SANTA ANA : Young and Norton in a New Squabble

City Councilman Richards L. Norton is accusing his political nemesis, Mayor Daniel H. Young, of trying to pack the city’s citizen advisory boards with his own people.

Young has asked the council to substitute five of his nominations for the commissions in place of those selected by Norton. “The mayor’s actions indicate he is firmly and solely in control of the city,” Norton said. “He intends to maintain iron-hand control.”

In an interview Wednesday, Young downplayed the accusation and said he was simply trying to let the council choose the “best candidate” for the advisory boards.

“The real issue is who is the best candidate for the job,” Young said. “The City Council appoints who should be on the commissions, not me and not (Norton). We will follow a democratic process to select who is the best candidate out of those who are nominated.”


This is the latest squabble between Young and Norton, who usually oppose each other on issues of budget, police affairs and development. Both men won reelection last November. Traditionally, council members appoint representatives from their districts to the advisory boards after an election year. The city has 10 advisory boards.

According to the city charter, Young can legally ask the council to substitute Norton’s nominations for his own.

“The charter says that a commission member serves at the pleasure of the City Council. The commission member does not serve any individual council member,” City Attorney Edward J. Cooper said.