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Todd Spitzer - Supervisor Third District
October 10, 2013 Volume 1 Issue 39
County Supervisors Approve Greater Oversight of OCFA Ambulance Bidding Process After Todd Spitzer Uncovers Questionable OCFA Email
On Tuesday, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to improve oversight procedures over the Orange County Fire Authority’s (OCFA) bidding process for ambulance companies by requiring all correspondence sent or received by OCFA regarding the bidding process be transmitted to the County.

“This situation at OCFA clearly gave a perception of impropriety, and while it appears no laws were broken, this is a very serious situation that requires greater oversight,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer, also an OCFA Director, said. “The County Health Care Agency staff devised a proposal that allows greater County oversight to prevent this from happening again.”

On September 11, an OCFA staff member sent out an email relating to the RFP process for ambulances. The staff member invited incumbent ambulance providers to a meeting about ambulance issues with the expectation that it would focus primarily on the RFP; the meeting excluded any non-incumbent companies bidding on the ambulance services. Supervisor Spitzer had publicized the email at the October 1 Board of Supervisors meeting after learning of its existence.

OCFA Fire Chief Keith Richter apologized for the email and OCFA has begun to examine its process and strengthen oversight procedures to ensure this never happens again.

“The proposal developed by the Health Care Agency and adopted by the Board of Supervisors, with the support of the Fire Authority Board of Directors, represents a good compromise,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “OCFA Chief Keith Richter gave a very powerful apology and the Health Care Agency proposal gives us a path forward.”

OCFA is not a county agency but is actually a separate entity. However, OCFA’s authority over the bidding process for ambulance companies was actually a County responsibility that was delegated to OCFA in 2004 by the Board of Supervisors. On October 8, Supervisors had considered a proposal to remove the delegation and return that responsibility to the Emergency Medical Services program of the OC Health Care Agency but adopted the oversight procedure instead.
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Board of Supervisors Approves $80 Million Grant Application, Caps Musick Expansion to 384 Beds

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a request Tuesday by the Sheriff’s Department to seek $80 million in SB 1022 funding from the State of California. If the State grants these funds, they will be spent on inmate rehabilitation and a maximum of 384 additional inmate beds by 2018 at the James A. Musick Facility.

“As a result of overcrowding and the push by the State to put prisoners in our County jails under AB 109, we’re going to push low-level offenders into the street. We’re at risk of early release of prisoners in this County. We’re at risk of not allowing our local jurisdictions to book and to have custody-timed sentences for low level offenders,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “Low-level, by definition, is drunk driving, domestic violence, battery, assault, and other crimes that are bad but don’t necessarily arise to the level of a felony, where you would have somebody in a maximum-security bed.”

On four separate occasions just in 2013 alone, the Sheriff’s Department has asked city police departments to retain arrested suspects rather than turn them over to the County jail during busy weekends, including this past weekend, in addition to St. Patrick’s Day and Labor Day earlier this year.

At Spitzer’s urging, County Supervisors adopted several amendments to the resolution authorizing the application to ensure that this grant will not grow the Musick Jail by more than 384 additional beds. This balances local community concerns in keeping the jail size down while also ensuring enough capacity to house inmates to protect public safety.

“My amendments make it abundantly clear that the County is seeking funding for only these 384 additional beds,” Supervisor Spitzer also said. “Any claims that the County is increasing the number of beds beyond these 384 additional beds is political rhetoric and intentionally misleading.”

The resolution also ensures that the County will not lease these beds out to other entities, guaranteeing that these 384 new beds will only be used to rehabilitate low-level inmates arrested in Orange County.
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Todd Spitzer Inspects Partial Collapse of Hangar Roof at Former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin

On Monday, October 7, a portion of the roof caved in and collapsed at the historical landmark North Blimp Hangar at the former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin, located in the Third District. The hangar roof was left with a 625-square foot hole. The hangar was designed and built in 1942 during World War II and is mostly made of wood. It covers more than 5 acres and stands over 17 stories tall.

“I have championed saving the hangar because of its history, but we must work with the Navy to ensure the hangar is safe before it is conveyed to the County,” Supervisor Todd Spitzer said. “The public should not be harmed and the County should not be held liable for a federal structure.”

There were no injuries reported during the roof collapse; however, an experimental airship, known as the Aeroscraft, was damaged. Designed by Aeros Corp for the military, the Aeroscraft has an estimated value of $35-$40 million. The extent of the damage to the Aeroscraft is not currently known. Orange County Fire Authority hazardous material crews were called to the scene due to helium being leaked from the aircraft.

The long term plan is for the former air base to be turned into a park once the property is turned over from the United States Navy to the County of Orange. Currently, the Navy owns the hangar and holds the lease agreement with Aeros Corp.

OC Parks and Supervisor Spitzer have held two townhall meetings with the residents of Tustin to discuss the future of the hangar and base with more than 500 residents attending each meeting. They were previously featured in this newsletter in April and May.

OC Parks is continuing with its work on the General Development Plan for the Regional Park and will be working closely with the City of Tustin and the U.S. Department of the Navy as the assessment of the damage to the hangar proceeds.

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LAFCO Stakeholder Meetings Regarding Potential Yorba Linda Annexation Put on Hold
At yesterday’s meeting of the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), Supervisor Todd Spitzer was joined by five other commissioners in a 6-1 vote to put the LAFCO stakeholder meetings on hold. The LAFCO stakeholder meetings were to discuss a potential annexation of land in the proposed Esperanza Hills development into the City of Yorba Linda.

“Any LAFCO stakeholder meetings are premature,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “It does not make sense for LAFCO to be jumping into the middle of this while environmental impact reports are still being drafted, and litigation between the landowners is active.”

There are currently two adjacent but separate housing developments being proposed in two adjacent but separate areas of unincorporated County land north of Yorba Linda. Currently, the two developers are working on drafts of their respective environmental impact reports for each proposal. (A number of environmental impact report drafts are required before a proposed development can even be considered by the Orange County Planning Commission, who hear these projects before they ever reach the Board of Supervisors.)
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Weekend Flames Threatened Third District

Just this past weekend, the Baker Fire broke out in Santiago Canyon burning 50 acres. Thanks to Orange County’s brave firefighters and the voluntary evacuation of residents no life has been lost. This past Sunday, officials announced that it was safe for those who voluntarily evacuated to return home.

While no lives or structures were lost, this past weekend serves as a reminder about the dangerous conditions present during a Red Flag Warning. Especially in the areas of Silverado, Santiago Canyon, and Cooks Corner residents must remain extra cautious during times of dry and arid weather. Orange County residents are blessed to be served by very brave firefighters, but all residents must do their parts to help prevent wildfires.

Just one week before the Baker Fire, Supervisor Todd Spitzer joined a wildfire readiness training in Cowan Heights. A small fire broke out the day in Cowan Heights before the Baker Fire broke out in Silverado Canyon but was quickly extinguished by firefighters.

“The timing has been amazing, with fires in Silverado Canyon and Cowan Heights so soon after the readiness exercise. The Red Flag Warning was issued for Friday through Sunday and like clockwork, we had two fires during that time,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “As both a County Supervisor and an Orange County Fire Authority Director, I am relieved that no lives were lost, but I again urge residents to be prepared.”

Last week’s newsletter included a number of tips from the Fire Safe Council East Orange County Canyons, and they are republished here once again, in light of this weekend’s events:

  • 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. 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 and do not park over dry grass
  • Think ahead when planning outdoor activities, 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
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 Addresses Tustin Chamber of Commerce Monthly Membership Breakfast

Yesterday, Supervisor Todd Spitzer was the featured speaker at the Tustin Chamber of Commerce Monthly Membership Breakfast. He addressed the members about several issues that affect Tustin and the Third District.

“It is always a privilege to speak with one of the leading civic organizations in my district,” Supervisor Spitzer said after the event. “These economic leaders from both small businesses and large companies are the job creators who propel our local economy, so it is vital that they understand the major issues facing Orange County.”

During his speech, Supervisor Spitzer specifically addressed the recent damage to the hangar at the former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin and the $35 million experimental airship it was housing. He also spoke about the Board of Supervisors vote regarding the Musick Jail. Supervisor Spitzer also discussed the fires that impacted the Third District last weekend.
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Silverado Country Fair This Weekend

Click on the image above to view a PDF version.
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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 October 23rd from 6 pm to 8 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.

Click on the image above to view a PDF version.
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Villa Park Dog Adoption Event on Saturday, October 19
(Courtesy of Villa Park Community Foundation)

The Villa Park Community Services Foundation and Walk with a Friend (WWAF) invite you to participate in their first annual
Villa Park Dog Adoption Event on Saturday, October 19 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon on the greenbelt at Lincoln and Wanda.

Orange County Animal Care Services and multiple breed rescues will be attending with dogs in need of a permanent home. Attendees are encouraged to adopt one of these dogs.

Many dog and family activities are being coordinated for a fun day. Attendees can enjoy the vendors, raffles and food on site.

People (and their dogs) attending can either drive or “walk with a friend” to the event and celebrate the health benefits of dog ownership and exercise. There will be demonstrations of pet massage and pet chiropractic services in addition to emergency preparedness info for people and pets.

For more specific information, contact Carol Duensing at: or Terre Duensing at:
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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
Anaheim Fire & Rescue for the Ready, Set, Go! Block Party
Saturday, October 12, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Weir Canyon Fire Station #10, 8270 E. Monte Vista Rd.

Solar Decathlon 2013 & XPO Final Weekend
Thursday, October 10-Sunday, October 13
Orange County Great Park

Dress on a Dime
Saturday, October 12, 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Orange Public Library & History Center, 407 E. Chapman Ave.

Pine Tree Skate Spot Opening
Tuesday, October 15, 3:00 PM
Fire Station 23, 5020 Santiago Canyon Rd.

Yorba Linda
NiteLife: Creepy Cupcakes
Thursday, October 10, 7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Yorba Linda Public Library, 18181 Imperial Hwy.
Table of Contents
orange arrow County Supervisors Approve Greater Oversight of OCFA Ambulance Bidding Process After Todd Spitzer Uncovers Questionable OCFA Email
orange arrow Board of Supervisors Approves $80 Million Grant Application, Caps Musick Expansion to 384 Beds
orange arrow Todd Spitzer Inspects Partial Collapse of Hangar Roof at Former Marine Corps Air Station Tustin
orange arrow LAFCO Stakeholder Meetings Regarding Potential Yorba Linda Annexation Put on Hold
orange arrow Weekend Flames Threatened Third District
orange arrow Todd Spitzer Addresses Tustin Chamber of Commerce Monthly Membership Breakfast
orange arrow Silverado Country Fair This Weekend
orange arrow Todd Spitzer and OC Health Care Agency Sponsor Second Safe Communities Meeting
orange arrow Villa Park Dog Adoption Event on Saturday, October 19
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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