Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 16, 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.











Justin McCusker:
Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Executive Director of Public Affairs

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 3 Issue 2

Chair of the Board

At Tuesday’s Board meeting, I was extremely honored to be elected by my colleagues to serve as Chair of the Board of Supervisors for 2009. I want to thank Supervisor John Moorlach for an outstanding year of leadership and congratulate Supervisor Janet Nguyen for stepping in to serve as Vice-Chair.

The coming year will bring many challenges as we continue to face a difficult economic climate. It will be my highest priority to lead the Board forward with fiscally responsible policies to ensure we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. Click here to view photos of the passing of the gavel.

Work Furlough Policy

The Board voted Tuesday to approve a county-wide work furlough policy that offers an option for departments to use as a budget management tool. The policy is intended to soften the economic impact to employees subject to furloughs so that they will continue to receive benefits based on standard hours. This way, such things as seniority, retirement and insurance benefits are not affected. Currently, the Social Services Agency (SSA) is the only county department considering work furloughs. For SSA, the implementation of such a policy would result in approximately $8 million in savings and prevent approximately 400 potential layoffs allowing us to continue adequate service levels and significantly reduce the impact on the delivery of services to seniors and children.

Sheriff Hutchin’s CCW Permit Update

On Tuesday, Sheriff Hutchins gave an update on her Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW) permit policy. The Sheriff provided the Board and public with specific criteria for good cause that a citizen must meet in order to obtain/retain a CCW permit.

Addressing one of my specific concerns, the Sheriff discussed the issue of CCW permit revocations appearing on Department of Justice (DOJ) records. In working with DOJ, the Sheriff learned that in lieu of revoking a CCW permit she could move up the permit expiration date, essentially fulfilling the same purpose but without the black mark of a revocation appearing on a CCW permit holder’s DOJ records. Following an opinion by County Counsel, the Sheriff said her Department will be sending a letter to all permit holders at risk of permit revocation informing them of the change of expiration option.

During the Board meeting the public raised concerns about the legality of accelerating the expiration date of CCW permits. In response to the concerns, I directed County Counsel to explore those legal issues and provide the Board with its findings. We will be hearing from the Sheriff and County Counsel again at the February 10, 2009 Board meeting.

I encourage any current CCW permit holder who has received a letter of intent to revoke to provide additional information to strengthen their case for good cause based on the Sheriff’s published CCW permit policy and to see the process though to its conclusion. Please click here to view the Sheriff’s CCW policy.

Dana Point Harbor Restroom Renovations

The Board approved project plans to retrofit the restroom facilities in Dana Point Harbor. These restrooms, built in 1971, were last improved more than 28 years ago and are the primary public restrooms for visitors to shops, restaurants, whale watching, sportfishing and boat excursions at Dana Wharf. The planned enhancements include new fixtures and structural renovations to modernize and increase capacity to meet demands of the public. The renovations will ensure the restrooms are compliant with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by adding family/handicapped attendant capable facilities. Upon a bid being awarded for the project, construction should take approximately four months.

Dana Point Library

Having previously approved construction to expand the Community Room at the Dana Point Library, on Tuesday the Board approved a change order to construction which will alter current plans in order to match the unique architectural features of the Dana Point Branch Library. I am pleased that the City of Dana Point is working well with the County on this project in order to produce the best possible result for Dana Point residents.

OC Planning Rate Reduction

In response to a lower workload due to the current housing and economic situation and as a result of diligent oversight and efficient business processes, the OC Planning Department submitted to the Board an adjusted fee structure that will establish a 3% decrease in ministerial permit fees and a 6% reduction in the rates for discretionary permits. Approval for County ordinances requires two readings before it is adopted. The first reading for this ordinance occurred at Tuesday’s Board meeting and the second and final reading is expected during the January 27 Board meeting. The ordinance, if passed, will return to the Board of Supervisors for review six months after adoption.

Children’s Dental Disease Prevention Program

Since 1981, the Health Care Agency (HCA) has received funding from the State Department of Public Health/Office of Oral Health to operate the Children’s Dental Disease Prevention Program through an agreement with Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County. The program provides comprehensive classroom dental disease services at 38 Orange County elementary schools and 40 preschools. However, after the Governor's directive that all State programs be cut by 10%, funding for the County program was reduced by $26,691 per year. In response, Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County was able to identify additional grant and foundation funding resulting in no decrease in service levels. This is a wonderful example of the private sector coming to the aide of the public it serves; and I highly commend Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County for their outstanding efforts.


Congratulations to New OCTA Chair and Vice-Chair

I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations to Director Peter Buffa, public member, and Director Jerry Amante, City of Tustin, who were elected Chair and Vice-Chair respectively to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Transportation Authority on January 12. Their leadership and experience will serve the Board well and I am looking forward to working with them.

Aliso Viejo Go Local Step One Proposal Approved

I’m pleased to announce that the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has approved the Go Local Program Step One mixed-flow bus/shuttle proposal submitted by the City of Aliso Viejo. The innovative Go Local program is a four-step process that OCTA has devised in partnership with cities to enhance connections between Metrolink stations and surrounding communities.

Aliso Viejo’s Step One includes a project concept for a Town Center Shuttle Bus that would link the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink Station and Aliso Viejo Town Center and nearby employment and business centers. The proposal is now recommended for Step Two which will allow funding to continue for detailed planning and additional studies.


Food Safety Tips

It is a popular time for football fans everywhere to gather around the television to enjoy a good game and some favorite snack foods. Whether you’re watching the playoffs, bowl games, or the Super Bowl, the Orange County Health Care Agency would like to offer a few food handling “fouls” to avoid so that you and your friends aren’t penalized after the game. Click here to view food safety tips that will help your football party score a touchdown.



To my delight, OC Animal Care was able to find homes for more than 10,000 dogs, cats and other critters last year. Pet adoption is easy and best of all, it helps save lives. Learn how you can give a pet a loving home by clicking here.


Fifth District Students Win Aviation Art Contest

John Wayne Airport (JWA) announced the winners of its 19th Annual JWA Student Art Contest and I am pleased that several are from the Fifth District. This year’s contest, themed “Create a Poster for the World Air Games,” generated almost 1,000 entries from public and private schools students as well as participants from several public libraries throughout Orange County. For each grade level, kindergarten through twelfth grade, a first, second and third place and honorable mention were selected along with two overall grand prize winners. Congratulations to our Fifth District Honorees.

  • Clair Geerken, Grand Prize Category 2, 12th Grade (Saddleback Valley Christian, San Juan Capistrano)
  • Vickie Chen, 1st Place, Kindergarten (Foothill Ranch Elementary, Lake Forest)
  • Amber Lee, Honorable Mention, 1st Grade (Lake Forest Elementary, Lake Forest)
  • James Hwang, Honorable Mention, 9th Grade (Saddleback Valley Christian, San Juan Capistrano)
  • Madison Davis, 1st Place, 11th Grade (Saddleback Valley Christian, San Juan Capistrano)
  • Katelin Walsh, Honorable Metnion, 12th Grade (Saddleback Valley Christian, San Juan Capistrano)


San Clemente SONGS Emergency Siren Routine Maintenance

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) will conduct battery replacement and Growl testing for San Clemente Emergency Sirens numbers 6-12 and 16 between January 20 and January 23. These sirens are all located at the Southern end of the city. SONGS’ goal is to test the sirens in groups based on their geographical location. For more information, please contact San Clemente Emergency Planning Officer Jen Tucker at (949) 361-6109.

An Evening with the Mayor of Aliso Viejo

The Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce invites you to meet the new Mayor of Aliso Viejo, Donald Garcia, in an informal social setting where you can mingle with city officials, network with local business people and enjoy the company of community residents. The evening mixer will take place Thursday, January 29 from 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM at the Carl Nolet, Sr. Hospitality Center. Admission is $15.00 for Chamber members and $20.00 for non-Chamber members. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Woods Annual State of the City Breakfast

Please join Laguna Woods Mayor Bob Ring as he presents the Annual State of the City address on Friday, January 30 from 7:15 AM – 9:00 AM at the Clubhouse 2 in Laguna Woods Village. Tickets for the event are $10 for Laguna Woods residents, $20 for South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce members, and $30 for non-resident, non-Chamber members. Reservations are required. For more information, please call (949) 635-1634.

Laguna Niguel Snow Summit Snowboarding & Ski Trips

The Laguna Niguel Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting two trips to Snow Summit for students in grades 6-12 for only $80 each. The cost includes transportation with movies, a lift ticket, snacks and staffing on the mountain and in the lodge. The trips, which will take place on January 30 and February 13 from 5:45 AM – 7:00 PM, are intended for intermediate and advanced snowboarders and skiers. For more information or to sign up, please call (949) 425-5100 or click here.


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

  • Attended the Swearing-In Ceremony reception for Supervisors Bill Campbell and Janet Nguyen
  • Attended a South Orange County Association of Mayors and Managers presentation on the importance of conserving our water supply
  • Participated in the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ Ad Hoc Committee meeting to discuss next steps for the 241 Toll Road Completion project
  • Presented the Orange County accomplishments for 2008 and goals for 2009 at the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Leadership Luncheon
  • Toured the City of Aliso Viejo to observe several key projects and developments that are currently underway
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Kaydee Campbell, 20, of Rancho Santa Margarita
My staff also:
  • Attended a Library Advisory Board meeting of the Orange County Public Libraries
  • Attended an OC Taxpayers’ Association 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.