Rhonda Reardon was unanimously selected Monday by the Council as Mayor for the 2013 calendar year. She was first elected to the Council two years ago.
Despite significant differences on many issues with the Council majority, Reardon earned respect for her debate and demeanor. She was selected mayor pro tem last year, traditionally the transitional position before becoming mayor.
Trish Kelley nominated Reardon, who subsequently reciprocated by nominating Kelley as Mayor Pro Tem. The ego of Dave Leckness immediately became full blown as he unsuccessfully tried to inject himself for the job, contending he was best qualified. He took swipes at Kelley, even raising the matter of a ticket she received when caught with her dog off-leash. Trish expressed emotional disappointment with Leckness, who already served as mayor and mayor pro tem during his first term.
Kelley was appointed MPT on a 3-2 vote with Ury and Leckness opposing. It puts Kelley in line to ostensibly serve as Mayor in 2014, after which she is termed out. Leckness will seek re-election in 2014, so he covets that 2014 mayoral position as a campaign aid. It remains to be seen if he tries to court two other council members to help him deny Kelley’s succession as mayor a year from now. The councilman with clownish antics is known for his insatiable appetite for the public spotlight.
Recently re-elected Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht has been highly critical of the Council majority of Ury, Kelley and Leckness, so the threesome refused to let her join the rotation for either mayor or mayor pro tem. Interestingly, Schlicht held the swing vote to Kelley’s one vote margin as MPT. It might have created an interesting stalemate if Schlicht had abstained. Leckness had appealed to Ury and Schlicht to reject Kelley.
Before her election to the Council, Rhonda held several positions with Pacific Bell/AT&T, including Product Manager for Wireless Interconnection. In addition, she was Project Manager for New Product Development, Performance Management, and Systems & Network Modernization – supervising projects costing as much as $100 million and impacting over 6,000 employees. She earned a PACBELL commendation for outstanding success in negotiations. Rhonda holds a specialized MBA from Pepperdine in Technology Management and a BA in history.
A resident for 30 years, Reardon served as Chair of the Board for the Saddleback Valley YMCA. She is a court-appointed special advocate for abused children. In addition she has tutored young children, and mentored high school and college graduates.