Posts Tagged ‘Orange county’
What were the three biggest California water stories of the past seven days? Well, the news-heads and policy wonks here at Laer Pearce & Associates have compiled them for you here. You’ll find the Big Three here every Thursday, or you can follow LPAWater on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news and analysis. You can also sign up to receive the Weekly 3 via email here. This week:
Ho, Ho, HO, H2O – That was some rain!
Wow! Earlier this week, we thought Noah might be knocking on our door any minute! Our friend who sends us the Costa Mesa rain gauge read-outs is on vacation in Mammoth (which reports it now has more snow than any ski resort IN THE WORLD!), but before he left, he provided the rainfall data through Wednesday at 8 p.m.: For the rain year (July-June) OC was already at 117% of average. December’s rain was 528% of average, and year-to-date rain was 376% of average! We expect the Department of Water Resources to be announcing higher allocations soon.
Nationally, 2010 definitely was a star-crossed political year, as most incumbents did all they could to cross off that little * that noted their incumbency. And, it turned out, they had good reason to, as the roll call in both the House and the Senate and the names on the door of many Governors’ offices will change dramatically, come January.
Not so in Orange County.
In our city council races, 63 incumbents were on the ballot, and 48 will be staying on their respective councils – roughly three-quarters of them. Just 15 lost their re-election bids, including several LP&A friends – Joel Bishop in Dana Point, Toni Iseman in Laguna Beach (once a great Coastal Commission member), Craig Scott in Laguna Niguel, Richard Dixon in Lake Forest and Neil Blaise in Rancho Santa Margarita.
It was much the same with OC’s water and special district races, as 78 percent of the incumbents held their seats, including all the incumbents at the water districts on the LP&A client list – Irvine Ranch, Moulton Niguel and Mesa Consolidated (with the possible exception of Jim Fisler for the short-term seat at Mesa, which currently remains too close to call). We have some friends among the incumbents who will be leaving: Richard Dietmeier at South Coast and John Summerfield and Bill Mills at Yorba Linda, but were most surprised to see Arlene Schafer voted off the Mesa Sanitary Board. Arlene is a star who has given tirelessly of herself to promote and protect the interests of Special Districts.
All members of the OC Congressional delegation survived their challenges, most by margins of 30 points or more, although Loretta Sanchez didn’t know until late in the evening that she had defeated her Republican challenger, Van Tran. The same incumbent-friendly aura covered our Sacramento delegation, except perhaps Democrat incumbent Tony Mendoza in the 56th, who leads his GOP challenger Henry Bestwick by just 96 votes out of 12,247 ballots counted thus far.
Our congrats go to all the winners, and to those who lost, our thanks for their public service and our best wishes to them in their next endeavors.
Here’s a troubling stat, from the Brandman University 2010 State of Orange County survey:
In 2000, 38 percent of Orange County residents felt their quality of life was going very well, and only nine percent thought it was going badly. In 2010, eight percent thought their quality of life was going very well and 35 percent thought it was going badly. This dramatic reversal means, at one level, a greater dissatisfaction with local government.
In our experience, there is a far greater chance decisions made by local government will be challenged by referenda in times like these, compared to more happy-go-lucky times.