Toll lane opponent named Woman of the Year

Diana Carey, who fought against an unpopular proposal to add toll lanes to the 405 Freeway in Orange County, has been named the 2014 Woman of the Year for state Assembly District 74.

Carey, a Westminster councilwoman and the I-405 Freeway Corridor Cities representative for Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Rossmoor and her city, received the honor at a recent ceremony in the state Capitol in Sacramento.

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa), who also opposed the lanes, selected Carey for the recognition.

Due in part to Carey's work rallying communities that would be affected by the toll lanes, some 300 homes and businesses along the corridor were saved, according to a news release from the assemblyman.

"It is an honor to recognize such an influential woman in the community as Diana, who is a positive role model for the community," Mansoor, who is running for county supervisor, said in a news release. "She has consistently been serving Orange County through her volunteer efforts in addition to being a hardworking businesswoman."

Carey received a certificate from the state Assembly in Assembly chambers earlier this month. The Women of the Year ceremony is held annually in March in recognition of Women's History month. Both chambers of the Legislature bestow the award.

Carey, according to her city biography, is a retired educator, small-business owner and volunteer. She was elected to the Westminster City Council in 2012.

The proposal to add toll lanes to the 405 between Costa Mesa and Los Alamitos came from Caltrans. The Orange County Transportation Authority took up the idea, but following public outcry voted to add just one general lane in each direction of the freeway.

The toll-lane proposal is not dead. The state could still overrule OCTA and install toll lanes along that stretch of the 405.

The 74th Assembly District includes Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods and Newport Beach.

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