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Todd Spitzer - Supervisor Third District
March 21, 2013 Volume 1 Issue 10
Spitzer returns from Harvard with new ideas on efficiency
(Santa Ana, CA) – Last week, Supervisor Spitzer attended Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Driving Government Performance seminar, along with top leaders from around the globe including Kuwait, the U.A.E., Nigeria, Wales and Argentina.

The program is aimed at introducing participants to a variety of proven strategies that have helped a diversity of public executives in a diversity of circumstances produce significant results. The county sponsored Supervisor Spitzer at $7,391.90, which covered tuition, housing, food and airfare after he was competitively selected to attend the program. In the past, this program has also been attended by his predecessor Supervisor Bill Campbell, as well as executives in other Orange County agencies.

Spitzer covered his own first night’s accommodations and other expenses, including luggage fees, ground transportation and food during transit to the program.

“As someone who strongly encourages employee development, I was honored to be selected for this great opportunity to gain outside perspectives and bring back strategies to Orange County to get things done,” said Spitzer. “I’ll be sharing new ideas for government efficiency with my board colleagues and other county leadership.”

In addition to earning his law degree, Spitzer also holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the U.C. Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy.

Below is an excerpt from a summation – Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s Report to the Board of Supervisors on participation at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education, “Driving Government Performance Leadership Strategies,” March 10-15, 2013, Cambridge, Massachusetts – written by Supervisor Spitzer of the experience which is being shared with other members of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Click here to view the full summation.

Within minutes of arriving at Harvard on Sunday, March 10th, 60 of my classmates and I discussed and debated Compstat by pulling apart the guts of the NYPD organization in order to understand Bratton’s purpose in evolving the NYPD into a customer service organization where reducing crime was its product and where effectiveness and accountability could be measured through specific performance measures. We then broke into our six teams of ten and spent the rest of the jet-lagged evening discussing the three cases we would be dissecting on Monday.

Welcome to the Harvard Kennedy School ‘s Executive Education Program and its “Driving Government Performance” seminar. I have always been a public policy geek. I was in heaven.

Also, below is a copy of the program agenda, also available here.

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Crimestoppers to hold golf tournament
(Irvine, CA) – Orange County Crimestoppers will hold a golf tournament, Monday, March 25 at 12:30 p.m. at the Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, hosted by the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. Supervisor Spitzer will attend in support of crime victims across Orange County.

For more information, go to
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Message to canyon drivers: speed kills
(Santa Ana, CA) – Recently, Supervisor Spitzer submitted a letter-to-the editor to the Orange County Register, following their March 16 story, CHP steps up presence on narrow canyon road. Below is the text of his letter:

On Friday night, February 15th, I was riding with CHP Officer, Todd Kovaletz, at 9 p.m. at night on Santiago Canyon Road going westbound near Irvine Lake when an eastbound driver, going over 90 miles per hour, zoomed past us on this undivided highway where numerous crashes have occurred with too much frequency (CHP Steps up Presence on Narrow Canyon Road, OC Register, March 16, 2013, Local). The CHP is my eyes and ears for traffic enforcement in this unincorporated portion of my district. We made a quick u-turn and pursued this driver at speeds over 100 mph to catch up. It seemed clear that the driver, spotting the marked CHP unit, was trying to out run us.

Finally, at the Silverado Canyon cut-off, we caught up with him when he slammed on his brakes in the middle of the street, yielding to our lights and siren knowing that the canyon road would dead-end a few miles ahead. No one died; a few choice words and a ticket for the driver ensued. I wish this driver's speed was an unusual occurrence. This was dangerous to the driver, other motorists and to the officers who had to give chase. I urge all my constituents who live in the canyons to spread the word. Speed can kill. Please, please drive carefully.
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Spitzer promotes fire safety
(portions courtesy Orange County Fire Authority)

(Orange County, CA) – Orange County’s long, hot, and dry summers make us vulnerable to severe wildfire conditions. It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” the next major wildfire could happen. That's why the most important person in protecting your life and property is not the firefighter, but yourself! And for residents of the third district, the fire risk is greatest.

“My district faces the worst fire risk in Orange County,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “That’s why I’m urging residents, especially those in foothill or canyon areas to make a plan and follow it when we have a wildfire.”

Recently, the OC Register reported on the increased risk during the spring and summer months in its story, “Despite those green O.C. hills, spring should be dry.

In Orange County, wildfires are fueled by dry vegetation and driven by hot, dry winds, making them extremely dangerous and difficult to control. It is important to take every precaution to help protect you and your property from wildfire, because firefighting resources are stretched thin during wind driven events. Many residents have built their homes and landscaped without fully understanding the impact that could result from a wildfire. Few have adequately prepared their families for a quick evacuation, and many don't know the potential consequences of choosing to ignore an evacuation order until it is too late.

The Orange County Fire Authority recommends residents use “Ready, Set, Go!” which emphasizes the importance of being Ready – Prepare your home; Set – Prepare your family; Go – Leave early! Now is the time to take the steps necessary to protect you, your family, property, and community from a devastating wildfire. For more information, visit
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Board of Supervisors to interview seven for auditor-controller
(Santa Ana, CA) – On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors narrowed the pool of applicants for auditor-controller from 23 applicants to seven finalists who will be interviewed publicly at a future meeting of the board. The board sought to interview as many qualified applicants as possible.

Of the 23 applicants, 10 met the minimum legal educational and financial experience requirements. Of these 10, there were two who were rejected for being double dippers (they would be collecting a government pension while still collecting the auditor-controller’s salary if appointed) and reside outside Orange County. Of the remaining eight applicants,
one was rejected because he had no previous experience in managing any employees in either the private or public sectors. That left seven finalists, who will be interviewed by the Board of Supervisors for appointment as auditor-controller of Orange County.

In alphabetical order, the seven finalists (with licensing, city of residence, and career highlights) are:

  • George Beck, CIA, Mission Viejo
    • legacy replacement program team member, Los Angeles Unified School District
    • former director of accounting, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
    • former city auditor of the City of Houston, Texas

  • James Benuzzi, CIA, Orange
    • private sector internal auditor
    • former member of the Audit Oversight Committee, City of Placentia
    • first internal audit manager of the City of Orange

  • Jan Grimes, CPA, Dana Point
    • chief deputy auditor-controller of Orange County
    • former director of central accounting operations
    • former accounting manager of environmental management agency (now OC Public Works)

  • Nick Pham, CPA, Aliso Viejo
    • private sector regional controller
    • former private sector accounting manager

  • Gustavo Rodriguez, CPA, Fullerton
    • private sector financial management consultant
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities

  • Eric Woolery, CPA, Orange
    • Riverside County district attorney’s deputy director of administration
    • former private sector CFO
    • former member of the Orange County Board of Education

  • Alexander Yu, CPA, Ladera Ranch
    • CFO of Tri-City Healthcare District
    • former CFO of various private sector medical entities

(CFO is Chief Financial Officer, CIA is Certified Internal Auditor, and CPA is Certified Public Accountant.)

The person appointed will fill out the remaining two years of former Auditor-Controller David Sundstrom’s term. Sundstrom resigned in 2012 to become Sonoma County auditor-controller-treasurer-tax collector, a position that allowed him to return to his hometown and be closer to his extended family. In the 2014 election, Orange County voters will elect an auditor-controller to serve a four-year term.
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Pet of the Week
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Events around the district

Easter Egg Hunt
8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 30
Tustin Sports Park


Free Volleyball Clinic – ages 7-14
11:00 a.m., Saturday, March 23
Orange County Great Park Click here to register.

Balancing Personal Finances (En Espanol)
2:00 p.m, Saturday, March 30
El Modena Branch Library
Presented by the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County

Animal Shelter Night, OC Animal Care and Anaheim Ducks
Sunday, March 24, 3:30-5:00 p.m. at the Honda Center

Yorba Linda:
Next Step Facebook at the Library
10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 23
Yorba Linda Public Library, Community Room
Find out how to take your Facebook activity to the next level!
Table of Contents
orange arrow Spitzer returns from Harvard with new ideas on efficiency
orange arrow Crimestoppers to hold golf tournament
orange arrow Message to canyon drivers: speed kills
orange arrow Spitzer promotes fire safety
orange arrow Board of Supervisors to interview seven for auditor-controller
orange arrow Pet of the Week
orange arrow Events around the district
Mike Johnson
Chief of Staff

Justin Glover
Communications Director

Martin Gardner
Policy Advisor

Martha Ochoa-Lopez
Policy Advisor

Carrie O'Malley
Policy Advisor

Chris Nguyen
Policy Advisor
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