Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 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.














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

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 3 Issue 40

No Board Meeting This Week

There was no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, October 20. 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.

Governor Signs Orange County Pension Reform Bill

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed into law Senate Bill 752 allowing Orange County to fully implement a new optional tier of pension benefits for many non-safety employees. The bill, authored by State Senator Lou Correa, allows new and current employees represented by certain unions to select between the County’s current pension plan and a new “1.62 @ 65” formula that includes a Defined Contribution benefit.

This legislation, which was drafted in cooperation with the Orange County Employees Association (OCEA), represents an important step forward for the County in our efforts to rein in pension expenses. It also demonstrates that it is possible for OCEA and the County to work successfully toward solutions that can be a win-win for hard-working County employees and the taxpayers at the same time.

As Chair of the Board, it has been my commitment to help reduce our unfunded pension liability to ensure that we do not pass on debt to future generations. We are setting an example in our state as many other local governments are looking to our approach as an example as they deal with similar pension issues.

County Retiree Re-Hire Policy

In response to recent public input on the practice of hiring individuals for County positions who are already retired, I would like to provide an update on the status of the report I called for last month on this issue.

Per my directive, the County CEO will be providing the Board with a comprehensive report this month identifying the retired individuals currently employed by the County as “extra-help”, as well as all retired employees that have been hired back to the County.

The report will identify whether the positions were awarded under delegated authority or competitively bid under the County’s Contract Policy Manual. Additionally, the report will include the hourly rate of the employees at separation and their rate at re-hire; the length of separation before returning to the County; the purpose for re-hire; the expiration date for their position and a justification for renewing their position.

Once the Board has had an opportunity to review the report, I will initiate discussions to establish a countywide retiree re-hire policy. As I’ve stated before, I believe such a policy is essential to ensure fairness in our hiring practices and to avoid potential indiscretions regarding the use of retiree help. It is important to ensure transparency through this process, so I will continue to provide updates on this matter.


Public Input Sought on Bus Service Reduction

As has been extensively reported in my newsletter, due to the loss of state funding and declining sales tax revenue, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has been forced to make significant reductions to bus service. All routes throughout the system may be affected, with the largest cuts to service planned for March 2010.

To put the needed reduction into perspective, the cuts will end up reducing bus service by about 30 percent of what was provided last year, a level of service not seen since 1998. Additionally, these cuts will also affect our ADA or ACCESS service that is used by those in your communities that cannot use our fixed route service due to disability.

My office is beginning to receive calls from concerned residents on this matter. As a member of the OCTA Board of Directors, I am committed to finding solutions that provide transit options for all commuters. The goal is to sustain our core bus service as much as possible for the benefit of the public.

OCTA is currently in the public outreach phase of this process, soliciting feedback regarding the various strategies that the Board will consider to tackle these reductions. I encourage you to view the various options for the March 2010 Bus Service Reduction Plan at OCTA’s by clicking here.

A public hearing will be held at the October 26th, 2009 OCTA Board of Directors meeting at 9:00 am at OCTA Headquarters (600 S. Main St., Orange) to hear from the public regarding these reductions. Anyone wishing to provide input is encouraged to attend. The OCTA Board of Directors is expected to make a final decision at the November 23rd, 2009 OCTA Board meeting (9 a.m., OCTA Headquarters).


Get ReadyOC at the South County Disaster Preparedness Expo

Wildfires, earthquakes and floods are ever present threats in Southern California. However, nearly eight out of 10 Orange County residents report that they are not prepared for a large scale disaster, according to ReadyOC.org.

In response, I’m hosting the 2nd Annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo this Saturday, October 17th for all community members to come and learn emergency readiness, response and recovery techniques and experience disaster simulations. The Expo will be held at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. Participating agencies will include the OC Sheriff’s Department, OC Fire Authority, American Red Cross, City of Mission Viejo and several other organizations dedicated to disaster preparedness and response.

Numerous booths at the Expo will offer informative, interactive displays, such as moulage applications to simulate injuries, AlertOC registrations for emergency notifications, and CPR demonstrations for both humans and pets. Several response vehicles will also be on site, including the new OC Fire Authority firefighting helicopter, aerial bucket vehicles and a mobile shelter unit.

The South County Disaster Preparedness Expo is being held in conjunction with the City of Mission Viejo’s “Walk Against Drugs” and will take place from 9:00 am to 12 noon. For more information, please visit http://bos.ocgov.com/expo.

Remember, we can’t predict when an emergency will strike but we can be prepared for one so I encourage you and your family to join me at the Expo to help learn how.


Probation Department Receives Honors

Staff from the Orange County Probation Department received two prestigious honors during the annual California Probation, Parole and Correctional Officers Association (CPPCA) meeting recently held in Indian Wells.

Eric Burnell, Deputy Juvenile Correctional Officer II, was named Juvenile Institution Staff Member of the Year by CPPCA after being nominated for his outstanding performance in working with youth in Juvenile Hall. Burnell was recognized for his unwavering commitment to youth facing significant mental health challenges as well as his work ethic and fast response to emergency situations.

The CPPCA also presented its John B. Clark Memorial Award to the team of Unit One at Juvenile Hall in recognition of the team’s work with youth who pose supervision challenges associated with ongoing medical and mental health issues. The Unit One Team utilizes consistent intensive and highly specific intervention strategies in working with youth at Juvenile Hall, while serving as a resource to staff at other County facilities who work with minors requiring an intensive level of care.

The California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association was founded in 1917 to advance correctional practices through public education and information, research, standards development and professional development. It is one of the nation's oldest and largest state professional associations for corrections and provides California with dynamic and innovative leadership in correctional programs.


Mission Viejo High School Students to Host Canned Food Drive

Students from the Mission Viejo High School International Thespian Society will don Halloween costumes on October 30 and canvass local neighborhoods collecting food donations for the needy.

The drama students will host their annual Halloween Food Drive as part of the “Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat” program – a national community-service program that collects canned and dry goods for local charities and food banks.

Community members can help by having their workplace, place of worship, club, team or organization sponsor their own food drive before Oct. 30. The students will create personalized fliers, provide donation boxes and pick up the food for those interested in hosting their own food drive.

If you or your business would like to help the students reach their goal of collecting over 10,000 pounds of food this year, please e-mail mvhscomedysportzmom@cox.net or call 949-586-0289. More information about the national Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat program is available by clicking here.


Free Flu Shots

The Orange County Health Care Agency's Health Disaster Management Division will host the 2009 Point of Dispensing (POD) Vaccination Exercise from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, October 30.

The exercise will test mass dispensing/vaccination capabilities by providing free seasonal flu shots to the public at Rancho Santa Margarita-based Cox Communications, 29947 Avenida de Las Banderas. Seasonal flu shots will be provided to adults and children (3 years of age and older) on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that H1N1 vaccinations will not be available at this location. For more information, please click here.

Partnership for a Drug-Free Orange County

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) has launched an alliance between its Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team (ADEPT) and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

The new alliance entitled “Partnership for a Drug-Free Orange County,” encourages parents to have regular conversations with their children regarding the dangers of alcohol and other drug use. Research consistently shows that teens who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use them than those who do not get that crucial message at home. Yet many parents have difficulty talking with their kids about drugs and alcohol and the campaign strives to equip parents with the tools they need to begin and keep the dialogue open around substance abuse.

For more information on this initiative, please contact HCA at (714) 834-5728. For more information on the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, visit www.drugfree.org.


OC Animal Care Volunteer Opportunities

If you are searching for a rewarding experience and love working with animals, I invite you to join the OC Animal Care volunteer team. OC Animal Care provides volunteer opportunities for both adults and youth over 14 years of age. The primary difference between OC Animal Care’s Volunteer program and Explorer Post program is that the Explorer Post program is focused on providing youth first-hand experiences in the animal care profession. The Volunteer program is focused more on providing higher quality services for OC Animal Care, such as basic dog obedience training and fostering underage animals. Volunteer opportunities are available seven days a week. For more information, please click here.


Equi-Fest at Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Santiago Oaks Regional Park is hosting its first ever “Equi-Fest” for Orange County equestrian enthusiasts this Saturday, Oct. 17 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The event will include special obstacles along a course to test riding skills. Riders will also be challenged with interesting trivia questions. Horse and rider teams with the highest points will win prizes.

Community partners hosting booths at the event will include Orange County Fire Authority, OC Animal Care, Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks, Sea and Sage Audubon and Hanaeleh Horse Rescue. The Department of Animal Rescue Team (D.A.R.T.), Equestrian Coalition of Orange County, Rocking KS Performance Horses will also be on hand.

In addition, OC Parks Ranger Donna Krucki will bring a mountain lion exhibit and the Dusty Rangers, a musical group of OC Parks Rangers will perform. The local 4-H Orange Acres Back Breakers Club and their tack cleaning service will also be there to clean your dirty saddles, bridles & other tack.

Pre-registration is recommended. For more information, please call (714) 973-6620 or click here.


Lake Forest Autumn Harvest Festival

This year’s Lake Forest Autumn Harvest Festival offers a cornucopia of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. It will be held at the same location as the Heritage Hill Haunt on Saturday, October 17, from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Kahuna Cowboys will provide musical entertainment while games, trick or treat booths, a haunted school house, Indiana Jones maze, American Adventures storytelling, a Ghostbusters show and a glow party will keep the kids entertained for hours. The event will also feature a pumpkin patch. Admission is $3 for kids and $4 for adults. For more information please call the City of Lake Forest at (949) 461-3450 or click here.

Farewell to the Swallows & Feast of San Giovanni di Capestrano

Tickets are still available for the 13th annual Vintage "Farewell to the Swallows & Feast of San Giovanni di Capestrano" taking place on Saturday, October 17. The event will be held from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the historic San Juan Capistrano Mission.

The all-inclusive night features tastings from 25 local restaurants and 25 wineries along with dancing, gaming tables and a silent auction with more than 75 baskets. Also enjoy Grammy-nominated artist Greg Adams who will provide musical entertainment.

Members from San Juan Capistrano's Sister City program will take part in the event that includes a "Little Italy" area featuring Italian food and wine and information about travel, student-exchange programs and Italian language classes.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit http://www.thevintagesjc.com/ or call (949) 493-4700.

Aliso Viejo Fall Harvest Festival

The Aliso Viejo Community Association (AVCA) will host its Fall Harvest Festival, a beloved community event that caters to all ages on Saturday, October 24. The festival will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at Grand Park, nestled near Aliso Viejo Town Center.

The event includes family games, pony rides, crafts, balloon twisters, entertainment and a costume parade. Be sure to sport your favorite costume for the parade that kicks off at 10:30 am.

The City of Aliso Viejo is a community partner in the event that includes a canned-food drive to benefit the less fortunate in the county. Bring three canned-food items and you will be entered in an opportunity drawing to win a prize.

For more information about AVCA's Fall Harvest Festival and suggested canned-food items, visit www.avca.net or the City's Web site at www.cityofalisoviejo.com. Information is also available by calling (949) 243-7411.


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

  • Met with the Foundation Director for the new Mission Hospital- Laguna Beach to discuss health care services that will be available at this location
  • Participated in the CINCO Cities Quarterly meeting to discuss South County transportation needs
  • Provided welcoming remarks at the OC Workforce Development Conference
  • Attended a meeting with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Orange County’s contract cities to discuss budget issues and medical marijuana regulation enforcement
  • Attended the California Women's Leadership Association Luncheon
My office also:
  • Toured Ronald W. Caspers Wilderness Park and presented a proclamation in recognition of its 35th anniversary. For more information about Caspers Wilderness Park, please click here.
  • Attended the OC Forum Luncheon
  • Presented certificates of recognition to the Deputies of the Year honored at the San Clemente Exchange Club Awards Banquet
  • Participated in the Great California ShakeOut
  • 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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.

Follow me on Facebook!