James Vanderbilt was appointed to the Orange County Water District Board of Directors to represent Division 9 in January 2017. He currently serves as the Mayor Pro Tempore of Anaheim. He was first elected to represent the citizens of Orange County’s largest city as an at-large Council Member in November 2014.
Director Vanderbilt has also served Anaheim in several roles in the past. As a college student he worked for the Anaheim Community Services Department as a summer park supervisor. He has served on many appointed and elected positions, including seven years as a member of the Anaheim Community Service Board (1991-1998), five years as member and chair of the Anaheim Planning Commission (1999-2004) and ten years as Board Member and President of the Anaheim Elementary School District (formerly the Anaheim City School District, 2004-2014).
Born and raised in Anaheim, Director Vanderbilt has lived in the city nearly his entire life. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Public Administration degree with an emphasis in public finance from California State University, Fullerton. He has previously taught at the North Orange County Community College District, School of Continuing Education and now serves on the faculty for California State University, Los Angeles.
A veteran of the U.S. Navy Special Warfare unit, Board Member Vanderbilt currently serves as a member of the U.S. Army Reserves in the rank of Captain. During his 20 years with both branches of the military, he has participated in humanitarian missions in El Salvador and South Korea. He was deployed to Kuwait 2012-2013 to serve as an assistant Officer-In-Charge of a medical facility near the border of Iraq.
As a strong believer in the local government processes, transparency and fairness, Director Vanderbilt has adopted the Four-Way Test from the Rotary International as a means to evaluate issues. Before taking a public position or voting on a city resolution, ordinance or other action item, Director Vanderbilt believes it is important to consider a variety of factors, including without limitation:
Are all facts of a matter known and true? Does the discussion include all relevant facts and figures, pros and cons that are presented in way to show the whole picture? Are core elements of a proposal presented prominently with peripheral aspects considered proportionately?
Is it fair to all concerned? Are there checks and balances in place to ensure maximum public and stakeholder participation in the decision making discussion? Has both the spirit and the letter of the law been followed? Are democratic principles applied?
Does it promote goodwill for district residents? Does it meet the expectation of the residents of the district for consistent and fair decision making? Is it an appropriate role and responsibility of the water district to take action on the issue? Does the decision consider some measure of mitigation?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Does it enhance the quality of life for all or most Anaheim residents in some manner? Will the implementation of a new or renewed initiative include measurable outcomes that can demonstrate program success or benefits for all or the majority of Anaheim residents and stakeholders?
Please do not hesitate to contact Vanderbilt or his staff with questions or concerns regarding the governance of the city of Anaheim. Email Director Vanderbilt
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