Orange County Board of Supervisors

The Orange County Board of Supervisors is the five-member governing body of Orange County, California along with being the executive of the county.

Orange County Board of Supervisors
Type
Type
Term limits
2 Terms
Structure
Seats5
Political groups
Nonpartisan (5) (de jure)
Republican (4) (de facto)
Democratic (1) (de facto)
Length of term
4 Years
Elections
Single-member districts
Last election
March 12, 2019[1]
Next election
March 3, 2020

Membership

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:

Functions

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.[2]

In 1994, Orange County declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy due to a high-flying investment scheme created by treasurer Robert Citron, a Democrat.

In the 2010 supervisorial race, one of the main issues was county relations with unions.[3]

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. [4]

Supervisorial Districts

2012–present

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 Fourth Supervisorial District consists of the cities of Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, the portions of the city of Anaheim outside of Anaheim Hills, and most of Buena Park.

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.

2002–2012

The First Supervisorial District consisted of the cities of Santa Ana and Westminster, as well as the eastern half of the city of Garden Grove.

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 Fourth Supervisorial District consisted of the cities of Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, as well as the portions of the city of Anaheim outside of Anaheim Hills.

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.

Special elections

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.

CandidateVotesPercent
Bill Campbell26,20674.6%
Jim Potts4,69213.4%
Douglas Boeckler2,0855.9%
William A. Wetzel1,5484.4%
Robert Louis Douglas5851.7%

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.

CandidateVotesPercent
Janet Nguyen10,91924.1%
Trung Nguyen10,91224.1%
Tom Umberg9,72521.4%
Carlos Bustamante7,46016.5%
Mark Rosen2,1814.8%
Brett Elliott Franklin1,7393.8%
Kermit Marsh1,3352.9%
Larry Phan4170.9%
Lupe Moreno3830.8%
Benny Diaz2730.6%

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.

CandidateVotesPercent
Shawn Nelson18,73930.4%
Harry Sidhu11,42118.5%
Lorri Galloway10,03516.3%
Art Brown9,98616.2%
Rose Marie Espinoza7,61612.3%
Richard Faher3,8736.3%

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.

Former Garden Grove City Councilman Andrew Do, Nguyen's supervisorial Chief of Staff, won the special election to fill the remaining two years of the term by 43 votes over Correa.

CandidateVotesPercent
Andrew Do18,90539.1%
Lou Correa18,86239.0%
Chris Phan7,85716.3%
Chuyen Van Nguyen1,8793.9%
Lupe Morfin-Moreno8341.7%

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.

Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner won the seat by 5% over former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez.

CandidateVotesPercent
Donald P. Wagner30,24042.0%
Loretta Sanchez26,70837.1%
Kristine "Kris" Murray5,3387.4%
Larry Bales3,9125.4%
Deborah Pauly3,8475.3%
Kim-Thy "Katie" Hoang Bayliss1,3661.9%
Katherine Daigle5970.8%

Special districts

Following are the special districts managed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors

  • Flood control
  • Development agency
  • Lighting
  • County Service Area
  • Sewer Maintenance

Chairs and Vice Chairs[5]

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.

Gaddi Vasquez became the first Latino to serve as Vice Chair in 1990 and as Chair in 1991.

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.

YearChairVice Chair
1889William H. Spurgeon
1890
1891Joseph Yoch
1892
1893
1894
1895Franklin P. Nickey
1896
1897
1898
1899
1900
1901
1902
1903David MacMullan
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910George W. Angle
1911Thomas B. Talbert
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927William Schumacher
1928
1929Willard Smith
1930
1931John C. Mitchell
1932
1933Willard Smith
1934
1935John C. Mitchell
1936
1937Willard Smith
1938
1939
1940
1941Willis H. Warner
1942
1943
1944
1945
1946
1947Willard Smith
1948
1949Willis H. Warner
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960Cecil M. Featherly
1961William H. Hirstein
1962William J. Phillips
1963Cecil M. Featherly
1964William J. Phillips
1965William H. Hirstein
1966Alton Allen
1967David L. Baker
1968Cecil M. Featherly
1969William H. Hirstein
1970Alton Allen
1971Robert Battin
1972Ronald Caspers
1973
1974Ralph B. Clark
1975Ralph Diedrich
1976
1977Thomas F. Riley
1978
1979Philip Anthony
1980Ralph B. ClarkHarriett Wieder
1981Bruce Nestande
1982Bruce NestandeRoger R. Stanton
1983Roger R. StantonHarriett Wieder
1984Harriett WiederThomas F. Riley
1985Thomas F. RileyRalph B. Clark
1986Ralph B. ClarkBruce Nestande
1987Roger R. StantonHarriett Wieder
1988Harriett WiederThomas F. Riley
1989Thomas F. RileyDon Roth
1990Don RothGaddi Vasquez
1991Gaddi VasquezRoger R. Stanton
1992Roger R. StantonHarriett Wieder
1993Harriett WiederThomas F. Riley
1994Thomas F. RileyGaddi Vasquez
1995Gaddi VasquezRoger R. Stanton
1996Roger R. StantonWilliam G. Steiner
1997William G. SteinerJim Silva
1998Jim SilvaThomas W. Wilson
1999Charles V. Smith
2000Jim Silva
2001Cynthia Coad
2002Thomas W. Wilson
2003Thomas W. WilsonJim Silva
2004
2005Bill CampbellThomas W. Wilson
2006Chris Norby
2007Chris NorbyJohn Moorlach
2008John MoorlachPatricia C. Bates
2009Patricia C. BatesJanet Nguyen
2010Janet NguyenBill Campbell
2011Bill CampbellJohn Moorlach
2012John MoorlachShawn Nelson
2013Shawn NelsonPatricia C. Bates
2014
2015Todd SpitzerLisa Bartlett
2016Lisa BartlettMichelle Park Steel
2017Michelle Park SteelAndrew Do
2018Andrew DoShawn Nelson
2019Lisa BartlettMichelle Park Steel

Supervisors[5]

Year1st District2nd District3rd District4th District5th District
1889William H. SpurgeonJacob Ross, Jr.Sheldon LittlefieldSamuel ArmorA. Guy Smith
1890
1891Joseph YochJoseph W. Hawkins[6]Louis SchornWilliam N. Tedford
1892
1893
1894
1895Franklin P. NickeyJoseph W. Hawkins[6]William G. PotterA. Guy Smith
1896
1897
1898George McCampbell
1899R. Edwin LarterDeWitt C. Pixley[7]John F. Snover
1900
1901
1902
1903Hudson E. SmithJerome FulsomDallison LinebargerDavid MacMullanUpton C. Holderman
1904
1905
1906
1907George W. MooreGeorge W. Angle
1908
1909
1910Thomas B. TalbertFredrick W. Struck
1911Jasper Leck
1912
1913William Schumacher
1914
1915
1916
1917S. Henderson Finley
1918
1919Nelson T. EdwardsHoward A. Wassum
1920
1921
1922
1923Leon O. WhitsellGeorge Jeffrey
1924
1925
1926Willard Smith[8]
1927John C. Mitchell
1928
1929Charles H. Chapman
1930
1931
1932
1933William C. JeromeLeroy E. Lyon
1934
1935N. Elliot West
1936
1937Steele FinleyHarry D. Riley
1938
1939Willis H. Warner
1940
1941Fred C. RowlandJames A. Baker
1942
1943Irvin George Gordon
1944
1945
1946
1947
1948
1949Cecil M. FeatherlyRalph J. McFadden
1950
1951Heinz Kaiser
1952
1953
1954
1955William H. Hirstein
1956
1957William J. Phillips
1958Benjamin O. Reddick[9]
1959Claire M. Nelson
1960
1961
1962
1963David L. BakerAlton Allen
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969Robert Battin
1970
1971Ralph B. ClarkRonald Caspers
1972
1973Ralph Diedrich
1974
1975Laurence SchmitThomas F. Riley[10]
1976
1977Philip Anthony[11]
1978
1979Harriett Wieder
1980Edison Miller[12]
1981Roger R. Stanton[13]Bruce Nestande
1982
1983
1984
1985Roger R. Stanton[13]
1986
1987Gaddi Vasquez[14]Don Roth
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993William G. Steiner[15]
1994
1995Jim SilvaMarian Bergeson
1996Donald Saltarelli[16]
1997Charles V. SmithTodd SpitzerThomas W. Wilson[17]
1998
1999Cynthia Coad
2000
2001
2002
2003Bill Campbell[18]Chris Norby
2004
2005Lou Correa
2006
2007Janet Nguyen[19]John Moorlach[20]Patricia C. Bates
2008
2009
2010Shawn Nelson[21]
2011
2012
2013Todd Spitzer
2014
2015Andrew Do[22]Michelle Park SteelLisa Bartlett[23]
2016
2017
2018
2019Donald P. Wagner[24]Doug Chaffee

Notes

  1. "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.
  2. "Editorial: Maybe throw OCTA under the bus". Orange County Register. August 16, 2009.
  3. Greenhut, Steve (May 7, 2010). "Referendum on unions in OC". Orange County Register.
  4. Foxhall, Emily (April 21, 2015). "O.C. judge who gave lenient sentence to molester is asked to resign". Los Angeles Times.
  5. "Chronological History of Orange County Board of Supervisors". County of Orange, California.
  6. 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
  7. DeWitt Pixley was elected as a Silver Republican but became a Democrat during his term
  8. Willard Smith was appointed by Governor Friend Richardson in August 1925 to replace Leon Whitsell, who had resigned to become a California Railroad Commissioner
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Edison Miller was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in July 1979 to replace Ralph Diedrich, who had resigned from office
  13. Roger Stanton was a registered Democrat during his first term as a Supervisor but was a registered Republican for his final three terms
  14. Gaddi Vasquez was appointed by Governor George Deukmejian in March 1987 to replace Bruce Nestande, who had resigned from office
  15. William Steiner was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in March 1993 to replace Don Roth, who had resigned from office
  16. Donald Saltarelli was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in October 1995 to replace Gaddi Vasquez, who had resigned from office
  17. Thomas Wilson was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson in December 1996 to replace Marian Bergeson, who had resigned to become State Secretary for Education
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
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