Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
August 7, 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 31

Orange County Turns 120

One hundred and twenty years ago, on August 1, 1889, the County of Orange officially separated from Los Angeles. Four days later, the first Board of Supervisors meeting was held in a room above the Beatty Bros. store in downtown Santa Ana. The first five supervisors were a diverse group: Democrats and Republicans, experienced public servants and greenhorns, fussy shopkeepers and rough-and-tumble pioneers - but they worked together, and the decisions made at that first meeting set precedents that continue to affect the County even today.

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Orange County’s Assistant Archivist Chris Jepsen gave a presentation on the inaugural Board of Supervisors and what they faced as the first official leaders of Orange County. Click here to view the presentation.

Notably missing in his presentation, however, is a photo of the first 5th District Supervisor, Able Guy Smith. That is because no known photos of him have been discovered. A. Guy Smith served from 1889 to 1891 and 1895 to 1898. He was a rancher from Tustin who had previously operated a lumber yard in Anaheim. In 1890, be became the first Assemblyman elected from Orange County. Two years later he chose not to run for re-election, claiming that Sacramento was “too wicked,” after which he was elected to another term on the Board of Supervisors.

Here’s where you come in. Despite the valiant efforts of our Archivists, they’ve been unable to locate a photograph of A. Guy Smith. I’m asking for your help in locating an authentic photo of our first Fifth District Supervisor. If you are successful or would like more information please contact my office at (714) 834-3550.

Planning Department Audit

On Tuesday, the Board received a report by our Performance Audit Director on the recently completed Planning Department audit. The presentation identified a number of concerning findings about the Department and included recommendations for improvement. I plan to Chair a committee that will oversee the implementation of each recommendation to restore quality customer service and ensure the Department is accountable to the people it is intended to serve. Click here to view the audit.

Response to Grand Jury Report: “2008 General Elections”

The November 4, 2008 General Election in Orange County was conducted in an efficient and effective manner by the Registrar of Voters and his staff and volunteers according to a Grand Jury report released in May titled “2008 General Election.”

This was the second presidential election that Orange County voters used an electronic voting system. The 2004-2005 Grand Jury reported that the problems encountered during the June, 2004, Primary Election using this system were largely overcome by the time of the November, 2004 General Election. With the turnout for the 2008 election projected to reach record voting levels (72% of registered voters turned out) the 2008-2009 Grand Jury wanted to see how the “lessons learned” during the previous elections using the electronic voting devices were applied. Click here to view the Grand Jury report.

The report directed Findings and Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive Office, and the Registrar of Voters. On Tuesday, the Board approved a response to the Grand Jury report. Click here to view the County’s response.

I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the entire Registrar of Voters Department under the proficient leadership of our Registrar Neal Kelly. Mr. Kelly constantly challenges himself and his staff to improve operations and create innovative approaches to providing seamless elections for the citizens of Orange County. Together, under the direction of this Board and the leadership of the Department, Orange County will continue to push forward to become a model for election departments across the country.


As highlighted in one of the Orange County Register’s blog sections this week, the Board of Supervisors approved the levying of Community Facilities District (CFD) Mello-Roos rates as required by California Government Code. This authorizes the Treasurer’s office to include the Mello-Roos charge on property tax bills being sent out in the coming months. It is important to note that this is not an additional charge on top of the Mello-Roos currently applied to properties within CFDs.

Mello-Roos are payments towards the special tax revenue bonds that were issued for CFDs to finance, in whole or in part, the development of schools, fire stations, sheriff substations, street and roadway improvements, bridges, transportation corridors, libraries, parks, trails, storm drains, utilities and other public utilities. To provide this infrastructure, these bonds were approved by the original property owners when the communities were established. All CFD revenue bonds are for a period of 30 years, with the earliest bond being fully paid-off in 2016.

As required, on Tuesday the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution authorizing the annual levy of the Mello-Roos up to the maximum rate specified in the original bond approval. These maximum rates were contained in the original bond approval. Per government code, the rate applied to each district cannot exceed the amount approved in the original bond. The actual rate of the Mello-Roos being applied this year will be less than the approved amount contained in the resolution approved by the Board and varies for each CFD. To look up your respective maximum rate for the CFD that you belong to, please click here. If you have any questions as to how the rate is determined and what your actual rate will be for the next fiscal year please call (949) 955-1500.

Senior Citizens Advisory Council Appointments

The Senior Citizens Advisory Council (SCAC) advises the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the Office on Aging on matters affecting senior citizens in Orange County. SCAC also networks with service providers and advocates on behalf of the elderly.

Last week, with the support of my Board colleagues, I had the pleasure of appointing two 5th District constituents to represent my office on SCAC. Please join me in welcoming Patricia Kolstad of Ladera Ranch and Roseanne Kotzer of Laguna Niguel as SCAC’s newest members. For more information about the Senior Citizens Advisory Council, please click here.


Meeting with Contract City Mayors

I participated in a meeting with Sheriff Hutchens and the mayors of all cities that contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services. Every city in the Fifth District except for Laguna Beach contracts with the Sheriff’s Department. The meeting offered an opportunity for law enforcement leaders to dialogue with elected representatives and receive feedback, both positive and negative.

Overall, cities are pleased with the level of service offered by OCSD. A concern that was raised by numerous cities, however, is the rising cost of law enforcement services. I will continue to work with the cities, the Sheriff, and employee associations on this issue. We must find a solution that rewards law enforcement personnel for their sacrifice and service, but does not seriously jeopardize the financial stability of the County or the ability of cities to provide quality community policing services.

Free Child-Safety Presentation

The public is invited to attend a free presentation on Monday, August 10, in San Juan Capistrano that is designed to help protect children and raise community awareness. The presentation, which is geared toward adults, will help people learn to protect their children from child abduction and sexual predators.

The program will feature Erin Runnion, the mother of Samantha Runnion. The high-profile 2002 abduction and murder of her 5-year-old daughter launched Runnion into advocacy with the founding of the Joyful Child Foundation. The non-profit foundation is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual abuse and abduction and organizing communities in the national movement to stop such horrific crimes against children.

Ed Smart, the father of Elizabeth Smart, will also speak about his personal experiences. Elizabeth was abducted in June 2002 and rescued nine months later. Other speakers include Steve Daley, founder of radKIDS, and Jeff Brown, a detective with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The presentation is from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Ocean Hills Church, 32222 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano. For more information, please call 949-496-2768.

Laguna Beach Library to Temporarily Close

Beginning August 17, 2009, the Laguna Beach Library will be temporarily closed for renovation until its scheduled reopening on November 16, 2009.

One of the most notable enhancements will be the new interior lighting. New carpeting, new interior paint, upgraded outdoor lighting, as well as minor roof repairs are also part of the renovation efforts. The renovations are possible in large part to the support of the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library.

For library services, residents are encouraged to use the near-by Dana Point Library at 33841 Niguel Rd., Dana Point, (949) 496-5517, and the Laguna Niguel Library at 30341 Crown Valley Pkwy, Laguna Niguel, (949) 249-5252. Visit www.ocpl.org for other branch locations and hours.


OC Facts & Figures 2009

Ever wonder where your typical tax dollar goes and how the County spends its portion? Every year the County provides the public with this sought after information and much more in a handy brochure available online called OC Facts & Figures. To view the OC Facts & Figures 2009, please click here.

OCFA Fire Chief Sworn In

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) officially swore in Chief Keith Richter Wednesday as its new Fire Chief. Chief Richter took the helm on August 1 at one of the largest fire agencies in California with its nearly 850 firefighters at 62 fire stations.

Chief Richter was selected by the OCFA Board of Directors from a large pool of well-qualified candidates from throughout the Nation. Chief Richter comes to the OCFA from Contra Costa County Fire District where he has been their Chief since 1998. He has more than 30 years experience in the fire service. He started his career with the Tucson Fire Department back in 1977 as a firefighter. Chief Richter holds a Master of Science degree in Fire Administration and he is an Executive Board Member of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association.


Mission Viejo Nadadores Win All Titles at Junior Olympics

The Mission Viejo Nadadores Swimming Club swept the top three places at the Marguerite Aquatics Complex during the 2009 Southern California Swimming Summer Junior Olympic Championships, which ended last Sunday. The victories mark the first time since 1988 that the USA Swimming Gold Medal Club has won all three titles. The swimmers took first place in the boys, girls and combined team competitions at the event that featured more than 1,100 of the top age-group swimmers from around Southern California. For more information about the Nadadores, which are known world-wide for a commitment to excellence in the sport of swimming, please click here.


Annual Park Passes Half-Price

The cost of annual day-use passes for regional, wilderness, and historical parks and beaches has dropped to half price! The discounted annual regional park passes cost $27.50 from the original price of $55 (discounted to $17.50 for seniors over age 60 and disabled persons) and includes a decal for parking at county wilderness and minimally developed parks and nature preserves. A discounted beach decal sells for $27.50, down from the original $55 (discounted to $17.50 for seniors over age 60). Disabled persons displaying a DMV placard park for free at county beaches.

A discounted combination pass – which includes the park and beach passes and decals – is available for $40, down from $80 ($25 for seniors and the disabled). Daily entry/parking rates for regional parks are $3 per vehicle on weekdays, $5 on weekends and $7 on major holidays. Wilderness or natural parks charge $3 daily. Beach parking is $1 hourly.

The 2009 park passes are valid through Dec. 31, 2009. Click here for a list of purchase locations and more information about annual passes and park fees, or call (714) 973-6865.

Butterflies Aflutter at Riley Park

August is a great time to visit Riley Wilderness Park in Coto de Caza for butterfly viewing. Many of the plants along the park’s 6 miles of trails are attracting their winged pollinators, but it is the butterfly garden next to the visitor center that is the real hub of activity. Eighteen different types of butterflies have been spotted throughout the park.

Milkweed, a favorite nectar plant of Queen and Monarch butterflies, is currently in bloom and both species of butterflies are being seen on a daily basis. With patience, a keen eye and a little luck, visitors may also be rewarded by spotting some of the many smaller species including Hairstreaks, Blues and Skippers.

Come out for a morning hike on one of the park’s family-friendly 1, 2 or 3-mile loops and then relax in the shade of the butterfly garden once the park heats up and see who can spot the most butterfly varieties. For more information about Riley Wilderness Park, click here.


RSM Community Emergency Preparedness Academy

In the event of a major disaster or even a more common emergency, do you know what to do to care for yourself and family until help arrives?

The City of Rancho Santa Margarita will host an eight week Community Emergency Preparedness Academy (CEPA) to provide residents with critical information and skills to sustain themselves and their families for up to 72 hours without the support of emergency responders.

The series of classes will begin on Wednesday, September 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Bell Tower Regional Community Center. Classes will continue every Wednesday for the next eight weeks, with the last class being held on October 21. Class size is limited to 30 members and reservations are required.

The class is free and open to all adult residents who are able to attend the entire program. Teenagers attending with parents are also welcome. Class topics include: earthquake preparedness, fire safety and fire extinguishers, basic first aid, CPR and defibrillators, and water treatment techniques. The program concludes with a mock disaster drill to test students on what they learned during the program. Fire Station 45 will be transformed into a disaster scene with dozens of injured victims covered in makeup to resemble burns, cuts and lacerations. After completing all eight sessions, participants will be trained how to prepare their homes, themselves and their families for emergencies; and how to help their community prepare for and deal with larger emergencies.

To register for CEPA, contact Steve Rhyner, Emergency Coordinator for the City of Rancho Santa Margarita, at srhyner@ocsd.org or (949) 635-1809.


Mountain Lion Sighting

OC Animal Care responded to a call on August 5 regarding a sighting of a mountain lion in Trabuco Canyon. The officer was unable to locate the mountain lion but did observe some prints and a possible resting area for the big cat. If you do see a mountain lion in your neighborhood, immediately notify OC Animal Care or your local animal control agency. If a mountain lion is observed, do not approach it and do not run from it. Try to do everything that you can do make yourself appear larger. For an online flyer with more information about mountain lions, please visit www.ocpetinfo.com.


Orange County Confirms First West Nile Virus Case of 2009

A Fountain Valley woman in her forties has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection, becoming Orange County’s first confirmed symptomatic human WNV case of 2009.

The woman was hospitalized in early July with symptoms of West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, and is now recovering at home. The woman may have been exposed outside of Orange County. This is the second human case of West Nile Virus reported in California this year. Nationally there are 26 cases, and no WNV-related deaths have been reported. Last year, 8 asymptomatic blood donors, 71 confirmed symptomatic human cases of West Nile Virus infection and 3 WNV-related deaths were reported in Orange County.

While we are not seeing the level of West Nile Virus activity that we experienced last year, it is important for the community to recognize that West Nile Virus is endemic in Orange County, recurring every year during the summer months and continuing into the fall. The best way to avoid West Nile Virus infection is to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Recommended precautions include:

  • Emptying all standing water on your property to reduce areas in which mosquitoes may breed
  • Making sure your window and door screens are in good condition
  • Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or products containing IR3535, always following label directions
  • Limiting outdoor activity at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors
More information on mosquito control is available on the Orange County Vector Control District’s website at www.ocvcd.org.


San Clemente Fiesta Street Festival

The San Clemente Fiesta Street Festival is approaching quickly. This jam-packed festival taking place Sunday, August 9 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. will be held on picturesque Avenue Del Mar, where the two main blocks of downtown San Clemente are dedicated to an entire day of fun! This event features activities for the whole family, including food, games, live music throughout the day, contests for all ages, a Salsa challenge, arts and crafts shows, kiddie runs, a classic car and motorcycle show, exhibits, clowns, jugglers, face painters, and much, much more! For more information please click here.

Dana Point Sunday Concerts in the Park

This Sunday, August 9, don’t miss the sultry sounds of Santana music played by the band Savor at Heritage Park in Dana Point. As part of the City’s free Summer Concerts in the Park series, the event will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at 34400 Old Golden Lantern and is sure to be fun for the whole family. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo Blood Drive

The public is invited to take part in a Blood Drive Tuesday, August 18 in honor of Mission Viejo’s “Hometown Marine.” The City’s blood drive was inspired by 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Alex Minsky who was severely injured after a bomb exploded near his vehicle in Afghanistan. He is recovering at the Palo Alto Polytrauma Center.

The blood drive will give the public the opportunity to give blood and life in Minsky’s honor and to pen encouraging notes to the wounded Marine. Residents can also take part in a gift-card drive to benefit Minisky. The blood drive will take place from noon to 7 p.m. in the Saddleback Room at City Hall, 200 Civic Center. To register for the blood drive, visit www.givelife.org and reference sponsor code “comv.” For more information, contact Kelley at (949) 470-8476.

San Juan Summer Nites Concert

Bring a chair or blanket and join the fun at Historic Town Center Park on Wednesday, August 19 for the third San Juan Summer Nites concert of the 2009 season featuring Grand Junction, a Country Western band, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Seating and parking are free. Featured restaurants will have food available to purchase and the Chamber of Commerce will sell beverages. Local businesses will have booths in the expo area with information, drawings & goodies and children can enjoy the free bounce house. For more information call (949) 493-5911 or click here.


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

  • Made opening remarks at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new San Clemente Senior Center and Fire Station
  • Met with representatives of the Irvine Ranch Water District
  • Met with the Director of OC Community Resources, the Interim Director of OC Animal Care, and the office of the CEO to discuss the County’s Barking Dog Ordinance and other OC Animal Care issues.
  • Chaired the Measure M2 Environmental Oversight Committee meeting
  • Received a briefing from representatives of Trauma Intervention Program (TIP, Inc.)
  • Attended a meeting with the Sheriff and City Council members of OCSD contract cities to discuss budget issues
  • Was briefed on the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) disaster preparedness planning efforts
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Cheryl Walker of Laguna Woods and David Kurtz of Foothill Ranch
My office also:
  • Participated in a strategy meeting for the launch of ReadyOC
  • Attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee meetin
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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.