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

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Volume 5 Issue 19

Performance Audit: Human Resources Department

The Office of the Performance Auditor, established by our Board in 2007, was tasked to review County departments to determine how they were functioning and where changes were needed to improve performance. Since that time, the Performance Auditor has audited several departments, including Sheriff’s Department use of overtime and Planning Department delivery of services.

These audits provided the Board with recommendations that we have implemented, resulting in more management accountability, improved customer service, and substantial savings, including $25 million annually in the reduction of Sheriff’s Department use of overtime.

This week, a Performance Auditor report was released on the County's Human Resources (HR) department, which identified needed reforms. The report points to several areas for improvement and makes recommendations for reducing waste, eliminating system abuses, and creating a more efficient HR management structure.

The report will be formally presented to the Board on June 7. At that time, my Board colleagues and I will determine a course of action for implementing the recommendations made by the Performance Auditor.

Managing a bureaucracy of 17,000 people is a daunting task. The Performance Auditor has provided the Board with a mechanism to root out government waste and inefficiency. Often in government, such audits are placed on a shelf and left to collect dust. As a result, problems are ignored and usually tend to get worse.

Fortunately, the County of Orange operates differently. With each audit, the Board has worked methodically to make the necessary changes to ensure your County government is transparent, responsive and accountable to the citizens of Orange County.


Legislative Bulletin

The Board took positions on several pieces of legislation making their way through our State Legislature. Most notably, the Board voted to oppose SB 653 (Steinberg).

If passed, this bill would permit counties and school districts to impose local personal income taxes, vehicle licensing fees, excise taxes, and/or oil severance taxes. Additionally, this bill would create over a hundred passing entities in our state, with no assurance of consistency, tax assessment policy, or need from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

For more information on SB 653 and other pieces of legislation, please click here.

OC Animal Care Services Agreement with CASA

OC Animal Care provides sheltering service to Orange County unincorporated areas and 17 cities in Orange County. The Cities of Dana Point and San Clemente contract with the Coastal Animal Services Authority (CASA) rather than the County for animal care and shelter service. Over the last 15 years, OC Animal Care and CASA have had an informal, mutual agreement for CASA to handle domestic animal related calls at Dana Point Harbor, which by jurisdiction is the County's responsibility.

OC Animal Care has had a long-standing admission policy of accepting all animals from residents, regardless of place or residency. However, given that the County and contract cities are responsible for 100% of the unrecovered costs associated with providing sheltering services, on November 9, 2010, the Board approved the OC Animal Shelter Admission Policy, limiting acceptance of owner surrendered animals to residents of Orange County’s unincorporated areas and residents of those cities that contract with OC Animal Care for shelter services.

Subsequent to the approval of the limited admission policy, CASA approached OC Animal Care to formalize a mutual agreement for the exchange of services between both agencies. To that end, the Board approved an Agreement that provides for CASA to continue responding to all field related calls at Dana Point Harbor instead of the County and for OC Animal Care to accept owner surrendered animals from Dana Point and San Clemente residents.

2-1-1 Orange County Agreement Renewal

2-1-1 Orange County is the only comprehensive Information and Referral Call Center in Orange County and the region's only call center designated by the California Public Utilities Commission to provide health and human services non-emergency information referrals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via the 2-1-1 telephone number.

OC Community Resources has contracted with 2-1-1 Orange County since November 2006 to provide regional information and referral services. To that end, the Board approved extending the Agreement with 2-1-1 Orange County from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

For more information, please click here and here.

Santa Ana River Parkway Cooperative Agreement

In October 2006, the Board approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Riverside County, San Bernardino County, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority and the Wildlands Conservancy to plan and implement a parkway along the Santa Ana River.

Approximately one year later, this group of agencies received a grant of $500,000 through Proposition 84 to prepare an engineering report and alignment study to extend the eastern portion of the Santa Ana River Trail and Bikeway from Gypsum Canyon Road to the County’s eastern border.

In March 2010, a contract was issued for preparation of the alignment study to establish a route for the new portion of the trail.

The original MOU that was entered into with the participating agencies was set for 5 years and will expire in October. The Board action taken this week will extend the MOU for an additional 8 years and allow sufficient time for this trail extension to be constructed. Future plans for the Trail and Bikeway will eventually reach the San Bernardino Mountains, near the headwaters of the Santa Ana River.

For more information, please click here.


San Clemente Honored by American Planning Association

The City of San Clemente received two awards from the American Planning Association (APA) this month. The first, APA’s 2011 Orange County Section Award for “Outstanding Planning Achievement – Making Great Communities Happen,” recognizes the City’s successful Downtown Revitalization Program.

The second APA award, “Outstanding Planning Best Practices Award of Merit,” honors San Clemente’s Community Development Department Customer Service Program and recognizes the City’s efforts to meet customers’ needs in a timely and courteous manner.

For more information, please click here.


La Pata Gap Closure, Camino Del Rio Extension

At our upcoming May 24 meeting, the Board of Supervisors will consider the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed La Pata Gap Closure and Camino del Rio Extension. This project will improve traffic congestion, minimize environmental impacts as well as maintain and improve our quality of life in South County.

The EIR studies the proposed project that would extend and widen the existing 1.8-mile portion of La Pata Avenue south of Ortega Highway, outside the City of San Juan Capistrano, roughly two miles to connect with La Pata Avenue in San Clemente at Calle Saluda.

The project also includes the Camino del Rio quarter-mile extension to the future La Pata Avenue from where it ends, just east of Camino de Los Mares. Both highways are proposed as four-lane roadways.

For more information, please click here.

OCTA Purchases Property to Preserve Open Space

As reported in my newsletter last week, I joined Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) officials May 13 at a press conference, commemorating the first property purchased as part of a $240 million program to preserve and restore open space in Orange County.

The 84-acre Saddle Creek South property was purchased for approximately $3.2 million and is located in Trabuco Canyon off Live Oak Canyon, about a half mile from the intersection of Santiago Canyon Road and Live Oak Canyon Road. The property, located in South County, is unique in that it bridges the gap between O’Neill Regional Park and the Cleveland National Forest.

This newly purchased land will build upon the preserved area and have a lasting impact on the framework of our county. It is the first of many properties being purchased to help conserve our environment while planning for current and future transportation needs.

To view photos of the May 13 environmental acquisition event, please click here. To view photos of the Saddle Creek South property tour, please click here. For more information, please click here, here and here.

Youth Summer Bus Pass Now on Sale

With summer just around the corner, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is encouraging young people across Orange County to hop on the bus with the Youth Summer Bus Pass.

The special three-month pass is good for unlimited travel on OCTA buses from June 1 through August 31 for youths under the age of 18. The special summer pass is designed to be a fun, promotional program that encourages kids to use the bus to get around during the summer.

The Youth Summer Bus Pass costs $50 and also entitles users to discounts at participating businesses throughout the County.

For more information, as well as to purchase a pass online, please visit the Youth Summer Bus Pass website. Passes also can be purchased at any Ralphs supermarket location in Orange County, as well as the OCTA store at 550 S. Main St. in Orange.

Transportation Legislation

The US Department of Transportation has released an early draft of a six-year transportation authorization bill. The draft bill includes a provision supportive of the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven. The idea was initially raised in a Congressional Budget Office report that suggests a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven and payment could take place electronically at filling stations.

The report was requested by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who has proposed taxing cars by the mile as a way to increase federal highway revenues. The Department of Transportation bill would establish a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office within the Federal Highway Administration, which would in turn create a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Policy Decision Group to study the feasibility of a VMT fee and creating a framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems.

This approach to transportation funding has been debated for many years and continues to be controversial. Opponents contend this can be an opportunity for government invasion of privacy by mandating VMT tracking devices to be installed in automobiles. Stay tuned on this, as the debate on how to develop the financial resources to repair our nations aging highway system heats up.


San Juan Capistrano Official Ballots Mailed

As of May 13, the Orange County Registrar of Voters had mailed 8,296 ballots to voters in San Juan Capistrano, who will be voting in the June 7 Special Municipal Election.

The question before voters falls under Measure B, which asks if "A Resolution of the City Council of the City of San Juan Capistrano, California, Approving General Plan Amendment (GPA) 07-01 for a Mixed-Use Planned Community Located Along the North and South Sides of La Novia Avenue East of Valle Road" should be approved.

San Juan Capistrano voters have until June 7 at 8:00 PM to return their ballots (postmarks do not count). Polls will also be open throughout the City on June 7. Voters can check their sample ballots for the location of their poll site. For more information, please click here.


2011-12 County of Orange Budget Workshop

Community members are encouraged to learn about the County's budget process and anticipated issues at the 16th annual County of Orange Budget Workshop, taking place Friday, May 27 at 10:00 AM in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room. For more information, please click here.


Senior Safety Seminar

Reservations are available for a Senior Safety Seminar to help older adults stay safe by preventing crime. The FREE seminar, hosted by the City of San Juan Capistrano and San Juan Senior Club, will be held at 10:00 AM on Thursday, July 28 in the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, 25925 Camino del Avion.

Seniors will learn valuable crime prevention and safety tips from experts and have a laugh or two from comedian Worley Parsons. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Reservations are required and available by calling (949) 493-5911.

For more information, please click here.

Better Choices, Better Health: Put Life Back in Your Life

Nearly half of all older adults live with one or more chronic health conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. A FREE “Better Choices, Better Health” workshop can help you get the support you need and find practical ways to deal with pain, fatigue, stress and other chronic health conditions.

For more information, please click here and here.


How Reliable is our Water Suppy?

Ms. Debra Man from the Metropolitan Water District addresses the Southern California water crisis at the UCI Urban Water Research Center’s annual ‘Women in Water’ event on Wednesday, June 1 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.

The lecture, “Water Supply Reliability for the Future,” is FREE and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information, please click here.


The Lost Legend of Hangman's Tree

For many years, a monument marking the site of one of Orange County's most legendary executions was hidden under a thick blanket of mustard plants and other weeds, not far from the 241 Toll Toad.

It wasn't until the 2007 Santiago Fire blazed across the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains that the monument was rediscovered, revealing the lost legend of Hangman's Tree – a story still known to some longtime area residents and historians.

Erected by an equestrian group in 1967, the plaque on the monument reads: "Under this tree, General Andres Pico hung two banditos of the Flores Gang in 1857."

In the mid-1800s, the Flores Gang blazed a trail of robberies and murder, extending from Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano. In the hidden canyon where the monument resides are seven ancient sycamores that look like they would have made the perfect impromptu gallows to dispense of the notorious outlaws!

For more information, please click here.


Animals for Armed Forces

OC Animal Care is honoring past or current members of our Armed Forces and their families by providing them FREE adoptions during their ANIMALS FOR ARMED FORCES event Saturday, May 28 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Limit two animals per household.

For more information, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo DAWG Walk & Pet Faire

Registration has started for the 17th annual DAWG Walk & Pet Faire, which will take place Saturday, June 18 on the Village Green at Oso Viejo Community Park in Mission Viejo. The City of Mission Viejo Animal Services Center and Dedicated Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) are hosting the fun-filled family event which will include a Pet Faire and adorable dogs needing loving, new homes.

For more information, please click here and here.


Don Hanson: 40 Years of Service in Dana Point Harbor

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting a proclamation and bronze plaque in tribute to Don Hanson, owner of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching, which for the past 40 years has had the distinction of being the first business to operate out of Dana Point Harbor.

Among his many outstanding accomplishments, Don Hanson was also the originator of whale-watching ocean excursions in Orange County and co-founder of the Dana Point Festival of Whales, which is one of South County’s premiere celebrations.

To read the proclamation I presented to Don Hanson, please click here. To view photos of the occasion, please click here.


Laguna Beach: Sunset Serenades

The City of Laguna Beach presents Sunset Serenades every Friday in May from 6:30 PM to sunset in Heisler Park, at the entrance to Picnic Beach. The events are FREE and if you plan to attend, bring a low backed chair and picnic for the following performances:

  • May 20 – The Berkley Hunts (Eclectic Folk)
  • May 27 – Matt Politrano Trio (Piano Jazz)
For more information, please click here.

Dana Point Library: Foriegn Film Friday

Come to Dana Point Library the third Friday of every month at 7:00 PM for their FREE Foreign Film Friday! On Friday, May 20, Dana Point Library will feature the film “Helena from the Wedding.” Doors open at 6:45 PM.

For more information, please click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita Library: International Film Series

Come to Rancho Santa Margarita Library on Friday, May 20 at 7:00 PM for “Bread & Tulips,” part of their International Film Series. This romantic comedy won Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director at the 2000 Italian National Film Awards.

For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Battle of the Mariachis Festival

Mission San Juan Capistrano presents its 7th annual Battle of the Mariachis Festival on Saturday, May 21. The public is invited to the beautiful Mission Courtyard from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM for a full day of live musical entertainment and great food, as Mariachi performers compete for cash prizes.

For more information, please click here and here.

Doheny Blues Festival: May 21 & 22

Celebrating its 14th year, the Doheny Blues Festival has become a nationally-recognized music event due to its scenic location and world-class performers, including B.B. King, The Black Crowes, Bonnie Raitt, John Fogerty, Etta James, as well as Crosby, Stills & Nash and many others.

The Festival features 4 stages of music over 2 days and draws 30,000 visitors to Dana Point Harbor for the weekend. This year’s headliner will be none other than John Fogarty of Creedence Clearwater Revival! For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Brenda Russell and talented contemporary jazz artist Keiko Matsui will be make their debut along with over 30 other musicians Sunday, May 29 at the 2011 KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival.

The popular event, hosted by Saddleback College’s radio station (KSBR - 88.5 FM) takes place on the Village Green at Oso Viejo Park, 24932 Veterans Way, and is co-sponsored by the City of Mission Viejo. For more information, please click here and here.

Laguna Hills: Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5K and Kid’s Run

The 13th annual Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon & 5K will be held Monday, May 30. This favorite Memorial Day running event takes place in the beautiful South County cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel. All are encouraged to sign up and participate!

For more information, please click here.


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

  • Attended a Lincoln Club OC reception featuring former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton.
  • Attended the San Clemente City Council meeting to present an Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) resolution in appreciation of the City’s partnership on Measure M.
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel City Council meeting to present a proclamation in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph R. Clearfield, Commanding Officer of the City’s adopted 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, who is leaving Camp Pendleton to accept a new assignment.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Anthony Ackley of Laguna Beach.
My office also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the Laguna Beach ribbon cutting ceremony for Dr. Gary Boling, DDS.
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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