The Orange County Transportation Commission's monthly newsletter (January, 1986) noted that Van Stephens was commended and honored for his work on the commission's policy and advisory committee. Doubtless he earned it. Too few citizens are recognized for their unselfish, no conflict-of-interest contributions to government projects.
But Van Stephens is the Mission Viejo development firm's spokesman who vowed that unless the county supervisors approved the San Joaquin Freeway, his firm's 100,000-population tract next to Laguna Beach couldn't be built.
I wonder who on the commission's policy committee is looking after the quality of Orange County's environment? What's Mr. Van Stephens doing on a government transportation policy committee anyway? But wait a minute. Doesn't someone have to be sure the company's publicly funded freeway doesn't somehow get sidetracked?