Costa Mesa City Councilman Jim Righeimer lost a key seat on the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority Friday night, replaced during a reportedly contentious vote during a special meeting that resulted in his recent appointment being rescinded.

Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Jim Katapodis took back Costa Mesa’s seat on behalf of his city, representing the Second Supervisorial District.

State Assemblyman Matt Harper held the seat last year when he was a Huntington Beach city councilman. Costa Mesa City Councilman Gary Monahan held the seat before Harper secured it.

Appointments to the billion-dollar transportation agency are highly sought after and are important for cities – like Costa Mesa – that have large swaths of their city impacted by major transportation routes, like the 405 Freeway.

The yearly appointment vote by the shadowy City Selection Committee (administered by the County Clerk of the Board) was complicated in November after county officials raised concerns about Brown Act violations. The committee makes a series of annual appointments to regional bodies like OCTA.

Full details of the Friday night vote weren’t immediately available. Story developing…

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