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OCTA loses chief executive, gains 10 new board members

CEO Will Kempton announced his exit from the transportation agency the same day the new appointments were made to its board

by Gabriel CortésPublished: November 21, 2012 10:45 AM

Will Kempton, the chief executive officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority, will retire from his position next year on Feb. 28. He announced his departure in an email to OCTA employees the same day that the City Selection Committee appointed 10 new members to the organization’s board of directors. Kempton has led the county’s transportation agency since Aug. 2009.

“I’m incredibly proud of our accomplishments over the past three years,” Kempton said. “During my tenure, OCTA has responded to many challenges, while always keeping in mind the best interests of our residents, businesses and all those who depend upon OCTA’s services.”

During his three-year tenure, Kempton spearheaded the first five-year strategic plan at the agency that redefined its mission and goals and created performance metrics to ensure accountability and transparency. He also oversaw nearly $2 billion in transportation projects during their varying stages of development or completion.

Kempton is leaving OCTA to become the director of Transportation California, a Sacramento-based nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating the development of better transportation and infrastructure in the state.

The job of finding Kempton’s successor will now fall on the shoulders of OCTA’s board of directors. Coincidently, 10 new members were appointed to the board the same day that Kempton announced his resignation.

The City Selection Committee, a group composed of Orange County’s 34 mayors, selects the individuals who constitute OCTA’s board of directors.

At its Nov. 15 meeting, the committee appointed four new individuals to the panel to fill the seats of current board members whose terms will expire next month. Seal Beach Mayor Pro Tem Gary Mill, Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway, La Habra Mayor Tim Shaw, and San Clemente Councilwoman Lori Donchak were all appointed to two-year terms.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, who was recently reelected to a 10th term as mayor of that city, was reappointed to another two-year term on the board.

In addition to these selections, five other individuals were named to finish the assignments of board members who were termed out of their municipal positions and were prohibited from running for reelection. Garden Grove Councilman Steve Jones, Huntington Beach Councilman Matt Harper, Tustin Mayor Pro Tem Al Murray, Anaheim Councilwoman Lori Donchak and Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury will all serve one year on the panel as they complete the terms of their predecessors.

The transportation authority’s board of directors has 17 members: the five county supervisors, two representatives from cities in each of the five supervisorial districts, and two public members appointed by the board. Appointments last two years.

OCTA is responsible for developing and planning highway, street and rail projects, administering transportation funds, and operating the county’s bus system, 91 Express Lanes, and Freeway Service Patrol.

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