Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
August 20, 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.
















Don Hughes:
Chief of Staff

Kristen Thornton:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Ray Grangoff:
Deputy Chief of Staff

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Sabrina Ross:
Policy Advisor

Brian Probolsky:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 4 Issue 33

Community Facilities Districts and Assessment Districts

The Community Facilities District Act (commonly known as Mello-Roos) is a law which was enacted by the California Legislature in 1982. The name Mello-Roos comes from its co-authors, Senator Henry Mello (Monterey area) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (Los Angeles). The Act enabled Community Facilities Districts (CFDs) to be established by local government agencies as a means of obtaining community funding. The services funded by Mello-Roos may include a wide range of infrastructure projects and services, including streets, water, sewage and drainage, electricity, schools, parks, and police protection to newly developing areas.

As each Community Facilities District was established, bonds were sold to fund the CFD. The Mello-Roos tax is used to make payments of the principal and interest on the bonds. While fairly constant, the tax assessed each parcel is calculated annually and includes a small variance depending on the income earned on the bond reserve funds held by the CFD. The tax is designed to pay down the bonds over a 20 to 40 year period and based solely on the required debt service rather than the current value of one’s property.

This week, the Board awarded a contract to David Taussig & Associates, the firm responsible to provide services related to special tax setting, assessment levy, and continuing disclosure for the County's Community Facilities Districts and Assessment Districts. On property tax bills, a phone number can be found next to each Mello-Roos line item. That number will connect the property owner to the consultant in charge of calculating the tax for the CFD, who can also provide more details specific to the property in question. To view property tax bills online, please click here.

Pension Reform Efforts Continue

This week, the Board continued to chip away at pensions by voting to extend the new “1.62 at 65” retirement benefit option to new hires of the 1,000 member Orange County Managers Association. Since May, when this option became available to non-management new hires, a little over 7% have chosen the lower cost option. We are continuing to work diligently to gain the necessary IRS rulings to open these lower tiers to all County employees. While we still have a long way to go on pension reform, and the road is full of legal obstacles, the Board of Supervisors is committed to bringing down the unsustainable taxpayer cost of public employee pensions. I am pleased the Board has taken these initial steps.

Pension reform is also needed statewide, but we must be wary of reforms that pose unintended consequences. To that end, on a separate agenda item, the Board voted to oppose, unless amended, a piece of legislation currently making its way through the state legislature. The legislation, AB 1987, has the worthwhile goal of ending the practice of pension spiking. However, several recently added amendments have weakened AB 1987, and provisions have also been added that hamper the ability of counties to achieve true pension reform. The Board of Supervisors is working to encourage legislators to fix the bill to more effectively address the problem of pension spiking.

Improving Selva Parking Lot at Salt Creek Beach

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board approved project documents and authorized advertisement of the Slurry Seal and Asphalt Repair Project to improve the appearance and safety of the Selva parking lot at Salt Creek Beach. Additionally, the lifespan of the parking lot’s surface will be extended. OC Parks continues to work diligently to maintain the parking lots and roads within their facilities, not only to enhance the aesthetics of our community, but to also ensure public safety. To view the staff report on this item, please click here.

El Toro 100-Acre Parcel Agreements

The Board approved the transfer of 100 acres at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station from the City of Irvine to the County of Orange. The action transfers possession of the premises to the County, pending the City receiving fee title to the property.

The property was originally set aside for the County during transfer of the base from the Department of the Navy to the City of Irvine. While there is no designated use for the 100 acres at this time, the County is currently analyzing potential uses for the property that best serve the public. This is the second agreement to be approved, as the first agreement allocated redevelopment funds for the project area in 2005. The implementation of these two agreements is a result of the Pre-Annexation Agreement, originally approved by the Board in 2003. To view the staff report on this item, please click here.

Emergency Management Performance Grant

The Board accepted $667,071 from the California Emergency Management Agency. The funds are from an emergency management performance grant to enhance the County’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from major emergencies and disasters, be they natural or manmade. Half of the funds will be used by the County of Orange and the remaining funds will be distributed among the 34 cities of Orange County.


Mountain Lion Encounters Increasing in South County

In recent weeks, there have been a number mountain lion incidents reported in Coto de Caza and the surrounding area.

In early July, a young female mountain lion was found shot in Trabuco Canyon. The state Department of Fish and Game is investigating the shooting. The young lion had also been seen in Coto de Caza, according to OC Animal Care.

On July 30, a lion was seen walking along the Coto de Caza golf course; and another lion was reported August 2 in The Woods part of the community. Both sightings were reported to OC Animal Care, which responded to the calls. Residents of Dove Canyon also reported a lion sighting to OC Animal Care last week.

In addition to the shooting in July of the young lion in Trabuco Canyon, three other lions have been killed in the area in the past two months, as two lions were hit by cars and a young male lion was shot by Department of Fish and Game wardens in O'Neill Regional Park for abnormal behavior.

People encountering a mountain lion are advised to stretch their arms up to appear as large as possible. People should back away from, but not turn their backs on, mountain lions. Children should always be kept close, as a lion will first go after what it perceives to be the smallest and easiest prey. For the time being, residents of Coto de Caza are also cautioned to limit outside activities in the early morning and late evening hours.

For more information, please click here and here.


Fifth District Transportation Projects Delayed

Caltrans announced this week the absence of a fiscal year 2010-11 state budget has resulted in the delay of over $3 billion in contract awards and a potential halt of funding for ongoing projects worth $9.5 billion statewide. Without a state budget, gas tax revenues are not available for capital projects.

In Orange County, construction contract awards will be delayed for five projects, including two in the Fifth District. Specifically, the Avenida Vaquero Soundwall and the El Camino Real Soundwall projects have been delayed, as the contract awards are contingent on passage of a budget and completion of sales of bonds.

Other projects countywide to be delayed include the SR-91 Eastbound Lane Addition, I-5 Gateway Project, I-5 Bridge Widening at Camino Capistrano, and the West County Connectors project.

Scheduled Metrolink Suspensions in September

Metrolink will suspend weekend train service on two separate weekends in September affecting Orange County.

On Saturday, September 12, suspension of all four trains on the Orange County Line is necessary for construction crews to perform crucial signal tests between the Fullerton and Anaheim stations.

Additionally, on Saturday and Sunday, September 25 and 26, track work between San Clemente and Oceanside will result in the cancellation of Inland Empire-Orange County Line trains 857 and 858. Buses will be available to help shuttle passengers between San Clemente and Oceanside that weekend.

For more information, please click here.

OCTA Recognizes Sheriff’s Department Graffiti Program

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) last week recognized Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Transit Police Services team for receiving a national award for graffiti abatement.

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized the transit policing team for winning the prestigious Gold Award for developing and implementing a program to combat graffiti in Orange County, called the Tracking Automated and Graffiti Reporting System (TAGRS).

TAGRS is a web-based program that simplifies the documentation process of graffiti incidents and the identification of suspects and acts as a central hub for law enforcement. OCTA has utilized the graffiti-tracking program at no cost since its development in 2008.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department conducted a survey of graffiti removal costs within Orange County cities and found that removal expenses exceed $5 million annually. This year alone, the TAGRS program resulted in the resolution of more than 450 graffiti incidents.

The Sheriff’s Department, in conjunction with OCTA, introduced the TAGRS program to more than 25 other law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and police departments in Costa Mesa, Irvine, Newport Beach, Fountain Valley, Orange, Tustin and Westminster.

Officials are currently pursuing ways to expand the program to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. TAGRS also received awards from the California Association of Counties and the National Association of Counties.


Eye on Influenza

The Orange County Health Care Agency’s (HCA) latest edition of Eye on Influenza is now available for viewing. To read HCA’s most recent Influenza Update, please click here.


CATOPIA Event at OC Animal Care

Please join OC Animal Care for CATOPIA – a celebration of cats – Saturday, August 28, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, to find the purrfect cat or kitten to add to your family. All cats adopted will receive free spay/neuter services, significantly reducing the total cost of the adoption. Cat adopters will also go home with some great giveaways to help their new pet get started in its new home. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: Full Moon Hike

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists at sunset on Tuesday, August 24, 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM, for a moderate, 3.5-mile hike through Laurel and Willow Canyons and up to Bommer Ridge for spectacular views under a full moon. Bring a flashlight and water and wear long pants, a jacket and sturdy hiking shoes. Inclement weather will cancel. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area (20101 Laguna Canyon Road, just south of El Toro Road intersection). Reservations required: (949) 923-2235. Event Fee: $2.00. Parking Fee: $3.00. For more information, please click here.


California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day is the nation’s premier volunteer event focused on the marine environment. Held at the end of the summer beach season and near the start of the school year, Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together to take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about the impact of marine debris and how we can prevent it, and to have a lot of fun!

Be part of the solution to marine pollution! Please join us Saturday, September 25 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM for the 26th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Sign up today! For more information, please click here.


Underwater Clean-Up Event

OC Dana Point Harbor is planning its fourth underwater clean-up event Saturday, September 25 from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM. To that end, OC Dana Point Harbor seeks certified volunteer scuba divers to search the harbor bottom to recover dropped objects, kayakers and safety vessels to act as support, and volunteers to help with the event.

Previous events recovered miscellaneous debris, including wrenches, tools, chairs, a marine toilet, an outboard motor, and two shopping carts! This effort is part of OC Dana Point Harbor’s continuing water quality improvement program. For their entry fee and volunteer efforts, participants will receive a continental breakfast, lunch, and an event T-shirt. For more information or to view photos of previous underwater clean-up events, please click here.


Draws Done / Candidate Order Set

The Secretary of State conducted their random draw of letters last week, which determined the order of names on the ballot in the November General Election. The Registrar of Voters also conducted its own random draw for candidates in contests in Orange County, as well as those in neighboring counties. These contests are the 38th State Senate District, as well as the 56th, 60th, 71st and 73rd State Assembly District races.

Many think the order of candidates on the ballot never changes. This is true, once set, for local candidates (such as in city council races); however, candidate names rotate on the ballot based on their location and if they are countywide contests (or cross Assembly District lines). For more information, please click here.


Two Girls Soccer Teams Crowned National Champions

The Southern California Blues Dodge, the Girls Under-17 (GU17) soccer team from San Juan Capistrano, won the U.S. Youth Soccer Association National Championship last month at the Overland Soccer Complex in Overland Park, Kansas.

The Blues, also champions of the U.S. Youth Soccer National League this season, claimed the national title over the Syosset Sting (New York). It was the team’s fourth GU17 national championship and their third consecutive trip to the U.S. Youth Soccer Association National Championship.

Not to be outdone, the Laguna Hills Eclipse White was crowned the Girls Under-18 (GU18) National Champions in Overland Park, Kansas last month after beating the reigning GU18 champions, the Eclipse Select from Illinois.

The Laguna Hills Eclipse had also won the Cal South State Championship in May and Region IV Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico in June in route to becoming GU18 National Champions.


Dana Point: American Folk Music & Irish Folk Music

The City of Dana Point invites you to enjoy an afternoon of American Folk music with “The Girlz with Sandii Castleberry” on Sunday, August 22, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Lantern Bay Park. But wait, there’s more! You can also stick around to enjoy Irish Folk music, featuring the band “Men of Worth” from 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach: Tribute to The Eagles

The City of Laguna Beach invites you to enjoy an evening with “Desperado,” performing The Eagles’ greatest hits at Bluebird Park on Sunday, August 22, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo: Tribute to Journey

The Aliso Viejo Community Association invites you to their next Summer Concert on Sunday, August 22, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM at Grand Park/Town Center Amphitheater, featuring "Lights" – a Journey tribute band. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente Pier: Tribute to Jimmy Buffet

The City of San Clemente invites you to celebrate 10 years of live music on the beach with the sunset as your backdrop and free seating in the sand, featuring Jimmy Buffet tribute band “Mark Wood & the Parrot Head Band” on Thursday, August 26 at 6:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: 50s/60s Rock n’ Roll

The City of Laguna Niguel invites you to enjoy an evening with “Tommy Tassi and the Authentics” at the Crown Valley Community Park Amphitheater on Friday, August 27, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Beach Summer Art Festivals

Only one more week remains to enjoy the world famous annual art festivals in Laguna Beach this summer:

Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters

Famous for its tableaux vivant, or "living pictures”, the Pageant of the Masters is an annual event held by the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. The Festival takes place in a six-acre canyon park near the ocean and is open daily thru August 31. For more information, please click here.

Sawdust Art Festival

Come to the Sawdust Art Festival and experience the creative wonders of nearly 200 Laguna Beach artists in an enchanting outdoor canyon paradise adorned with waterfalls and eucalyptus trees. Open daily thru August 29. For more information, please click here.

Art-A-Fair Festival

Nestled in a colorful garden setting in romantic Laguna Canyon, the Art-A-Fair Festival is a wonderful place to spend a summer day in the historic art community of Laguna Beach. Open daily thru August 29. For more information, please click here.


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

  • Attended the OCTA Legislative & Communications Committee meeting.
  • Met with representatives of the Transportation Corridor Agencies and Orange County Business Council to discuss transportation issues.
  • Attended the monthly OC Dana Point Harbor staff briefing.
  • Attended the OCTA Finance and Administration Committee meeting.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Marco Forster of San Juan Capistrano.
My office also:
  • Participated in OCTA’s Environmental Mitigation Program Working Group meeting.
  • Attended the Orange County Public Affairs Association’s 10th Annual Legislative Aides Luncheon.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition to Aegis of Dana Point in honor of its 10-year anniversary.
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!