SANTA ANA, Calif.—The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the county’s transportation planning commission, formally elected its new chairman and vice chairman on Jan. 10, an annual tradition that occurs at the beginning of the year.
Mayor of Orange Mark Murphy, who had been serving as vice chairman, was chosen to serve as chairman to replace outgoing Chairman Andrew Do.
Gene Hernandez, who had been serving the board as a director and is the mayor pro tem of Yorba Linda, was selected to serve as vice chairman.
Both Murphy and Hernandez were chosen unanimously to serve as this year’s leaders by the board’s 17 directors.
The chairman of the transportation authority is tasked with leading all board meetings and working with staff to ensure transportation programs and improvement projects remain on track throughout the year, according to OCTA spokesman Eric Carpenter.
“In the last couple of years … the chair has helped OCTA set priorities through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and determined when it was appropriate to have virtual meetings or when there was a need for in-person meetings. The chair is often the face of OCTA throughout the year they serve, often speaking on behalf of the agency during groundbreakings and completion events,” Carpenter told The Epoch Times.
The vice chairman is tasked with helping the duties of the chairman and can lead the board meetings if the chairman isn’t present.
Despite having extra duties, both the chairman and vice chairman still get the same vote as other board members do.
The meeting focused on the accomplishments the transportation authority made in 2021, with many directors giving thanks to Chairman Do for his leadership.
“It’s been an extreme honor and my pleasure to serve as chairman of the OCTA board,” Do said during the Jan 10 meeting.
“In 2021, there were challenges, but I’m very proud of how this agency has responded on each occasion. And during the past year, even though ridership was down, we really truly saw how essential public transportation is for many in our communities.”
Chairman Murphy said he looks forward to continuing the good work that was done in 2021.
“I just want to say thank you to [Do] for his leadership and also for including me and making some changes in process that really allowed me to be better prepared to hopefully keep the same high standard that our former chairs set from a standpoint of process and a standpoint of” keeping promises to our constituents.