February 20, 2009
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.
IN THIS ISSUE...
1. HEADLINE NEWS
2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
4. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
5. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
6. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
7. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
8. CRITTER CHRONICLES
9. HEALTH HERALD
10. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
11. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
12. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
Executive Director of Public Affairs
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
Executive Policy Advisor
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State Budget Passes
The California Legislature passed the state budget Thursday after a record-long 46 hour session in the Senate. The approved budget covers the 16 months of the current fiscal year (FY) and FY 2009-10. It includes $15.8 billion in expenditure reductions, $12.8 billion in temporary tax increases, and $11.4 billion in borrowing, leaving a $1 billion General Fund reserve and covering the projected $42 billion deficit.
The approved budget will include an estimated $12.8 billion in temporary new revenues including a 1 percent sales tax increase and a 0.5 percent Vehicle License Fee increase. The budget plan also decreases the dependent tax credit to $100 (previously $309), increases the state income tax rate by 0.25 percent, and makes $600 million in spending cuts.
The budget deal also consists of a spending cap measure to be placed on the May 19, 2009 ballot. If the spending cap measure is passed, all the above mentioned temporary taxes will be extended from two to four years.
The budget package also includes an estimated $15.8 billion in program cuts which include approximately $458.8 million from the State Transit Assistance Program (STA), $8 billion in cuts for K-12 education and community colleges, a diversion of $830 million in mental health and early childhood development revenue (Prop. 10 and Prop. 63 – both would require voter approval), the elimination of two unspecified state holidays and ongoing furloughs for state employees until June 2010. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the agreement includes an additional $600 million in unspecified program cuts.
In order to cover the remaining shortfall, legislative leaders and the Governor agreed to approximately $12 billion in borrowing, including $5 billion in State Lottery Securitization funds.
For more information about the State budget, visit the Governor’s website at www.gov.ca.gov
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
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, March 3. 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.
Orange County Second Quarter Budget Report
The Board of Supervisors received the County’s Quarterly Budget Report last week. The report provides the Board, County departments, members of the public, and other interested parties with an overview of the current status of revenues and expenditures.
Since the first quarter, the economic condition at the local, State and national levels has significantly worsened. Economic recovery is expected to occur later and at a slower rate than past downturns. Even with the passing of the State budget on February 19, the State’s cash crisis will continue to negatively impact the flow of funds to Orange County. Significant economic events that continue or have potential to impact the County include:
In anticipation of the FY 2008-09 impacts from the State budget deficit and the projected decline in local revenue sources, the County has continued to implement proactive measures to reduce the County budget and drive cost savings. Components of the mid-year budget reduction plan include:
- State revenues and cash balances that continue to decline
- Newly proposed State deferrals in funding to Counties of $3.46 billion in the current fiscal year that will likely to continue into the next fiscal year
- Continued increase in unemployment and decrease in job growth
- Continued decline in the median price of homes and home sales
- National and International financial market turmoil, impacting investment yields and pension asset valuation
- Decline in consumer spending resulting in continued decline in Proposition 172 revenue and Health & Welfare Realignment revenue
These measures are expected to trend the County’s budget downward as we continue to closely monitor the changes to the state and local economy.
- Restructuring of the retiree medical program resulting in a reduction of the annual required contribution from $131 million to $26 million
- Deletion of long-term vacant positions
- Implementation of a hiring freeze for regular and extra-help positions
- Members of the Orange County Managers Association (OCMA) voluntarily voted to defer performance based salary adjustments
- Elimination of pay increases for Executive Management positions
- A Downsizing Steering Committee has been established to review and coordinate the activities of the County agencies impacted by reductions
- $32 million in cuts were made in the FY 2008-09 budget
- $46 million reduction to SSA, HCA and Probation Department to address shortfalls in State and Federal revenues
- Reduction in Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance rates
- Revised contract guidelines directing County Departments to negotiate level growth in annual costs for multi-year contracts
To view a copy of the Second Quarter Budget report, click here.
The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, or ARTIC, is envisioned to be a major transportation gateway for Southern California. With a population of more than 3 million, Orange County is the second largest county in California and the fifth largest county in the nation. Population is expected to continue to grow in the coming decades with a population of 3.7 million expected by 2040. The City of Anaheim is California’s 10th largest city with nearly 350,000 residents and is in the heart of the county. ARTIC will serve this growing community – now and into the future.
ARTIC is conveniently situated at major freeways and a short walk from Angel Stadium of Anaheim and Honda Center. The planned state-of-the-art facility will host a transportation hub and a mixed-use activity center on a 16-acre site publicly owned by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the City of Anaheim.
The ARTIC concept is to:
The initial phase of the ARTIC development will be relocating the existing Metrolink station from its current location at Angel Stadium at Anaheim to the ARTIC site across from Honda Center.
- Provide easy connections between the Platinum Triangle, Anaheim Resort, the southern California region and beyond
- Facilitate convenient travel via train, intercity bus, taxi, car, or local transit
- Accommodate high speed train service infrastructure
This month, the OCTA Board of Directors approved an agreement for consultant services to initiate the environmental review process for ARTIC. OCTA will be the lead agency for preparing the environmental document and the City of Anaheim will be the lead for design and construction.
Environmental Document Schedule (OCTA Lead Agency):
Design Services (City of Anaheim Lead Agency)
- Initiate environmental review: March 2009
- Release draft environmental documents for review: November 2009
- Release Request for Qualifications: February 2009
- Release Request for Proposals (to pre-qualified short list): March 2009
- Award A/E contract: Late Spring 2009
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
This week, the Laguna Beach City Council voted 4-1 to officially support the Aliso Creek SUPER Project. The Aliso Creek drains a seven-city watershed between the Saddleback Mountains and Aliso Beach located in Laguna Beach, the county's second most popular beach destination. The Aliso Creek SUPER Project, which is estimated to cost $45 million, includes stabilizing the creek channel, safeguarding water and sewer lines, restoring native habitat and improving water quality.
To view the PowerPoint presentation given by Maryanne Skorpanich, Director of OC Watershed Program, to the Laguna Beach City Council, please click here.
Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Project Update
The City of Dana Point’s Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA) is tentatively on the April 2009 Coastal Commission hearing agenda. This LCPA will provide the framework for the future improvements for the entire harbor, as well as set the project level conceptual design for the landside portion – Planning Areas 1 and 2.
Planning Area 1 is designated as the Marine Services Planning Area and includes a boat storage building holding up to 400 boats. It also designates space for dry surface storage and considers space for a stand alone marine retail store. Additionally, it efficiently re-aligns the launch ramp parking. Planning Area 2 calls for the renovating or rebuilding of the existing 80,000 square feet, and construction of an additional 30,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space concentrated in one location near the Wharf. Currently, the restaurant and retail space is spread over many acres on both sides of Golden Lantern and extends to the Wharf. This plan decreases the footprint for this use and allows for improved access to the coast and improved views of the Harbor, as well as provides additional parking for all Harbor users.
For more information about the Dana Point Revitalization Plan, please visit www.DPHplan.com.
Dana Point Harbor Report
The February 2009 edition of the OC Dana Point Harbor Report is now available. The report provides updates on Harbor Improvements, Maintenance Dredging, Budget Challenges and Harbor Events among other things. To view the report, please click here.
Orange County Fire Authority Receives New Helicopter
As a result of the recommendations from the Santiago After Action Report and the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission Report, the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) purchased two new Bell 412 Helicopters. The OCFA will accept its second helicopter during the Helicopter Association International 2009 Heli-EXPO held at the Anaheim Convention Center this Sunday, February 22 at 2 p.m. at the Bell Helicopter Booth.
This aircraft, along with the first that was received in December 2008, will be used to replace the current aging 1966 models that the OCFA has had in service since 1995.
The new helicopters will be used for firefighting, rescue, and other missions and will offer more capability and efficiency that will enhance the OCFA’s service abilities.
The new aircraft offer:
- Twin engines with four blades that will enhance safety, increase operational effectiveness, and expand mission capabilities
- Night vision goggle capabilities enabling missions at night
- 600 lb. Rescue Hoist
- Fire Mapping System
- 350-gallon fixed water/foam tank that will be used for water drops over wildland fires
- Hydraulic Snorkel enables the aircraft to fill its water tank while hovering, increasing our firefighting effectiveness
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
On February 1, Super Bowl Sunday, the Rex family of San Clemente visited a friend’s house to watch the game. During the game, the family’s youngest of three sons, three-year-old Xander, slipped away from the gathering and wandered into the back yard where he fell into the pool. His brother, Preston, 7, sensed something was wrong and made his way outside where he found his brother floating face down in the pool. Preston quickly alerted the family and Byron Rex, the boys’ father, pulled Xander from the pool. As it turns out, Xander’s brother, Isaac, who is in fourth grade, had been studying CPR with his mother just a few days before in preparation for his Cub Scout “Ready Man” badge. Demonstrating what he had learned, he was able to guide his mother as she performed CPR while 911 was being called.
Dubbed the “miracle boy”, Xander has made a complete recovery after a short stay in CHOC Hospital. If not for the quick action and leadership of his older brothers, this story would have definitely had a different ending.
On Friday, I had the privilege of presenting Certificates of Recognition to brothers Preston and Isaac during a ceremony in their honor at Vista Del Mar Elementary School in San Clemente. I am proud to recognize these young heroes.
Spay Day USA
In honor of Spay Day USA, OC Animal Care is hosting a special event at its headquarters on Saturday, February 28 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The event includes a free spay or neuter procedure when you adopt a pet. For more information, click here.
Prison Pup Program
During the Spay Day USA event, OC Animal Care encourages you to adopt a pet from the “Prison Pup” Program. This program is a cooperative partnership between OC Animal Care, Another Chance for Love and youth correctional facilities. The goal of this partnership is to improve the lives of at-risk youth and shelter dogs. The dogs in this program are potty and crate trained, and have learned their basic manners and obedience skills from a select group of juvenile offenders. In return, the dogs teach the at-risk youth responsibility, respect and the rewards of unconditional love. All the dogs are vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and micro chipped prior to adoption. If you would like to adopt one of these dogs, please contact ACFL09@yahoo.com for an application and more information.
To view the program flyer, click here.
The OC Health Care Agency’s February 2009 newsletter, “What’s Up,” is now available online. This month’s articles inlcude PH microbiologists chosen for grant-funded training, HCA Intranet has moved to new home, Wagner Award nominations due March 13, Compliance Training Reminder, and Creating a healthier Orange County. To view the newsletter, please click here.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
The Laguna Canyon Foundation is hosting a Geology Hike through Little Sycamore Canyon on Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The strenuous 4.8-mile hike offers Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers who will teach you about local geology. Reservations are and the suggested donation price is $5 per person. Parking is $3. For more information or to reserve your place, please call (949) 923-2235.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Lake Forest Meet the Mayor
The Lake Forest City Chamber of Commerce invites you to meet the Mayor of the City of Lake Forest and other City Council Members on Wednesday, February 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This event will be held at the Lake Forest Automotive Group--"The Garage". Mingle with city officials, network with other business people and eat great food while browsing vintage vehicles. Lucy Dunn, CEO of the Orange County Business Council will also present, “Orange County's Outlook: How Stimulating is Economic Stimulus?"
Shred Identity Theft
Identity theft and fraud remain the fastest growing crimes in America. Join the City of Laguna Niguel and Laguna Niguel Police Services Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Laguna Niguel City Hall for the “Shred Identity Theft” event. Free document shredding & E-waste recycling (batteries, computers, FAX machines, etc.) is available. For more information, please click here.
Irvine Park Railroad Anniversary Celebration
The Irvine Park Railroad, inside Irvine Regional Park, will celebrate its 13th anniversary with special pricing on Saturday, February 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visitors can ride the train for the original, 1996 prices of just $2 per passenger. Irvine Park Railroad takes passengers on a 12-minute ride through scenic Irvine Regional Park. The engineer narrates the ride, taking passengers on a guided tour of the 111 year- old park’s history. The anniversary celebration will also feature other $2 activities and concessions, including hot dogs, sodas, face painting, ice creams, popcorn, bounce house tickets and cotton candy. Free giveaways include balloon animals and Irvine Park Railroad balloons. Fore more information, please click here.
Laguna Niguel Snow Summit Snowboarding & Ski Trips
On Saturday, February 28, the Laguna Niguel Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a trip 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 trip is intended for intermediate and advanced snowboarders and skiers. For more information or to sign up, please call (949) 425-5100 or click here.
Health & Wellness Speaker Series: Crash Course in Family Caregiving
The City of Laguna Hills is offering a Crash Course in Family Caregiving on Saturday, February 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The free course taught by Jeanne Gormick of Home Instead Senior Care will discuss home safety, handling personal care, medication precautions, avoiding caregiver burnout, as well as how to deal with emotional issues such as Alzheimer's and Dementia. She will provide important resources and answers on where to go for help and information. For more formation or to register, please call (949)707-2680 or click here.
Dana Point Cleanup Day
The City of Dana Point will be teaming up with CR&R to host a Cleanup Day on Saturday, February 28, 2009 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Dana Hills High School and Palisades Elementary School. Bulky items such as large appliances, furniture, televisions, computers, printers, fax machines, copiers, green waste, and other large items will be accepted for FREE by the City’s waste hauler CR&R. CR&R will also collect florescent light tubes and household batteries at the event. The Goodwill Industries will be available to accept donated items. Household Hazardous Waste such as paint, motor oil, and fertilizers will not be accepted. Over fifty percent of the items collected at these events are recycled, so do your part and bring those items that have been taking up too much space in your garage and yard. For more information, call the City at (949) 248-3571.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition in honor of the Grand Re-Opening of the historic Proud Mary’s Restaurant in the Dana Point Harbor
- Gave opening remarks at the OC Veterans Advisory Council Medal of Honor Ceremony for Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor who heroically gave his life in combat. Click here to view a photo of the event.
- Met with Congressman Ken Calvert and his staff to provide an update on County projects. Click here to view a photo of the meeting.
- Was the Master of Ceremonies at the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Installation of Officers Dinner
- Presented a Certificate of Recognition to Isaac and Preston Rex in honor of their heroic efforts in helping save their younger brother at Vista Del Mar Elementary School in San Clemente
- Met with South County residents and city representatives about Rail Safety and Quiet Zone issues
- Adjourned the February 10 Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Valerie Brooks, resident of Laguna Niguel and close personal friend
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce Legislative Action Committee meeting
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.