Rhonda Reardon Is New Mayor

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on December 5, 2012

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.

Mayor Reardon

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.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Holtzman December 5, 2012 at 5:37 pm

Congrats to Rhonda!

Leckness’s remarks were inane and mean spirited! Leckness needs to grow up.

Pat Ruecker December 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Congratulations Rhonda!

Allan Pilger December 6, 2012 at 8:57 am

Congratulations to Rhonda. She campaigned on focusing on the infrastructure and has lived up to her promises. Also she has succeeded in working within the system.

She was instrumental in getting me connected with rank-and-file management that produced a comprehensive report on the shift to predominately asphalt overlay of city streets.

She proposed investing all of $1 million in unanticipated tax revenue on slope rehabilitation. The Council approved $100,00 and has continued to add to it.

Also, she joined Cathy Schlicht in an unsuccessful effort to inexpensively fence in portions of three parks in the north, south and west of the City as a low-cost, more convenient alternative to $850,000 phase one for dog park on the city’s extreme eastern flank, which was approved 3-2 Monday night.

Eileen Gonzalez December 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Congratulations Rhonda!

Bob Lee December 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Rhonda or Ury not much difference! And Reardon/Kelley is a recipe for failure!

Erin Walker December 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

It’s comforting to know Rhonda will be taking the reins, and thanks to her for actually talking and listening to the residents of Mission Viejo.
Congratulations Rhonda!

F. Stephen Masek December 6, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Congratulations. She was the only one of the council memebrs who bothered to correspond with me, and back and forth, on the fire zone issue.

Christopher Rosolanko December 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Is it me? Or am I the only that finds an alliance between Reardon, & Kelly strange? Why would Kelly, nominate Reardon over her PALS Ury, and Lackluster? I wonder what backroom deal went on here. And Dave opposing Kelly for MPT? I thought they were good friends! Something seems fishy here could this nomination now put Rhonda in with the Kelly, Ury, Leckness majority? Something tells me Cathy will be feeling very lonely around City Hall!

Larry Gilbert December 10, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Re Christopher: It’s called politics. Please go to the city video of the Dec 3rd meeting and watch how this phoney rotation took place. Mayor Ury claiming that both Trish and Dave were each “qualified” to be mayor pro tem but never includes Cathy in that discussion.

There is no litmus test for that post. Cathy has the same voting power and gets the same stipend as any other council member. She was just re-elected with a huge vote of confidence by the voters in that she surpassed Rhonda’s and Dave’s number of votes from their 2008 election. Cathy ended up with 15,892 votes while Rhonda had 11,356 and Dave received 11,509.

Our registered voters increased from 62,493 in 2008 to 63,792 last month. As I like playing with numbers she had roughly 35% more votes than either of them. As such, even with the slight increase in voter registration, Cathy was more popular with Mission Viejo voters as compared to either Rhonda or Dave yet is completely ignored in the bogus rotation because she will not allow the majority to shut down her hard hitting oversight of our city’s finances and Capital Improvement projects. She is not afraid to challenge staff when in fact the role of our city council is to be a “checks and balance” elected body between staff and themselves.

Who gave emperor Ury the power to decide if Cathy warranted participation in the latest rotation “NOT”. If you watch the video Dave did ask Rhonda a great question that she failed to answer. Knowing he was not going to be selected he asked Rhonda why she didn’t nominate Cathy. Rhonda did not address that specific question and threw it back to Dave. No one should decide if Cathy is interested in holding the post of mayor pro tem. Knowing that she was about to commence her 5th year on our council at a minimum she should be chosen to at least become mayor pro-tem. As Pastor Rick Warren wrote “its not about you.”

Cathy has not lost any sleep over this latest vote and neither will any of her supporters. Just calling it as I see it. Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas to all!

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