Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 24, 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. Disaster Readiness, Response & Recovery

3. Fifth District Spotlight

4. Presidential Election 2008

5. Health Herald

6. South County News

7. Harbor Happenings

8. County Connections

9. Notes From The Field

10. South County Calendar

11. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Don Hughes:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Patricia Wenkart:
Policy Assistant

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Volume 2 Issue 39
Board Bulletin Board

Audit of Sheriff’s Department Overtime Expenditures

The Board directed the Performance Audit Director to conduct a thorough audit of overtime costs in the Sheriff’s Department. Ahead of our October 28 Board meeting, I have included the completed report and Sheriff Hutchens’ response. The report provides the Board with a baseline that clearly defines opportunities and constraints surrounding the use of overtime as a management tool.

It is important to note that earnings from overtime are not used to calculate Deputy Sheriffs’ retirement pensions, as these dollars are not base-building or pension–building. Further, the use of overtime in lieu of hiring additional Deputies has saved County taxpayers $1.8 million over the last 6-years, approximately 7 to 10% annually in salary and employee benefits costs.

Factoring an annual increase of 3% in salary costs as negotiated in our current contract with Sheriff’s Deputies, a preliminary straight-line forecast demonstrates an estimated $147 million cost savings over the next 30-years by appropriately using overtime as a management tool in lieu of hiring additional staff. To view the Performance Audit Director’s overtime audit of the Sheriff’s Department, please click here. To view the Sheriff’s response, please click here.


The Board of Supervisors voted down a request from the United Employee Organizations of Orange County to initiate the process for the County’s participation in the California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS) and to contract with CalPERS for actuarial valuations. The request was in response to a potential rate increase, resulting from changes in assumptions by the actuary retained by the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS).

In July, 2005, the Board of Supervisors directed the County Executive Office (CEO) to evaluate CalPERS as a possible alternative to OCERS and provide an employer cost comparison. The CEO returned to the Board in June, 2006 with a report on the employer cost comparison between OCERS and CalPERS and recommended the County remain with OCERS. The Board of Supervisors concurred with the recommendation. At that time, the comparisons resulted in little difference between the two systems in terms of employer costs and there was no compelling reason to consider transferring the County’s plan to CalPERS.

I fully understand the concerns presented to us by the employee unions regarding rising pension costs; however, I feel approving such a study is pre-mature, especially during this turbulent time in the economy. A current study is unlikely to be reflective of the actual benefits or drawbacks in transferring our current system to CalPERS.

Treasurer-Tax Collector and OCERS Reports

Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector Chriss Street and OCERS Board Chair Reed Royalty made presentations to the Board of Supervisors regarding the market impact on the County’s investment portfolio and retirement system portfolio. Also provided was the current status of the County’s overall financial health and expectations as the current economic condition continues to fluctuate.

Overall, as evidenced by the presentations, the County’s current financial outlook is healthy, as funds continue to show a profit over the past 12 months. I would like to commend Mr. Street and the OCERS Board of Directors for their ability to anticipate changes in the market and reflect those changes in their investment practices. To view the Treasurers presentation, please click here. Treasurer To view the OCERS presentation, please click here.

Conditions of Children in Orange County

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board of Supervisors received a presentation on the 14th Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County. The annual report was originally developed in 1993 to provide a comprehensive picture of the current condition of children in the County, establishing a baseline to track changing conditions and measure future progress. This year’s report was expanded to include forty indicators as well as a special section focusing on Substance Exposed Babies. The report also includes a review of changes to each indicator, followed by projections of where indicators may lead in the next ten years.

The Children’s Services Coordination Committee has sponsored the Report since 1993. This 21-member advisory body was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1982 to provide information on services for wards, dependents and emotionally and/or behaviorally disturbed children, identify gaps in service systems for high-risk children and their families, as well as recommend collaborative programs to better serve the population. To view the presentation received by the Board, please click here. For more information, please click here.

Disaster Readiness, Response & Recovery

South County Disaster Preparedness Expo 2008

On Saturday, October 18, my office was pleased to host our first annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo. This event, held on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Santiago Fire that destroyed over 28,000 acres in our area of Orange County, was a resounding success. From the many families and individuals present, it was clear that vital information and memorable experiences were well received.

I wish to thank the event participants for all the time and hard work that went into setting up the South County Disaster Preparedness Expo, which was held in conjunction with the City of Mission Viejo’s 20th Annual Walk Against Drugs. The diligence of the Expo coordinators, volunteers and sponsors are very much appreciated. Their expertise and support enabled us to connect residents with critical information for the public’s health and well-being should a major emergency arise. As a result of this collaborative effort, thousands of South County residents received the tools they’ll need to effectively prepare, respond and recover in the event of a disaster.

Preparing Your Family and Home for When Disaster Strikes

Most Californians feel secure in their disaster preparedness… until a major emergency occurs. More than seven out of 10 Californians are not prepared for a disaster. It is up to each of us to be prepared to withstand disaster impacts on a personal level for at least three days. For more information, please click here.

Here are three important steps to be prepared:
  1. Create a Plan - Your family and loved ones may not be together in the event of an emergency, so plan now on how you will contact each other and review what you should do in different situations.
  2. Make a Kit - Make an emergency supply kit with enough food, water and other essentials for at least three days. Learn what you will need to make your own kit.
  3. Be Involved – Be involved in your community and at work by spreading the word about being ready. Working with neighbors and co-workers can save lives and property.

County Launches Mass Notification System

Building upon the success of mass notifications systems attributed to saving lives during the 2007 Southern California wildfires, the County has launched the web-based subscription service AlertOC to provide real-time information to affected communities in emergency situations. A distinct feature of AlertOC is the ability to register more than one contact method to a specific address, thus enabling landlines, cell phones and e-mail addresses to be incorporated into a single notification system. For more information, please click here.

Subscribers to AlertOC may register their contact information and receive time-sensitive communications from the County or a participating city in the event of a natural disaster or major emergency, such as evacuation orders and road closures. Registrants may also receive messages when minor incidents like power outages occur. When there is an event requiring community action, officials record a voice, e-mail or text message that is delivered rapidly to affected individuals. For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit www.AlertOC.com.

Fifth District Spotlight

Ladera Ranch's Jeff Blugrind Recognized for Film Talent

The winners of the 29th Annual Telly Awards were announced recently. Ladera Ranch resident, Jeff Blugrind, was honored with six awards for excellence in film and video production – three in the Informational Program category, two in the Media Promotion category, and one in the Public Service category. With 13,500 entries from all 50 states and around the world, this year’s competition was one of the most competitive and successful in the long history of the Telly Awards.

Jeff Blugrind is the President of Beacon Point Productions. He is also the host and producer of FOCUS ON, a video documentary series which shares with viewers what goes on behind the scenes with the technology and infrastructure of communities.

Future episodes of the FOCUS ON series may highlight public safety demonstrations, public information outreach, public agencies, and utility companies throughout the County. The Ladera Ranch Maintenance Corporation (LARMAC) commissioned the first 12 episodes of the series titled, “FOCUS ON: LADERA RANCH.” Seven episodes are currently available for viewing on www.LaderaLife.com and five more are currently in production. Jeff also created three advanced trailers for the FOCUS ON series and a public service video for the Orange County Fire Authority.

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest film and video productions, and groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films. Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate video departments in the world. A prestigious judging panel of over 40 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Telly, judged the competition.

A Ladera Ranch resident since 2002, Jeff Blugrind is renowned as a volunteer extraordinaire around the Ladera community and has been a small business owner in the event and television production industry for more than 25 years. Married to his wife, Danielle, for 15 years, they have a 9-year-old daughter. To see a photo of Jeff with his six Telly Awards, please click here. For more information, please click here and here.

Presidential Election 2008

Early Voting Opens in Orange County

Orange County’s first early voting site opened earlier this week, on time and on schedule. The Registrar of Voters (ROV) opened the site at John Wayne Airport at 7 a.m. on Sunday, October 19. Within minutes, seven outbound passengers had already cast their ballots. We expect heavy turnout at all early voting sites, which will run through Tuesday, October 28. In South County, The Shops at Mission Viejo have 24 voting booths to handle a much larger volume of voters. City halls, UCI and the ROV office are also open for early voting. For more information, please click here.

New Citizen Registration and Voting

The Orange County Registrar of Voters will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 25 to allow new citizens the ability to register and vote for the November 4 Presidential Election.

New citizens sworn in after the Registration deadline (October 20, 2008) may only register and vote from October 23 to October 28 and only at the Registrar of Voters office for the November election. New citizens must bring proof of citizenship and declare that they are California residents. For more information, please click here.

Health Herald

2008-09 Influenza Vaccination Program

The Orange County Health Care Agency’s Immunization Program is offering free flu shots at numerous locations throughout the County, beginning the week of October 27 through the winter months for the following groups:

  • People 50 years of age and older
  • Children aged 6 months to 59 months of age (NOTE: Some children 5-18 years of age may be eligible for flu shots through the Vaccines for Children Program. For details, please call the Health Referral Line at 1-800-564-8448)
  • Children or adolescents receiving long-term aspirin therapy
  • Women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during flu season
  • People with chronic disease like heart disease, asthma, or other lung disease
  • People with health conditions that suppress their immune or respiratory system
  • People with seizures disorders, spinal cord injuries, or other neuromuscular disorder
  • Health care workers
  • Anyone living with or caring for children under 5 years or adults over 50 years
  • Anyone living with or caring for people with medical conditions that place them at risk for complications of flu
For more information, please click here.

South County News

Mock DUI Crash at JSerra High School

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) will be one of several agencies participating in a Mock DUI Crash on October 27 at JSerra Catholic High School, 26351 Junipero Serra Road, San Juan Capistrano. The event is scheduled for 10:30 AM. Sponsored by Friends Against Drinking and Driving (FADD), the event is designed to teach students the dangers of drinking and driving. For more information, please click here.

Harbor Happenings

OC Dana Point Harbor Update

OC Dana Point Harbor is currently underway with the Harbor Maintenance Dredging Project. The project goals are to maintain the navigation channels within the Harbor and provide for beach nourishment along our coast.

As part of the maintenance dredging project, Capistrano Beach will be seeing beach nourishment activities starting this month and continuing through November. The beach nourishment activities will involve the movement of sand along the beach after being deposited through a 1.5-mile submerged pipeline from the Harbor. Identified portions of Capistrano Beach will be closed to provide for depositing and spreading of the sand during the beach nourishment activities.

About 80,000 cubic yards of sand will be removed from the harbor bottom, with about 48,000 cubic yards to be deposited on Capistrano Beach and another 5,700 cubic yards deposited onto Baby Beach. Both beach nourishment portions of the project will result in recycling approximately 70% of the dredged sand. The remaining unused material will be disposed of in an EPA-approved site off-shore. Officials expect the Dana Point Harbor Maintenance Dredging Project to be completed by the end of this year. For more information, please click here.

County Connections

Public Administrator to Hold Real Property Auction

The Public Administrator/Public Guardian conducts private auctions to sell real property belonging to conservatorship estates that the department administers. Fourteen real property estates will be auctioned November 13 at noon in Santa Ana. For more information, please click here.

Notes From The Field

Caspers Wilderness Park: Journeys to the Past

Tomorrow from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Native American storyteller Jacque Nunez will share her Acjachemen ancestry with her “Journeys to the Past” presentation at Caspers Wilderness Park. This interactive program is appropriate for adults and children age 6 and older. For more information, please click here.

Guided Hikes in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Explore the trails and learn about the flora, fauna, geology and history of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists and OC Parks staff! For more information, please click here.

Sunday, October 26
Birding Hike

8:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Spot fall and migratory birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist Gigi Logan and bird expert John Heussenstamm on this hike through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States. Bring binoculars. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations required: 949-923-2235. Parking: $3

South County Calendar

8th Annual Haunted Trails in Laguna Niguel

Thru Saturday October 25, Laguna Niguel Parks & Recreation guides will escort groups of 10 through "Pirate-themed" tents, featuring scallywags & vermin of unknown origin at Crown Valley Community Park. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to be scared! For more information, please click here.

Doheny State Beach Haunted Campground

Don’t miss out on Doheny’s most festive event of the year as they transform a section of the campground into a spooky area, an array of educational booths, arts and crafts, a Fun Zone, and other fun activities. This event runs from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Saturday, October 25. There is no charge for admission; however, a non-perishable donation per person is greatly appreciated. Dress those little ones and join the fun! For more information, please click here.

Gallimaufry Performing Arts: Songs in the Sand

Celebrate the music of Broadway at this free live concert on Laguna’s Main Beach, featuring the Laguna Community Concert Band, Lagunatunes Community Chorus and Gallimaufry’s professional soloists. Sunday, October 26, beginning at 3 PM. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Wrap-Up

In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:

  • Hosted our first annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo in Mission Viejo.
  • Was the keynote speaker at a meeting of the Laguna Woods Kiwanis Club to discuss bus service and other transportation issues in the city.
  • Chaired the monthly meeting of the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee.
  • Attended a Rancho Santa Margarita City Council meeting to present a check for $195,000 of Prop 1B state transportation funds to the City for local street and road improvements.
  • Co-Chaired the monthly meeting of the Orange County Coastal Coalition (more on this in my next newsletter)
My office also:
  • Attended a reception at Luciana’s Ristorante in Dana Point to present a Certificate of Recognition in honor of their 25th anniversary in the city.
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!