Community Editorial: OCBC takes issue with Voice of OC take on OCTA audit

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Voice of OC missed its mission with the article “Family Ties Lead to Questions About OCTA Audit” of May 22, 2011.

Orange County Business Council is a strong, active organization of more than 250 members advocating for business, working with government and academia, to enhance Orange County’s economy, grow jobs and protect a high quality of life we’ve come to enjoy. Orange County has the lowest unemployment of any major metropolitan area in California — a testament to the hard work of those who live, work and play here.

OCBC strives to ensure that government at all levels is run effectively and cost-efficiently. The business community has the most to lose financially if government does not perform well, especially in the movement of people and goods throughout the county. Thus, Orange County’s business community strongly backed Measures M1 and M2, committed to closely review the measures and how OCTA implemented them.

It is no secret that OCBC advocates to make sure Measure M is implemented as promised to county’s voters. M1 succeeded so well OC voters rewarded OCTA’s good work, project delivery and cost savings with almost 70% approval of M2. Even today, there are approximately $5 billion worth of transportation projects in development throughout the county.

As to the OCTA assessment, the facts are clear:

  • Procurement by OCTA of the independent review was consistent with long-standing OCTA policies, including interviews with prospective bidders and evaluation by an independent Taxpayer Oversight Committee. OCBC’s report contained 18 separate findings, including 14 of a substantive nature, requiring OCTA to respond.
  • Stan Oftelie is a well-respected transportation professional who works for many transportation agencies besides OCTA. He has a unique skill set in knowing OCTA and transportation well, which helped produce a compelling review. He was, however, only one of several working on this report. In fact, the report peer review and oversight was conducted by the Taxpayer Oversight Committee, including member David Sundstrom, Orange County auditor-controller, to whom the OCBC research team reported.
  • Legal counsel confirmed that no conflict existed at any time.
  • The 2006 independent review of OCTA was accurate, compelling and complete. Even Voice of OC found no fault in it.
  • OCBC will continue to focus its strong advocacy efforts on meeting Orange County’s infrastructure needs and, through its state-of-the-art research, assure that its business community gets what it paid for in Measure M, and that OCTA keeps its promises to the taxpayers.
  • You can bet OCBC has a stake in this game — a big one.


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