Remembering Yorba Linda in 2016
Let's remember Yorba Linda in 2016:
Most promising political future: Tara Campbell, 23-year-old USC grad and youngest-ever City Council member, tallied 15,253 votes, fourth-highest in city history. Allen Castellano still leads with 16,879 in 2004, with Mike Duvall at 16,400 in 2004 and Mark Schwing at 15,380 in 2012.
Strangest political twist: Craig Young topped the voting for a county GOP Central Committee post in June, with Tara Campbell running seventh for six positions. Campbell led the count in November for City Council, with Young placing fourth for three positions.
Most consequential City Council election: While women have held a majority of seats on the local school board for several decades, this year produced the first female-majority council in city history, with Tara Campbell, Beth Haney and Peggy Huang making up the historic trio.
Best look into the future: A third General Plan, following 1971 and 1993 documents, lays out a 20-year guide for development that envisions a 16 percent increase in population from 67,637 to 78,389 and an 18 percent jump in housing units from 21,958 to 25,871.
Best vote by a lame-duck water board member: Recalled director Gary Melton cast the only vote against a $25,225 raise to $216,900 yearly for General Manager Marc Marcantonio in a Nov. 21 meeting, the last before four new directors took office Dec. 8.
Most stunning election result: Republican Ling Ling Chang's loss by 2,498 votes overall and 3,185 in Orange County's portion of District 29 to Josh Newman, first Democrat to represent this city in the state Senate since Harry Westover served the entire county, 1937-1941.
Best example of an effective community action group: Leaders of Protect Our Homes and Hills maintain a laser-like focus on issues related to the 480-home Esperanza Hills and Cielo Vista projects, achieving impressive results without resorting to name-calling.
Best continuing trend: Again this year a record number of Placentia-Yorba Linda school district students took Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams with pass rates (AP 83 percent, IB 96 percent) well above state, national and global averages.
Most dramatic vote increase: This city's support for Donald Trump jumped from 45 votes in the 2000 primary for the Reform Party presidential nomination that was open to all voters to 20,611 he won as the Republican nominee this year. Hillary Clinton's total was 12,232.
Best remake: The new Nixon library galleries are drawing more visitors to the city's most historic site, but the update didn't include an outhouse the former president told past director and city resident John Taylor the family used before adding indoor plumbing.
Most vexing problem: Finance Director Scott Catlett has noted the city's $14.9 million unfunded pension and $15.3 million unfunded post-employment benefits liabilities, as he develops options to target the obligations.