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Roosevelt to Leave Road Commission

October 27, 1987|JEFFREY A. PERLMAN | Times Urban Affairs Writer

James Roosevelt, the eldest son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, said Monday he will retire from the Orange County Transportation Commission on Dec. 31.

Roosevelt, 79, underwent surgery for colon cancer in March. "I have been advised by my doctor to curtail some of my activities," Roosevelt told fellow commissioners at Monday's regular meeting.

Commission members said they will adopt a procedure for naming Roosevelt's successor in a few weeks.

The seven-member panel, which sets transportation priorities and approves projects such as car-pool lanes, votes unanimously on most matters. However, with money for planned new freeways and local road improvements still lacking, the vacancy caused by Roosevelt's retirement could become a political prize pitting the heavily populated north county against the newly developed south county.

Commission Chairwoman Clarice Blamer told Roosevelt at Monday's meeting: "This is a sad day for us and for Orange County. You have done an exceptional job."

A member of the commission for 6 1/2 years, Roosevelt serves as the at-large member, representing the general public.

Roosevelt was commission chairman in 1985-86. He presided over the installation of the car-pool lanes on the Costa Mesa Freeway, approval of the project to install emergency freeway call boxes and formation of the agencies that are planning the county's new south county freeways--the Eastern, Foothill and San Joaquin transportation corridors.

To be eligible for the post, applicants must not have held elective city or county office in the last 10 years. They also cannot live in the 1st Supervisorial District--which includes all of Fountain Valley, most of Santa Ana, and portions of Garden Grove, Tustin and Westminster--because there are already two 1st District residents on the commission: Tustin Councilman Richard B. Edgar and Board of Supervisors Chairman Roger R. Stanton.

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