Anaheim Council Makes Appointments in Major Overhaul of City Commissioners

Anaheim City Council  members Tuesday conducted a massive overhaul of city commissions, appointing commissioners to boards expanded to match the number of seats on the city council.

In a split 4-3 vote in February, the council voted to dismiss all its previous commissioners and appoint or reappoint members to expanded boards that correspond with the seven city council district seats. Mayor Tom Tait argued it would provide for more equal representation on boards, under the city’s new district-based electoral system.

Councilmembers Steve Faessel, Kris Murray and Lucille Kring voted against the plan.

The new rules allow the four district-elected members, Denise Barnes, Jose Moreno, Kring and Faessel, to appoint a commissioner, with priority going to residents of their districts and people already serving on a commission. The remaining at-large seats were selected by a vote of the full council.

Some former commissioners were reappointed, but all had to reapply.

Many of the appointees suggested by members of the city council minority – Murray, Kring and Faessel – for at-large seats were voted down by their colleagues, prompting Murray to comment: “Is there a point in proceeding? Do you guys just want to appoint your members and leave the minority out of the process entirely?”

Tait proposed the change last month as a nod to the new council districts formed as part of the city’s settlement of a Voting Rights Act lawsuit. November’s election was the first under the new system.

The council also voted to approve a plan by Murray to provide audio recordings of commission meetings and expand the information about city commissions and committees provided online.

According to a city staff report, there will be a one-time cost of $9,000 to implement the changes.

A full list of the new commission appointees is below. The name of the council member making the appointment is in parentheses.

Budget, Investment and Technology Commission

District 1 (Barnes): John Showalter

District 3 (Moreno): Jaqueline Godinez

District 4 (Kring): John Noteboom

District 5 (Faessel): Avelino Valencia

At large appointments: Mark Lopez (Tait), Susan Thill (Vanderbilt), Ed Lopez (Moreno)

Community Services Board

District 1 (Barnes): none

District 3 (Moreno): Kandee Beas

District 4 (Kring): Lori Farrow

District 5 (Faessel): Laurie Leonard

At large appointments: Donna Acevedo-Nelson (Vanderbilt), Earl Kelso (Kring), Arturo Ferreras (Tait)

Cultural and Heritage Commission

District 1 (Barnes): Mark Daniels

District 3 (Moreno): Juan Alvarez

District 4 (Kring): Julie Brunette

District 5 (Faessel): Rida Hamida

At large appointments: Patricia Adelekan (Tait), Claire Pettibone (Tait), Brian Chuchua (Tait)

Housing and Community Development Commission

District 1 (Barnes): Susan Anderson

District 3 (Moreno): Ada Tamayo

District 4 (Kring): Norma Kurtz

District 5 (Faessel): Tim Houchen

At large appointments: Ojaala Ahmad (Moreno), Chris Emami (Tait), Orlando Perez (Barnes), John Gatti (Tait), Linda Adair (Moreno)

Parks and Recreation Commission

District 1 (Barnes): Ryan Balius

District 3 (Moreno): Nichole Rupp

District 4 (Kring): Craig Farrow

District 5 (Faessel): Lynn Cudd

At large appointments: James Cook (Tait), Samantha Navarro (Vanderbilt), Alfonso Rodriguez (Moreno)

Planning Commission

District 1 (Barnes): John Armstrong

District 3 (Moreno): Steve White

District 4 (Kring): Michelle Lieberman

District 5 (Faessel): Kim Keys

At large appointments: John Gillespie (Tait), Jess Carbajal (Tait), Bill Dalati (Vanderbilt)

Public Utilities Board

District 1 (Barnes): Julie Showalter

District 3 (Moreno): Vincent Baroldi

District 4 (Kring): Abdulmageed Abdulrahman

District 5 (Faessel): Ernesto Medrano

At large appointments: Robert Nelson (Tait), John Seymour (Murray), Victoria Ramirez (Moreno)

Library Board

At-large appointments: Stan Oftelie (Tait), David Laviguer (Moreno), Rose Chen (Barnes), Claudia Perez-Figueroa (Moreno), John Leos (Moreno)

Contact Thy Vo at tvo@voiceofoc.org or follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo.

  • Philmore

    …. prompting Murray to comment: “Is there a point in proceeding? Do you guys just want to appoint your members and leave the minority out of the process entirely?”…… I guess the irony of the last 6 years WAS lost on her.

    • RyanCantor

      Awwwwwwww. Kris Murray has tasted her own medicine and IT IS BITTER.

      Cry us a river, Kris.

  • David Zenger

    “Among the appointees was former Anaheim Mayor and Republican U.S. Sen. John Seymour, ”

    Are you sure about that? He’s 80 and I believe lives in the desert.

    • Greg Diamond

      So Murray had one appointment, and used it for someone who doesn’t live in the city and isn’t likely to show up for meetings?

      Well at least she can say in her campaign literature that she appointed John Seymour! (And I suspect that that was the whole point.)

      • David Zenger

        No, I’m saying there is probably another John Seymour.

        • Cynthia Ward

          yep, different John Seymour.

    • Philmore

      Two “fun facts” from Wikipedia-
      1) Residence Indian Wells
      2) Seymour was on the Board of Directors of Junk Loan failure IndyMac Bank.
      How about that .