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Chairman Shawn Nelson - 4th District Update
In This Issue
orange arrow Board Updates
orange arrow OCTA
orange arrow In the Community
orange arrow OC Parks
orange arrow Announcements
orange arrow County Commissions and Committees
orange arrow OC Animal Care
orange arrow Library Corner
orange arrow Veterans Corner
orange arrow Events
November 15, 2013
Volume 4 Issue 23
Board of Supervisors
Welcome to Nelson's E-News!
I hope you had a great Veterans Day weekend. Throughout Orange County on Monday, there were several events commemorating the sacrifices made by those who have served and are serving in defense of our nation. Please read below for summaries and photos of just a couple of the many tributes, including a very special one to Medal of Honor recipient and Fourth District resident Walter Ehlers.

In addition to honoring our veterans, there are several budget and transportation discussions occurring at the County and OCTA. Please keep reading to learn how the County is continuing to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars.

Shawn Nelson
Board Updates
County Seal
The OC Financial Gap—Doing More with Much Less
Orange County is in negotiations with five of its seven employee groups—and it couldn’t have come at a tougher time.

The County is facing unprecedented financial hardship: $100 million in promised State funds evaporated in the past two years and the County must repay the State another $150 million on top of that. Diverting state prisoners to county jails will cost $6 million more than expected. Rising pension costs will consume an extra $14 million next year.

Something has to give.

When it comes to getting back a share of local property taxes, Orange County government is dead last: 58th out of California’s 58 counties. Orange County gets just 6 cents on the dollar—the average for all counties is 17 cents. Meanwhile, the State keeps pushing programs downstream that cost more than the funding provided to support them. Simply put, the County cannot continue doing the State’s job while getting pennies on the dollar. There will be—and are now—needs that won’t be met.

Tough decisions are ahead. Its nearly 16,000 employees are the County’s single greatest investment and asset. Salaries and benefits consume nearly one-third of the entire $5.4 billion budget. But generosity can only go as far as the resources available.

This is not news to labor groups. The County has been speaking regularly with them about the financial realities of this year and next. The County asked the State to free up more of the taxes that flow from Orange County to Sacramento—and earmarked those additional dollars for employees first. But that deal fell apart. Now the County must maintain quality services, shepherd enough reserve funds for emergencies and protect employees from harsh layoffs and program reductions while shouldering the increased cost of providing for their pensions.

Amid the dueling priorities, one truth remains: Working for County government still offers greater long-term security than most private-sector jobs. Individual salaries have increased in recent years through “step” increases awarded on merit. Employees are being recognized for their excellent work.

Thankfully, better days are in sight. As the economy improves and the real-estate market rebound catches up with property values, more resources will flow for critical services such as public safety, operating the jails, building and maintaining public facilities, and continuing programs for the neediest among us. Expect two more years of fiscal austerity and then we can all breathe easier.
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Elected Official Pension Changes
In an effort to continue to rein in the rising costs of pensions, the Board unanimously approved two items last week. The first accelerated the date at which Supervisors begin paying their full employee retirement contribution, to take effect immediately on November 5 instead of at the beginning of a new term. For more information, please click here. This vote is expected to save the County approximately $23,000 for FY 13-14.

The second places a measure on the June 3, 2014 ballot to amend the county charter to prohibit the County from paying the employee contribution for any elected official who begins a term on or after January 1, 2015. If passed, this ordinance could only be reversed by a future vote of the people.

You can read more about the proposed Charter Amendment here. To read and download the current Orange County Charter in PDF, click here.
OCTA Board Delays Decision on I-405 Project
The discussion of potentially adding toll lanes to manage congestion will be back to the transportation agency board in December

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board voted unanimously last Friday to hold off on making a decision regarding toll lanes on the San Diego Freeway (I-405) until its meeting scheduled for Dec. 9.

The board asked that additional information be provided and meetings be held with local, state and federal officials regarding tolling policies. In addition, board members want to ensure that OCTA would control the local toll policy and keep any excess toll revenue for improvements to transportation along the I-405 corridor.

Board members also stressed the need to continue reaching out to the cities along I-405 to ensure they are a part of the decision-making process. The board asked that a list of local projects that could be funded with any excess toll revenue be developed.

The board also asked that options to improve the current carpool lanes as they exist today be explored.

The I-405 project is currently in the environmental phase and three alternatives are being studied to improve traffic in the area between SR-73 in Costa Mesa and I-605 at the county line in Seal Beach.

The current option the board has recommended is Alternative 1. The options being studied include:
  • A no-build alternative
  • Alternative 1: Adding one general-purpose lane in each direction at a cost of $1.25 billion.
  • Alternative 2: Adding two general-purpose lanes each direction at a cost of $1.35 billion
  • Alternative 3: Adding one general-purpose lane in each direction, and adding a high-occupancy toll lane that would combine with the existing carpool lane to create a two-lane express lanes facility at a cost of $1.47 billion.
Any project built will include at least one free lane in each direction, as part of the I-405 Improvement Project that is funded through Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation.

OCTA is looking at tolling options in carpool lanes in part because last year’s federal transportation bill, known as MAP-21, requires that carpool lanes operate at 45 mph or more 90 percent of the time. Carpool lanes on the I-405 – as well as freeways throughout Orange County and statewide – are failing to meet this standard.

It is estimated that adding high-occupancy toll lanes could generate $1.5 billion (after operations and maintenance costs) during the next 30 years, which could fund additional improvements.

The I-405 is the busiest stretch of freeway in the country, carrying more than 370,000 cars a day. Traffic volumes are expected to increase approximately 35 percent by 2040 and Caltrans and OCTA are proposing to widen the freeway to improve travel conditions for commuters. For more information, visit
In the Community
Veterans Day Event – OC Fair and Events Center
Congratulations to all parties involved with planning Monday’s event at the OC Fair and Events Center. They put together and delivered the largest Veterans Day Celebration in OC this past Monday. The first ever project named “Veterans and Labor/Partners in Service” brought together a dozen labor associations from Southern California who offered job training and employment opportunities to returning.

3,000-plus attended the 10am to 4pm gala that featured booths offering care packages and BBQ, along with wing dancers from the World War II era along with the Bob Seger tribute band. Supervisor Nelson attended the event in the afternoon following ceremonies in Fullerton and helped host the information booth where veterans were given Council on Aging caregiver manuals and other county services material. Every veteran was also given a cigar donated by local patriots and a free veterans themed USA shirt donated by Hurley.

The highlight was the unveiling of the Medal of Honor Stamp where Cathy Ehlers Metcalf, representing her father, SSGT Walt Ehlers, dedicated the new stamp to her dad and the 464 men who received the Medal of Honor for conspicuous heroism in combat defense of America. At the time of the event, only 12 Medal of Honor recipients from World War II were still with us, however, by Monday the group of living heroes had decreased to only 8.

Shawn with Cathy Ehlers Metcalf, daughter of Army Staff Sgt. Walt Ehlers, at unveiling ceremonies of the new Medal of Honor Stamp dedicated to her father and the 464 Medal of Honor recipients in American history.
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Veterans Day Event – Harbor Blvd of Heroes
Congratulations to Captain Marilyn Harris (USA Ret) and her husband Jeff for delivering on one of the largest parades in OC with their Harbor Blvd of Heroes celebration on Veterans Day. After staging 500 participants, including Supervisor Nelson, the crowds that gathered along Harbor Blvd from Wilshire to Hillcrest Park were happy to applaud walking or wheel-chair aided Veterans as they marched the half mile to the park. Once they arrived, Guest Speaker Major General Megan P. Tatu, Commander Of the 79th Sustainment Support Command at JTFB Los Alamitos, gave an inspiring keynote on the values of serving America in the armed forces. The morning ceremonies ended with wreath presentations, Bagpipers and a 21 gun salute from the Fullerton Police Department Honor Guard.

Special thanks to the sponsors and organizers involved with the Veterans Day Committee: Fullerton American Legion, Post 142, Fullerton Emblem Club #469, City of Fullerton, Commanders Club, Fullerton Elks Lodge No. 1993, ALCOA Fastening System, First Christian Church of Fullerton, Fullerton Ace Hardware, Fullerton Joint Union, High School District, Fullerton Photographics Inc., HAZ Party Rentals, Home Depot, Fullerton, Motographix, Inc., Ralph’s, Hillcrest Park Center, and Steamers Jazz Club.

(Left) USA Flag shirts with the inscription of “duty, honor, country’ were donated by Hurley

(Right) Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Major Gen. Tatu, Senator Correa, Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Assemblywoman Quirk - Silva
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Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Welcomes Two New Businesses
Last week the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce welcomed two of the city’s newest businesses to the community, hosting Ribbon Cutting events on Thursday and Friday. Each Ribbon Cutting allowed current Chamber members and local leaders to tour the facilities and become familiar with their fellow Fullerton based businesses. On Thursday the Chamber hosted the Ribbon Cutting for the Fullerton Dental Group which has a family friendly atmosphere and state of the art dental equipment designed to improve a trip the dentist’s office. On Friday the Chamber then helped kickoff the grand opening of Bob’s Towing’s new office in Fullerton. All in attendance were in awe of the brand new tow equipment showcased which includes the largest tow truck in the world for heavy duty jobs and of course every day tow services.

For more information on the Fullerton Dental Group and Bob’s Towing please visit: and

(Left) Fourth District Staff member Scott Carpenter presents a Certificate of Recognition to Dr. Peter Pham and his family during Fullerton Dental Group’s Ribbon Cutting.

(Right) Fourth District Staff member Scott Carpenter greets Taz-Al Badawi of Bob’s Towing during their Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
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Clerk of the Board celebrates 30 years of service
On Thursday, November 14, Supervisor Shawn Nelson presented Susan Novak, Clerk of the Board, a certificate and pin recognizing her 30 years of service to the County of Orange. Ms. Novak has held positions with the Social Services Agency, County Administrative Office and Auditor-Controller’s office. She then served as Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board of Supervisors from 1997 to 2012 before she took her role as Clerk of the Board on February 10, 2012. Ms. Novak has done an outstanding job providing administrative support to the Board of Supervisors and Supervisor Nelson is honored to recognize her commitment to the County of Orange for 30 years. The Fourth District thanks Ms. Novak for her continued dedication and service to the County of Orange!

Supervisor Nelson presents Susan Novak with a pin and certificate of recognition for 30 years of service.
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Anaheim Chamber of Commerce Awards
Supervisor Nelson was proud to recognize 11 members of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce at the 2013 Anaheim Business Award Luncheon this week. Hosted at the Disney Grand Hotel, some 500 members and associates gathered to lunch and honor 11 of the city’s top companies and individuals who promote Anaheim, build positive relationships and offer political action and access through their membership.

Top honorees for 2013 include:

Panattoni Development Company as Construction/Development Business of the Year; 714 Tickets as Small Business of the Year; St. Catherine’s Academy as Non-profit Organization of the Year; Camp Bow-Wow as Family–owned Business of the Year; Anaheim Regional Medical Center as Large Business of the Year; ESPN Zone as Restaurant of the Year; Labeltronix as Manufacturing Business of the Year; Firmenich as Green Business of the Year; Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as Tourism, Sports and Entertainment Business of the Year; Larry Slagle of Yellow Cab of Greater OC as Business Champion of the Year; Tony Bruno of the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim Report for a Lifetime Achievement Award. Special congratulations to Dick Crawford who received the 2013 Ambassador Spirit Award and Gerry Resch who was honored as the 2013 Ambassador of the Year for the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce.

Assemblyman Tom Daly staffer Roxanne Chow joins Fourth District staffer Steve Spernak
OC Parks
OC Parks Logo

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Bring holiday joy to needy seniors!
The SmileMakers Guild of the Council on Aging Orange County provides an opportunity to bring smiles and holiday cheer to some seniors who would otherwise be forgotten by delivering a personal gift to them. This year we have received requests from more than 3,400 lonely seniors. To adopt a senior, email You will be contacted with information for a special senior. Or, donate an item of personal comfort such as sweat suits, colored men’s T-shirts, sweaters, pajamas, robes, lap blankets, cd players, wrapping paper, or gift certificates to K-Mart, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sears, or JC Penney. Click here for additional information on the SmileMakers Holiday Project. Deadline for gifts to the Council on Aging Christmas gifts for seniors project is Dec 1. Donors may contact Steve Spernak from the office of Supervisor Shawn Nelson at 714 834 3542 for questions or Secret-Santa donations or Ms. Charlotte Finklea of the Council on Aging, who is listed below.

Charlotte Finklea
Director of Development and Community Relations
Council on Aging-Orange County
1971 E 4th St., Suite 200
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 479-0107 x 268
County Commissions and Committees
The 4th District has vacant appointments on the following commissions or committees:

  • Oversight Board of the Successor to the City Redevelopment Agency (Buena Park and Anaheim)
  • Waste Management Commission
If you are interested in serving on one of these Committees, please call Audra Fishel at (714) 834.3440
OC Animal Care

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Library Corner

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Veterans Corner

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What: Senior Health and Wellness Expo
Where: Anaheim Community Center
When: Monday, November 18
Time: 9:30 am-11:00 am

What: Coffee with a Cop
Where: Glenview Elementary School-1775 N. Glenview Ave
When: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 6:00 pm

What: JAMZ American Spirit Connection, Inc.
Where: Anaheim Convention Center-800 W. Katella Ave.
When: Saturday, November 23
Time: All Day


What: Hot Friday Night Teen Dance
Where: Teen Zone-695 East Madison Way
When: Friday, November 22
Time: 6:00 pm-9:30 pm

What: Thanksgiving Day Body Blast
Where: Brea Fitness Center-695 East Madison Way
When: Thursday, November 28
Time: 8:00 am-10:00 am

What: Veterans Services
Where: Brea Family Resource Center-695 East Madison Way-Inside the Community Center
When: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 8:00 am-5:00 pm

Buena Park

What: 35th Annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast
Where: 7675 Crescent Ave.
When: Thursday, November 21
Time: 7:00 am-9:00 am

What: City Council Meeting
Where: Council Chamber-6650 Beach Boulevard
When: Tuesday, November 26
Time: 5:00 pm


What: “Sitting in Style” at Fullerton Museum
Where: Fullerton Museum Center-301 N. Pomona Ave., east of Harbor Blvd., in downtown Fullerton
When: Sunday, November 17
Time: 2:00 pm-4:00 pm

What: Stroller Brigade
Where: Fullerton Museum Center-301 N. Pomona Ave., east of Harbor Blvd., in downtown Fullerton
When: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 10:00 am-12:00 pm

What: Seniors Invited to Thanksgiving Luncheon
Where: Fullerton Community Center-304 W. Commonwealth Ave.
When: Thursday, November 21
Time: 10:00 am

La Habra

What: Palm Springs Follies: Holiday Spectacular Matinee
Where: Departs from La Bonita Park parking lot
When: Friday, November 22
Time: 9:00 am-7:00 pm

What: LHCSD School Readiness Program
Where: School Readiness Center-301 Las Lomas Dr.
When: Wednesday, November 20
Time: 10:00 am-3:00 pm


What: Economic Development Committee Meeting
Where: City Hall meeting room-401 E. Chapman Ave.
When: Tuesday, November 26
Time: 6:00 pm

What: Historical Committee Meeting
Where: Administrative Conference Room-401 E. Chapman Ave.
When: Tuesday, November 26
Time: 7:00 pm
For questions or comments regarding Nelson’s E-News
please contact the Supervisor's office staff:
Audra Fishel Ph: 714-834-3440 Email:
Nelson Team
Denis Bilodeau
Chief of Staff

Mark Lopez
Deputy Chief of Staff

Audra Fishel
Policy Advisor /
Communications Director

Steve Spernak
Policy Advisor

Scott Carpenter
Policy Advisor

Natalie Wieckert
Staff Aide

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