Friday, February 22, 2013

Schafer Returned To Sanitary District Board

In a move that will likely surprise very few people who have been following the drama at the Costa Mesa Sanitary District for the past couple years, today the Board of Directors selected former director and former Costa Mesa Mayor Arlene Schafer to replace Jim Fitzpatrick for the remaining two years of his term.  You can read the Daily Pilot coverage of the meeting and results HERE.

At a special meeting today the four members of the board interviewed the six finalists in their process to determine a successor to Fitzpatrick - Schafer, former Costa Mesa Mayor Linda Dixon, former Sanitary District Board member Dan Worthington, Planning Consultant Jeffrey Harlan, Executive Search Consultant Al Morelli and Assistant General Manager of the West Basin Municipal Water District in Carson, Shivaji Desmukh.

Following the interviews, where each Director asked a couple questions of each applicant, the directors began the process of nominating candidates.  Dixon was first nominated, but received no second.  Schafer was nominated by President Jim Ferryman and was seconded by Director Art Perry.  When directors Mike Scheafer and Bob Ooten cast their votes for her she was chosen unanimously to fill the job that she held before Fitzpatrick defeated her in the election two years ago.

This will certainly generate a lot of negative comments from those in the community who felt Fitzpatrick was ousted from the Sanitary District Board.  Unfortunately, Fitzpatrick created his own problem when he intentionally, and against solid legal advice, stubbornly held to incompatible positions simultaneously.  And, he compounded that offense by doing it twice.

If you just read resumes Schafer was clearly the most highly qualified. She has served in this role before - for years - is well-known and highly respected in the sanitation management community.  For that reason alone her choice should be no surprise.  She will have virtually no "start up time" - she knows the business and how the Sanitary District operates.

Some will say this is a missed opportunity to bring in a fresh perspective to the Board - a thought with which I agree.  However, that what happened with Fitzpatrick and that went very, very badly.  I don't know whether that played any part in the selection the Directors made this morning, but wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Schafer will be sworn in to her new/old job at the regular meeting of the Sanitary District Board on Wednesday, February 27th.  Her term will expire in 2014.

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Anonymous Einstein said...

Funny...I thought the voters showed Arlene the door in the last election. Oh well...we continue to see that the Costa Mesa Sanitary District and the NMUSD School Board remain populated by people with the half life of plutonium.

2/22/2013 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Too Bad Fitzy said...

This is great news, glad to hear that the Sanitary Board is doing the right thing by appointing the proper person for the spot.

2/22/2013 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Don't Call It A Comeback said...

I wonder if Arlene will try to put out a bid for trash service, since it hasn't gone out since the Civil War. Welcome back Arlene, you were missed.

2/22/2013 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Good. Glad to see things back the way they should be.

2/22/2013 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Mesa Bluffs said...

When in Croneytown, do as the Cronies.

2/23/2013 06:21:00 AM  
Anonymous recycling is good said...

yep, just what the voters rejected. now sd is as it should be and has been.

2/23/2013 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous sk said...

Congrats to Arlene! Arlene is most certainly qualified for the position.

2/23/2013 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Nothing's Shocking said...

I think the pro-Fitzy crowd has a pretty good point, even though I hate to admit it. You can't scream 'cronyism' constantly at Team Riggy/Mensy for their commission appointments and then turn around and support a move like this, regardless of her experience. It was even money that she was going to get chosen, and this move was entirely telegraphed. After all, I do answer to 'Nothing's Shocking,' and this was no surprise.

What ever happened to bringing in a fresh perspective?

2/23/2013 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Nothing Shocking, I'd be tempted to agree with you, if Arlene hadn't served before, is experienced, and as they said, can hit the ground running.

When Mensinger was appointed, he had no experience, just a buddy that was mayor.

Same with Fitz. There are many more that have much more experience and background, even though Fitz did serve previously. He still wasn't the best qualified, other than to be a buddy with the mayor.

I see your point, but it wasn't because she was their "buddy" that she was appointed.

2/23/2013 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

This fight was amongst the "establishment". They missed a real opportunity to bring in " new blood" and neutralize their critics arguments, but they didn't . Old elephants don't learn new tricks. Too bad. Harper or Matthews were just a continuation of the Fitzy/ Righeimer "Break it til it's Broken" mindset , which has become the new way to govern in this city. They were doing "sequester" before Tlhe Republican congress....

2/25/2013 07:05:00 AM  

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