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Todd Spitzer - Supervisor Third District
October 3, 2013 Volume 1 Issue 38
County Adds Criminal History Disclosure Requirements for Court-Referred Community Service Personnel at Todd Spitzer’s Urging
On Tuesday, October 1, the Board of Supervisors approved a revised agreement between OC Public Works and OneOC, formerly the Volunteer Center of Orange County, which places misdemeanor offenders referred by the courts for community service as an alternative to jailtime or fines. At Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s urging, participants performing community service at OC Public Works will now have a Criminal History Disclosure Form, and anyone who was ever convicted of a violent crime or sex offense will be barred from participation.

“We will know whether or not they have a criminal history,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “Specifically, I am asking to exclude anyone who has been convicted of a sex offense or violent crime.”

In previous years, the OneOC agreement with the County included both OC Public Works and OC Parks. Earlier this year, after concerns were raised over possible vandalism, missing property, and unspecific criteria, the County suspended the agreement with OneOC. While OC Parks experienced problems with the agreement, OC Public Works did not report any problems, as their placements are generally in more remote locations, such as flood control channels. Additionally, County personnel are always present, never allowing convicted misdemeanants to be unsupervised.

The County negotiated a new agreement with OneOC for placements in OC Public Works. The new agreement includes requirements proposed by Supervisor Spitzer to provide the County with direct access to criminal history disclosure forms and explicitly prohibit sex offenders and violent criminals from participation, which will serve to balance the public interest in protecting County property and citizens from harm while allowing criminals convicted of minor crimes to work off their debt to society by doing work at OC Public Works sites.
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Todd Spitzer Testifies at Commission on State Mandates Hearing to Retain State Funds for the Prosecution of Sexually Violent Predators

Supervisor Todd Spitzer testifying at the Commission on State Mandates hearing.
On Friday, September 27, Supervisor Todd Spitzer traveled to Sacramento to testify at the Commission on State Mandates. The Commission was reviewing a Redetermination Request filed by the State Department of Finance (DOF) that challenges the State reimbursement to counties for the prosecution, defense, and jail costs for Sexually Violent Predators. The DOF had challenged the reimbursement of the SVP Mandate on the grounds that Proposition 83 – known as “Jessica’s Law” and passed in 2006, constituted a “subsequent change of law.” Supervisor Spitzer strongly urged the Commission to still require the State to reimburse SVP costs. Four of the seven commissioners voted to end the reimbursement to counties.

“Jessica’s Law was passed by the Legislature and then was subsequently confirmed by the voters. If the Legislature passes an unfunded mandate, the State must reimburse counties. Several Commissioners argued that it’s no longer an unfunded mandate because the voters passed it,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “The Commission vote sets a dangerous precedent because there is now no longer anything stopping legislators from launching ballot initiatives not to gain changes in state law, but rather to simply reconfirm state law while removing the State’s obligation to reimburse local government for unfunded mandates.”

This debate stems from the DOF’s interpretation of Jessica’s Law and its impacts. The Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVPA) was created by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson in 1995. The SVPA established civil commitment procedures for the continued detention and treatment of sexually violent offenders following their completion of a prison term for certain sex-related offenses. In 1998, the Commission on State Mandates issued a Statement of Decision approving reimbursement to local governments for costs associated with implementing the SVPA.

In a 2005 letter from then-Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill and then-Director of Finance Tom Campbell to then-Attorney General Bill Lockyer regarding Jessica’s Law, they stated several times that the State would “reimburse counties for their costs for participation in the SVP commitment process.” The same letter further goes on to state that, “The provisions related to the SVP program could also result in county savings and costs, with these costs subsequently being reimbursed by the state.” The letter further states, “The provisions of this measure related to the SVP program could increase county costs…Counties would be reimbursed in full for all of these costs after they had filed and processed claims with the state.”

In September 2006, the Legislature amended the SVPA via SB 1128. These amendments mainly conformed to a then-pending ballot initiative, Proposition 83, known as “Jessica’s Law.” This proposition was designed to enhance public safety by toughening laws on sex offenders. Ensuring that local governments have enough resources to deal with these predators is absolutely vital to the mission of Jessica’s Law. Proposition 83 won 71% of the vote statewide in November 2006, with 75% of Orange County voters casting their ballots for it. Jessica’s Law passed in 57 out of California’s 58 counties, failing only in San Francisco County by a close 47.5%-52.5% margin.

Nothing in Proposition 83 altered the laws or the duties on local entities that were imposed by existing SVP laws that were previously determined to be reimbursable costs pursuant to the Commission’s 1998 decision. Jessica’s Law did not constitute a new program or a higher level of service for the sexually violent predators program. Seven years later, the DOF has filed a retroactive redetermination to challenge the State’s reimbursement of SVPA on the grounds that Proposition 83 created a “subsequent change in law.”

SB 1128 and subsequently, Proposition 83 (Jessica’s Law), did not change the funding structure or reimbursement properties of the initial legislation that created the SVPA program. The DOF is using the Redetermination Process to retroactively challenge such state mandates as the SVP. The Redetermination Process can be initiated by the DOF if they can show a “subsequent change of law.” However, Jessica’s Law was not a subsequent change of the SVP program.

Three Orange County agencies utilize SVP reimbursement funds in order to perform this State-mandated program: the District Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender, and the Sheriff’s Department. The collective annual reimbursement claims from these three agencies have ranged from $1.1 million to $2.5 million per year.

This is not a uniquely Orange County problem. Counties across the state need this reimbursement to carry out the will of the voters in protecting public safety by controlling these sexually violent predators. The California State Association of Counties, the California District Attorneys Association, and the California Public Defenders Association are all opposed to this effort to end State reimbursement for the SVP program, as are Orange County’s neighbors in Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County.

Jessica’s Law author George Runner wrote to the Commission opposing the effort to end the State reimbursement, noting that the will of the voters is being turned on its head because lack of reimbursement will severely restrict the ability of counties to enforce the will of the voters. The lack of SVP reimbursements will affect the ability of counties to prosecute those that are sexually violent predators. Lack of funds will dilute the stringency of the application of the law upon these crimes.

This lack of reimbursement for SVP combined with other hits and shortfalls that the counties are facing currently in the criminal justice arena are important to note. For instance, in Orange County for FY 2012-2013, there was a $10.9 million shortfall in AB 109 inmate realignment to the OC Sheriff’s Department alone.

Supervisor Spitzer continues to advocate for the retention of much needed State public safety funds.
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Orange County Crime Victims Memorial Receives Numerous Submittals – Design Competition Judging Begins

Supervisor Todd Spitzer speaking at the first meeting of the Orange County Crime Victims Memorial committee.
OC Parks received 59 design submittals for consideration for the Orange County Crime Victims Memorial by the September 30 deadline. Open to all, the competition drew broad interest, with 42% of the entries originating internationally from Australia, Mexico, Sweden, Japan, China, and the United Kingdom. In addition, seven of the 59 entries were submitted by students.

“I am so pleased to see the outpouring of interest and dedication to this much needed Crime Victims Memorial here in Orange County,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “The level of interest from designers from around the world is a huge statement of how victimization is an issue that affects all walks of life.”

The Orange County Board of Supervisors, in conjunction with OC Parks, is sponsoring this design competition, announced during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April. The Crime Victims Memorial was approved by the Board of Supervisors and will be located at Mason Regional Park in Irvine.

The competition seeks to create a memorial that will pay tribute to crime victims and promote hope, healing, and remembrance for those touched by crime. The OC Crime Victims Memorial will also offer a place of solace and contemplation for crime victims and their families. The Memorial will complement the landscape of Mason Park and facilitate both large gatherings and private visitations. Many of the designs being considered may provide an opportunity for individual contributions to the site, such as inscriptions of names, plaques, or pavers.

The Design Competition is an open, two-stage competition. The first stage solicited concept drawings and narratives that fully articulated the design vision for the Memorial’s site within Mason Park. The 59 entries will be reviewed for completeness and consistency with the competition guidelines. A panel of eight judges appointed by the Board of Supervisors will select five finalists to move on to Stage Two of the competition. The five finalists will then submit detailed design documents in plan and elevation view, logo design, and an optional materials board by January 30, 2014.

Public participation is encouraged, as the 59 submittals will be posted online for public feedback and review. Once the 59 entries are narrowed to the five finalists, these five submittals will be displayed publicly in February and March. The winning design will be announced during Crime Victims’ Rights Week in April 2014.

For more information about the competition, please visit:
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Todd Spitzer Assists in Wildfire Readiness Training in Cowan Heights

Supervisor Todd Spitzer with Rick Nelson of the Foothill Communities Association (far left) and representatives of the American Red Cross at the wildfire readiness training for 900 homes in Cowan Heights.
On Saturday, Supervisor Todd Spitzer joined an important wildfire readiness training in Cowan Heights, one of the highest risk communities for wildfire in Orange County. In 1967, the Paseo Grande Fire destroyed 66 homes and forced the evacuation of many more in those two areas. Supervisor Spitzer spoke about the importance of events such as these that help prepare residents for emergency situations.

“It is critical that residents in high-risk areas like Cowan Heights know what they need to do to save their families’ lives in an emergency,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “As both the County Supervisor representing Cowan Heights and an Orange County Fire Authority Director, I am proud to have been involved in preparing residents for this vital training.”

Cowan Heights itself has experienced much development since 1967. The development that has gone on since 1967 has covered much of the natural vegetation that was in place. The area still remains at risk for potential wildfire damage into the future. Supervisor Spitzer highlighted the importance for all residents, making sure that they have all essential documents accounted for and in an easily accessible location in case of emergencies.

“This weekend’s Red Flag Warning serves as a reminder of the importance of being prepared for wildfires,” Supervisor Spitzer also said. “Rapid, safe escape with all family members, pets, and essential documents is paramount should wildfires threaten homes.”

Being prepared to leave—and leave early—in an emergency situation is the responsibility of every Orange County resident. To learn more information about wildfire readiness and upcoming community events or sign up for a free home assessment please visit
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Todd Spitzer Urges Vigilance and Preparedness During Red Flag Warning for Orange County This Friday Through Sunday
(Portions Courtesy of the National Weather Service and the Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons)

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for most of Orange County, effective from 2:00 AM on Friday, October 4, until 8:00 PM on Sunday, October 6.

“I urge all Orange County residents to be vigilant and take extra precautions during this Red Flag Warning,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer, also an Orange County Fire Authority Director, said. “The Third District’s canyon communities are particularly vulnerable in these conditions.”

The Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons will raise Red Flags at the Silverado / Santiago Canyon Road Junction and Cook’s Corner. The Red Flags are meant to serve as a reminder to anyone in the area to be extremely cautious.

Orange County residents should:
  • Report any suspicious activity directly to 9-1-1
  • Any mowing or weed eating should be done before 10 AM & after 6 PM (and NEVER during extremely dry or windy conditions)
  • Never use lawn mowers in dry vegetation
  • Make sure cigarette butts are properly extinguished, do not smoke near dry brush or grass, and never throw cigarette butts from car windows
  • Spark arresters are always required in wildland areas on all portable gasoline powered equipment, and think twice before using powered equipment on windy days
  • Park your vehicles headed out for quick evacuation, and do not block the street with parked vehicles nor park over dry grass
  • Think ahead when planning outdoor activities, and reconsider outdoor BBQs or other potentially hazardous activities
  • Check local conditions and restrictions with OC Parks and the US Forest Service before venturing into the wilderness parks and national forest
The National Weather Service states more specifically that a moderate strength Santa Ana Wind event now appears likely for late Thursday night through Sunday with northeast to east winds sustained 25 to 40 miles per hour (mph) with local gusts as high as 65 mph through and below canyons and passes. Winds will peak Friday night and Saturday, then diminish Saturday night and Sunday morning, and then turn onshore by Sunday afternoon. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions will occur, and a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will contribute to extreme fire behavior.
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Todd Spitzer and OC Health Care Agency Sponsor Second Safe Communities Meeting
(Portions courtesy of Health Care Agency)

As part of the Safe Communities series, Supervisor Todd Spitzer is partnering with the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Sheriff’s Department to host a community forum focused on Anti-Bullying. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 23 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Foothill High School’s Event Center.

“I was proud to sponsor the first Safe Communities meeting in Irvine examining mental illness, substance abuse, and violence,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I hope you will join me in this next Safe Communities meeting in Tustin to address the important issue of bullying in our community.”

Parents, students, educators and the community at large are encouraged to attend. The program includes an expert from the Sheriff’s Department on social media trends in bullying, a local student with lived experience, and a national expert from a non-profit organization. Light refreshments will be provided, and doors open at 5:30 PM.

Click on the image above to view a PDF version.
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New Gate at Black Star Canyon Road Allows Access for People on Foot, on Bicycles, on Horses, and in Wheelchairs
(Portions courtesy of OC Parks)

Effective immediately, all pedestrians, hikers, bicyclists and equestrians can use Black Star Canyon Road between Silverado Canyon Road and the Cleveland National Forest.

“This new gate will allow the public to access one of the Third District’s beautiful natural areas,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I am so pleased that we have been able to balance natural preservation with public access via Black Star Canyon Road.”

A side gate has been added to the existing road gate to allow for the unimpeded passage of individuals on foot, on bicycles or on horses and those individuals who require the use of wheelchairs or other mobility devices. The gate will be open at all times.

Please be advised that motorized vehicle access beyond the gate by the public is only authorized for individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility devices and for others (e.g. property owners, public agencies) who have permission to drive motorized vehicles on the road.

All other motorized vehicles – including motorcycles and motorbikes – are not permitted beyond the gate.
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Tustin Tiller Days This Weekend

Click on the image above to view a PDF version.
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Pet of the Week

Click on the image above to view a PDF version.

Click on the image above to view a PDF version.
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Events Around the District
Orange County International Auto Show
Thursday, October 3-Sunday, October 6
Anaheim Convention Center, 800 W. Katella Ave.

Solar Decathlon 2013 & XPO
Thursday, October 3-Sunday, October 6
Orange County Great Park

Orange County Probation Open House
Saturday, October 5, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Youth Leadership Academy, 3155 W. Justice Center Way

Silverado Canyon
Silverado Firefighters Memorial Rededication
Saturday, October 5, 10:00 AM
Fire Station 14, 29402 Silverado Canyon Rd.

Villa Park
Orange County Fire Authority Open House
Saturday, October 5, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Fire Station 23, 5020 Santiago Canyon Rd.

Yorba Linda
Community Car Show and Chili Cook-Off
Saturday, October 5, 11:00 AM-4:00PM
Yorba Linda Community Center, 4501 Casa Loma Ave.
Table of Contents
orange arrow County Adds Criminal History Disclosure Requirements for Court-Referred Community Service Personnel at Todd Spitzer’s Urging
orange arrow Todd Spitzer Testifies at Commission on State Mandates Hearing to Retain State Funds for the Prosecution of Sexually Violent Predators
orange arrow Orange County Crime Victims Memorial Receives Numerous Submittals – Design Competition Judging Begins
orange arrow Todd Spitzer Assists in Wildfire Readiness Training in Cowan Heights
orange arrow Todd Spitzer Urges Vigilance and Preparedness During Red Flag Warning for Orange County This Friday Through Sunday
orange arrow Todd Spitzer and OC Health Care Agency Sponsor Second Safe Communities Meeting
orange arrow New Gate at Black Star Canyon Road Allows Access for People on Foot, on Bicycles, on Horses, and in Wheelchairs
orange arrow Tustin Tiller Days This Weekend
orange arrow Pet of the Week
orange arrow Events Around the District
Martha Ochoa
Chief of Staff

Martin Gardner
Policy Advisor

Carrie O'Malley
Policy Advisor

Chris Nguyen
Policy Advisor

Christine Richters
Executive Aide

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