Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 18, 2008

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. Transportation Update

3. South County News

4. Environmental Notes

5. Health Tips

6. South County Calendar

7. 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 2 Issue 2

Resignation of the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner

On Monday, January 14, Sheriff-Coroner Michael Carona formally announced his resignation from the office of Sheriff-Coroner of Orange County to devote his full attention toward pending legal matters surrounding his federal indictment.

Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson is acting as Sheriff-Coroner in the interim until my colleagues and I appoint a new Sheriff-Coroner for the County.  As required by law, the Board of Supervisors is tasked with the responsibility of selecting a new Sheriff-Coroner to serve until the end of the current term (January, 2011).  Board Chairman Moorlach and I, as Vice Chairman, will serve as an ad hoc committee to review and present to the Board for discussion at our next meeting a selection process that will provide the best opportunity to elicit applications from a broad pool of qualified candidates. I welcome your input as we move forward with our commitment to conduct a fair and transparent selection process.

In the meantime, I remain extremely confident in the men and women of our Orange County Sheriff’s Department to continue providing the very best service in protecting our communities as well as ensuring public safety throughout Orange County.

Fifth District Park Improvements

I’m pleased that Fifth District park and habitat improvements were approved by my Board colleagues at Tuesday’s meeting. These improvements will enhance the public’s ability to enjoy our beautiful Fifth District parks and wilderness areas.

The conversion from septic to sewer for the restrooms at O’Neill Regional Park is now official with the approval of a wastewater service agreement with the Trabuco Canyon Water District. Visitors to Laguna Niguel Regional Park will also benefit from new restrooms which were approved by the Board. Lastly, the re-alignment of Laguna Canyon Road has resulted in the go-ahead to restore wetlands habitat for Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. By this summer, this restoration project will be complete.

Increased Public Safety at Our Landfills

At our landfills, public safety is a key responsibility of the County. I’m pleased that with the Board’s approval, the Integrated Waste Management Department will install improved fencing and security gates at the South County Prima Deshecha Landfill as well as at the closed Coyote Canyon Landfill. This action will enhance security at these facilities. In addition, the Board approved updating landfill gas monitoring equipment at Prima to ensure regulatory compliance and continued public safety for surrounding communities.

Mental Health Services Funding

The County of Orange was granted funding above the typical allotment for the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA – Prop 63) in a Community Services and Supports Growth Funding Plan grant. As with the MHSA funding, the Growth Funding Plan was developed with a wide array of local stakeholders and the County Mental Health Board. At Tuesday’s meeting, as part of the Growth Funding Plan, the Board approved Agreements for the provision of services for seriously mentally ill older adults (60+) who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, and services for seriously mentally ill adults recently discharged from institutions or jail.

Used Oil Recycling Grant

Do you perform your own oil changes? Ever wonder what to do with the old oil and filter? The Board just accepted a grant from the State that provides the Environmental Health Department funding to ensure used oil and filters are disposed of properly rather than in landfills. For more information on the Used Oil Recycling Program, please click here.

Emergency Management Council

In December, the Board of Supervisors discussed a proposal to revise the designation of the Director of Emergency Services’ role during emergencies and disasters in the county.  I supported designating the CEO as Director of Emergency Services unless the disaster or emergency is clearly under the realm of our Sheriff’s Department or Fire Authority.  This will provide a clear assignment of responsibility and chain of command, which is essential for effective handling of such circumstances.  The CEO will serve as the Director of Emergency Services for all recovery efforts after a disaster as well.  To view the approved ordinance discussing the Emergency Management Council, please click here.


Governor Backs 241 Toll Road Extension

Governor Arnold Scwarzenegger sent a letter this week to the Chairman of the California Coastal Commission, urging the Coastal Commission to approve the Foothill-South / 241 Toll Road extension and concur in the Transportation Corridor Agency’s certification that the project is consistent with the California Coastal Zone Management Plan.

The letter concludes with “The SR-241 project gives us a chance to protect our parks and our coastline and reduce one of the most damaging environmental problems that plagues our state:  traffic gridlock.  I hope you will join me in supporting this major step forward for California.” To read the Governor’s letter to the Coastal Commission, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Coastal Commission Hearing for 241 Toll Road

The Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) has confirmed that the Coastal Commission Hearing for Foothill-South will take place on Wednesday, February 6, 2008, at the Oceanside City Hall Council Chambers, 300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside. For directions, please click here.

The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m., and the 241 extension is expected to be the first item on the agenda. TCA needs as many supporters as possible to attend the Coastal Commission meeting. We need people at the hearing who are willing to stand up and tell the Coastal Commissioners why the 241 completion is so important. Please email jseaton@thetollroads.com if you are interested in attending or if you have any questions. For more information, please click here.

OCTA Board Selects Leaders For 2008
Fourth District Supervisor Chris Norby was unanimously selected this week as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA). Norby replaces outgoing Chair Carolyn Cavecche, mayor of Orange, who continues to serve on the board. Stepping into Norby’s former role as vice chairman will be a public member of the Board of Directors, Peter Buffa.
Chris Norby represents constituents from the Fourth District, which includes Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, La Habra and Placentia. Norby has been on the OCTA Board of Directors since January 2003. He served as vice chairman in 2007 and contributed significantly as a member of several key OCTA committees including the Executive Committee, Security Working Group, Regional Planning & Highways, and Transit Planning & Operations. Congratulations to OCTA Board Chairman Chris Norby and Vice Chair Peter Buffa! For more information, please click here

Cooperative Agreements for the Go Local Program

The OCTA Board of Directors approved cooperative agreements with the cities of Laguna Woods and Placentia for establishing roles and responsibilities as well as defining concepts for projects in Phase 1 of the Go Local Program. The Go Local Program provides funding for opportunities to connect residents with transit as part of advancing Orange County’s multi-modal transportation system. Laguna Woods joins our other 5th District cities in participating in the Go Local Program.  Laguna Woods will use these funds to expand research from 2001 on rider demands and trends, successful transit services in other cities, and conduct public outreach to gather data about potential future demand for services.  I look forward to advocating for all of our 5th District cities in their efforts to utilize the Go Local Program for creating solutions that maximize the use and benefit of transit while considering the needs of each local community.

Americans with Disabilities Act Bus Stop Modifications

As part of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Fiscal Year 2007-08 Budget, my colleagues and I approved construction funds for Americans with Disabilities Act improvements at all bus stop locations throughout Orange County.  At our first Board meeting of the year, we approved awarding a contract to the lowest responsible bidder for carrying out improvements at 5th District bus stop locations in the cities of Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, San Clemente, and Laguna Woods.  This is a part of the Bus Stop Accessibility Program to comply with federal access standards such as wheelchair ramps at intersections, additional sidewalks, shelters, benches and other improvements. This will also greatly assist residents who need this amenity to aid in their daily commutes.


New VA Clinic coming to South County

The Department of Veterans Affairs invites you to the Open House of a new VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic at 25292 McIntyre Street, Laguna Hills, on Saturday, January 26, from 10am to 2pm.

The Community Based Outpatient Clinic will provide medical services to veterans who served in the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard prior to 1980 or served longer than two years after 1980; or who served in the Merchant Marines between 1942 and 1945 and were honorably discharged. Reservists and National Guard members who served in Afghanistan or Iraq are also eligible. For more information, please click here.


TCA Launches Interactive Classroom

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) recently launched an interactive website that highlights the importance of restoring wetlands and riparian habitats to improve water quality, conserve water, and provide habitat for wildlife. This website, www.bonitacreekclassroom.com, allows teachers to download activities such as creating a mock watershed and building a nest like those used by red-winged blackbirds. The site also offers online guided tours to help students explore the creek. The curriculum incorporates the appropriate state framework science education standards for grades 4 through 9. For more information, please click here.


Need Help with That New Year’s Resolution?

If your New Year’s Resolution to quit smoking has turned out to be more difficult than you expected, there’s free help available from the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program.

In addition to those who have made a New Year’s Resolution to quit, there may be others who need help quitting in order to comply with a new State law that prohibits smoking in a motor vehicle when a minor (17 years old and under) is present. A violation of the “Smoke Free Cars with Minors” law is punishable by a fine of up to $100.

Free smoking cessation services are provided at a number of convenient locations throughout Orange County. More information is available by calling 1-866-NEW-LUNG (866-639-5864), or click here.


CARE’s 5th Annual Car Show

Capistrano Animal Rescue Effort (CARE) expects more than 400 cars at their 5th annual car show on February 2, 2008, from 8 am to 2 pm, at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center at 25925 Camino Del Avion, San Juan Capistrano. The event will feature live entertainment, opportunity drawings, displays, vendors, food & beverages, goodie bags and more. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome.  For more information, please call (949) 240-1735 or click here


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

  • Participated in an OCTA workshop in Laguna Hills for the public to provide input on the Multi-County Goods Movement Action Plan
  • Met with Dana Point Boaters Association President Bruce Heyman to discuss Dana Point Harbor issues & future plans

My office also:

  • Attended a Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce reception to provide a proclamation in honor of outgoing Chairman Sheldon Pines
  • Video-taped an interview for Laguna Woods Channel 3 to provide an update on the 241 Toll Road completion and the office of the Orange County Sheriff
  • Attended a meeting of the South Orange County Association of Mayors
  • Attended a Forensic Sciences Advisory Council at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to discuss comprehensive DNA process structuring
  • Attended an Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) Education Forum on Investment Strategies
  • Attended a meeting of the Coastal Greenbelt Authority

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.

Thank you so much for your support!