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."