Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 21, 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. Board Bulletin Board

2. Santiago Fire Recovery

3. South County News

4. Environmental Notes

5. Transportation Update

6. Public Health Information

7. South County Calendar

8. 'Tis The Season

9. 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 22

First Quarter Budget

The County is facing slow-downs in two key revenue streams: Realignment Revenue which supports Social Services Agency and Health Care Agency programs, while Public Safety Sales Tax Revenue services the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department. With these slow-downs in mind, the Board decided to postpone major Budget Recommendations until the December Strategic Financial Planning Session. During the Strategic Financial Planning Session, the County will determine future needs and how to properly allocate funding. Certain mandated items, such as funding for the February 2008 Primary, were approved for funding in the First Quarter Budget. In addition, $750,000 was approved to continue supporting Orange County emergency departments. To view the Report, please click here.

Corporate Poll Sites

In 2008, we will have three elections: the Presidential Primary on February 5, the Statewide Direct Primary on June 3, and the General Election on November 4. This is one additional Election Day than we have had in the past. As a result, there is a greater need for more poll workers. The Registrar of Voters has developed a marketing plan approved by the Board for a program which offers Corporate Sponsors the opportunity to spotlight their community citizenship as well as afford their employees an opportunity to learn more about government and the election process. Part of the plan allows for the Registrar to bring poll worker training to the employer site to help minimize the amount of work time lost by employers and employees. Furthermore, Corporate Sponsors will receive limited recognition for their participation that does not endorse any particular products or services and prevents any electioneering. I commend Registrar Neal Kelley for developing this program and working with the local Chambers of Commerce to design it. To see the marketing plan, please click here.  If you own a business and would like to apply as a sponsor, please click here.


Local Emergency Declaration

In an effort to keep the red tape peeled back for all necessary services and relief efforts that will continue over the next several months, my colleagues and I approved the continuation of this Declaration at Tuesday’s Board meeting in order to ensure that citizens affected by the Santiago Fire will continue to receive the necessary relief support they need without delay. Most notably, an immediate service being provided by our county agencies is preparing the hillsides for potential erosion and flooding should winter and spring months bring precipitation to the region. For a brief status report from the Emergency Operations Center, please click here.

Storm Damage Prevention

On Tuesday, the Board approved a contract for a consultant with expertise in minimizing storm damage. By assessing potential hazards before the rains begin, the contractor’s efforts will help to minimize downstream damage from possible debris flows and mudslides in the Santa Ana River and Newport Bay watersheds. I’m pleased that the County continues to closely collaborate on this and other regional post-fire efforts with Orange County Fire Authority, state and federal agencies, and other local partners.

Disaster Relief Fund

At Tuesday’s meeting, my Board colleagues and I finalized the agreement establishing the Orange County Disaster Relief Fund and allocated $100,000 to the fund to provide disaster relief for County residents. The fund, which will be administered by the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), was formed in response to the recent Santiago Fire and for future disaster declarations. For more information, please click here.

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park will remain closed until further notice due to significant damage from the Santiago Fire. The wildfire has left the wilderness in a very fragile state. Please respect the wilderness and stay out of burned areas and off closed trails. Premature access could damage plants that are trying to come back after the fire and could further traumatize displaced animals. To view a brochure with complete information on the fire's affect on the land, plant and animal life, and the recovery cycle, please click here.

It is important for the public to be safe and to respect nature's healing process. Those who would like to help OC Parks and Whiting Ranch in recovery efforts may volunteer on weekends. For more information, please contact Adopt-A-Park at (949) 923-2244 or (714) 227-5927, or click here.

Orange County Fire Authority

On Thursday, November 15, I attended the Board of Directors meeting of the Orange County Fire Authority where I represent the County along with Supervisor Campbell.  We renewed all 911 Emergency Ambulance Service contracts with the ambulance companies that currently provide service to many South County cities until the end of 2009. Fire Authority staff are preparing a Request For Proposal and outlining a process for procuring new ambulance contracts in 2009 as part of competitive bidding to ensure citizens receive the highest quality service at the best price. Additionally, Chief Prather gave a presentation on the complete Santiago Fire incident. To see his presentation, please click here.


Water Conservation Grant

South County residents and businesses rely primarily on imported water supplies. With pending reductions of imported water, it is absolutely critical that our region continues to pursue conservation, recycling and reclamation opportunities. On Tuesday, the Board approved a resolution to accept a $25 million grant from the State Water Resources Control Board. This item has been four years in the making and represents a significant effort and achievement for water resources in South County. It has been possible only through the hard work and truly cooperative spirit on the part of the 11 cities and nine water and wastewater agencies working with the County.  Statewide, Orange County is now recognized as a leader on integrated water resource planning.

The excellent collaboration on the part these agencies has resulted not only in $25 million in state funds for local water resources but has also laid the foundation for long-term cooperation and success moving forward. These funds will go toward a number of water conservation, water quality, and habitat improvement projects including: Water Use Efficiency Program (Municipal Water District of Orange County), Canada Gobernadora Multipurpose Basin (Santa Margarita Water District), J.B. Latham Treatment Plan (South Orange County Wastewater Authority), Recycled Water Transmission System (San Juan Capistrano), Recycled Water Treatment & Distribution (San Clemente) and for the Aliso Creek Water Quality SUPER Project (County). To view the complete report (300+ pages) on the County’s website, please click here.

Happy Trail News

The creation of a new trail does not happen very often, which is why I’m pleased to announce this recently approved Board item to my Fifth District constituents. The construction of the new alignment of Laguna Canyon Road not only relieves traffic congestion but created new recreational and habitat restoration opportunities. A project the Board approved on Tuesday will result in a new 1.4 mile trail which will access the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, reconnect access to a SCE transmission tower, provide fire emergency access, and help to restore the Laguna Lakes habitat.

Safest Cities in America

Congratulations to the cities of Mission Viejo and Lake Forest for scoring in the top ten safest cities in America with populations not less than 75,000. Mission Viejo came in at #1 in the entire United States followed by the City of Lake Forest. Most South County cities contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for police services. Our Sheriff’s Department deserves a hearty round of applause for their outstanding services which have brought this high honor to South County and our contract cities. For more information, please click here.


Coastal Coalition on Our Oceans

Our November 1, The Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting took place at the beautiful Ocean Institute in Dana Point. To take our minds off the recent fires, we chose to focus on Our Oceans and to feature two successful non-profit organizations that actively promote and protect our planet’s incredible resources. Dan Stetson and Harry Helling from the Ocean Institute presented a PowerPoint presentation entitled, “We Have Not Inherited The Oceans From Our Parents, We Have Borrowed Them From Our Children.” The Ocean Institute educates 110,000 students annually. Whether kids board the Spirit of Dana Point, Pilgrim, or Sea Explorer, or take part in their innovative watershed and other education programs, at the Ocean Institute, experience is the teacher. They’re involved in many regional programs to protect our marine resources, especially through the Orange County Marine Protected Area Committee whose mission is to protect sensitive tidepools through enforcement and education. To view the Ocean Institute’s presentation, please click here.

Pat Fuscoe returned to Coastal Coalition to educate us on the work of his non-profit organization, Miocean Foundation. Comprised of Orange County business executives with a passion for the ocean and a track record of business success, Miocean collaborates with private and public sector entities, citizens, government officials, corporations, as well as other environmental organizations to develop, to support and implement programs that will reduce urban runoff and preserve the environmental integrity of southern California’s beaches and coastal waters. Their solutions-oriented projects include the recently completed North Creek pollution prevention project in Dana Point. This project diverts polluted run-off from Doheny State Beach to a sanitary treatment plant nearby. The impact on “Polio Pond” has been direct and extensive. I applaud the efforts of Miocean to protect our oceans. To view Miocean’s presentation, please click here.


OCTA Appointment

OCTA Chairwoman Carolyn Caveeche has appointed me to serve as Chair of the Environmental Oversight Committee for Renewed Measure M.  The Environmental Oversight Committee will comprehensively review mitigation of the impacts of freeway projects in a way that results in high-value environmental benefits in exchange for streamlined project approvals as well as greater certainty in the delivery of the freeway program as a whole.

OCTA Seeks Input

Transportation officials from both Orange County and Los Angeles County are launching a landmark study and seeking public input to improve traffic in one of the nation’s most traveled regions. 

In July, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) joined forces to conduct the OC/LA Intercounty Transportation Study – the first cooperative planning study between both agencies – to explore ways to improve travel across the O.C. and L.A. line. 

The public is encouraged to share their transportation concerns and recommendations to improve traffic by completing an online survey at www.octa.net/OC-LAstudy. Hard copies of the survey also are available. For more information, please contact Senior Community Relations Specialist Marissa Espino at (714) 560-5607 or mespino@octa.net, or click here.

Foothill-South / 241 Toll Road

After a history of opposing the Foothill-South 241 Toll Road project, Senator Tom Harman has endorsed completing the final segment of the 241. Senator Harman joins a long list of local, state and federal elected officials who believe the 241 is an important component to regional transportation plans. The Senator had been under the impression that completing the 241 would damage Trestles Beach. The tour showed Harman that the 241 will connect to I-5 south of San Clemente, about one half mile away from the coast. Studies show the road will not impact water quality or waves at the beach. For more information, please click here.


Influenza Case Confirmed

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) has confirmed its first influenza case of the season. This season’s first confirmed case was a juvenile from South County who tested positive in early November for influenza type B. Flu season in Orange County often peaks in December or later and can last until April. Now is the time to get a flu shot and benefit from the protection it provides, especially for those at higher risk of influenza complications. For more information, please click here.

Free Flu Shots

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) is offering free flu shots at numerous locations through the winter months for eligible individuals in high-risk groups. For information about locations, dates and times to receive a flu shot to increase your protection against influenza and its potential complications, please call the HCA Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448 or click here.

Those not eligible for the County program can obtain flu shots from doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and health care clinics. For assistance in locating a Flu Clinic in your area, please visit the American Lung Association website at www.flucliniclocator.org.


30th Annual Turkey Trot

The 30th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot, one of America's most scenic coastal runs and largest Thanksgiving Day races, will take place in beautiful Dana Point Harbor. Dubbed “America's Turkey Trot”, the event has attracted participants from more than 40 states. This year’s event is expected to be the largest yet, with more than 9,600 participants for the annual 5K & 10K run/walk, and the kids Hot to Trot race. Please run so others can eat! Thursday, November 22, 7am to 11am. For more information, please click here.

17th Annual Winter Fantasy

The magic continues at the 17th Annual Winter Fantasy over four weekends, November 17 thru December 9, at the world-famous Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach. Visitors can experience the artistic wonders of 170 Laguna Beach artists and craftspeople amidst towering eucalyptus trees and tranquil waterfalls within a three and half acre canyon setting. The Winter Fantasy includes art projects for children and adults, live holiday entertainment, artist demonstrations including glass blowing, a snow playfield, 3 outdoor cafés, and visits with Santa! For more information, please click here.


The Spirit of Giving

The Holiday Season is upon us and with it comes many wonderful opportunities to help those less fortunate. The non-profit community has come together to help make the holiday season brighter for families in need. In the spirit of giving, the Volunteer Center of Orange County along with Orange County 2-1-1 has created a Holiday Directory filled with services for individuals and families as well as volunteer opportunities for individuals who want to give back to their community during the Holiday Season. For more information, please click here.


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

  • Attended the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) 113th Annual Meeting in Oakland, CA. For more information, please click here.
  • Presented a resolution to the Orange County Social Services Agency (SSA) in recognition of Adoption Awareness Month and Children Family Services
  • Attended a meeting of the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) Board of Directors
  • Presented a proclamation in honor of the South Coast Water District Groundwater Recovery Facility Grand Opening Ceremony in Dana Point. For more information, please click here.
  • Presented a Certificate of Recognition to CR&R Incorporated at the Grand Opening of South County’s 1st Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in San Juan Capistrano. For more information, please click here.
  • Presented a County update at a meeting of the Hilltoppers Chairman’s Council in Laguna Niguel
  • Adjourned the November 20 Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Evan Cousineau

My office also:

  • Attended a meeting of the Audit Oversight Committee to discuss an Internal Audit of the Sheriff’s Department
  • Attended the Orange County Regional Health Information Organization to assist in planning a regional approach to sharing health information
  • Met with the Administrative Manager for the Orange County Collaborative Courts to learn more about Drug Court, Family Violence Court, and other alternative court strategies
  • Attended the 23rd Annual “No Lunch” Lunch of Orange County’s 2nd Harvest Food Bank of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul. For more information on how to help feed the hungry in Orange County, please click here.
  • Provided a proclamation on Veterans Day to American Legion Post 257 in Laguna Woods
  • Attended a Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce breakfast to present a Certificate of Recognition to Lt. Col. Jason Bohm, Commanding Officer of the 1/4 Marines, the City's adopted unit that had just returned from a seven month deployment in Iraq
  • Attended a meeting of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)

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 concerns, comments or questions at (714) 834-3550.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Supervisor for Orange County's Fabulous Fifth District, and I send my very best wishes to all for a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you so much for your support!