Some have called the move questionable at best.
Supervisor Katrina Foley recently appointed former GOP rival Diane Harkey, who ran for Foley’s current District 5 seat in the Nov. 2022 election, to an Orange County development committee.
Harkey, a former Dana Point mayor, was endorsed by the Orange County Republican Party to run against Katrina Foley for the District 5 seat, but lost in the Republican primary to then-state senator Pat Bates.
The surprise appointment was made on Feb. 10 by Foley, a Democrat, where Harkey will represent Foley’s interests and District 5 on the Development Processing Review Committee.
“I would like to appoint Diane Harkey to the Development Processing Review Committee, for a term concurrent with the Supervisor’s term of Office,” a memo by Foley to Robin Stieler, Clerk of the Board said.
Harkey, who served on the California Board of Equlization until 2019, will replace Patrick McCabe on the development committee whose term is coming to an end. Harkey will be one of two representatives for District 5 on the ten member committee, with each supervisorial district having two representatives.
The DPRC assists OC Development Services “in the review of procedures and codes related to the planning and development process for private development projects.”
Members of the DPRC committee must be registered voters in Orange County, and reside in the district of their appointment. Appointed members serve at the discretion of the appointing supervisor but can be terminated by majority vote to the Board of Supervisors, otherwise, appointees serve a term concurrent with the nominating supervisor. Appointments are made to fill a vacancy.
In her application for the position, Harkey stated “I have extensive development and financial experience from my career as well as elected service to contribute,” as the reason she’d like to serve on the committee. She also noted that she is a member of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce and member of Orange County Realtors.
DPRC meetings are open to the public in compliance with the Brown Act.