It’s getting close to the midnight, the public comments have wrapped up and now the 10-members of the OCWD Board of Directors are now making their comments and indicating how they’ll vote. [There were dozens and dozens of speakers, all of whom voiced opposition to the plant. Among them were Anaheim councilmembers Kris Murray and Jordan Brandman, Fullerton Councilwoman Jan Flory, and Assemblyman Travis Allen, as well as Assemblyman Tom Daly's chief of staff.]
Director Phil Anthony urged his colleagues to listen to the community concerns and vote “no” on the power plant lease.
Director Harry Sidhu said he would be voting “no.”
Director Steve Sheldon is speaking and trying to convince the public in attendance that environmental impacts will be mitigated, and that is will be very attractive when it is done. Now he’s telling the audience that their “business leaders” will put a Target on the site. He’s sounding like a “yes” vote, which is expected.
11:46 p.m.: Director Phil Anthony just made a motion to reject the proposed lease, seconded by Sidhu. Now Director Denis Bilodeau has asked to speak, and is attacking the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s opposition campaign, accusing it of a “scare campaign” and telling the audience they’ve been duped. He sounds like a “yes” vote – another non-surprise.
11:54 p.m.: Now Director Cathy Green is speaking, She prepared two statements for tonight – a “yes” position and a “no” position. She’s running through a laundry list of recreational venues that are on OCWD land; I’m assuming this is a testament to establish OCWD as a good community citizen before she reveals whether she is voting “yes” or “no.”
11:58 p.m.: Green said she’s voting “yes,” saying more power generation is needed (which no one is disputing). She points out that there’s a power plant near residences in Huntington Beach (which isn’t really relevant here) and then said he charge is to represent her cities, Huntington Beach and part of Fountain Valley — her direct implication being how it impacts Anaheim and the nearby area isn’t her concern. She then made an alternative motion to approve the lease and “see what we can do to mitigate the impacts” (answer – not much). Bilodeau seconded. This motion will be taken up first.
12:02 a.m.: Now Director Vince Sarmiento is speaking. He’s criticizing the opposition to the power plant proposal, and he said he’s disappointed with the City of Anaheim and how they’ve handled the re-zoning of the Ball Road Basin. Now he is seeing the other side of the coin and the remoteness of the state approval process for the power plant. Now he’s seeing another side, i.e. the revenues to the OCWD, but at the same time what price does that money come with, and finally arrives at a “no” vote based on the absence of local control over the process.
12:09 a.m.: Director Bruce Whitaker speaking, comparing it to the El Toro airport fight. He’s saying they aren’t really voting to approve a power plant, but to allow the power plant proposal to go forward [that might be called a distinction without a difference], and also went on about how daunting and difficult the California Energy Commission (CEC) process (a tacit way of saying it is unlikely to be approved by the CEC).
Whitaker is going to vote “yes” on the power plant lease. [Too bad this is a power plant and not a homeless shelter.]
That leaves Directors Roger Yoh and Shawn Dewane. if either of them vote “yes,” then the lease will be approved.
12:16 a.m.: Board president Shawn Dewane has called the vote on Green’s motion.
Interesting: the district counsel answered Director Sheldon’s question about the agreement as if it had already passed.
The Board approved the power plant lease on a 6-4 vote.
Directors Bilodeau, Sheldon, Dewane, Yoh, Green and Whitaker voted to approve – while maintaining they really aren’t voting for a power plant.
Directors Anthony, Sidhu, Sarmiento and Barr voted no.