Countywide : Vote Abstentions Set Agency Record

At the same meeting Monday where Orange County Transportation Authority board members adopted a plan for replacing him, retiring board member Dana W. Reed set an agency record by abstaining four times due to conflicts of interest.

"Why did you even show up today, Reed?" asked Supervisor Roger R. Stanton, a frequent needler of Reed.

"I had to abstain or go to jail," Reed explained after the meeting.

Reed announced last week that he will step down on Aug. 1.

Each vote on which Reed abstained involved actions that affect current or former clients of Reed's Costa Mesa-based law firm.

The OCTA board voted to immediately take applications for Reed's post as the public's at-large member.

Application forms, available from OCTA's office in Santa Ana, are due by July 1.

Under state law, the 10 remaining OCTA board members select the public's representative.

Six members are from city councils and four are county supervisors.

Applicants must be Orange County residents who have not served in city or county government for the past four years.

Among those expected to seek the post are Sarah Catz, currently Reed's alternate on the board; Greg Winterbottom, a former director of para-transit services, and Trent Harris, a Newport Beach police officer who serves on the Measure M Citizens Oversight Committee.

During Monday's OCTA meeting, Reed resigned as vice chairman.

Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez is likely to fill the vice chairmanship, some OCTA officials said.

Such a move would put Vasquez in line to become chairman of the influential transportation agency next year.

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