Brett R. Barbre was elected to the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) board in November 2000 with nearly 70% of the votes cast. He was subsequently re-elected in November 2002 by a similar margin and was unanimously re-elected in 2006 and 2010 when nobody chose to run against him. In the most recent election of 2014, Barbre was re-elected by a 2-1 margin of 67% - 33%. He represents Division I, which includes the cities of Brea, Buena Park, La Habra, La Palma, Placentia and Yorba Linda. Prior to his election to MWDOC, Barbre was an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Yorba Linda Water District from 1998 to 2000.
His primary goal in the water community is to ensure there is an adequate water supply for all of the needs in Orange County. He is leading the federal lobbying efforts to build a desalination plant in Dana Point and has been active in pursuing the approval and development of de-sal plants in Huntington Beach and throughout southern California. He has utilized his expertise lobbying on behalf of the MWDOC to help secure millions of dollars in local, state and federal funds to build these projects, and other water use efficiency projects, in order to increase water reliability for Orange County and all of southern California.
In 2009, Barbre was appointed to the 37 member Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) which imports water from northern California via the State Water Project and from the Colorado River via the MWD owned/operated Colorado River Aqueduct. MWD delivers water to approximately 23 million residents and serves the largest population of any water district worldwide. He currently serves as Chairman of the Finance & Insurance Committee, and is a member of the Executive Committee, Engineering & Operations Committee, the Communications & Legislation Committee and the Audit & Ethics Committee.
He has been a champion of pension reform and led the efforts at both MWD and MWDOC to establish an irrevocable Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) trust fund to pay down the benefits awarded in years past but were not funded. What this means is future ratepayers will not have to pay for benefits awarded but not funded years earlier. He also championed the efforts for absolute transparency in providing web access for all compensation and expense records for Directors at MWDOC.
Barbre is the Principal of Barbre & Associates, a public affairs company specializing in lobbying, campaigns strategies, media and public relations. He has represented clients at the local, state and federal levels and has successfully worked and directed campaigns from local water board to United States Senate races, and everything in between. He has successfully lobbied for clients and has successfully obtained multi-million dollar contracts for numerous clients.
Throughout his nearly 30 year tenure in Orange County public affairs, Barbre has been extensively quoted in most major newspapers in California including the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register. He has appeared in such prominent business publications as Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, The Bond Buyer and the Dow Jones News Wire, and has also appeared on countless local and national public policy radio and television programs.
For over seven years, Barbre served in the office of the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector, including time as the Chief Assistant Treasurer-Tax Collector and as Deputy Treasurer-Tax Collector and Public Information Officer. He also spent seven years on the staff of Congressman Bill Dannemeyer, who was the ranking member of the sub-committee on Health & the Environment, where Barbre developed his expertise on water-related issues.
A diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, Barbre can often be found travelling around “Red Sox Nation” to watch them play. He is a graduate of George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, and being a native of north Orange County, he attended and graduated from Glenknoll Elementary School, Bernardo Yorba Junior High School and Esperanza High School. He has been a resident of Yorba Linda since 1969 where he currently resides with his wife, Jean and their yellow lab Huckleberry. They have two grown daughters, Kimberly and Kathryn, and one grandson – who is already a diehard Red Sox fan!