Ken Maddox, 45, has served as Senior Adviser to the Board Member Michelle Steel, State Board of Equalization, third district, since 2006. He has also served on the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees since June 2008. According to Wikipedia, CUSD is the second largest district in Orange County; 12th largest in California and the 85th largest in the country. Prior, he served as California State Assemblyman from 1998 to 2004. When asked which position he preferred most, he was quick to respond with a positive answer.
“I derive satisfaction from being a positive change agent. I’ve enjoyed both positions because they have provided me an opportunity to effect change that has improved the quality of life or in the case of CUSD, education of my neighbors,” he says.
While serving on the Garden Grove City Council, Maddox was involved in a number of projects including the resort developments along the Harbor Corridor south of Disneyland. Other projects were the construction of an education center and bringing forth many national restaurant chains to the area.
“The intersection of Harbor and Chapman was a disaster. It was primarily comprised of half vacant strip malls and blighted apartments. The City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, used a variety of means to acquire the property and identified developers interested in transforming the area. This intersection is now home to a variety of restaurants and upper end hotels,” he says.
A man who likes to keep busy, Maddox was elected to the California State Assembly in 1998. He served on numerous policy committees such as Insurance, Utilities and Commerce, Governmental Organization Agriculture, and Education, to name a few.
His advice to someone who is looking to serve as an assemblyman: “Become active in a Bible study group. The environment around the Capitol can be damaging. I was active in a group called Capitol Ministries. The Wednesday morning studies were a great way to recalibrate.”
Before all of his political aspirations, Maddox was a police officer in Tustin and served as a reserve police officer in the city. In addition, he has been a volunteer firefighter and he was in the Army National Guard from 1981 to 1989 and then again from 2003 to 2004.
“I lived in a community that was going through difficult economic times. Many store fronts were boarded up and crime was on the rise. I became a city councilman to improve the conditions of my community and was successful at turning around some our most blighted communities,” he recalls.
As a former police officer, publicceo.com was curious to know what his thoughts were about the former Sheriff Mike Carona fiasco that plagued the county last summer. According to an article in the OC Register, Carona, who was sheriff for 9 years until he stepped down January 2008, was convicted in January of one felony count of witness tampering, and acquitted of five other felonies, including conspiracy. His sentencing is scheduled for April 27.
“I saw Carona address the Orange County Reserve Peace Officers Association around his second week in office. He introduced Don Haidl to the group and said he was a police officer just like them which wasn’t true. I’m of the opinion he has a very loose relationship with the truth.”
These days, Maddox is happy wearing his senior advisor hat and helping to make the CUSD a better place for all concerned. Like many school districts, CUSD has been plagued by budget cuts, which have seen programs like arts and music diminish.
“We still provide many of these things. I’m trying to ensure we continue to do so. We will lose the ability to teach many of the things that make us human with the continued cuts to funding. Many of our children with limited means will miss out. This can’t be allowed to happen,” he says.
Ever the person that is reaching for the stars, at one point in his life, Maddox even mulled over running for Lt. Governor back in 2006, but he decided not pursue it.
“I don’t think a pro-life Republican can win statewide office,” he says.
In 2004, Maddox lost a State Senate Primary to John Campbell his bid for another term as California State Assemblyman, mostly he says because of Gov. Schwarzenegger, who backed Campbell.
“The Governor, who was popular then, campaigned for him. I dropped 21 points with a 1 point negative when the Governor endorsed my opponent. No one could remember a time when someone who was liked by the voters dropped so quickly in the polls. Sometimes, things are outside a candidate’s control,” he says.
Speaking of our Governor, Maddox says that he does have a solution or two on the State’s budget issues.
“Our budget would not nearly be the problem it is if we had a limited form of state government. Sacramento is not the solution to all our problems. It will never have the money necessary to do it all,” he says.
He also has a strong opinion about Nancy Pelosi; the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
“Pelosi is an advocate of open borders. We can’t continue to import unskilled labor and think it will lead to a prosperous California,” he says.
Maybe Gov. Schwarzenegger should take some cues from Davy Crockett, Maddox’s idea of a true leader. He says a strong leader should have “Confidence, humility and a respect for the Lord.”
But does Maddox’s local Orange County need a strong leader, considering it’s a lot like it’s own island … it is devoid of such things as a local news and radio station.
“We are in a difficult media market; smack dab between L.A. and San Diego. Cable news didn’t work out financially; the demand wasn’t there. Instead, we’ve given the world The Real Housewives of Orange County.”.