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OCTA seeks applicants for Taxpayer Oversight Committee

The Orange County Transportation Authority is seeking qualified volunteers to serve on the Taxpayer Oversight Committee, which monitors the agency’s use of funding generated by Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

The independent, 11-member oversight committee ensures that all revenue collected by Measure M is spent on voter-approved transportation improvements, approves all changes to the Measure M plan, also known as OC Go, and holds annual public hearings on the expenditure of funds. The half-cent sales tax measure was first passed by voters in 1990 and was renewed by nearly 70 percent of voters in 2006.

Recruitment is currently taking place for openings in the First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Supervisorial Districts. All interviews will be held virtually because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and committee meetings will be held remotely for the foreseeable future in accordance with state and local guidelines.

Measure M was developed to deliver a balanced and sustainable transportation network for the county and is expected to generate $11.6 billion through 2041. The plan dedicates 43 percent of funding to freeway improvements, 32 percent to local street projects and 25 percent to transit.

Measure M also includes two unique environmental programs. The Environmental Mitigation Program, which allocates 5 percent of net freeway revenues, is a comprehensive effort to offset the environmental impacts of the Measure M freeway projects by acquiring and preserving large swaths of open space land and protecting plant and animal species in their native habitat.

In addition, 2 percent of gross Measure M revenue is allocated to the Environmental Cleanup Program, which helps improve water quality in Orange County by funding projects to remove litter and debris from roadways and storm drains.

Applications for a three-year committee term, July 2021 to June 2024, will be accepted through May 2. Applicants must be Orange County residents, at least 18 years old and live in either the First, Second, Fourth or Fifth Supervisorial District that they will represent.

The First District consists of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster, portions of Fountain Valley, and the unincorporated community of Midway City.

The Second District consists of Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Seal Beach, Stanton, and portions of Buena Park and Fountain Valley. It also includes the unincorporated areas of Rossmoor, Sunset Beach and Surfside.

The Fourth District consists of Anaheim, Brea, Fullerton, La Habra, Placentia, and portions of Buena Park.

The Fifth District consists of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, portions of Irvine, and the unincorporated communities of Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores and Wagon Wheel.

Applications for the volunteer position are available at octa.net/TOC.

This article was released by the Orange County Transportation Authority.