Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
July 10, 2007

Pat Bates's Picture

Welcome to this edition of the Fifth District Report, an electronic newsletter keeping you updated about the events taking place in Orange County and in the Fifth District. It is my hope that you find this distribution informative and I would encourage you to contact me regarding any thoughts, comments, or concerns you may have.



1. Budget Hearings

2. Dana Point Harbor Possessory Interest Tax

3. Law Enforcement Services

4. Pre-Mitigation Native Habitat Installation at Prima Deshecha Landfill

5. Poche Beach Ultraviolet Bacteria Disinfection System Project

6. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park / Multi-Use Trail

7. Dana Point Harbor Launch Ramp

8. Great Park Takes Flight

9. Emergency Preparedness

10. 3-1-1 Coming Soon

11. Orange County Stormwater Program

12. OCFA Community Outreach

13. Barking Dog Program

14. Electronic & Household Hazardous Waste

15. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Eileen Takata:
Executive Policy Advisor

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Elise Lampe:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Executive Secretary II

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Volume 1
Issue 13
Budget Hearings

Mid-May marked the beginning of the County Budget Season.  Staff and I attended numerous briefings on the Budget process and the proposed augmentations for FY 2007-2008.  On June 12 and 13, the Board met to debate proposed changes to the Budget and took straw votes to establish our positions on various augmentations and deletions.  Two weeks later, Budget Staff returned with the final $5.9 billion budget for Board approval.  Highlights from the FY 2007-2008 Budget include:

  • Serrano Creek – Approval of a feasibility study of a project to investigate erosion in Serrano Creek.  The Board currently has a Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Lake Forest and the Irvine Ranch Water District to address this issue.  Funding for engineering design will address erosion problems in Serrano Creek and protect homes in Lake Forest, minimizing the need for future dredging in the Newport Bay while safeguarding riparian and wetlands habitat.
  • Poche Beach – Increased funding for the Poche Beach Ultraviolet Light Bacteria Disinfection System.  The County is working closely with the City of San Clemente to reduce future beach postings by eliminating the bacteria from urban runoff in the Prima Deshecha channel.
  • Emergency Medical Services – Continued funding in the amount of $1 Million for the Emergency Medical Services Fund. Until the State has agreed upon health care reforms, hopefully including additional funding for Emergency Medical Services, I find it prudent to continue supporting quality emergency care within Orange County. 
  • Drug Court Program – Continued funding of 16 positions for treatment services to the Drug Court Program and the Harbor Justice Center DUI Program.  Both of these programs save the County money with reduced incarceration time and low recidivism rates.
  • Performance Audit – Creation of a County Performance Audit division.  The purpose of this performance audit is to evaluate how County programs are accomplishing their state goals and to identify possible areas of improvement.
Dana Point Harbor Possessory Interest Tax

At our May 1st Board of Supervisors meeting, I requested the CEO investigate the Dana Point Harbor possessory interest tax issues and report back on a number of questions.

Boaters with an interest in the use of a boat slip and/or dry storage at Dana Point Harbor had been assessed a property tax known as a “Possessory Interest.”  The County Assessor is required to assess private interests in the use of public property such as the boat slips and dry storage at Dana Point Harbor.  In the transition away from master lessors operating the Harbor, it was not recognized that the boat slips and dry storage would be subject to possessory interest assessments, and they subsequently escaped assessment. 

“Escape assessments” were levied earlier this year by the County Assessor for possessory interests in the boat slips and/or dry storage for 2003 through 2007 tax years.  Because licensees at Dana Point Harbor were not notified of the possessory interest assessments during those tax years, my Board colleagues and I directed the County to pay the taxes that resulted from the four escape assessment years.  Thus, boaters will not be required to make payment for escape assessments on possessory interests for the 2003 through 2007 tax years.

The 2007-2008 tax year began on July 1, 2007.  Going forward, parties with an interest in the use of a boat slip and/or dry storage at Dana Point Harbor will be responsible for the payment of any property taxes resulting from possessory interest assessments.

While possessory interest taxes are assessed and collected by County officials, the County and its related agencies receive only about ten percent of the revenue from possessory interest taxes.  Half of the possessory interest tax revenue goes to schools with the remainder going primarily for fire protection and local special districts.

For information about the assessment of property taxes on boat slips, please visit the County Assessor’s web site at http://www.ocgov.com/assessor/boatTaxes.asp

For information about filing an appeal on the assessment of a property tax, please visit the County Clerk of the Board’s web site at http://www.ocgov.com/cob/Appeals/GeneralInformation.asp

Dana Point Harbor is a crown jewel of the Fifth District and the County of Orange. As the County Supervisor representing Dana Point Harbor and the Fifth District, it is my sincere wish that the experience of present and future boaters, merchants, and visitors of the Harbor be a positive one. I appreciate the concerns expressed to my office and will continue to provide clarification on these issues as well as a contract from the County that is fair and equitable.
Law Enforcement Services

At our June 26 meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved agreements for law enforcement services with the Cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano, respectively.

Please click the following link(s) for more information about the County's agreement for law enforcement services with the City of:

Aliso Viejo
Dana Point
Laguna Hills
Laguna Niguel
Laguna Woods
Lake Forest
Mission Viejo
Rancho Santa Margarita
San Clemente
San Juan Capistrano

Pre-Mitigation Native Habitat Installation at Prima Deshecha Landfill

At our June 26 meeting, the Board awarded a public works construction contract for a pre-mitigation native habitat installation project at the Prima Deshecha Landfill.

The waste disposal needs of Orange County are increasing every year. Development of the Prima Deshecha Landfill is a key component in the County's plan to continue to meet the solid waste disposal needs of south Orange County through the landfill's anticipated closure in 2067. In accordance with state and local regulations, future impacts of the landfill development must be mitigated to compensate for their affect on native terrain.

For this reason, the Prima Pre-mitigation Plan includes approximately 200 acres of on-site mitigation to be completed in advance of the impacts to habitats affected by landfill development projects. Specifically, habitat restoration will consist of the creation of 174 acres of California Sage Scrub (CSS), 18.7 acres of native grassland, and 6 acres of willow riparian scrub habitats. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park / Multi-Use Trail

County staff proposed establishment of a multi-use trail to provide continuous fire, utility and recreational access within Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

At our June 19 meeting, the Board approved issuance of an RFP to construct the proposed Multi-Use Trail. To view a map of the Project Area, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point Harbor Launch Ramp

Last month I was very pleased to welcome boaters, merchants, residents, local groups, as well as County and City representatives that have been involved in the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan to the celebration of the completion of our launch ramp renovation project, the first of many construction projects to come.

The original launch ramp was dedicated on July 31, 1971 and served the boating community well with over 30,000 launches per year. But 35 years does take its toll and our launch ramp showed its age. I am proud to report that the County completed the launch ramp renovation project on budget as well as on time, and was never closed during construction.

I also took the opportunity to present a proclamation in honor of George Caravalho who recently retired as Director of the Dana Point Harbor Department. George established the Dana Point Harbor Department and had been the director for the past two and a half years. We thank him for his fine work and wish him success in all his future endeavors. For more information about the new Launch Ramp renovation, please click here. To view photos of the event, please click here.

Great Park Takes Flight

A huge orange balloon, the first element of the Great Park, will float 500 feet aloft and offer visitors up to 12-mile views of central Orange County, beginning July 14.

Please join us Saturday, July 14th from 9am – 3pm for a day of fun for the entire family. Come see the Great Park Balloon, a 100-foot high, bright orange helium balloon with an observation platform that can carry up to 30 people. Guests will also see exhibits and displays previewing the future Orange County Great Park. Don’t miss the special “Tribute to El Toro” – a show featuring vintage airplanes that will be doing fly-bys during the event.

"The Great Park Takes Flight" is sponsored by the Great Park Conservancy. For more information, please click here or call (949) 724-7420.

Emergency Preparedness

With summer upon us, temperatures are hot and emergencies are likely to increase. Many disasters, like earthquakes, fires, landslides and tsunamis, can strike quickly and with little or no warning, so make sure that you and your loved ones are prepared.

Remember that it is important to have a certain place for everyone to meet, and to have an emergency supply kit available. This kit should have: one gallon of water, at least a three day supply of non-perishable food, flashlights and extra batteries, a first aid kit, blankets, wrench or pliers, money, baby supplies, a can opener, a portable radio and essential medications.

To learn more information about emergency preparedness for your home or business, please visit www.ReadyOC.org.

3-1-1 Coming Soon

Local government agencies provide such an extensive range of services that an average community member must sometimes make several calls to find out which agency can assist with their needs or if they must be referred to a city. A three digit number will soon be put to action to create a convenient, easily remembered point of contact for the community. 3-1-1 is a federally recognized phone number, much like the emergency number 9-1-1, which will provide Orange County residents with a tool to access government services with a few simple phone punches.

Currently, the beginning stages of the 3-1-1 project are underway. The scope of the project and a request for proposals will be the next course of action.

Orange County Stormwater Program

The Orange County Stormwater Program’s education and outreach campaign, “Project Pollution Prevention,” has won three awards for programs highlighting the importance of keeping storm drains and coastal areas clean. The “Get Your Butts Out of the Water” campaign emphasized that improperly discarded cigarette butts could end up in storm drains that flow to our creeks, rivers, bays and oceans. The “Ocean Begins at Your Front Door,” an aquarium-like, fish eye’s view of the ocean scene was recently featured on back panels of Orange County buses. This campaign educated the public about the importance of not throwing bottles, cups and trash into storm drains because storm drains lead straight to the ocean. These two campaigns won the “Award of Distinction” and “Honorable Mention,” during the Communicator’s Awards annual competition for print media.

The Public Relations Society of America recently presented Faubel Public Affairs with a PROTOS award in the special event category for the “2006 Coastal and Inner Coastal Cleanup Day Ad.” The ad was designed to promote the 10th Annual Inner Coastal and Watershed Cleanup Day in Orange County and the 22nd Annual Coastal Cleanup Day statewide. This one day event resulted in over 6,500 volunteers collecting over 78,000 pounds of trash in Orange County.

The Orange County Stormwater Program is a collaborative effort of the County of Orange, the Orange County Flood Control District, and the Cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, among others.

For more information about what you can do to prevent water pollution or to report a water pollution problem, contact the Orange County Stormwater Program at 714-567-6363 or visit www.ocwatersheds.com. For more information, please contact Debbie Kroner at 714-834-5373.

OCFA Community Outreach

To ensure that the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is receiving applications from the “best of the best,” Fire Chief Chip Prather and other OCFA officers recently brainstormed with community leaders to generate ways to enhance recruitment all across Orange County.

The meeting was also intended to make small businesses aware of opportunities to contract with OCFA. For more information, please click here or call Stephen Miller at 714-573-6201.
Barking Dog Program

Orange County Animal Care Services recently announced the official launch of its new Barking Dog Program. The program is designed to expedite resolution of nuisance animal and barking dog complaints.

The new Barking Dog Program will be in effect in a number of Orange County cities including Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano and all unincorporated areas of Orange County. For more information, please click here.

Electronic & Household Hazardous Waste

The Cities of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel are hosting an electronic waste and household hazardous waste (HHW) collection event. Bring all of your old, outdated and unwanted electronics and HHW for proper disposal and recycling.

Date: Saturday, July 21, 2007
Time: 8:00 am until 12:00 pm
Location: Soka University, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo

Electronic Waste is anything with a circuit board or battery. Examples of e-waste include monitors, televisions, cameras, MP3/CD players, stereos, VCRs, DVD players, fax machines, cell phones, portable & handheld devices, printers, scanners, copiers, computers, laptops, and computer peripherals (i.e. keyboards, cables).

Household Hazardous Waste that will be collected at this event is motor oil, antifreeze and batteries. No other HHW will be collected, including paint and fluorescent lamps.

The Cities of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel jointly sponsor these events quarterly which are free of charge to residents and businesses of Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel. For more information, please click here or call (877) 728-0446.
Fifth District Wrap-Up

Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Met with representatives of the Orange County Medical Association regarding Emergency Care Services.
  • Met with representatives of the Integrated Waste Management District regarding Prima Deshecha Landfill.
  • Met with Dr. Jane Gentry, Tom and Cynthia Coad regarding The National Cultural Center of Native Americans.
  • Chaired the OCTA Legislative and Government Affairs Committee.
  • Unveiled the new Dana Point Harbor Launch Ramp.
  • Presented retiring Dana Point Harbor Director George Caravahlo with a proclamation in honor of his outstanding service to the County of Orange.
  • Chaired the San Juan Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee meeting.
  • Chaired the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point (more on this next week).
  • Delivered the welcoming address at Laguna Woods’ Transportation Awareness Day event.
  • Attended a luncheon to present a proclamation in honor of retiring San Juan Capistrano Assistant City Manager Bill Huber.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of San Juan Capistrano’s Tony Forster.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of a family member, Hans Schouten of San Clemente.

My office also had the honor of:

  • Observing a demonstration of a “Beach Sanitizer” mechanism proposed to remove cigarette butts and litter from Aliso Beach.
  • Overseeing beach-grooming efforts at Aliso Beach to address public safety concerns and repair damage caused by the recent meander of Aliso Creek.
  • Touring the site of the proposed redevelopment of the Aliso Creek Inn & Golf Course to include restoration of 200 acres of wetlands in South Laguna.
  • Touring Los Pinos Conservation Camp for at-risk youth. For more information, please click here.  
  • Joining the Harbor Patrol Division of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for a tour of Newport Harbor.  For more information, please click here.
  • Taking a helicopter tour over the proposed site of the planned extension of the 241 Foothill-South Toll Road. For more information, please click here.
  • Attending a celebration luncheon to present Certificates of Recognition in honor of the 25th Anniversary of the San Clemente Seaside Senior Center and San Clemente Library.

My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District newsletter and website.

Please feel free to contact my office with your comments or questions at (714) 834-3550.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Supervisor for Orange County's beautiful Fifth District.

Thank you so much for your support!