Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
April 1, 2011

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 5 Issue 12

No Board Meeting This Week

There was no regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week. To view the Board meeting schedule for 2011, please click here.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, April 5. 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.


OCTA Celebrates Measure M Sunset

On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors commemorated the sunset of Measure M, Orange County's half-cent sales tax for transportation, by recognizing individuals and organizations who contributed to the successful program that delivered more than $4 billion in improvements to highways, streets, roads and transit over the last 20 years.

March 31 marked the final day the Measure M half-cent sales tax collected. However, I’m pleased to say our work is not over. Because OCTA successfully delivered projects as promised, the voters of Orange County again entrusted the agency with their tax dollars by renewing Measure M in 2006.

To that end, on April 1, the first half-cent of what is estimated to be $15 billion over the next 30 years will be collected for Measure M2 and ensure a seamless transition between the two programs.

At this point, it is fitting to reflect back on the successes of Measure M:

As approved by voters, Measure M revenue was divided into three general categories, with 43 percent going toward freeways, 32 percent going to local streets and roads, and 25 percent going to transit. In dollars, that has translated to $1.75 billion for freeway projects, $1.3 billion for streets and roads projects, and $1 billion for improved transit.

More than a thousand Measure M projects have been completed in cities around the County. A 2009 report on congestion management determined that traffic had improved 10 percent since 1992, despite a 32 percent population increase in the same period.

In addition, because of the significant investment that went toward transit, more than 4 million annual passengers now take Metrolink in Orange County. On a daily basis, the trains remove the equivalent of one lane of traffic from the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) during rush hour.

Other accomplishments of the Measure M program include:

  • 192 freeway lane miles added
  • 170 intersections and 38 freeway interchanges improved
  • $600 million provided to local agencies for improvements
  • Metrolink service implemented in Orange County
  • Transit fares stabilized for seniors and people with disabilities
As we look back on the improvements delivered through Measure M, it’s important to recognize those who helped make this program possible. At the top of the list is the Taxpayers Oversight Committee. This group of dedicated volunteers has served as an independent watchdog of Measure M, ensuring that tax dollars have gone to the projects that were approved by voters. The Committee will continue in this role for M2 projects.

In addition, the men and women of the engineering and construction sectors, who were on the roadways, freeways and railways every day to make these projects possible, are owed a debt of gratitude. It is estimated that for every $1 billion invested in transportation, 18,000 jobs are created.

Thanks are also due to the partnering cities of Orange County, the County of Orange and Caltrans, having collaborated on so many of the projects delivered by OCTA through Measure M. This program is truly a story of government success. The successful delivery of Measure M is an example of what can happen when the voters, elected officials and government employees work together to achieve clearly defined goals.

As our county continues to grow, so will our need for ongoing congestion management solutions. This is vital to our county’s economic well-being and residents’ quality of life. The renewed Measure M program (M2) will carry on the tradition of Measure M to improve our freeways, streets and railways for the next generation of Orange County residents.

For years, the mantra for Measure M has been “promises made, promises kept.” I’m very proud to say this is not merely a catchy slogan, it is a vision realized through the hard work of thousands of people and the trust Orange County voters placed in OCTA.

So, on behalf of OCTA, I pass along this message to the residents of Orange County:

We have taken your trust to heart and are honored to have successfully delivered your 20 year Measure M program. We thank you for your continued support and look forward to 30 more years of delivering on the Measure M promise.

To view a short video prepared by OCTA to commemorate the sunset of Measure M, please click here.

OCTA Approves Final Long-Range Transportation Plan

The OCTA Board approved the finalized version of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP), a document that serves as a blueprint for future transportation enhancements and is prepared every four years.

More than 180 comments were received and evaluated during the public feedback process, with 76 percent of participants agreeing with the proposed plan.

Revisions were made to the LRTP, including updated data, additional information about meeting regional greenhouse gas emission goals, and a refined project list. The plan, which extends to 2035, provides transportation projects for the Southern California Association of Governments Regional Transportation Plan.

Program goals include expanding commuters' transportation choices, creating seamless connections, reducing travel times, and working toward environmental sustainability.

OCTA Fare Policy Changes Coming In June

OCTA will implement fare policy revisions during with the June 12 bus service change in an effort to lower passenger cost, reduce fare evasion and improve revenues.

The change will lower the senior discount age from 65 to 60, offer ACCESS personal care attendants a discounted fare, decrease college pass requirements from 12 hours per week to 9, and lower the age from six to five years and younger for those able to ride free if accompanied by a fare-paying passenger.

In addition, Mobility Trainers, trainers authorized to teach persons with disabilities to use public transportation independently, currently use a photo ID to ride free on fixed-route service; but will begin utilizing a new photo ID with a magnetic strip, which will restrict free rides for travel training trips. The reduced fare ID fee will be $4, up from $2.

To read the staff report detailing the approved Fare Policy Revisions, please click here.

California High-Speed Rail Authority Update

California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) Chief Executive Officer Roelof van Ark presented the OCTA Board an overview and update on the planned high-speed rail system in California.

Federal funding requirements call for construction of the 800-mile statewide system to begin in the Central Valley, between Merced and Bakersfield. That portion of the system will be 120 miles long, starting north of Fresno and going south to Bakersfield.

The system will incorporate existing modes of transportation and accommodate future population and infrastructure growth. A phased implementation approach is being used for the high-speed rail system.

The Los Angeles to Anaheim segment is planned to operate at 90 mph due to population density and frequency of stops. The trip will take approximately 25 minutes. The shared-track alternative, which will mix other modes of transportation with high-speed rail trains, is still being considered for this segment.

Initial construction costs are estimated at $5.5 billion, with the total cost of the high-speed rail system estimated at $43 billion.

The CHSRA is in the process of requesting reallocation of $2.4 billion in federal funding that was originally awarded to Florida.

Anticipated project milestone dates include:
  • June 2011 – release the environmental document for review
  • Spring 2012 – finalize environmental document
  • Mid 2012 – begin construction on the first segment of the project
  • 2017 – federal law requires construction completion where American Recovery and Reinvestment Funds were allocated


Property Tax Payment Due

The due date for paying the Second Installment of your Secured Property Tax for 2010-11 was February 1. As a courtesy, the Orange County Treasure – Tax Collector (TTC) allows a grace period to make payment, as the last day to pay without incurring a 10% penalty is Monday, April 11.

Please note that if making a payment by mail, the envelope must have a post office stamped postal date on or before April 11 to avoid late payment fees. Payments made to incorrect APNs may also be rejected and incur a 10% penalty.

The TTC encourages you to “Go Green Electronically” and choose the convenience of paying your bill electronically through their website using the no cost eCheck! There's no need to write a check or buy stamps. To review your property tax information and make an electronic payment using the no-cost eCheck method or by credit card (2.5% convenience fee charged) please click here.

Click on Pay by eCheck (no charge for this service) or pay by Credit Card (a 2.5% convenience fee is added for Pay by Credit Card) after reviewing your bill. You can also take advantage of the Tax Payment Cart feature, which will allow you to pay multiple property tax bills with a single payment transaction. Just add all your bills to the cart and enter your payment information once.

Please note that both payment methods must be submitted through the TTC website before midnight April 11 in order to not incur penalty fees. The TTC recommends such payments be made a few days prior to the due date due to increased web activity on the last day to pay.

If using a Bank or another on-line payment site, please be sure the payee is the County of Orange. Additionally, the TTC recommends paying at least seven business days before the due date, as they do not consider initiation of these payments as meeting the due date criteria. Also, please enter your APN number as the Account Number as it is appears on your property tax bill.

If you need a copy of a prior tax bill to complete your 2010 tax return, please e-mail ttcinfo@ttc.ocgov.com and include your contact information, APN #, the year of the tax bill you need, and the property address. The TTC will mail the duplicate bill to the mailing address on file for the property.

For more information, please click here.


SONGS Emergency Preparedness Update

In light of the recent situation in Japan, I wanted to provide you with an update on the emergency procedures and protocols currently in place at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS) to protect Orange County residents.

The County’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) works collaboratively with the SONGS Environmental Health Offsite Dose Assessment Center (ODAC) to ensure SONGS is well prepared for all emergency situations. ODAC is an evaluation team that monitors radiation levels, conducts plume assessments, and develops protective action recommendations.

The plan currently in place contains procedures for the Sheriff to authorize and assist with evacuations, the Health Care Agency (HCA) to dispense potassium iodine tablets, as well as establishment and operation of an emergency shelter and decontamination center at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Members of this emergency response team go through extensive Federal training at the Federal Emergency Manage Agency (FEMA) center. Additionally, staff receives continuous training and participates in exercises, dress rehearsals, and biennial drills that involves all levels of County officials, the Sherriff’s Department and HCA. To that end, the drill is monitored and evaluated by FEMA and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for compliance with Federal standards.


Assisting Seniors and People With Disabilities

Call or visit the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Orange County (ADRC OC) to learn about long term care-support, as well as programs and services for older adults, people with disabilities and those who care for them.

ADRC OC is a trusted place, where you can find help on how to live on your own and learn about:

  • Ways to get around town if you don’t drive.
  • Meals brought into your home.
  • Devices that might make it easier to handle everyday tasks.
  • Changes you can make around the house to make it safer and easier to get around.
You can also ask where to find help on how to plan for the future, including a review of your money needs, and learn about long-term care insurance. There is no cost for these services.

For your convenience, ADRC OC also has three walk-in centers to serve you:
  • Dayle McIntosh Center, 24012 Calle De La Plata #110, Laguna Hills
  • Dayle McIntosh Center, 13272 Garden Grove Boulevard, Garden Grove
  • Office on Aging, 1300 South Grand Avenue, Building B, Santa Ana
For more information, please call (800) 510-2020 or visit www.adrcoc.org.


South County Dog License Amnesty Program

The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center, which services the cities of Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo, is launching a Dog License Amnesty Program through April 30, waiving all late and penalty fees for dog owners who have not licensed their dog or who've failed to renew their dog's license.

The amnesty program gives residents an opportunity to comply with the law, protect their pet with a license, and avoid a potential fine. Dog owners are strongly encouraged to license during April to avoid future late penalties and citations, as State and County codes require dogs over the age of four months have a current rabies vaccination and license.

Pet owners who register or renew an annual license during the amnesty period will only have to pay the regular $20 fee for an altered dog license or $50 for an unaltered dog license. Discounts are available for senior citizens 55 years and older. For a license renewal that will be due again within the next 6 months, a two year payment will be required.

To purchase or renew a license, a current rabies vaccination certificate is required. If you are applying for the reduced-rate altered dog license, a copy of your pet's sterility certificate is also required. For the public's convenience, the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center will host a rabies vaccination clinic from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM on Wednesday, April 13 at 28095 Hillcrest in Mission Viejo. Rabies vaccinations are $6.

Licenses can be purchased or renewed by mail or in person. Residents can also pay by phone Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, please call (949) 470-3045 or click here.


Orange County Coastal Coalition

The Orange County Coastal Coalition, which I am pleased to Chair, provides an opportunity to learn about and collaborate on current topics affecting not only our coastal cities, but those inland as well. As such, our March 24 meeting provided a forum to hear about two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) – The Orange Coast River Parks, Inc. and the Newport Bay Conservancy.

Dennis Baker, representing Orange Coast River Park, Inc., presented a short movie on the Orange County coast, followed by a presentation detailing the jurisdiction and ownership of the regions. Orange Coast River Park supports agencies that retain ownership. Additionally, they partner with Friends of Harbor Beaches and Parks, and support the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers in creating a management plan for Newport Bay Least Tern. Their mission is to seek out and gain support from other organizations to build alliances.

Roger Mallet, Executive Director of Newport Bay Conservancy, gave a presentation about their organization. The Newport Bay Conservancy serves to preserve and protect Newport Bay. Their goal is bird and wildlife protection, along with tideland and upland preservation. They support the Upper Newport Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project that recently included dredging the Bay to make a larger catch basin, protecting the back channels and Bay. The Conservancy provides tours of the Bay for restoration education, as they educate 7th graders through college students.

To view the two PowerPoint presentations from the meeting, please click here. To be placed on the email distribution list for future Coastal Coalition meetings, please send your email address to betty.ruano@ocpw.ocgov.com.


Orange County among Top 10 Healthiest Counties in State

For the second year in a row, Orange County is ranked among the top ten healthiest counties in the state. A study released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Orange County sixth for health outcomes and twelfth for health factors among 56 reporting California counties based on county-by-county health statistics.

In addition, Orange County is the only county in Southern California to be ranked in the top 10 health outcomes. For more information, please click here.

Orange County Health Needs Assessment Newsletter

The Orange County Health Needs Assessment (OCHNA) has released its most recent newsletter, Stone Soup Gazette, which provides the public an opportunity to learn about current health events in Orange County.

To view the March/April edition of Stone Soup Gazette, please click here. For more information on OCHNA, please click here.


April Teen Contest: Voices & Visions

Sponsored by OC Public Libraries (OCPL), Voices & Visions is a monthly contest for Orange County teens to showcase their creative talents in prose, poetry, art and film. A new theme is announced the beginning of each month, with entries due by the last day of the month.

The theme for the month of April is “Friendship.” Winners will be notified by the end of the month that follows their entry and later displayed on the new Voices & Visions website. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Hills Library: Lawyers in the Library

Get 15 minutes of FREE legal consultation with an attorney at the Laguna Hills Technology Branch Public Library on Wednesday, April 6 from 6:00 PM to - 8:00 PM.

Consultations are held the first Wednesday of each month. Pre-registration is required by calling (949) 707-2699 or coming in prior to the day of your consultation. For more information, please click here.


San Juan Capistrano Celebrates 50 Years of Cityhood!

The City of San Juan Capistrano was incorporated on April 19, 1961 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary of cityhood throughout the month of April. A Celebration Committee, made up of local citizens and City representatives, was formed to organize the celebration of the 50th birthday of San Juan Capistrano as an incorporated City.

The Committee adopted "Centuries of History - 50 years of Cityhood" as the theme for the celebration. To that end, the City of San Juan Capistrano cordially invites you to its 50th Birthday Celebration Festival on Saturday, April 9 for a full day of FREE events and music. For more information, please click here, here and here.


San Juan Capistrano:

First Friday Film

Come to the San Juan Capistrano Branch Library on Friday, April 1 at 7:00 PM and enjoy the film “Get Low,” a movie spun out of equal parts folktale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious 1930s Tennessee hermit. For more information, please click here.

Family Film Feature

On Saturday, April 2, bring the whole family to San Juan Capistrano Library at 11:00 AM to see the funny and magical film “Tangled.” Enjoy FREE admission and popcorn at this fun family film feature! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo:

Up in the Air!

Residents are gearing up for "Up in the Air – Mission Viejo," a special event taking flight Saturday, April 2 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Oso Viejo Community Park on the Village Green near the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, 24932 Veterans Way, in Mission Viejo.

This FREE event will showcase everything that goes "up in the air" or uses air to operate, such as remote-control planes, kites, bubbles, balloons, rocket crafts and more. Visitors will enjoy professional kite flyers, disc-dog shows, flying contests, non-profit food booths, children’s crafts, carnival games, flight simulators, exhibitors and entertainment. For more information, please click here.

Gold Medalist Hosts Soccer Camp for Kids

Boys and girls ages 2 to 6 will have the chance to learn about soccer from an Olympian and have fun in Julie Foudy's "Kick Start" Program on Sunday, April 3. The FREE Open House is from 9:00 AM to 11:45 AM at World Cup/Potocki Center at 27301 La Paz Road in Mission Viejo.

Julie Foudy is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer. The Hall of Famer graduated from Mission Viejo High School in 1989 and was proclaimed the City’s “Home Town Hero” seven years later. For more information, please click here.

Doheny State Beach: 20th Annual Grunion Night

Come to Doheny's 20th Annual Grunion Night on Tuesday, April 5 and greet the grunion back another year! Gates open at 8:30 PM. The evening program includes a slide-show presentation at 9:40 PM, featuring grunion (and other marine life mysteries) and wraps up with the actual grunion run at 10:40 PM.

Please bring along a chair, flashlight, and dress for weather. This program is for grunion viewing only as grunion season is closed. For more information, please contact Doheny State Beach at (949) 496-6172 or click here.

San Clemente: Hershey Track & Field Meet

For the first time, the annual Hershey’s Track Meet will be organized and run as a volunteer community event by the City of San Clemente and the San Clemente Collaborative. This FREE event on Sunday, April 10 at Forster Ranch Park begins at 12:00 noon and encourages health and wellness for youth as well as a great day for the family to gather and cheer the young athletes.

For more information, please call (949) 276-8866 or click here and here.


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

  • Participated in the annual Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano.
  • Participated in the OCTA / Mobility 21 Measure M1 Completion Celebration.
  • Attended an Orange County Business Council special event to commemorate the sunset of Measure M1.
  • Hosted my 4th annual South County Senior Summit. More on this in next week’s newsletter.
My office also:
  • Presented certificates of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremonies for Comfort Inn in Laguna Hills; and EuroPapi in Laguna Beach.
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!