Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 14, 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 Information

3. County Connections

4. Fifth District Spotlight

5. Critter Chronicles

6. Health Herald

7. Environmental Memos

8. Announcements

9. South County Calendar

10. Fifth District Wrap-Up


Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Jeff Corless:
Executive Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Executive Policy Advisor

Chip Monaco:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Patricia Wenkart:
Policy Assistant

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Volume 2 Issue 42
Board Bulletin Board

No Board Meeting Held This Week

In reverent recognition of Veteran’s Day, there was no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week.

Our next Board meeting will be held next Tuesday, November 18. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings are available and archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.

Transportation Information

OCTA Proposed Fare Adjustments

Due to rising costs and a decline in revenue, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors will consider a proposal to increase fare amounts at its November 24th meeting. Since fares were last increased in 2005, fuel costs have soared 185 percent, employee pension costs have increased 92 percent and healthcare costs have risen 28 percent. Due to the weak economy, the largest OCTA transit revenue source, the quarter cent sales tax enacted under the State Transportation Development Act (TDA), declined by more than 3 percent for fiscal year (FY) 2007-08 as compared to FY 2006-07. Additionally, the recently approved state budget is expected to provide $7.8 million less to the State Transit Assistance funds than expected.

While OCTA has experienced growth in ridership in recent years, fare revenues have not kept pace with escalating costs, thus reducing the farebox recovery ratio. The TDA mandates OCTA meet a minimum 20 percent farebox recovery ratio to continue to receive full funding and for every 1 percent below the minimum, OCTA will be penalized approximately $2.7 million. In order to continue to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and to increase the farebox recovery ratio, OCTA will consider increasing fares along with reducing expenditures where it can.

The proposed fare adjustments are available for review by clicking here. OCTA is requesting input from the community on this issue. To fill out the Proposed Fare Adjustment Survey, click here.

For more information on the proposed rate increases, please click here.

Thanksgiving Day Metrolink Savings

Save money this Thanksgiving by taking the Metrolink to your holiday destination. Adults save 25% off regular weekday fares and children ride free on Thanksgiving Day! Up to three children (17 years of age and younger) per adult ticket can ride free. Tickets are currently available for advanced purchase. For more information about the special Thanksgiving fares, click here.

County Connections

Property Value Assessments

Recently, my office has received inquiries from concerned constituents about property valuation in the declining market and what implications it may have on property taxes. The primary question is, “Why are my taxes going up when my value is going down?” Simply, there are two values to look at when considering property taxes: the Market Value and the Proposition 13 Taxable Value. The Market Value is what the property would sell for in an open market transaction. The Prop. 13 Taxable Value is the Market Value of the property when it was purchased, plus a Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment of up to 2% per year, plus any new construction. In calculating property taxes each year, the Assessor compares these two values and the lower of the two is always used.

Therefore, even if a property experiences a decrease in Market Value, if the Market Value is still higher than the Prop. 13 Taxable Value, a CPI adjustment may be added by up to 2% annually. Using this formula, taxpayers always benefit because they always pay the lower of the two amounts. For more information about Market and Taxable Values, please click here. You may also contact the Assessor Department with any questions by calling (714) 834-2727 or visiting www.ocgov.com/assessor

5th District Spotlight

San Clemente Deputy of the Year

Congratulations to Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Fassel who was named the 2008 Deputy of the Year by the City of San Clemente. As the longest-standing patrol deputy with San Clemente Police Services, Deputy Fassel has been proudly serving San Clemente for the past 15 years. Click here to read an interview with Deputy Fassel that was published in the Orange County Register.

Aliso Viejo Mayor Honored

Aliso Viejo Mayor Bill Phillips was honored as this year’s “community leader” by Saddleback Memorial Hospital on November 7th for his years of dedicated service to South Orange County. Phillips, who has served as mayor and City Council member since the city's inception in 2001, also sits on Saddleback Memorial Hospital's Board, the Laguna Canyon Foundation Board of Directors, the Great Park Advisory Council, as well as volunteers with Beta Foster Care and St. Mary and All Angels School. Congratulations to Mayor Phillips for receiving this distinguished honor.

Senior Citizens Advisory Council Commendation

The Orange County Senior Citizens Advisory Council awarded James Michael Miranda, a volunteer at the San Clemente Senior Center, with a Commendation for Outstanding Service. Mr. Miranda’s demonstrated commitment to serving South Orange County’s senior citizens makes him worthy of this award. Congratulations!

Critter Chronicles

OCFA’s first Nationally Certified Search Canine Team

After more than a year and a half of specialized training, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) is pleased to welcome Jester and his handler, Fire Apparatus Engineer Davis Doty, to become OCFA’s first nationally certified search canine team as part of its Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) program. There are only 225 such certified dogs in the nation, and with Doty’s certification he will now join the six other qualified handlers as part of the OCFA sponsored US&R California Task Force 5 (CATF-5). With experts estimating that a single dog team can be as effective as 20 to 30 trained human searchers in locating a missing person in a given time period, this search team will become an invaluable tool to OCFA and the communities it serves. For more information, please click here.

Sheriff’s Department asks you to ‘buckle up’ your pets

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has teamed up with ‘Bark Buckle Up’, a pet safety advocacy group, to remind pet owners to buckle up their pets while driving. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, 98 percent of dogs travel unrestrained while travelling in vehicles with their owners. Losing a family pet in an accident is devastating, but the risks to vehicle riders and first responders called to help in the event of an accident can be significant. For information about how to properly secure your pets while driving, please click here.

Health Herald

Center for Advanced Wound Healing

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Thursday, Nov.6 for the opening of Saddleback Memorial Hospital’s new Center for Advanced Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine. The $1.1 million center located in Mission Viejo is an out-patient, hospital-based program that specializes in the treatment of problem wounds, specifically for the aging population in South Orange County. This center will complement the quality care already available at the hospital and will fill an important need in the community.

Environmental Memos

San Onofre Giant Kelp Reef Project

The dedication ceremony for the nation’s largest man-made giant kelp reef, which was constructed this summer off the coast of San Clemente, was held on Monday. The unprecedented 172-acre, $22 million environmental project fulfills a promise that Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and the City of Riverside made when granted a permit to build the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station that they would restore any environmental impact associated with the plant’s operation. The reef will be named for the noted Caltech marine biologist Wheeler J. North, whose contribution to California giant kelp restoration laid the technical foundation for this major environmental project.



All residents are encouraged to register with AlertOC, the new mass notification system designed to keep Orange County residents and businesses informed about emergencies and certain community events. By registering with AlertOC, important time-sensitive voice messages from the County or City in which you live or work may be sent to your home, cell or business phone. Text messages may also be sent to cell phones, e-mail accounts and hearing impaired receiving devices.

Next Friday, November 21, a test call will be sent to all household landlines within the 5th District’s unincorporated areas including Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Wagon Wheel and portions of Trabuco Canyon. In addition to the unincorporated landline phone numbers provided by the emergency 911 database, all constituents in unincorporated areas that have self-registered additional contact information through the AlertOC website will receive the test message via each subscribed channel.

To register for this valuable service, please click here.

South County Calendar

31st Annual Turkey Trot in Dana Point

Over 10,000 participants are expected at the 31st Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot 5k/10k race on Thursday, November 27, 2008. This event includes a children's "Hot to Trot" race, entertainment, a costume contest and much more. Proceeds from the Pledge Drive will go to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County to help feed those in need this holiday season. For more information about registering or donating, please click here.

America Recycles

Residents of the City of Aliso Viejo are each welcome to pick up two free bags of mulch Saturday, November 15th from 8:00AM to 12:00 PM at Soka University. The “America Recycles Mulch Event” is sponsored by the City of Aliso Viejo and CC&R Waste Services. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel 20th Anniversary Celebration Committee

With the 20th Anniversary of Laguna Niguel’s Cityhood quickly approaching on December 1, 2009, the City is seeking individuals who wish to join the 20th Anniversary Celebration Citizen Committee. For the next year, Committee members will assist the City Council and staff in the planning of a variety of celebration events. The 20th Anniversary Celebration events will begin December 1, 2009 and culminate with the City’s Holiday Parade on December 12, 2009. For additional information about joining the committee, please call the Parks and Recreation offices at (949) 425-5100 or click here.

Sawdust Winter Fantasy 2008

The Sawdust Art Festival grounds will be transformed into a winter paradise for the 18th Annual Winter Fantasy. Every weekend from November 22 through December 14, over 170 fine art and craft exhibitors will be showcased and original artwork ranging from jewelry to clothing to sculptures will be sold. Included with admission are free to low-cost art projects for children and adults, artist demonstrations, holiday entertainment, community performances and visits with Santa! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo Gifts & Goodies Holiday Boutique

Be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, November 22 for the Mission Viejo Gifts & Goodies Holiday Boutique. The event, which includes more than 80 booths and a food court, will take place from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Norman P. Murray Community Center. For more information, please click here.

Fifth District Wrap-Up

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

  • Attended a Veteran’s Day celebration hosted by the American Legion Post 257 in Laguna Woods to honor the brave men and women who serve and have served in our armed forces
  • Was the keynote speaker at the San Clemente Republican Women Federated’s monthly meeting
  • Attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano
My office also:
  • Participated in the Rancho Santa Margarita Senior Health and Wellness Expo; and presented proclamations to the Bell Tower Foundation and Park Terrace Senior Living, who hosted the 4th annual event
  • Attended the Rancho Santa Margarita “State of the City” address
  • Participated in the Lake Forest Safety Expo
  • Participated in the Great Southern California ShakeOut earthquake drill
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!