Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 10, 2009

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.















Chip Monaco:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

Don Hughes:
Executive Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Executive Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Margaret Chang:
Policy Assistant

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Volume 3 Issue 14

Board Receives Update on Jail Audit Recommendations

You may recall that in November of last year, the Board of Supervisors received a report from Crout & Sida Criminal Justice Consultants, the company tasked with conducting a comprehensive audit of Orange County’s jail system. In its review, Crout & Sida concluded that our jail system is generally in “good shape and effectively managed”. However, the report highlighted three areas of concern: 1.) a more challenging inmate population; 2.) outdated, inappropriate, and insufficient jail facilities; and 3.) inadequate staffing levels. As such, the audit included recommendations on staffing levels and modifications to the facilities.

During Tuesday’s Board meeting, my colleagues and I received an update from Sheriff Hutchens and Assistant Sheriff of Custody Operations, Mike James, on how the department is addressing the audit recommendations which focused largely on the issue of staffing levels in the jails. They announced that OCSD will be creating a new, non-sworn position called a “correctional services assistant”. Employees for this new position will be phased in and eventually make up to 35% of the jail staff. Replacing a portion of the sworn deputy staff with non-sworn correctional assistants is estimated to save the taxpayers millions of dollars once fully implanted.

I have long been supportive of this idea and I am pleased to see that OCSD is adopting this important reform. Also discussed in their report were the modifications being made to staffing schedules which are intended to address issues related to excessive use overtime and overall staffing levels.

Sheriff’s Highlights of the Orange County Jail System

In her report, Sheriff Hutchens also gave an overview of ongoing policies and procedures within the jail system and provided several highlights. With facilities that house well over 6,000 inmates, OCSD operates the second largest county jail system in California. According to statistics from 2008, compared to jails of similar size, Orange County jails are relatively safe for both inmates and staff alike.

For example, last year in Orange County jails there were 2.4 inmate-on-inmate assaults per every 100 inmates, compared to 10 assaults per 100 inmates in jails of similar size. Orange County had 0.6 inmate-on-staff assaults per 100 inmates, compared to 2.7 assaults per 100 inmates in jails of similar size. Furthermore, Orange County is able to maintain low assault numbers despite the fact that we have a staffing ratio of one deputy per every seven inmates; jails of similar size have a ratio of one deputy per every four inmates.

The classification system that is used by the Sheriff’s Department to determine where inmates are housed has contributed significantly to the success in keeping our jails safe. OCSD’s classification system is touted as a model for other correctional institutions to follow. Another factor that has improved safety in our jails is the installation of cameras in jail modules. These cameras, which were installed at the direction of the Board, enable staff to better monitor the activity of inmates. I am pleased to see that the investment has led to positive results. The Sheriff also gives much credit to the personnel in the jails for running the facilities in a diligent and professional manner.

It is in the interest of every taxpayer to have a jail system that is safe, efficient and effective. To that end, I will continue to monitor and keep my constituents apprised of the progress being made in the operation of our jails.


County’s Response to Grand Jury Report on Orangewood Children’s Home

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board approved a response to the Grand Jury Report entitled, “Addressing the Inequity in the Resources Available for Orange County’s Most Vulnerable Children,” which was released on January 27, 2009. In the report, the Grand Jury concludes that there are not enough resources available to the County’s juvenile offender population. Therefore, the report recommends that a portion of the juvenile offender population be housed at Orangewood Children’s Home, which is a County facility currently used to house abused and neglected children.

Both the County Probation Department and the Social Services Agency declined to implement the recommendations due to cost factors as well as potential negative impacts to current Orangewood residents, who have been victims of abuse or neglect, by housing them at the same location with the juvenile offender population.

In our formal response to the Grand Jury, the Board affirmed the position of the Probation Department and the Social Services Agency and will not implement the recommendation to house juvenile offenders at the Orangewood facility.

You can read a copy of the Grand Jury Report by clicking here and you can read a copy of the County’s response to the Grand Jury by clicking here.

City of Lake Forest/County Property Exchange

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a property exchange agreement between the County and the City of Lake Forest. The agreement allows the City of Lake Forest to transfer property to the County to be added to the Limestone Canyon-Whiting Wilderness Park in exchange for the County-owned property known as the “Glass Creek Parcel” which the City will use to build a much needed local park. OC Parks and the City of Lake Forest are both supportive of this property exchange as it provides benefits to both the City and the County.

Lifeguard Service Expanded

The Board approved an agreement that will allow U.S. Ocean Safety, Inc., with whom the County contracts for Lifeguard Services, to expand its scope of work to provide lifeguard services at Dana Strand Beach, the newest addition to Orange County’s Salt Creek Beach. The County added Dana Strand Beach to Salt Creek Beach on March 17, 2009.

Alton Parkway Extension

The Board approved plans for the Alton Parkway Roadway Extension Project, and authorized the Clerk of the Board to advertise for bids for the project beginning May 13, 2009. At this time, there are still numerous regulatory permits to be approved for the roadway extension; however the action taken by the Board moves this long-awaited project one step closer to becoming a reality. The respective permits are expected to be approved before commencement of construction.


Virgin America Lease Approved for John Wayne Airport

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a lease agreement between the County of Orange and Virgin America, Inc. Starting April 29, Virgin America Airlines will provide new, non-stop service from John Wayne Airport to San Francisco. John Wayne Airport is still in negotiations with Air Canada to finalize plans to begin providing service to Canada by early to mid summer.

Also, beginning May 9, Southwest Airlines will also provide new, non-stop service to San Francisco. To link to airlines servicing the Airport, please visit: www.ocair.com/JWAairlines.htm.


Essentials for Young Lives Drive

HomeAid Orange County in partnership with Children and Families Commission of Orange County is preparing to launch their second annual Essentials for Young Lives Drive on April 27-30, 2009 to benefit 16 non-profit organizations that serve homeless families and their children. They are asking corporate and community organizations to participate by conducting a drive within their organizations and/or to be a public drop-off site for community donations.

Essentials for Young Lives is a community-wide effort to collect much-needed items for homeless infants and toddlers. HomeAid partners with businesses, community organizations and individuals to collect baby products such as diapers, baby wipes, and baby hygiene products. The items are then delivered to HomeAid’s partners who provide services to homeless mothers and their children. Launched for the first time in Orange County in 2008, more than 60 companies, schools and community organizations collected nearly 118,000 essential baby items. The goal this year is to increase participation and donations to provide a six-month supply of these essential items.

To sign up to conduct an Essential for Young Lives Drive in your company, club, school or church or to become a public drop-off site email Carolyn Baker at carolyn@homeaidoc.org or call (949) 553-9510. For more information, click here.


Volunteers Needed for May 19 Special Election

The Orange County Registrar of Voters will be hosting three poll worker training sessions in South Orange County for residents interested in assisting with the May 19 statewide Special Election. The training will take place in the Saddleback Room at Mission Viejo City Hall on Wednesday, April 29. The three training sessions will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For more information, please call (714) 567-7600 or visit the Registrar’s website at http://www.ocvote.com/.


Mission Viejo’s Youth Community of Character Committee

Youth members of the City of Mission Viejo’s Community of Character Committee recently received the 2009 Red Ribbon Week Award from the Orange County Health Care Agency, Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team and the Prevention Coalitions of Orange County for their outstanding contributions to the field of alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention in 2008. The prestigious award was based on the youth committee’s role in planning Mission Viejo’s 20th Annual Walk Against Drugs and Community Fair in 2008. The event, a partnership between the City, Sheriff’s Department and local schools, has long played a leading role in bringing local businesses, schools, parents and youth together with law enforcement to fight drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse. The Annual Walk attracts roughly 4,000 people each year for a rally at Mission Viejo High School and walk to Oso Viejo Park for a “community faire” celebration. Youth members of the Committee contributed greatly to the event’s success by planning activity booths, entertainment, staffing and much more.

For more information about the Community of Character Committee and its meetings, visit the City’s Web site at http://cityofmissionviejo.org or call 949-470-3061.


Purr-fect Pals Adoption Week

During the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center’s Purr-fect Pals Adoption Week be one of the first 15 to adopt a cat and receive a free gift – in addition to a furry friend for life. Monday, April 13 marks the start to Purr-fect Pals Adoption Week at the shelter located at 28095 Hillcrest in Mission Viejo. Animal lovers who adopt a cat will benefit during the week by receiving a reduced adoption fee along with a free vaccination, veterinarian visit and a sample of food. Pet owners can also get their new pet micro-chipped. The shelter, which services Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo and Laguna Niguel, is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Wednesday from noon to 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call 949-470-3045. Information is also available on the City’s website at http://cityofmissionviejo.org.


The County’s Ocean Water Protection Program provides public information about Ocean and Bay closures, warnings and advisories. For all the latest environmental health information about our local beach and bay waters visit http://ocbeachinfo.com. For your convenience, you can also call the Ocean & Bay Closure and Warning Hotline at (714) 433-6400 at any time for the latest status on ocean and bay closures, warnings and advisories in Orange County.


Mission Viejo’s Artes de la Vida and Earth Day Celebration

The City of Mission Viejo will host a free compost giveaway on Saturday, April 25, as part of its 3rd Annual Artes de la Vida and Earth Day celebration. The garden compost giveaway will take place from 8:00 a.m. to noon at Newhart Middle School, 25001 Veterans Way. The free compost giveaway is an extension of the City's Grand Artes de la Vida and Earth Day Celebration, which will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the Village Green Oso Viejo Park, nestled near the Norman P. Murray Community Center at 24932 Veterans Way. The Earth Day Expo includes green-living products, methods and exhibits that promote a "green" lifestyle and techniques to help the public become better stewards of the environment and land. For more information, visit the City's Web site at http://cityofmissionviejo.org


Super CPR Day

Don’t miss the opportunity to get trained and certified in CPR and First Aid by the American Red Cross on Super CPR Day on Saturday, April 18 at Angels Stadium Exhibition Center. Pre-registration is $5 for CPR training and $5 for First Aid training. RSVP as soon as possible as space is limited. For the event flyer, click here.

Disaster Preparedness: For Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia

A disaster situation, such as an earthquake or fire, can significantly add to the stress and confusion of someone with Alzheimer's. Unsafe and distressing behaviors like wandering or agitation often result during such disasters. Attend a free special presentation on Disaster Preparedness: For Caregivers of Loved Ones with Dementia hosted by Home Instead Senior Care on Saturday, April 18 in Mission Viejo. Topics will include how to enroll your loved one in MedicAlert + Safe Return, medication management and preparedness, and memory care tools. For more information and to RSVP, call Amy at (949) 757-3703.

Dana Point State of the City Address

The annual Dana Point State of the City luncheon will be held at the Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa on Thursday, April 23, at 11:30 a.m. The event, hosted by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, will include an address by Dana Point Mayor Lisa Bartlett. The Beautification Award winners will also be announced. The cost is $45 for chamber members and $60 for non-members. For more information or reservations, call the Chamber at (949) 496-1555.

Pet Project Foundation’s 16th Annual Wag-A-Thon

Sniff, wag or walk your way around the Dana Point Harbor Island to support animals at the San Clemente/Dana Point Animal Shelter on Saturday, April 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There will be pet contests, doggie dashes, vendors, food and live music for the whole family. Celebrity dog Romeo from the movie" Hotel for Dogs" will also be there to enjoy the fun! For more information, visit the Pet Project Foundation’s website at http://www.petprojectfoundation.org/.

Dana Point Grand Prix

Join top professional cyclists, amateurs, and kids from the community as they race along a 0.8-mile course through downtown Dana Point. The 3rd annual Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling will again bring professional bicycle racing to Dana Point on Sunday, April 26. The 2009 edition of the DPGP has been selected by USA Cycling as a member of the National Racing Calendar, a series of exclusive events representing the best of American bicycle racing in some of its finest cities. For more information, click here.


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

  • Presented a resolution in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month at The Raise Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Campaign Kick Off and Family Carnival
  • Hosted a reception for this year’s graduating class of the OC Leadership Academy
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Richard Jerome O’Neill
My office also:
  • Attended the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Legislative Affairs Committee meeting
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. I would like to wish everyone a reverent Good Friday and a Happy Easter!