Tri Ta, the current mayor of Westminster, was recently appointed to fill an open board seat, with the Orange County Water District (OCWD) representing division 4 and the Orange County cities of Los Alamitos and Seal Beach as well as parts of Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Stanton and Westminster. The division 4 seat, previously held by Philip L. Anthony, became vacant in July upon Anthony’s death. Anthony had been a member of the OCWD Board for more than 35 years.
“I would like to extend my appreciation to the board of directors for having confidence in me,” stated Ta. “I am honored and humbled to represent district 4 on the Orange County Water District. I am looking forward to working with the board and staff to maintain and protect the groundwater basin to provide quality water for Orange County residents.”
OCWD’s Board is composed of 10 directors – seven elected from divisions that consist of cities throughout north and central Orange County, and three appointed to represent the cities of Anaheim, Fullerton and Santa Ana. The other OCWD directors and their divisions are: Dina Nguyen, Esq., division 1; Denis Bilodeau, P.E., president and representative of division 2; Roger C. Yoh, P.E., division 3; Stephen R. Sheldon, division 5; Cathy Green, division 6; Shawn Dewane, second vice president and representative of division 7; Vicente Sarmiento, Esq., division 8; James Vanderbilt, division 9; and, Bruce Whitaker, division 10.
“We are honored to have Tri Ta as a member of the OCWD family,” said OCWD Board President Bilodeau. “His decade of public service in Orange County will serve the District well in achieving its mission to provide reliable and safe groundwater to more than 2.5 million people in the region.”
Director Ta currently represents the city of Westminster on numerous committees including the Orange County Fire Authority Board of Directors; the Orange County Council of Governments; the Orange County Public Library Advisory Board; and, the Orange County Transportation Authority Central County Corridor MIS and I-405 Policy Working Group.
Ta was first elected to the city council in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010. In 2008, he was selected to serve as mayor pro tempore. In 2012, Director Ta became the first Vietnamese-American elected mayor in the United States. He was re-elected as mayor in November 2014 and is now serving his third term as mayor being re-elected in November 2016. He also now serves on Westminster’s Executive Committee and Budget and Finance Committee.
Prior to being elected to the city council, Ta served as a commissioner for the city’s Energy Committee and Advisory Committee for the Disabled. He now serves as Westminster’s council representative to the city’s Water Rate Structure Committee, Zoning Code Update Committee, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion Advisory Committee and the Energy Committee.
Ta is/was active in many non-profit and philanthropic organizations, committees and projects, including the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (UVSA); New Horizon; Orange History Program; National Alliance of Vietnamese American Service Agencies (NAVASA); Rancho Santiago Community College District’s Measure Advisory Committee; Giving Back Program; and, Kiwanis International. He is frequently sought-after by universities as an inspirational speaker whose ultimate message to the youth is “follow your dream ’til the end.”
Ta was born in Saigon, Vietnam. He came to the United States with his family in 1992 at the age of nineteen. He then received a B.A. in political science and completed the requirements for a M.A. in international relations.
From 1998 to 2006, Ta worked as a career consultant and then an employment counselor. This enabled him to help numerous families from various ethnic groups become less reliant on public assistance and more self-sufficient by developing better job searching skills and/or adequate vocational training to obtain sustainable employment. He also helped with a variety of supportive services including, but not limited to, transportation, childcare, housing, shelter and ancillary services. Ta and his wife Ahn Doan and their two daughters, Trianh and Trimy reside in Westminster.