Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 5, 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. TCA

2. Foothill-South Lawsuits

3. 241 Update

4. South County Major Investment Study

5. Ortega Highway

6. Coastal Coalition

7. Festival of Whales

8. Community Indicators Report

9. Access OC

10. Awards of Excellence

11. Child Care Council

12. County Librarian Retires

13. City of Mission Viejo

14. Homeless Services

15. Fifth District Wrap-up


Patti Gorczyca:
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 4 

I recently voted to cancel the monthly meetings of the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency (SJHTCA) Operations and Finance Committee. The meetings were a duplication of the actual Board meeting which followed one week after the committee's. The elimination of this standing committee saves taxpayer dollars by eliminating duplicate TCA staffing efforts and Board member stipends. Commencing next month, the only meeting of the SJHTCA will be the Board meeting held on the second Thursday of the month.


Despite lawsuits from opponents of Foothill-South, the project is moving ahead. The Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) remains committed to building Foothill-South in order to provide needed relief and a transportation alternative to the I-5 in South Orange County. For more information, please click here.


At last week’s Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) Operations and Finance Committee meeting, TCA staff gave a presentation advising Committee members that Foothill-South financing will be no earlier than 2010. The power point presentation indicated preliminary design for the project will be complete by October 2007 and that permits have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Department of Fish and Game and 106 consultation with the Federal Highway Administration - a process that evaluates the impact of the project on historic properties. Over the next 12 months, TCA staff will submit the Coastal Development Permit application, complete preliminary design work, continue to process permits submitted, and perform outreach activities at the local, state and federal level. I have asked staff to report back on the cost impact of the project start delay. Staff is completing necessary design work and will be providing updated project design alternatives for consideration by the Board and corresponding project cost estimates for various design alternatives by year end. To see a copy of the full staff report, click here.


I recently chaired the South County Major Investment Study (SOCMIS) Policy Advisory Committee held at the City of Mission Viejo. The Policy Advisory Committee was formed to keep elected officials within the project area informed about the progress of the study and seek their input on policy direction to help guide the study process. During the meeting, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) staff provided a modeling update to determine South County traffic projections, discussed approaches to accomplishing a trip origin and destination study, previewed the upcoming public participation meetings to begin in April and laid out some initial alternative transportation strategies.

I requested the SOCMIS hold its meetings on a monthly basis. It is important to provide for ample time for this committee to consider the critical transportation decisions before us prior to the commencement of the public input process. Our next meeting will be held in Mission Viejo City Hall on Wednesday, March 21, at 10:30 AM. To view the OCTA staff presentation, please click here.


Caltrans recently began a safety improvement project on Ortega Highway (State Route 74) to improve roadway safety, sight distance, and to provide more room for motorists to more safely maneuver the roadway. This 3-year, $40 million safety improvement project will increase lane widths from 10 to 12 feet, add 4-foot shoulders and two new turnouts, improve drainage and provide other safety enhancements on a curved and winding 3.3 mile stretch before the Orange/Riverside County line. Full closures of Ortega are planned for the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. with flagging operations in place during the day. Priority travel will be given to westbound morning commute traffic and eastbound evening commute traffic. Motorists are advised that every effort is being made to minimize travel delays and inconvenience. For more detailed information about this project or any other Orange County highway project, contact the Orange County Transportation (OCTA) Helpline at 1-800-724-0353 or visit the Caltrans website at www.dot.ca.gov/dist12.

Coastal coalition

I am very pleased to report that the Orange County Coastal Coalition is back up and running with the first meeting of the year held on February 22. The theme was "Welcome to the Coast". Representatives from California State Parks and five coastal cities - including Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente - provided updates on a wide variety of coastal watershed, water quality and education projects. I along with over 75 interested stakeholders in attendance benefited from the overview of projects focused on improving coastal water quality.

Steve Aceti of the California Coastal Coalition provided a legislative update and copies of the Resolution of the California Ocean Protection Council on Reducing and Preventing Marine Debris. To view the Resolution, please click here.

To view the presentation given by Brad Fowler, Director of Public Works for the City of Dana Point, please click here.

Supervisor Moorlach and I invite you to join us at the next Coastal Coalition meeting to be held at 9 AM, March 22, at the Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Avenue, Newport Beach. To add your name to the email distribution list for the Coastal Coalition, please send your name, organization and email address to Janet Tott at Janet.Tott@rdmd.ocgov.com.

Festival of whales

If you missed the City of Dana Point’s 16th annual Festival of Whales held in beautiful Dana Point Harbor this past weekend, you still have another opportunity to attend on March 10 & 11. Come join the community as we celebrate the return of the Gray Whales off the coast and sample the best of Dana Point through more than 100 booths, displays, and fun activities for the whole family. From anywhere in the county, you can get on an OCTA bus and ride along the coast on bus routes 1, 70 and 85 to celebrate the migration of one of the world’s largest mammals. To find out how, please click here.

For more information, please call 888-440-4309 or visit www.festivalofwhales.com

community indicators report

The Orange County Community Indicators Project annually measures the overall quality of life of the Orange County community by tracking key indicators of economic, social and environmental well being. Modeled after successful programs in the state and nation, the Community Indicators Project serves as an ongoing and dynamic measurement tool which can support a variety of local and regional initiatives concerned with the wellbeing of the county.

I hope you will find the report useful and thought provoking. To view the 2007 Orange County Community Indicators Report, please click here. If you have a disability and need assistance in reading this document, please call (714) 834-5374.

access oc

County Executive Officer Thomas G. Mauk recently announced the official launch of a new web site feature that will provide an easy-to-use tool for the public to access County services from any computer.

The new online service, AccessOC, allows the public to send in requests, concerns or comments at any time on the County's web site, www.ocgov.com, by clicking on the AccessOC logo under County Communication. The service gives access to County staff, status updates via email and helpful dialogue on a 24/7 basis. For more information, please click here.

Awards of excellence

The Health Care Agency's Environmental Health Division recently issued Award of Excellence certificates to local Orange County food facilities. Environmental Health's Food Protection Program recognizes these facilities for their outstanding food safety and sanitation practices during 2006. The certificate acknowledges the dedication of each recipient and highlights their diligent efforts in preventing health code violations.

Included in the Award of Excellence Program for the first time in 2006 were public and private school food production facilities, with 70 schools gaining recognition. The Award of Excellence Program also includes restaurants, catering establishments, meat and seafood markets, retail bakeries and supermarkets. A complete list of all the award recipients is available on-line at www.ocfoodinfo.com/foodaward.htm.

For more information about the Health Care Agency's Food Protection Program, please click here or call (714) 433-6000.

Child care council

My staff recently attended a meeting of the Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council. The mission of the Council is to mobilize public and private resources and foster partnerships to address the child care and development needs of Orange County children, families and providers. Council members represent a wide variety of child care interests including child care providers, consumers, public agency representatives, and community representatives. If you are interested in applying for a position as a member of the council or would like more information about the OC Child Care and Development Planning Council, please visit http://www.occhildcarecouncil.org/

county librarian retires

Librarian John Adams is retiring after 16 years of serving Orange County. Adams had the challenging responsibility of leading the County Library System through the Bankruptcy as well as through the era of expanding technology. As County Librarian, Adams helped establish a literacy program, form a library advisory board, and increase materials circulation. I would like to thank John for his hard work and wish him all the best in his retirement.

City of mission Viejo

I recently attended the Mission Viejo “State of the City” Breakfast hosted jointly by the Chamber of Commerce and the Mission Viejo City Council. Mayor Gail Reavis highlighted some of the city’s goals for 2007. To read Mayor Reavis’ remarks, please click here.

homeless services

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the County of Orange $10,706,858 in a homeless assistance grant competition under the Continuum of Care Super Notice of Funding Availability (SuperNOFA). The SuperNOFA is an annual process and the grant award to the County of Orange, with Housing and Community Services (HCS) as the lead agency, is a direct result of the County's partnership with cities and hundreds of non-profit organizations to address the issue of homelessness in Orange County. This collaborative effort has undertaken a regional plan aimed at breaking the cycle of homelessness. According to the County's 2005 needs assessment survey, Orange County residents experience approximately 35,000 episodes of homelessness throughout the course of one year.

The grant award will provide transitional shelter and supportive services for families and individuals as well as permanent supportive housing for the disabled and special needs homeless populations. For more information, please click here.

HCS houses the County's Homeless Prevention Division. HCS also administers funds for participating cities and community-based organizations for homeless services. For more information about the County's efforts to address homelessness, please contact Karen Roper at (714) 567-7418 or 714 423-8315.

fifth District Wrap-up

Among my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also had the pleasure to meet with:

  • Ladera Ranch Town Manager Dennis Javens and members of the Ladera Ranch Maintenance Corporation board, including vice-president Ram Mukherji, and joined them on a tour of Ladera Ranch's various facilities. To view a picture, please click here.
  • Ladera Ranch community leaders regarding local issues and the formation of a Ladera Ranch Community Advisory Committee.
  • Coto de Caza community leaders regarding local issues and the formation of a Coto de Caza Community Advisory Committee.
  • The Dana Point Harbor Merchants Association regarding harbor revitalization efforts.
  • The Saddleback Republican Assembly (SRA) in Mission Viejo to discuss my supervisorial campaign and first weeks in office.
  • City of Lake Forest officials regarding Serrano Creek and other City issues.
  • The Orange County Public Affairs Association.
  • Nick Beradino regarding issues concerning the Orange County Employees Association.

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

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!

As always,