Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 30, 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.

PatBates@ocgov.com


IN THIS ISSUE...

1. IMPORTANT REMINDER

2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD

3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

4. DISASTER READINESS, RESPONSE & RECOVERY

5. COUNTY CONNECTIONS

6. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS

7. HEALTH HERALD

8. CRITTER CHRONICLES

9. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR

10. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP


OUR STAFF...

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

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Volume 3 Issue 42
IMPORTANT REMINDER

Fall Back: Daylight Saving Time Ends Sunday

When you go to bed Saturday night after all your Halloween fun, don’t forget to set back your clocks one hour. At 2:00 a.m., Sunday, November 1, daylight saving time (DST) ends for the year.

BOARD BULLETIN BOARD

OC Planning Performance Audit Progress Report

Earlier this year, the County’s Performance Audit Department released an audit of the Planning & Development Services (PDS) Department. Among other things, the audit underscored the need for improvements in staff development, customer service and management.

At my request, the Board received a status update Tuesday on the progress of OC Planning’s implementation of the recommendations made within the performance audit. The status report shows that the department is continuing to address each of the recommendations and implement solutions in a timely manner to ensure that our residents are afforded a cost-effective and straightforward process. The update that was presented to the Board of Supervisors can be viewed by clicking here.

As the department continues to undergo organizational changes, it is my goal to ensure that the process for permitting construction and improvement projects runs as smoothly as possible, both for those currently in the system as well as those planning to start the permitting process. The department has set up a new Customer Care Unit to specifically address any comments, complaints or questions regarding the permitting process and project approvals. The customer care unit’s email address is OCPCustomerCare@ocpw.ocgov.com. Also, I encourage anyone with comments or concerns regarding their permit experience to contact my office.

Project Labor Agreement Ordinance

The Board voted unanimously to support an ordinance prohibiting the requirement of Project Labor Agreements (PLA) for County public works projects. PLAs require contractors bidding on public works contracts to enter into agreements that set forth the terms and conditions of working on a construction project to which the employer, construction unions, and contractor are signatories. In effect, PLAs require that all public works contracts utilize union labor.

While the County does not generally require PLAs for public works projects, with an ordinance in place it will be far more difficult for a future Board of Supervisors to require such a contract. This ordinance guarantees greater competition and opportunities among contractors bidding on public works contracts, which is ultimately better for taxpayers. The Board is set to consider the second reading and official adoption of the ordinance at the November 3 Board meeting. For a copy of the ordinance, click here.

Commission on the 21st Century Economy

Last month, the Commission on the 21st Century Economy released its final report and recommendations on ways to update and improve California’s out-dated revenue system and make it more reflective of our state’s economy. The Commission’s charge was to suggest ways to modernize California's out-of-date revenue laws in order to improve the state's economic competitiveness and to reduce the revenue volatility that has led to the state's feast-or-famine state budget cycles.

On Tuesday, Curt Pringle, Mayor of the City of Anaheim and member of the 14-member bi-partisan commission, gave a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on the Commission’s report. According to Mayor Pringle, the report contains recommendations that include a significant reduction in personal income tax rates for all income groups, elimination of the state sales tax, changes to taxes on businesses, a strengthened rainy day fund and a new tax dispute forum.

To view Mayor Pringle’s power point presentation, please click here. For more information about the Commission on the 21st Century Economy, please click here.

Laguna Niguel Library Renovations

At the Tuesday Board meeting, the Board of Supervisors supported the City of Laguna Niguel’s request to allow modifications to the design plans for the Laguna Niguel Library renovation and expansion project so that the exterior façade and design concept will match that of the City’s new Civic Center Complex. In all, the remodel and expansion will add approximately 3,810 square feet and include a complete renovation of the County-owned Laguna Niguel Branch Library. All funding for the project is provided by the City of Laguna Niguel. Construction is expected to begin in February 2010.

Public Presentation

At Tuesday’s Board meeting, former Assistant Sheriff Jack Anderson spoke during public comment and recommended that the Board approve the formation of a commission to conduct a comprehensive study to have our county jail operations transferred from the Sheriff’s jurisdiction to a new separate county agency. The new agency would have its own department head appointed by the Board of Supervisors. According to the presentation, this proposal could result in saving tens of millions of dollars for the taxpayers. During such difficult financial times, I believe it is important that we consider suggestions like this one as it is important to look for new and better ways of operating. To that end, I will be reviewing the proposal in more depth with a specific focus of spending taxpayer dollars in the most efficient manner. To view the proposal, please click here.

TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION

OCTA Committee Recommends Reducing Cuts

The Orange County Transportation Authority’s Finance and Administration Committee, on which I sit, voted Wednesday to recommend to the Board a service reduction plan that eliminates 150,000 annual revenue vehicle hours in March 2010, a change from the current plan to cut 300,000 hours.

The change is primarily based on an assumption that state transit funding will be restored as a result of the California Transit Association’s successful lawsuit against the State over the diversion of funds. The committee also voted to recommend a service reduction plan of an additional 150,000 hours that would go into effect if state funding is not restored. If necessary, those additional cuts would take place no later than March 2012.

DISASTER READINESS, RESPONSE & RECOVERY

Reminder to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

As Standard Time begins and you set your clocks back this weekend, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) would like to remind you that it’s a great time to change your smoke alarm batteries too. This is an easy way to protect your family from fire. In an effort to help prevent fires and improve community safety, OCFA offers the following tips:

  • Have a battery operated smoke alarm on every level of your home, even if you have hard-wired smoke alarm
  • Check your hard-wired and battery operated smoke alarms every month
  • Change the batteries twice a year, when changing our clocks
  • Replace the entire unit every 8-10 years
  • Make sure everyone in the household knows the sound the alarm makes and what to do if they hear it.
  • Have an escape plan for your home and designate a meeting place outside the home to account for family members in the event of an emergency.
  • Never “borrow” smoke alarm batteries or disconnect them from the device.
  • Never paint a smoke alarm.
For other important safety information, call (714) 573-6200 or visit www.ocfa.org.

COUNTY CONNECTIONS

County Wins Challenge Award and Two Merit Awards from CSAC

On Tuesday, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) presented awards to three County agencies and departments at the Board of Supervisors meeting. The programs were selected out of hundreds of entries throughout the state as part of CSAC’s annual Challenge Award competition.

OC Waste & Recycling (OCWR) won a prestigious Challenge Award for its AB 939 Surcharge Program, which implements a surcharge on self-hauled waste to landfills to reduce the disposal of recyclable materials. As a direct result of the program, OCWR has experienced an increase in diverted waste from landfills to recycling facilities. Self-hauled waste has decreased 70 percent since the inception of the surcharge. Almost $14 million was generated by the surcharge for use in regional recycling education programs, including public education, outreach and a partnership with a local science center.

The Sheriff’s Department was awarded a Merit Award for its Tracking Automated Graffiti Reporting System (TAGRS), a clearinghouse that enables law enforcement and public works agencies to capture, share and investigate graffiti incidents. TAGRS maximizes staff time to the tune of a 90 percent reduction in administrative project time to document the necessary information on graffiti reports. The Orange County Transportation Authority Transit Police Services reports a 20 percent increase in cases of cleared graffiti and a cost reduction of $50,000.

The County also garnered a second merit award for the Health Care Agency’s Mobile Clinics for the Homeless program, which is a partnership between Public Health Community Nursing and private organizations to bring medical care to the homeless. In response to the challenges of working with a transient population, the public health officer worked with public and private entities to find solutions. With this partnership model, Public Health Nursing was able to promote the goals of the mobile clinics, which link clients to medical homes and pay for care.

All three programs were selected based on their innovative and resourceful solution to a problem, as well as their ability to be replicated and use cost-effective practices. They show that County departments and agencies are continuing to find new and creative ways to better serve our community, especially in the face of difficult budget times.

SOUTH COUNTY NEWS

Prima Deshecha Material Recovery Facility

I attended the grand-opening ceremony today for the new Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Prima Deshecha Landfill, the County landfill that occupies 1,500 acres between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.

The MRF was built exclusively for self-haul waste that comes to the landfill from private individuals, mostly contractors or landscapers, for disposal. It will entail a drive-through for visitors to leave their trash at a drop-off station. The load will then be transferred to a processing facility two miles away, where recyclables will be separated from garbage. According to CR&R, the trash-hauling company that manages the landfill, about 70 to 80 percent of all self-haul waste is recyclable.

By using the MRF, customers will help prolong the life of this landfill which benefits all of Orange County residents and businesses. The longer we have landfill capacity, the cheaper our disposal rates will be a longer period of time. The MRF will be open to the public starting Monday, November 1, at 7:00 a.m.

To view photos of the grand-opening celebration, please click here.

HEALTH HERALD

H1N1 Vaccination Clinic

The Orange Health Care Agency is hosting Children’s H1N1 Vaccination Clinics this Saturday, October 31 and next Saturday, November 7. For information about eligibility, times and locations, please click here.

Tips For Trick-or-Treating

Ghosts, ghouls and goblins aren't the only things to be cautious about this Halloween. Unfortunately, accidents and mishaps increase dramatically when children go trick-or-treating. To keep healthy and safe this holiday, heed these helpful tips:

  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds
  • Encourage youngsters to eat a healthy meal prior to filling up on Halloween treats
  • Take extra effort to eliminate tripping hazards on your porch and walkway
  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective and consider adding reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags for greater visibility
  • Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement or contact with flame
  • Use flashlights, stay in groups and remain on well-lit streets
  • Don't assume the right-of-way when crossing streets; motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters
  • Be sure that all dogs and cats are wearing collars and proper identification tags
  • Don’t allow treats to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an adult
  • Notify law enforcement immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity

CRITTER CHRONICLES

Canine Licensing and Vaccination Clinic

The San Clemente - Dana Point Animal Shelter is hosting a canine licensing and vaccination clinic Wednesday, November 4 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Rabies, DHLP and Bordetella vaccines will be available. You can also get your pet micro chipped for $35.00. The shelter is located at 221 Avenida Fabricante in San Clemente. For more information, please call (949) 492-1617.

SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR

Kid’s Halloween Boo Cruise

Take a haunted trip aboard the Sum Fun for a spooky 20 minute harbor cruise Friday, October 30 at Dana Wharf Sportfishing! The haunted ship will be filled with Halloween treats. Be sure to dress up! This event is completely free and trips will run every 20 minutes between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. No reservations are needed. For more info call (949) 496-5794 or click here.

Senior Halloween Dinner and Dance

Who says Halloween is just for kids? The City of Lake Forest is inviting senior citizens to come out on Friday, October 30 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. for a special Halloween themed Dinner and Dance. The event will be held at 25550 Commercentre Drive in Lake Forest. The cost is $5 to attend. For more information call Community Services (949) 461-3450.

Hallow’s Eve Bowl Bash

Get Halloween started early at the scariest bowl bash of the year on Friday, October 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Enjoy skating, food and thrills at Etnies Skatepark in Lake Forest. The cost is $20 and includes dinner. For more information, call Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest (949) 916-5870.

The Original Taste of San Clemente

The San Clemente Chamber of Commerce invites you to a very special evening under the stars at Courtside Restaurant on Friday, November 6 for the “Original Taste of San Clemente.” Culinary masterpieces will be served up from over twenty of the areas finest restaurants, as well as sixteen premium wineries from throughout California. For more information, please click here.

33rd Annual Marching Band Tournament

The public is invited to attend a spirited and exciting musical extravaganza on Saturday, October 31 as Capistrano Valley High School’s Marching Band hosts its 33rd annual Regional Field Show Tournament. High schools from all over Orange County and beyond will be competing to see who has the best band, and the competition will be fierce! Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students. Children five and under are free. The tournament runs from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Capistrano Valley High School is located at 26301 Via Escolar at Marguerite Parkway in Mission Viejo. For more information call the instrumental Music Dept. (949)364-2744.

FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP

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

  • At the Mayor’s invitation, I attended the Dana Point City Council meeting to lead attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance
  • Attended the Rancho Santa Margarita City Council meeting to discuss the OCTA bus reduction concepts
  • Chaired the San Juan Capistrano Government Affairs Committee meeting
  • Presented the State of the County at the Lake Forest II Master HOA
  • Provided welcoming comments at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Prima Deshecha Landfill CR&R Material Recovery Facility
My office also:
  • Attended the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting
  • Presented a certificate at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Microsoft Store at the Shops at Mission Viejo
  • Received a briefing from CalOptima on legislative issues
  • Participated in the 2009 Disaster Management Point of Dispensing Exercise
  • Attended the Orange County Taxpayers Association meeting
  • Attended a City Managers’ forum on medicinal marijuana dispensaries
  • Toured the new arraignment court at Central Jail
  • Presented a certificate of recognition at the Grand Opening ceremony of the Holiday Inn in Lake Forest
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.

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