"There's a general feeling of basically disappointment ranging all the way to disgust. At a minimum, an effort could have been made to publicly consider other candidates. . . . [The board] is not representative of what the constituency is."
--Jess Araujo, Santa Ana attorney, Latino activist and general counsel to the Mexican Consulate
"I was very pleased that South Orange County at last has someone to represent them. Tom is very capable of doing the job."
--Larry Porter, former Laguna Niguel councilman
"I think it's an absolute slap in the face for women in this county to be so overlooked."
--Harriett M. Wieder, who retired in 1994 after 16 years as the county's first female supervisor
"The governor made an excellent choice. He gave us what we asked for--a South County official who is strongly opposed to an airport. I appreciate the governor's sensitivity on this issue."
--Melody Carruth, Laguna Hills councilwoman
"Lest we [think] that the 20th century has reached Orange County, it hasn't. Orange County is still a male-dominated system. I think the people Wilson looks to help him make his decisions in Orange County--[developer George L.] Argyros, Donald Bren, the Irvine Co.--are much more comfortable sitting around a table with a man than a woman."
--Eileen Padberg, political consultant
"He's very well-respected. Tom's really a first-class guy."
--Stan Oftelie, chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority
"I was very, very surprised. I really thought that the governor was going to appoint a woman, and there were a number of qualified women. There is great value in having the board reflect the makeup of the county, and more than 50% of the people in the county are women."
--Dan Wooldridge, political consultant
"Tom Wilson was not the choice of the majority here in South Orange County."
--Eddie Rose, Laguna Niguel councilman