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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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LAFCO Seeking Applications for Public Member

We have frequently mentioned LAFCO, Orange County’s Local Agency Formation Commission, in articles relating to South County governance and cityhood.  If this is new to you, start with our article from last June “When it Comes to Cityhood, LAFCO is the Most Important Government Agency You Have Probably Never Heard Of.”  LAFCO’s governing commission consists of eleven members, of which seven are regular members and four are alternates.  The regular members consist of two members from the Orange County Board of Supervisors (currently Fifth District Supervisor Patrica Bates and Second District Supervisor John Moorlach), two city council members representing Orange County cities (currently Joseph Carchio of Hungtington Beach and Cheryl Brothers of Fountain Valley), two members representing special districts (currently Charley Wilson of the Santa Margarita Water District and John Withers of the Irvine Ranch Water District) and one public “at large” member.  Currently that public member is Susan Wilson of Mission Viejo, but her term is expiring and LAFCO is seeking applications from those who might be interested in serving as the regular public member on the LAFCO governing commission.

That being said, the incumbent Wilson is eligible and seems likely to be reappointed.  She has apparently served as the “at large” public member since 1996, and her biography reads more like a professional politico than a member of the general public.  She has previously chaired LAFCO, and has held positions with the South Orange County Chamber of Commerce, the Orange County Business Council, Mission Viejo Planning Commission and the California State Department of Education, among others.  And Wilson’s reappointment is not necessarily a bad thing for South County residents interested in local governance issues.  The fact that Wilson is from Mission Viejo gives her at least a local appreciation for South County’s particular governance challenges and her tenure and experience means that she likely wields a high degree of influence with the Commission.

Anyone interested in applying for the position, should complete the application and return it to LAFCO by April 30, 2014.  According to the solicitation, “[a]t the June 18, 2014 regular LAFCO meeting, the existing Commission will select and appoint the regular public member to a four-year term, to begin July 1, 2014. The deadline to submit cover letters/resumes is 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The LAFCO office is located at 12 Civic Center Plaza, Room 235, Santa Ana, CA. For additional information, please call (714) 834-2556.”

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