Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 22, 2010

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

Don Hughes:
Policy Advisor

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Kristen Thornton:
Policy Advisor

Ray Grangoff:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Advisor

Katie Angotti:
Policy Assistant

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 4 Issue 3

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, January 26. 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.

County Budget Update

On December 15, 2009, the Board of Supervisors directed all County agencies and departments to identify 5% in reductions to be made to the General Fund portion of their budgets for the current fiscal year. As such, over the past five weeks the County’s CEO Budget office has been working closely with each County department to identify strategies for meeting the 5% mid-year budget reduction target while impacting services to our residents to the smallest degree possible. The reduction plans will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval during the Second Quarter Budget Report which is expected in February 2010.

As you know from previous newsletter updates, the Public Safety Working Group which I commissioned has continued to meet each week to develop solutions to the large shortfall in our public safety budgets. The group is comprised of the Sheriff, District Attorney, County CEO, Supervisor Campbell and myself. Next Tuesday, the full Board of Supervisors will hear a report on the group’s progress. I encourage you to tune in to Tuesday’s Board meeting to hear the report.

Deputies Union Approves New Pension Deal

An important milestone has been reached in the County’s efforts to reform public employee pensions and protect the taxpayers from unfunded liabilities. On Wednesday, the members of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) voted to ratify a three-year contract agreement which includes substantial wins for the taxpayers. Most importantly, the agreement requires members of AOCDS to begin contributing to their pensions.

Specifically, over the three-year term of the contract, current employees will begin contributing 5% to their pensions. Additionally, a new pension formula tier has been created for new public safety employees who, upon being hired, will contribute 6.6% of their salaries to their pensions and will receive a “3% at 55” retirement formula. The three-year agreement is estimated to save the County roughly $5 million.

The agreement with AOCDS, along with the new third-tier for new non-public safety employees, is another important step toward fulfilling this Board’s commitment to having a public employee retirement system that is sustainable and more like those offered in the private sector. We still have a ways to go before we meet our goal of a sustainable system. However, we are on the right path and we will continue to make progress toward changing the status quo and implementing needed reforms. My Board colleagues and I have a responsibility to ensure that future generations are no longer burdened with a broken system. The Board of Supervisors will be voting on the agreement in the coming weeks.


High-Speed Rail Community Open House

More than 150 Orange County residents attended Southern California’s first high-speed rail community open house on Wednesday night in Anaheim. The Anaheim open house is the first of several regional community meetings planned.

Members of the public offered feedback on the project to staff members from the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Orange County Transportation Authority regarding the Anaheim to Los Angeles section of the project. Information was provided on options for proposed routes and station locations that will be considered during the project’s environmental review, which is expected to be available to the public in draft form in late spring or early summer of this year. Other topics included jobs creation and the impact on current bus and rail systems.

Initial plans call for the Anaheim to Los Angeles high-speed rail corridor to travel along the existing LOSSAN (Los Angeles-San Luis Obispo-San Diego) Rail Corridor. As planned, High-speed trains will travel between the future Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC) and Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.

Southern California Transit Forum

On February 5, transit agency officials, transit advocates, and community leaders will join together for the Southern California Transit Forum. Representatives from the Orange County Transportation Authority, Orange County Business Council and numerous other public and private stakeholder groups will share views and consider potential solutions to meet the current transit funding challenge in our state. This forum provides a wonderful opportunity for those who have a strong interest in transportation policy to get involved in the process to preserve the future of transit in Southern California.

Invited keynote speakers include James Earp, California Alliance for Jobs and California Transportation Commissioner, and Therese McMillan, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration, who will share their perspectives about the transit funding crisis.

The event is open to the public and will take place at Chapman University, on Friday, February 5 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To learn more about the Transit Forum and to register for the event, please click here.


Lincoln Bicentennial Celebrated in Orange County

A special traveling exhibit from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Illinois is coming to the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana from February 1 through 26. Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America was created to commemorate the Lincoln Bicentennial celebration and will be free to community members.

The Orange County Archives, in conjunction with OC Parks and the Old Courthouse Museum Society, is hosting the month-long exhibit in addition to a series of lectures commemorating the 16th president. Features span Lincoln’s childhood, self-education and family life, his careers as a surveyor and lawyer, the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the 1860 Presidential election, the Civil War, his assassination, and other important periods and events.

Residents are cordially invited to attend the exhibition’s opening reception Friday, January 29 from 5 – 8 p.m. Click here to learn more.

Free Second Sundays at Orange County Museum of Arts

For the second year in a row, the Orange County Museum of Arts has secured sponsorship support to provide free admission every second Sunday of the month. The Orange County Museum of Art is the premier visual arts museum in Orange County. The museum will be offering free admission from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every second Sunday and will provide featured theme activities for families, hands on art projects, guided exhibition tours and live performances.

The Orange County Museum of Art is located at 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach. For more information please call (949) 759-1122 or click here.


Laguna Beach Names New Fire Chief

The City of Laguna Beach has named Kris Head as its new Fire Chief, effective March 15. Mike Macey, who currently holds the post, is retiring after five years as Chief. Head has served as a firefighter and paramedic in Laguna Beach for the past 25 years and for the past six years, he has served as a battalion chief. Kris Head holds a Master’s degree in fire service from Grand Canyon University and certification from the National Fire Academy as an Executive Fire Officer.

Laguna Beach Resident, battalion chief and 23-year firefighting veteran, Jeff LaTendresse has also been promoted and will serve as Deputy Fire Chief.

San Juan Capistrano to Receive 132 Acres of Open Space

The City of San Juan Capistrano closed escrow on the acquisition of 132 acres of undeveloped open space land previously owned by Rancho Mission Viejo. The property spans south of Ortega Highway from the city limits to La Pata Avenue.

Complementing the equestrian lifestyle of the area, the purchased lands will extend horse trails and connect with current City-owned riding paths. The area will continue to serve equestrian, recreational, and agricultural purposes, and will preserve 42 acres of open space and creek habitat. Purchase of this key historic property by the City of San Juan Capistrano will preserve the County of Orange’s important ranching and rural equestrian history for residents to enjoy for generations to come.

San Juan Capistrano’s 50th Anniversary Banner Contest

The City of San Juan Capistrano is holding a contest to find 50 banners to hang on light poles in 2011 to celebrate the City’s 50th anniversary of incorporation. The banners should highlight the rich history of the city including themes such as animals the city is known for, events such as fiestas and rodeos, architecture such as the Mission, plants, people and personalities. Hurry, because submissions are due February 1, 2010. For more information on the contest rules and where to send submissions, please call Mozelle Suket at (949) 240-6576 or click here.


Tesoro High Wins Mock Trial

No objections were made when the Tesoro High School Mock Trial Team was named Orange County Mock Trial Champions on Saturday, December 12. After eight hours of rigorous courtroom competition at the Santa Ana Superior Courthouse, Tesoro’s Mock Trial team beat the defending champion, Woodbridge High School.

The team, which competed against thirty-seven Orange County schools this year and remained undefeated with a record of nine wins and zero losses, will now go on to compete in the California State Finals in March.

The team spent three months preparing for the competition by studying a rigorous curriculum of civics and legal theory and practicing up to 20 hours per week.

Congratulations to Tesoro’s Mock Trial Team and best of luck in the State Finals!

Capistrano Valley High School Essay a National Finalist

Capistrano Valley High School is in the running to win $210,000 worth of Samsung equipment after an essay written by a parent of the school was selected as one of 21 national finalists in Samsung’s “Four Seasons of Hope” essay contest. The topic of the essay is how computers and software can be used to aid the educational process. The winning essay will be chosen based on online voting that is taking place now through February 1. To view the finalists’ essays and vote for your favorite, please click here.


H1N1 Vaccine Readily Available

For those still interested in receiving the H1N1 Flu vaccine, shots are readily available at the OC Health Care Agency’s 17th Street Clinic, 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, as well as most commercial pharmacies. For a complete list of locations offering the vaccine in your area, please visit www.flu.gov. You can also text the words “NO FLU” and your zip code to 30644 to receive the phone number and address of your closest vaccination distributor directly on your cell phone. For more information about the H1N1 Flu, visit http://www.ochealthinfo.com/h1n1/.

HCA is also reminding people that the seasonal flu vaccine is available free of charge to Orange County residents on a walk-in basis at the 17th Street Clinic through the end of the month. For more information, please visit www.ochealthinfo.com, or call the Health Referral Line at (800) 5648448.


High Bacteria Levels in OC Waters

The Orange County Environmental Health department has issued an advisory for San Clemente and Dana Point ocean and recreational waters as a result of high bacteria levels due to rain runoff. The department warns that the elevated bacteria levels can last at least three days after the rain stops, depending on the level of runoff created. Beach and creek visitors should avoid runoff at all costs and beachgoers should avoid contact with all water in the following areas:

  • Dana Point Harbor breakwater
  • Doheny State Beach
  • Capistrano Bay Community Beach
  • 150 feet up and down the coast from Poche Creek at San Clemente’s Poche Beach
  • 300 feet of San Clemente’s North Beach
For more information on beach conditions, please click here.


Low-Cost Pet Clinic

The cities of Aliso Viejo and Mission Viejo are teaming up to a host a low-cost Pet & Vet Clinic on Saturday, January 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Family Resource Center located at 24671 Via Iglesia in Aliso Viejo.

Dog vaccines include the four-in-one vaccine (DA2PP) and the Bordetella vaccine. Cats vaccines include the three-in-one vaccine (FVRCP). Dog and cat rabies vaccines are $6 each. DA2PP and FVRCP vaccines are $15 each and the Bordetella vaccine is $12. Pets can also be micro-chipped, with registration and lifetime monitoring, for $28. For more information, call 949-425-2519 or e-mail gduran@cityofalisoviejo.com.


Wet Weather Closes Many Parks and Trails

The series of powerful storms this week has forced the closure of many parks and trails due to flooding and downed trees. Additionally, some beach parking lots may periodically close due to high surf conditions and flooding.

The most up-to-date information on the status of individual parks and trails is available by calling that park's main phone number. Additionally, a list of park closures will be kept up-to-date on OC Park’s website, www.ocparks.com.


Laguna Niguel Poetry and Art Contest

The Laguna Niguel Library will be holding its annual youth Poetry and Art Contest from February 1 through February 28. 12 to 18 year olds are asked to submit portrait orientated, black and white pieces of art. The winning art submissions will be picked as the front and back covers of the library’s yearly publication “Voices in Verse”. For all the rules, please call Amber Ray at (949) 249-5252.

Hopalong Cassidy Book Signing

The Aliso Viejo Library will be hosting author Grace Bradley Boyd on Saturday January 30 to discuss her book Hopalong Cassidy: An American Legend. In the book, Boyd covers her years as an actress in the Glamorous Hollywood era of the 1930s to 1950s, her life with Hoppy and the famous television show “Hopalong Cassidy.” Beginning at 1:00 p.m., the library will be showing a 59 minute video followed by a short discussion and book signing.

Tax Preparation

With the deadline to submit taxes soon approaching, the Bell Tower Foundation and the AARP Tax Aide will be hosting a series of free Tax Preparation Assistance programs in Rancho Santa Margarita from February 3 to April 14. The programs provide assistance to residents of RSM and surrounding communities with income tax returns for low to middle income taxpayers of all ages. Appointments will be available every Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. To make an appointment please call Karen Hume at (949) 216-9700 ext. 1254


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

  • Provided a County Update to the Niguel Shores Men’s Club
  • Attended a Stakeholders Roundtable for Tri-City Trolley Study in San Juan Capistrano
My office also:
  • Chaired a planning committee meeting for the 3rd annual South County Senior Summit, which is scheduled March 5 in Laguna Woods. Stay tuned for more information
  • Toured the Alzheimer’s Family Center in Huntington Beach
  • Provided a County Update to the South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce
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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