April 2, 2010
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. HAPPY EASTER!!
2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
4. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
5. SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
6. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
7. SAFETY SENTINEL
8. CRITTER CHRONICLES
9. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
10. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
11. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
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I’m wishing you and your family a very happy Easter.
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
Working Retiree Policy
In September 2009, I directed the County’s CEO to draft a policy that would address compensation for working retirees, referred to in the press as “double dippers.” These employees have retired from County service and have since been re-hired, most of the time performing the same or similar duties as they did before their retirement. On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the new policy which will take effect on July 1, 2010, the start of the new fiscal year.
Below are highlights of the new policy:
- Provides specific guidelines under which retirees may be reemployed, such as filling a short-term critical need that calls for special skills or knowledge, seasonal workloads, transitional periods during job recruiting and for short-term special projects.
- Provides for justification and approval on an annual basis by budget and human resources staff for the ongoing need.
- Limits the compensation of the returning retiree to an equal or higher level position to no more than 80% of their final salary before retirement.
- The salary for a working retiree returning to a lower level position will be limited to the midpoint of the salary range for the lower position.
- All working retirees will not be eligible for any pay increases.
The Board will continue to receive quarterly updates regarding the effectiveness of this new policy as well as the current number of retirees working for the County and the positions they have been brought back to fill. Later this month, staff will be presenting additional language to the Board that will outline the provisions for hiring former county employees under a private contract.
This policy provides the Board and County Management the tools to ensure that the County’s hiring practices are fair and consistent as we continue to monitor the utilization of retiree help. To view the policy language, please click here.
New Chief Probation Officer Appointed
The Board voted unanimously to appoint Steven Sentman as the new Chief Probation Officer for Orange County. He will replace Colleene Preciado, who is retiring this month after 35 years with the County of Orange.
Steve has 25 years of experience working in the Orange County Probation Department and is currently the Chief Deputy Probation Officer for the Field Operations Bureau. He has served as the Director of Juvenile Hall and the Director of Los Pinos Conservation Camp and has worked in adult and juvenile supervision, the gang violence suppression unit and the special enforcement unit. Steve was selected following a nationwide recruitment effort that produced qualified candidates from 5 states.
Steve’s wide range of experience makes him the ideal person to take the reins of the Probation Department and continue to build on the progress and direction of the department and its outstanding reputation in the state and nation. Congratulations and best of luck to Steve.
Urban Areas Security Initiative Funds
The Board accepted $1.5 million in federal Urban Area Security Initiative grant funding. The grant will be used for enhancing inter-operable communications at the Sheriff’s Department. These enhancements will provide for better communication during emergencies. Funds will also be used for terrorism liaison officer training for law enforcement, fire and health personnel throughout the County. The Health Care Agency will also receive a portion of the funds to assist with improving the County’s ability to respond to major health disasters.
Orange County Housing Authority 5-Year Plan
The Board approved the Five Year Plan for the Orange County Housing Authority. This plan is a guide for how the County allocates federal housing vouchers and addresses the needs of very low and low-income households. The Housing Authority’s voucher management plan continues to be rated as a “high performance” plan and is held in high regard. To view the plan, please click here.
Orange County Veterans Advisory Council Appointments
The Board unanimously supported my nomination of Frank Tucker to serve as my 5th District appointee on the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council. A longtime resident of Dana Point, Frank retired in 1987 as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United States Air Force and currently serves as District 2 Commander for Orange County Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
The Board this week also approved the reappointment of Laguna Woods resident Jack Issacson to the Veterans Advisory Council. I am delighted to have these distinguished gentlemen representing us on the Council and applaud them for their outstanding commitment to public service. For more information about the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council, please click here.
Laguna Beach Friends of the Library Donation
The Board approved a special donation from the Laguna Beach Friends of the Library. The generous contribution of $18,885 will go toward purchasing new furniture for the Children’s section at the Laguna Beach Library.
Free Wi-Fi to be Offered at John Wayne Airport
The Board of Supervisors this week approved a contract with FreeFi Networks to supply Wi-Fi internet service at John Wayne Airport. Beginning this summer, all passengers in the terminals will be able to access free Wi-Fi internet, previously only available in premier airline club rooms. Wireless service will be available in Terminals A and B of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal near gates and restaurants located beyond security screening.
91 Express Lanes Toll Increase
On April 1, tolls on the 91 Express Lanes went up 75 cents to $10.25 between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Fridays. The increase, which is the first in more than two years, is due to a rise in traffic volume. OCTA’s congestion management pricing policy calls for dropping and raising tolls based on traffic demand. Traffic volumes are monitored daily and adjusted quarterly. Since the last increase in January 2008, the pricing policy has triggered 33 toll reductions. Toll rates will now vary from $1.30 to $10.25. The average toll is $2.36.
John Wayne Airport Capital Improvement Program Generates Jobs
According to a recent review conducted by the Orange County Business Council, John Wayne Airport’s Capital Improvement Program will create 6,670 jobs and stimulate a total economic effect of more than $1 billion.
Dr. Wallace Walrod, Vice President of Economic Development and Research for the Orange County Business Council said, “As demonstrated in our analysis, John Wayne Airport’s Capital Improvement Program is a driving catalyst to create good paying jobs, stimulate the local economy, and drive economic growth for America’s fifth largest county."
I am pleased that the project is not only bringing much-needed improvements to Orange County’s only commercial service airport, but at the same time it is making a positive contribution to the local economy and job market.
Literary Orange 2010
The 4th Annual Literary Orange is coming to UC Irvine on Saturday, April 10. The event, which is sponsored by Orange County Public Libraries and the UC Irvine Libraries, will offer an exciting array of authors from whom visitors can purchase books and have them signed, ask questions, and learn about the writing process. The daylong affair will feature a continental breakfast, banquet lunch and afternoon refreshments, speeches from keynote authors, and discussion panels. General admission for the event has been reduced to $60 per ticket, and students with I.D. are $25. Online registration is now available at www.literaryorange.org.
Boy Scout Railroading Merit Badge
On Saturday April 17, the Orange County Transportation Authority and Knott’s Berry Farm will be partnering to provide local Boy Scouts the opportunity to earn their Railroading Merit Badge. Boy Scouts will navigate through the theme park on the Calico Railroad, learn about rail safety from OCTA representatives and experience history with a visit to the old Edna and Durango railroad cars. For more information or to register, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Cities to Provide Potassium Iodide
The cities of San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point and San Clemente will soon begin distributing Potassium Iodide (KI) to their residents. This public outreach program is being implemented as a precautionary measure in the unlikely event of an emergency at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
KI is an over-the-counter medication that can be used to protect the human thyroid gland from radioactive iodine. It's only used as a secondary measure as evacuation and sheltering are the most effective measures to protect the human body during a high-level radioactive release. KI can also be purchased in some local pharmacies without a doctor's prescription.
For more information, contact Emergency Services Coordinator Michael Cantor at
(949) 234-4565 or Mcantor@sanjuancapistrano.org.
San Juan Capistrano Helps Unite Marines with their Kids
The City of San Juan Capistrano has launched "United Through Reading," a program to unite members of its adopted 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment (1/11), who are stationed overseas, with their children at bedtime.
Through generous community donations, members of the 1/11 Marines will receive a children's book and a recordable DVD so that they can record themselves reading the book to their child. The DVD will then be shipped home so the child can view it at bedtime. The heartfelt program, which the City first launched in 2007, gives kids the opportunity to have their mommies or daddies with them as they go to sleep - even if they are deployed.
The public is invited to help support the program by donating a new or gently used children's book, blank DVD or DVD mailer to the City. Donations can be dropped off in bins at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, or at the City's Community Center at 25925 Camino Del Avion beginning Thursday, April 1. The program runs through April 26.
Half-Priced Whale Watching Expeditions
April is the last month to see magnificent, endangered gray whales migrating up the coast of California. With the end of the gray whale watching season approaching, Dana Wharf is now offering half-price whale watching trips every Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
San Clemente Woman Paddles 40 Miles for Breast Cancer Fundraiser
Last Saturday, Jodie Nelson became the first woman, joining only a handful of men, to complete the strenuous 39.8 mile open ocean paddle from Catalina to Dana Point. Jodie Nelson’s “Paddle with Purpose” was a fundraiser for Keep a Breast Foundation and Boarding for Breast Cancer in honor of her loved ones who have battled breast cancer. Nelson, a professional surfer and San Clemente resident, endured close to 9 hours on her stand up paddleboard. With a little help from “Larry,” a gray whale who swam alongside her board for an hour and a half, Nelson reached shore to a crowd of local supporters, friends, family, and her number one fan, her son, Taylor. For more information, please click here.
OCFA Receives Donation to Educate Youth
The Orange County Fire Authority recently received a grant award of $11,563 from DLD Insurance Brokers and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company to fund its classroom education programs. The grant will go directly to providing necessary equipment, training and educational tools to local fire departments in support of the Team Fire Force Program.
The Team Fire Force Program brings local firefighters into fourth grade classrooms to teach a three-phase program about common health and safety issues. By educating these students, OCFA hopes to reduce injuries, the most common emergency call, and promote safe practices in our communities. For helpful information on how to teach your children about safety, please click here.
New OC Animal Care Center Closer to Fruition
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board took a major step toward the establishment of a new Orange County Animal Care Center. The new facility, proposed to be constructed on five acres of a 10-acre parcel within the former Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin, would replace the County’s aging animal shelter currently located in the City of Orange. The proposed new animal shelter’s improved proximity to South County is also excellent news for 5th District residents.
To that end, the Board adopted a Resolution to approve the County’s Modified Expression of Interest for the proposed property at the former MCAS Tustin and authorized the County CEO to submit it to the City of Tustin, which is the Local Redevelopment Authority.
Tuesday’s Board action will significantly enhance the County’s effort to develop a much needed new Animal Care Center for Orange County. To view a location map of the 10-acre parcel that would house the 5-acre new OC Animal Care Center, please click here. To view the County’s Modified Expression of Interest, please click here. To view the Draft Resolution adopted by the Board, please click here.
Easter Dangers for Pets
Easter is a time of reverent observance. It’s also a time that provides some potential dangers for our lovable pets. As you celebrate with your family this holiday, be mindful of these dangers:
- Chocolate: This can be harmful and even fatal to dogs.
- Easter lilies: These plants can be poisonous to cats.
- Easter grass: This can cause choking or intestinal problems in pets, which may require surgery to be removed.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
The Toll Roads Join OC Fire Watch Program
Just in time for peak fire season, The Toll Roads has joined as a member of OC Fire Watch, the countywide program that I implemented to alert the public when fire dangers are elevated in wilderness parks and communities.
During the month of April, tips for preventing and reporting wildfires will accompany all FastTrack® statements mailed and emailed to customers. During Red Flag conditions, when strong winds are accompanied by low humidity and high temperatures, The Toll Roads will also post warnings on the roads’ changeable message signs and in toll plaza planters. Drivers inquiring about conditions will receive a custom handout. Learn more about OC Fire Watch at OCFireWatch.org.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Spring Break Drop-In Sports Fun
The City of Laguna Niguel’s Parks and Recreation staff has a great week planned for your kids during Spring Break! Drop by Chapparosa Park anytime from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. the week of April 5-8. Kids can participate in all kinds of great games such as dodge ball, capture the flag and more! This is not a day-care. Kids 6-11 are free to come and go at any time during the week. For more information, please call (949) 425-5100 or click here.
Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling
The 4th annual Dana Point Grand Prix of Cycling will once again host professional bicycle racing in the beautiful community of Dana Point, this year encompassing two days of racing on Saturday & Sunday April 10 and 11. Come join top professional cyclists, amateurs, and kids from the community as they race though the harbor and Downtown Dana Point. Over $30,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded. For more information, please click here or visit http://www.danapointgrandprix.com/.
Fifth Annual GardenFest
The San Clemente Garden Club invites everyone out for a flowery day of fun to celebrate the fifth annual GardenFest on Saturday, April 10. The event will be held at the San Clemente Community Center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Highlights will include a "funky container contest," a floral design contest, a plant sale, a garden flea market, guest speakers, a Junior Gardeners butterfly plant sale, and a "pot a plant" workshop for kids. Master gardeners will also be available to answer questions. For more information, please click here.
Ka Pilina Ho’olokahi, the Hawaiian Dance Club of Soka University, will be putting on an incredible performance at Soka University’s Campus Green on Friday, April 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to go along with a wonderful dinner of smoked and roasted suckling pig and other island foods. This will be the group’s first ever Polynesian Luau and they would love the entire community to come support them. No reservations are necessary. For more information, please call (949) 480-4000.
America's Family Pet Expo
The world’s largest pet and pet product expo is returning to Orange County April 16, 17, and 18 at the OC Fair & Event Center. Over 1,000 animals, including dogs, cats, equine, birds, fish, llamas, pot bellied pigs, goats, rats, reptiles, rabbits, miniature horses and more will be on display in stage shows, competitions & demonstrations. Thousands of pet products will be on sale at special show prices. The Expo will also feature plenty of animal experts, pet adoptions, hands-on petting and learning opportunities. For information about times and ticket prices, please visit www.petexpooc.com.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Traveled to Oceanside to participate in a joint meeting between OCTA and SANDAG, San Diego’s Regional Transportation Authority, to discuss transportation projects of regional significance
- Met with Sheriff’s Department staff to receive a briefing on Musick Jail in Lake Forest
- Chaired a Special Meeting of the M2 Environmental Oversight Committee to receive a virtual tour presentation of the properties submitted for open space acquisition
- Met with representatives from Pretend City to discuss opportunities for working with the County in reaching out to children in the community
- Attended the Sheriff’s Advisory Council Medal of Valor Luncheon
- Met with Public Works staff to discuss ideas for improving the County’s South Court properties
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you in the coming year updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Presented a certificate of recognition at the ribbon cutting of the Teen Project’s new home for transitional foster youth in Lake Forest
- Presented a certificate at the ribbon cutting of the Paddle Surf Warehouse in Dana Point
- Attended the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee meeting
- Participated in a stakeholders meeting for Dana Point Harbor
- Attended an OCSD Command Staff/Division Commanders 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.
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