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Todd Spitzer - Supervisor Third District
February 7, 2014 Volume 2 Issue 5
Supervisors Ask Legislature to Allow California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to Enforce Ethics Rules in Orange County

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford, and Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson at the San Bernardino County Government Center in September.
 
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pursue legislation to allow the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to enforce campaign finance and ethics rules in Orange County. The proposal was introduced at the behest of the Board’s ad hoc subcommittee of Chairman Shawn Nelson and Supervisor Todd Spitzer.

“Under current law, the FPPC is not allowed to enforce Orange County’s campaign finance regulations and gift restrictions,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “Contracting with the FPPC will allow the state’s watchdog agency to provide enforcement, auditing, and training services for campaign finance laws and gift restrictions in Orange County.”

In late June, the Board of Supervisors formed an ad hoc subcommittee to research ways to strengthen ethics enforcement in Orange County. The ad hoc subcommittee examined AB 2146 (Cook, 2012), which was state legislation that permitted San Bernardino County to contract with the FPPC for enforcement of ethics rules.

In September, Chairman Nelson and Supervisor Spitzer met with Janice Rutherford, Chairwoman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. After a series of scandals rocked San Bernardino County, Rutherford ran on a platform of cleaning up San Bernardino County government and defeated a sitting Supervisor to win the November 2010 elections. Rutherford proposed that San Bernardino County contract with the FPPC for enforcement, auditing, and training. Assemblyman Paul Cook carried the state legislation that permitted San Bernardino do so, which was signed into law in 2012 and took effect in 2013.

Rutherford, her staff, and San Bernardino County’s in-house counsel who worked on the proposal, shared their experiences passing the state legislation necessary to permit the County and the FPPC to negotiate a contract, making the changes to County regulations needed to satisfy the FPPC, and working with the FPPC after the legislation, ordinance, and contract were implemented.

The FPPC was created in 1974 by California voters as part of Proposition 9, better known as the Political Reform Act. The proposal approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday seeks to add Orange County to AB 2146 to allow OC to contract with the FPPC for enforcement, auditing, and training services related to ethics regulations.
 
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CalOptima CEO Responds to Audit at Board of Supervisors Meeting
This week, CalOptima CEO Michael Schrader appeared before the Orange County Board of Supervisors meeting. Schrader appeared before the Board at the direction of Chairman Shawn Nelson and Supervisor Todd Spitzer to discuss the comprehensive federal audit that made 57 findings about the problems with the management of CalOptima’s OneCare program. (For more information about the audit, please see last week’s newsletter here.)

“This is a good starting point to better understand the serious management problems at CalOptima and move forward to fix them,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I thank Michael Schrader for his candid answers at the public forum of the Board of Supervisors meeting as we seek to rectify the problems at CalOptima.”

In response to questions from Supervisor Spitzer, Schrader stated that turmoil from the high turnover of management had harmed CalOptima’s ability to provide services and oversee contracted health plan networks. Schrader, who joined CalOptima 13 months ago on December 30, 2012, explained that he spent months filling the vacant management roles.

Supervisor Spitzer shared 2009-2012 data that CalOptima had sent to state legislators showing that the number of OneCare member appeals and grievances had spiked from 2011 to 2012 at the same time that OneCare provider appeals declined. Specifically, OneCare Member Appeals soared from 189 to 474 – a jump of more than 2.5 times the number from the previous year. OneCare Member Grievances increased from 331 to 452, an increase of more than one-third. OneCare Provider Appeals declined from 224 to 201, a drop of 10.3%.

Schrader stated that CalOptima had been “trying to be a friend not a parent” to providers when it should have been serving in a “parent” role by providing oversight. Schrader also acknowledged that during this time period, the compliance staff was substantially the same with significant management turnover. Supervisor Spitzer expressed serious concerns that patients felt they were being mistreated during this period at the same time that there was complete management turmoil.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson pointed to a 2011 ordinance change that was approved on a 3-2 vote of the Board of Supervisors that increased provider representation on the CalOptima Board. He suggested that the data provided indicated a link between the 2011 ordinance change and the increase in member complaints along with a decrease in provider appeals.

At its February 25 meeting, the Board of Supervisors will examine the entire governing ordinance of CalOptima.

CalOptima is the government agency that serves as the health plan for the poor and elderly in Orange County. CalOptima’s OneCare Program is the health plan for 16,000 Orange County residents who are enrolled in both Medi-Cal and Medicare Parts A and B.
 
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OCTA Approves New Agreement with Grand Jurors Association That Reduces Conflicts of Interest for Taxpayer Oversight Committee

OCTA Director Todd Spitzer met with the Grand Jurors Association of Orange County on Wednesday to discuss the Measure M2 Taxpayer Oversight Committee.
 
Last week, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors approved a new agreement with the Grand Jurors Association of Orange County for recruitment services for members of the Measure M2 Taxpayer Oversight Committee. The new agreement includes new provisions to reduce conflicts of interest on the committee.

“I raised concerns last year when a transportation consultant with several OCTA contracts was selected for OCTA’s Measure M2 Taxpayer Oversight Committee,” OCTA Director Todd Spitzer said. “Fortunately, that consultant declined the position, but this episode made it clear that reforms were needed in the selection process.”

Under previous procedures, the Grand Jurors Association selected who they deemed the best qualified applicants, who were then sent to OCTA. OCTA then held a lottery from the pool of applicants sent by the Grand Jurors Association to make the final selection. Neither entity reviewed potential conflicts of interest.

Under the newly-enacted agreement between OCTA and the Grand Jurors Association, two new provisions were added:
  • Any government official, other than the Orange County Auditor-Controller, must submit an “Intent to Resign” from office as part of the application for membership on the Taxpayer Oversight Committee, and if the form is not submitted, then the Grand Jurors Association will deem the official automatically ineligible for appointment to the Taxpayer Oversight Committee
  • The Grand Jurors Association will deem any person who has a financial conflict of interest to be automatically ineligible for appointment
These people who are automatically ineligible will not be sent to the OCTA lottery for final selection.
 
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OC Sheriff’s Yorba Linda Police Services Substation Expansion Dedicated

Supervisor Todd Spitzer presents a proclamation from the County of Orange for the newly-expanded Police Services Substation in Yorba Linda to Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Bob Wren, who is Chief of Police Services in Yorba Linda.
 
Last week, Supervisor Todd Spitzer joined Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Yorba Linda Mayor Craig Young, and the Yorba Linda City Council to dedicate the Sheriff’s newly-expanded Police Services Substation in Yorba Linda.

“After a year of the Sheriff’s Department providing police services in Yorba Linda, the expansion of the substation better accommodates the needs of Yorba Linda residents and the Sheriff’s Department,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “The County and the City have been excellent partners in many efforts, and this expansion serves as an important reminder of that continuing partnership.”

Funded by the City of Yorba Linda, the $500,000 expansion increases the size of the Orange County Sheriff’s Yorba Linda Police Services Substation by more than 75 percent, increasing it from 2,041 square feet to 3,604 square feet.

The new expansion will allow for more officers to deploy directly from the substation in Yorba Linda and includes space for men’s and women’s locker rooms, a custom-built military-grade evidence locker, and more office space. The new expansion will also aid in the efficient implementation of law enforcement services including patrol, general and special crime investigation, traffic enforcement, collision investigation, parking enforcement and crime prevention.

Additionally, the newly expanded police services substation will provide a number of programs to residents and businesses in Yorba Linda.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department began providing police services to the City of Yorba Linda on January 5, 2013. Sheriff’s Lieutenant Bob Wren, who grew up in Yorba Linda and continues to reside there, serves as Chief of Police Services in Yorba Linda.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department provides police services for all of the County’s unincorporated areas, including North Tustin, the Canyons, Orange Park Acres, and El Modena. Additionally, it provides police services on a contract basis for 13 of Orange County’s 34 cities, including Villa Park and Yorba Linda.
 

Mayor Craig Young, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Mayor Pro Tem Gene Hernandez, and Councilman Mark Schwing cut the ribbon for the Sheriff’s Department’s newly-expanded Police Services Substation in Yorba Linda.
 
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County Launches Foothill Blvd./Old Foothill Blvd. Sidewalk Replacement Project in North Tustin

Supervisor Todd Spitzer speaks to North Tustin residents about the Foothill Blvd./Old Foothill Blvd. Sidewalk Replacement Project.
 
(Portions Courtesy of OC Public Works)

Supervisor Todd Spitzer and OC Public Works organized a public meeting at Foothill High School on Wednesday to present the Foothill Blvd./Old Foothill Blvd. Sidewalk Replacement Project to residents of North Tustin.

“This is a critically important project to ensure safe sidewalks for the residents of North Tustin,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “Replacing these sidewalks will help avert injuries and strengthen residents’ mobility.”

This project will improve the roadway and sidewalk adjacent to Hillview High School and Foothill High School to provide a safe route to schools. The project limits on Foothill Boulevard are from Old Foothill Boulevard and Orange Knoll Drive, and on Old Foothill Boulevard from Foothill Boulevard to 600 feet northerly in the unincorporated County area of North Tustin.

Due to poor soil conditions and excessive animal burrows beneath the sidewalks, the majority of the sidewalk is distressed with uplifting in some areas while other areas are subject to major cracking and separation of the sidewalk from the curb.

The project will reconstruct sidewalks, curbs and gutters, two curb ramps, a driveway approach on Foothill Blvd., and full reconstruction of roadway shoulders on the south side of Foothill Blvd. and on the west side of Old Foothill Blvd.

Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2014, and is expected to be completed in two months, with an estimated cost of $800,000.
 
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Supervisor Spitzer Gives County Update at Orange Park Association Annual Meeting

 
At the end of January, Supervisor Todd Spitzer spoke at the Orange Park Association’s Annual Meeting to provide a County update to the Orange Park Acres residents in attendance.

“It is a privilege to speak with community groups in the Third District,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I always appreciate opportunities to share County updates with my constituents.”

In response to concerns about various land use issues raised by the residents of Orange Park Acres, Supervisor Spitzer described various land use and planning issues from his first tenure as Supervisor and in his present tenure. He emphasized the importance of community input and addressing local resident concerns. Supervisor Spitzer also discussed County efforts to find ways to raise more revenue without increasing fees.
 

Orange Park Association (OPA) President Laura Thomas, Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Orange Mayor Tita Smith, Arena Manager Bruce Williams, Orange Mayor Pro Tem Mark Murphy, and Orange Councilman Fred Whitaker at the OPA Annual Meeting.
 
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Supervisor Spitzer Takes the Eco Challenge
(Portions Courtesy of OC Waste & Recycling)

Supervisor Todd Spitzer arrived at the Honda Center on Saturday morning, along with nearly 500 other Anaheim Ducks fans, ready to dispose of hazardous waste, e-waste and used clothing. But that was just the beginning. OC Waste & Recycling’s Eco Challenge Day was filled with fun and prizes for the eco-friendly participants at the event.

“Hazardous waste and electronic waste represent frequent challenges for residents seeking to dispose of them,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I am glad that the County is able to provide services like this to help people get rid of their electronic and hazardous waste.”

More than six and a half tons of hazardous waste, e-waste and reusable clothing were collected. All participants were given reusable bags and a free child admission coupon to visit the County’s Eco Challenge exhibits at the Discovery Science Center.

The event was one of three that OC Waste & Recycling is organizing at the Honda Center this season. There is still time to participate. The next Eco Challenge recycling event will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014. Visit www.ocecochallenge.com for more information. Details will be posted in March.

OC Waste & Recycling has partnered with the Ducks and the Angels to help grow Orange County’s environmental awareness. The public-private partnerships have brought more than 18,000 visitors to the County-sponsored Eco Challenge Exhibit at the Discovery Science Center in the past year.

The interactive Eco Challenge exhibit represents a ten-year investment by the County and represents an innovative way to educate school-aged children by “doing” rather than “telling.” It is an exhibit that Orange County children and grandchildren will look forward to visiting over and over again. Children’s inspirations begin right here with the County’s Eco Challenge exhibits.
 

Supervisor Spitzer with OC Waste & Recycling Staff at the County’s Eco Challenge on Saturday at the Honda Center.
 
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OCTA Begins Expansion of 5 Freeway

OCTA Director Todd Spitzer joins several other OCTA Directors to break ground on the new expansion of the 5 freeway.
 
(Portions Courtesy of OCTA)

Last week, OCTA began a construction project that will add carpool lanes to the 5 freeway between San Juan Creek Road and Avenida Pico. In addition to adding the carpool lane in both directions between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, the project will rebuild the Avenida Pico interchange in San Clemente.

“When the voters passed the second Measure M in 2006, OCTA promised $12 billion in transportation spending,” OCTA Director Todd Spitzer said. “This project was one of the projects pledged to the voters and represents promises being kept.”

More than 100 transportation, community and business leaders gathered to celebrate the start of construction for the $249 million I-5 South Improvement Project.

“I am pleased to see this much-anticipated project get under way and am looking forward to it bringing much-needed congestion relief to all who travel on the I-5 through south Orange County,” said OCTA Director Patricia Bates. “This is the first of several Measure M projects planned in coming years that will allow our residents to spend less time in their cars and more time doing all that they enjoy.”

This stretch of the 5 freeway is notorious for weekend traffic jams, as well as regular rush-hour bottlenecks. The project now under construction will alleviate the back-ups by ensuring a continuous number of lanes – four general purpose and one carpool – in each direction, eliminating the need for vehicles to merge.

At Avenida Pico, the freeway will be widened from four lanes in each direction to five, and Avenida Pico beneath the freeway will be widened from five lanes to nine. The northbound on-ramp also will be widened from two lanes to three. The project also will create bicycle lanes along Pico – a key safety addition with San Clemente High School and other campuses in the area.

The project, a partnership between OCTA and Caltrans, is being funded by Measure M, a half-cent sales tax that was approved by Orange County voters in 2006, as well as state and local funds.
 
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OCTA Director Spitzer Appointed to Help Represent Orange County on Metrolink Board
This week, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors appointed Todd Spitzer to serve as an alternate for Orange County on the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (Metrolink) Board. Spitzer was nominated by Metrolink Vice Chair Michael Hennessey, who is also a public member of the OCTA Board of Directors.

“The Metrolink Board governs a vast train system stretching from Ventura to San Bernardino and Lancaster to Oceanside,” OCTA Director Spitzer said. “With three of the seven Metrolink lines crossing Orange County and the Third Supervisorial District, I am honored to have been appointed to assist with Orange County’s representation on the Metrolink Board.”

The Southern California Regional Rail Authority, commonly known as Metrolink, was created in 1991 and consists of five county agencies with the goal of reducing freeway traffic and improving Southern California’s mobility: the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC), the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), and the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC). Metrolink trains connect those five Southern California counties and Oceanside in San Diego County.

Director Spitzer also serves on OCTA’s Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Regional Planning and Highways Committee. He is Chair of the OCTA Finance and Administration Committee and the Vice Chair of the OCTA Security Working Group. He also serves on the OCTA-RCTC State Route 91 Advisory Group.

There are twelve Metrolink stations in Orange County, with one-third of them in the Third Supervisorial District: Anaheim Canyon, Orange, Tustin, and Irvine.
 
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Supervisor Spitzer Speaks to Orange County Chapter of California Association of Licensed Investigators
Supervisor Todd Spitzer was the keynote speaker at the January 2014 meeting of the Orange County chapter of the California Association of Licensed Investigators. The meeting took place in Tustin last week.

“It is always a pleasure and an honor to speak to professional groups in Orange County,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I’m always happy to provide an update on County issues to my constituents.”

Supervisor Spitzer spoke about his background as a prosecutor and reserve police officer. He also spoke of his efforts in public safety and criminal justice reform before answering questions from the audience.

The California Association of Licensed Investigators (CALI) is the largest private investigator association in the world, with 1,500 members. The statewide association is divided into thirteen districts, with Orange County comprising the Orange District of CALI.
 
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Unveiling of OC Crime Victims’ Memorial Finalist Designs on February 26
Unveiling of OC Crime Victims’ Memorial Finalist Designs on February 26
Click on the image above to view a PDF version.
 
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Pet of the Week

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Events Around the District
Anaheim
Mobile Recreation Program
Monday, February 10, 2:45 PM – 4:45 PM
Rio Vista Park, 201 N. Park Vista St.

Irvine
Culinary Workshops for Children
Saturday, February 8, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Irvine Fine Arts Center, 14321 Yale Ave.

Orange
Chocolate Recipes and Tasting
Saturday, February 8, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Orange Public Library & History Center, 407 E. Chapman Ave.

Silverado
Trail Run – Limestone Canyon
Saturday, February 8, 6:30 AM – 9:00 AM
Augustine Staging Area, Limestone Canyon Rd. & Hicks Haul Rd.

Tustin
Sweetheart Ball
Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 PM
Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. C St.

Villa Park
Baby Storytime
Monday, February 10, 9:00 AM – 11:15 AM
Orange County Public Library – Villa Park Branch, 17865 Santiago Blvd.

Yorba Linda
Teen Budgeting: The Value of Money
Tuesday, February 11, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Yorba Linda Public Library, 18181 Imperial Hwy.
 
Table of Contents
orange arrow Supervisors Ask Legislature to Allow California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to Enforce Ethics Rules in Orange County
orange arrow CalOptima CEO Responds to Audit at Board of Supervisors Meeting
orange arrow OCTA Approves New Agreement with Grand Jurors Association That Reduces Conflicts of Interest for Taxpayer Oversight Committee
orange arrow OC Sheriff’s Yorba Linda Police Services Substation Expansion Dedicated
orange arrow County Launches Foothill Blvd./Old Foothill Blvd. Sidewalk Replacement Project in North Tustin
orange arrow Supervisor Spitzer Gives County Update at Orange Park Association Annual Meeting
orange arrow Supervisor Spitzer Takes the Eco Challenge
orange arrow OCTA Begins Expansion of 5 Freeway
orange arrow OCTA Director Spitzer Appointed to Help Represent Orange County on Metrolink Board
orange arrow Supervisor Spitzer Speaks to Orange County Chapter of California Association of Licensed Investigators
orange arrow Unveiling of OC Crime Victims’ Memorial Finalist Designs on February 26
orange arrow Pet of the Week
orange arrow Events Around the District
DISTRICT STAFF
 
Martha Ochoa
Chief of Staff

Martin Gardner
Policy Advisor

Carrie O'Malley
Policy Advisor

Chris Nguyen
Policy Advisor

Christine Richters
Executive Aide

 
 
District Map
third District Map
Anaheim, Irvine, Orange, Tustin, Villa Park, Yorba Linda, El Modena, North Tustin, Orange Park Acres, the Canyon Communities
 
 
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