Bartlett was inaugurated in December 2014 (one month early), as Patricia Bates had resigned one month before the expiration of her supervisorial term to take a seat in the State Senate
- Donald Wagner won a March 2019 special election to replace Todd Spitzer, who had resigned in January 2019 to become District Attorney of Orange County