Supervisor Shawn Nelson - Fourth District Update
August 20, 2010
Volume 1, Issue 4

Denis Bilodeau
Chief of Staff

Audra Adams
Policy Advisor /
Communications Director

Steve Spernak
Policy Advisor

David Zenger
Policy Advisor

Mark Lopez
Executive Aide


Welcome to the 4th edition of Nelson’s E-News!

Dear Friends,

Our Board meeting last Tuesday included discussion on a number of important items affecting the County. I have highlighted one of these, the Civic Center Joint Power Authority, below. In addition to the Board meeting, events in the community have given me more chances to meet with and listen to you about how we can continue to improve our community and County together.

Recently, I attended the La Habra Corn Festival with my family, part of a great turnout at the annual celebration. I also had the opportunity to tour the Buena Park Senior Center, where I witnessed firsthand the fantastic job staff is doing there to assist some of our seniors.

While in Buena Park, I also toured City Hall and met with representatives to learn about issues affecting residents. Officials from Placentia also made time to brief me on issues occurring there. Pictures and descriptions of all of these events can be found throughout this newsletter.

As always, please take a look at this edition and contact my office with any questions or suggestions you may have. Feedback from you, the Fourth District constituents, is always appreciated.

Shawn Nelson.


Old Commissions Never Die

At the August 17th 2010 Board meeting Supervisor Nelson initiated formal discussion on eliminating the obsolete Civic Center Joint Power Authority, an agency created in the 1960s to oversee the development of the Orange County Civic Center and to issue bonds for development of parking facilities. The Authority and its Commission no longer function in this capacity and in fact, all the necessary arrangements between the Authority partners, the County and the City of Santa Ana are currently covered by separate contracts. The debt obligations of the Authority ended almost ten years ago, and the Commission only meets annually to review the Civic Center budget on an advisory basis. According to a memorandum from the County Counsel, the Authority as it exists now serves no legal purpose.

After considerable discussion, the Board asked the County CEO to return with an analysis of the existing function of the Civic Center Authority.


The Corn Festival - La Habra

Shawn is joined by his wife Sharon, son Shane and daughters Kathryn and Amanda as they enjoyed their first Corn Festival parade. The motorcade began with a morning of meeting new friends and community leaders. Special thanks to the La Habra Lions who were terrific hosts for the 65th year of the Corn Festival, city staff and chamber of commerce managers.

Supervisor Nelson and Family enjoying the Corn Festival.

Supervisor Nelson and family getting ready for the parade.
The Nelson Family getting ready to ride in the parade!

Supervisor Nelson with La Habra Councilmen James Gomez and Tim Shaw.
Shawn pauses for a quick chat with La Habra Councilmen James Gomez (left) and Tim Shaw.

Senior Center Tour - Buena Park

Supervisor Nelson met staff and patrons of the Buena Park Senior Center on a recent tour. The facility is hailed as one of Orange County’s premier centers for seniors.

The Supervisor and his staff will be attending the Super Senior Saturday open house on Saturday, August 28th to meet new friends and provide resource guides of County Services.

Supervisor Nelson with Anna May Price and Violet Slopasky
Shawn helped celebrate the 91st birthday of Anna May Price (left) with hugs and laughs on his visit to the Buena Park Senior Center. Also joining Shawn is 93 year old Violet Slopasky.

City Hall Tour - Placentia

Supervisor Nelson met with Placentia City Manager Troy Butzlaff and Councilman Scott Nelson as part of his tour of 4th District city halls to gather information about the needs of the district. Mr. Butzlaff was a wealth of information during the briefings that included discussion of coming transportation improvements on five main arterials through Placentia.
Supervisor Nelson with Troy Butzlaff and Scott Nelson.
Supervisor Nelson is joined by Placentia City Manager Troy Butzlaff (right) and Councilman Scott Nelson (left) at the pedestrian footbridge located at Santa Fe and Bradbury.

City Tour - Buena Park

Special thanks to Buena Park Mayor Art Brown, Councilmember Fred Smith and City Manager Rick Warsinski for welcoming Shawn Nelson this week at the new city hall. Mayor Brown also gave a briefing on the economy and business developments proposed along the ‘entertainment corridor’. The briefing included discussions about possible vector control and bike trail opportunities.

For more information on the City of Buena Park please visit

Supervisor Nelson - Blood Donation

Supervisor Nelson stopped by Hoag Hospital to donate blood for Kelly Price, who is the Director of Administration Services at the Orange County Vector Control District. Kelly contracted a rare blood disease during pregnancy and requires two units of blood every two weeks. She has Type O Negative blood.

Blood donations are taken at the Cancer Center/Day Hospital at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. To schedule an appointment call (949) 764-5621 or go to and indicate you are interested in giving blood for Kelly Price.

Appointments are required. Kelly Price can be reached at (714) 974-2421 x137.

Supervisor Nelson at Hoag Hospital to donate blood.


New Supervisor Brings Grassroots Beliefs to County Legislature

By Eleni Vazquez

Shawn Nelson is one of Orange County’s true grassroots, take-charge public servants. A Califor-nia native, he served for nearly a decade on the City Council in his hometown of Fullerton before taking his oath this June when he became the Orange County Fourth District Supervisor.

This is Nelson’s first paid gig as an elected official. He opted not to collect a paycheck as a Fullerton councilman, and has based his political efforts on his love for his hometown and protecting the people who live there.
spacer Supervisor Nelson

“I am a very normal person,” Nelson said. “My drill with being in government is not to be somebody important. I don’t go to things and wear a name tag. It’s not a big deal to me. I’m not there to get recognition.”

Nelson, who grew up in Buena Park and graduated from Sunny Hills High in Fullerton, earned his degree in business and realty property development from the University of Southern California. Always a high achiever, he also participated in a prestigious exchange program at Harvard.

He has not let this go to his head, however. “I never thought I would graduate from [Harvard.] I usually have a good time and laugh about it,” Nelson said of his college days. “I probably spent more time at the Hong Kong [bar] drinking scorpion bowls than doing what I should do.”

After a few years in the real estate industry, the supervisor returned to Fullerton and earned his law degree at Western State University, paving the way for a career as a litigator.

According to Nelson, the path to government was all by chance. While studying, Supervisor Nelson and his business partner opened their own practice in the back of a comic book shop in Tustin. Eventually business took off, Nelson completed his education, passed the bar and started winning cases.

In 2002 he ran and was elected to the Fullerton City Council with the encouragement of friends and family and went on to become Mayor Pro Tem and serve two terms as Mayor. Nelson has lived, breathed and served in Fullerton for most of his life.

“I’ve run for office four times and I won every time. I never got a free pass,” he said humbly. “[It’s] never been in an easy race…where no one is really running against me. Every time I run, it seems to be a fireworks show.”

Nelson’s position fills an unexpired term for Chris Norby, who recently won the special election for State Assembly. Although Nelson will have to run again in November to continue on as Supervisor, he and his staff have the trendsetting ideas and drive that may prove Nelson’s loyalty and worth to his constituents in Orange County.

Though Nelson said he does not expect to resolve every issue in the next five months, the Supervisor’s team is hitting the streets and talking to locals about services available to help them bounce back from the economic downturn.

They have spread the word to large groups, such as churches and senior centers. According to Nelson, many heads of these organizations were not aware of the resources available to them, including computer and interview training, job search assistance, vouchers for temporary housing and services for the elderly.

“The biggest thing for me was to just get my staff focused on how many things the county does to help people that nobody even knows exists,” said Supervisor Nelson.

However, the hot topic of debate for Nelson is bringing down the unfunded pension liability facing the county, which is estimated at more than $3.3 billion.

“There is a lot of rhetoric and fireworks shows over the issue of the pension, but all it boils down to [being] realistic of what we can afford,” he said. “We’ve got to be honest about what we promised to people. We can’t just take promises away.”

“If we are going to serve the public, we better go do something for them,” the Supervisor continued. “We’re going to spend our day here; we might as well feel good about it and help someone out.”

Although the road ahead looks like a tough one, Nelson seems confident in his ability to work with the local and county governments to turn things around in Orange County.

“I’m built for that,” he said. “I fight with people for a living.”


Harold Rapoza – Anaheim - Honoree award at the 2010 Anaheim Chamber Business Links Tournament

Danny Hochman – La Habra – Charitable efforts to combat leukemia

Clarissa Parashar – La Habra Businesswoman

Sit N Sleep – Anaheim - Grand Opening

Certificates of Recognition: Presented at the 2009-2010 Chairman’s Circle Sponsors at the Fullerton Chamber Meeting

Alcoa Fastening Systems, Chevron, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Fullerton Community Bank, MG Disposal, Pacific Community Credit Union, California State University, Fullerton, Century 21 Discovery-Joe Lins, The Gas Co., Rose Hills Brea Mortuary, St. Jude Medical Center, Graves Design & Communications, Kneadle, Metropolitan Water District, NCH Wealth Advisors, Richey Advisors, Inc., Southern California Edison, Winkelmann Realty

Please contact our office if you know of an individual who deserves recognition for outstanding community or public service. Contact: Steve Spernak 714-834-3440.

The 4th District has vacant appointments on the following commissions or committees:

  • Mental Health Board (3 year term)

  • Public Financing Advisory Committee (3 years)

If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please call Audra Adams at (714) 834.3998.


Pet of the Week

Pet of the Week

4th District Resturant of the Week

Supervisor Nelson has chosen Paul’s Country Kitchen in Placentia as the 4th District's Restaurant of the Week!

Location: 1267 E Imperial Hwy, Placentia CA 92870

Two Sisters Restaurant

Two Sisters
Nelson’s staff Nick Constantino proudly presents the certificate to the staff of Paul’s Country Kitchen, also known as “Two Sisters Café”

For questions or comments regarding Nelson’s E-News please contact the Supervisor's office staff: Audra Adams Ph: 714-834-3440 Email: