Here’s what the supervisors had to say about their early-morning decisions that will give voters the chance to increase the county’s sales tax rate from 7.75% to 8.25%:


“You know, as a councilman in Huntington Beach, I think probably the roughest vote I ever had was when two of my friends were fighting over a block wall fence that separated their yards, and both worked hard on my campaign and I had to decide how far the block wall would extend.

“I hated that, but that is nothing compared to the hand that I’ve been dealt on this issue.


“I do think that the people in Orange County are already taxed enough. But

with the financial crisis, I think it is an exception to the rule. I hate it. I think it’s disgusting. I think (there is) some way we’re going to be able to work it out without having to go for a long period of time on this half-cent sales tax.

“I do think that the power is with the people. I think they have the right to vote on it. This is not Jim Silva’s problem or his fault. It’s 2 1/2 million people in Orange County that have to deal with it. It’s the quality of life, it’s the investment on their real estate, and I don’t think Jim Silva has the right to determine how 2 1/2 million people should live or should pay their taxes, so I vote for the motion.”


“Tonight’s vote is about giving the people of Orange County (an opportunity) to evaluate the facts, make a personal decision and cast a vote. I have evaluated the width and the depth of this financial crisis. The potential for lasting negative impacts are very wide and very deep.

“I’ve been a police officer and I’m still a reserve police officer in the city of Orange. And I’ve watched how neighborhoods and schools and areas can deteriorate in very, very short order when communities are unable to deliver important services to the people of cities in this county.

“And I am gravely concerned about the impacts that many of our communities could suffer in very short order and could have a very devastating effect on the quality of life in some of our communities, some more than others.

“Consequently, I believe the people should have an opportunity to speak at the ballot box and voice their preference. And I intend, at the appropriate time when the vote is cast, to cast a vote in the affirmative for tonight’s action.”



“Being an elected official means that you have to take the good times with the bad times. You make choices that are based upon what you know and sometimes what you don’t know but you have hope to gain a better understanding.

“We know that we Orange Countians demand a certain quality of life that’s reflected in our schools, our parks, our public safety services. And we also know that we have an obligation, I guess some of us would like to forget, but to our bondholders. We know that we need to identify a revenue stream that is going to preserve that quality of life and to make the bondholders whole.

“I know too the consequences of my actions are strong. There are some here in this audience that will very likely threaten my recall. That’s fine. I’ve done what needs to be done and whatever the course of action will take I will be willing to deal with.

“But I will continue to make the kinds of decisions that make government make sense. All options will continue to be studied and acted on appropriately. We have to be very concerned about building on a strong economy because that is ultimately what will carry us out of this. And it will continue to improve and build upon a great Orange County.

“Together we all share in this. . . . Whether they’re supporting or opposing the action that we will take one way or the other, we all share this. We have a commitment to our home county and to its preservation as a great place to call home.”


“I have said repeatedly, having been part of this county family, I guess, feeding at the county trough for seven years as director of Orangewood Children’s Home . . . I’ve said that I can’t let this county go down the drain, no matter what the political consequences are for me.


“But I have been convinced by these experts, and they are some of the top ones in the country that have worked with us, and I’ve been convinced by Bill (Popejoy) and others that we will go down the drain if we default on this debt. And so that’s where I’m coming from.

“It’s a great disappointment for me tonight that for the most part those that have clamored the loudest for the return of their money--parading here, placards, signs, emotional, heart-tugging stories, schoolteachers, elected trustees, city council members--have been missing in action tonight, for the most part.

“But I don’t think we can use the fact that they’re not here and that they don’t want to carry this water with us at all as a reason to retaliate against them to teach them a lesson. So I’m going to support this, Mr. Chairman.”


“I think today it’s a good bet that this thing (the tax ballot measure) isn’t going to pass and it’s an uphill battle, and I think it’s probably still a good bet that it’s not (going to pass) in June.

“I don’t find any leadership in calling for a tax or opposing a tax. It’s a misuse and an abomination of the word ‘leadership’ that’s tossed around by everybody on both sides of this thing.

“What turned it for me is Jim (Silva) saying, ‘It’s OK. There’s four votes, it will go on the ballot anyway.’ Well, I can really take an easy go here and posture and suck up and say . . . I’m going to vote against it. Because I came down here to vote against it, but I’m not going to leave Jim out to dry, and I guess I’m not leaving you out to dry.


“I’m not going to leave my colleagues out to dry. It’s going on the ballot anyway, you got four (votes).

“But the real act of being disingenuous is to say ‘no,’ knowing that it’s going on (the ballot) anyway.”