June 17, 2011
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. PAT'S PERSPECTIVE
2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
4. COUNTY CONNECTIONS
5. SAFETY SENTRY
6. AIRPORT ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
7. SENIOR SENTINEL
8. NOTES FROM THE FIELD
9. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
10. CRITTER CHRONICLES
11. FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
12. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
13. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
Deputy Chief of Staff
Deputy Chief of Staff
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Have a Happy Fathers Day!
This weekend we will be celebrating Fathers Day. This Fathers Day, please give special thought to those dads who are serving in combat. These fathers will not be home with their children to celebrate their special day. Instead, they risk their lives so that all of us may live our future days with our precious freedoms intact. It is because of the bravery and selflessness of these men, as well as their fellow servicemen and women, that our nation remains a land of “liberty and justice for all.”
Wishing you and yours a Happy Fathers Day!
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
The Board held a public hearing Tuesday on the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 County Budget. Preliminary straw votes were taken on the budgets for each Department. Based on those votes, the Board will adopt a formal budget at the June 28 Board of Supervisors meeting.
The proposed budget is $5.6 billion dollars. This is the fourth consecutive year in which County Departments have been asked to reduce their net county cost by 5%. These annual incremental reductions have allowed the County to keep a balanced budget, while still preserving basic services.
In addition to spending reductions over the past few years, the Board has instituted important reforms, such as requiring public safety employees to increase contributions to their pension plans, which has assisted in eliminating deficits.
While the budget presented is relatively positive compared to previous years, uncertainty in the state budget leaves the County at risk. In contrast to the County’s responsible approach to budgeting, the state has failed year after year to address their structural deficit.
As such, the poor fiscal policies of our state government may result in reductions to local government programs. In that event, County departments are prepared to implement reductions that may be necessary due to actions by the state legislature and Governor.
For more information on the County Budget Hearing, please click here.
OCTA Board Approves $1.1 Billion Budget for FY 2011-12
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors unanimously approved a $1.1 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2011-2012, which goes into effect July 1.
The budget includes $226 million for capital projects, including Metrolink service expansion, grade separation projects and Measure M2 freeway projects. The bus operations budget approved for next year totals $284.4 million and maintains current levels of service, following several years of decreases.
No employees, including coach operators, mechanics, maintenance personnel and administrative employees will receive salary increases during the next fiscal year.
In the coming year, it is anticipated sales tax will increase approximately 5 percent, and OCTA expects to receive approximately $19 million in State Transit Assistance funding. Despite improving sales tax revenues, bus ridership is expected to remain relatively flat due to the slowly recovering economy and high rates of unemployment in Orange County as well as the state.
The FY 2011-2012 budget is 4.3 percent or $49.9 million less than the FY 2010-2011 budget.
M2 Funds Signal Synchronization Projects
Nearly $8 million is heading to Orange County streets after the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board voted to deliver the first signal synchronization funds to cities under the voter-approved Measure M2.
The money will go to synchronization projects in twelve cities along 17 major streets in Orange County. The projects will get underway this year and cover more than 500 signals along approximately 140 miles of roadway.
Signal synchronization is a simple concept that has proven to significantly reduce travel times for drivers. The signals are timed to maximize the number of green lights for drivers during the heaviest periods of traffic, ensuring that vehicles are moving in the most efficient manner.
To view a list and map of projects receiving funding, please click here and here. For more information, please click here.
OCTA Seeks New Public Board Member
The OCTA Board of Directors approved a process to replace Director Peter Buffa, who resigned last month after serving since 2005 as one of two public members on the Board.
The new director will be appointed by the Board to a four-year term. A four-member ad hoc committee was formed to review applicants.
The committee, which I will chair, is expected to select candidates to be interviewed by the full board at its August 8 meeting.
Requirements for candidates include being a resident of Orange County and they cannot have served in the last four years as an elected official within the County. Resumes must also include prior experience with serving on a transportation board or other related experience.
For information on the vacancy and recruitment process, please click here.
Metrolink Ridership and Revenue Report
The OCTA Board was presented an update on Orange County commuter rail ridership, revenue, and on-time performance for the third quarter of FY 2010-11.
Total average weekday ridership in Orange County is up 0.2 percent versus FY 2009-10, while average weekend ridership is down 31 percent. Third quarter revenue is up 10.8 percent compared to FY 2009-10 on the OC, IEOC, and 91 lines, though this is reflective of a 6 percent system wide fare increase that became effective July 1, 2010. Average weekday on-time performance was 97.3 percent, exceeding the 95 percent goal.
The Metrolink system-wide fare policy changes and Orange County’s new Metrolink Service Expansion Program and “OC Link” day pass are among improvements to the system to increase ridership.
Aliso Viejo Student Wins $1,000 in FREE Tolls
Congratulations to Aliso Viejo’s Elena Bedilo, who was randomly selected as the winner of The Toll Roads most recent drawing for $1,000 in FREE tolls. Her winning trip was selected from 5,771,275 transactions. Elena commutes from her home to dental school in Pomona five days per week. The $1,000 in tolls should cover her trips on The Toll Roads to and from school for an entire semester!
For more information, please click here.
County Redistricting Committee Seeks Public Input
As reported in my newsletter last week, the Orange County Redistricting Committee, which is charged with making recommendations to the Board on new supervisorial districts, continues to hold public meetings, as the Committee is seeking input on the 24 maps submitted by the public and the Board offices. To view the proposed maps, please click here.
In South County, a meeting will be held at Mission Viejo City Hall on Thursday, June 23 at 6:00 PM to receive public input on the Redistricting proposals being considered by the Committee and the factors the Committee should consider in its deliberations. For more information, please click here and here.
County Receives Seventeen NACo Awards
Seventeen County of Orange programs were selected to receive a 2011 Achievement Award by the National Association of Counties (NACo). Among these, the Probation Department’s Center for Opportunity, Reentry and Education (CORE) Program was designated “Best in Category” in Criminal Justice and Public Safety.
Other Orange County programs to receive NACo Awards included:
Fore more information, please click here.
- Dana Point Harbor Water Quality Improvement Program – OC Dana Point Harbor established a Dana Point Harbor Water Quality Improvement Program to develop new and innovative ways to improve water quality inside and outside of the Harbor.
- Dog License Amnesty Program – Designed to provide financial relief to dog owners in Orange County who incurred penalties or late fees for past due licensing. During the 45 day program, OC Animal Care sold 6,975 more licenses as compared to the same time period the previous year.
- Human Powered Craft Operational Safety Guidelines Signage and Sticker Program – Implemented by OC Dana Point Harbor in an effort to educate all human powered craft (HPC) users and their fellow power and sail boaters on how to operate vessels in a safe and considerate manner.
- Military and Overseas Portal – The Military and Overseas Portal, created by the Registrar of Voters, offers the military and overseas citizens of OC a new service, fills gaps in the availability of current services, improves the administration of existing government programs, and increases the level of citizen participation in and understanding of elections.
- Orange County Executive Office OC Infrastructure – The CEO obtained approval from the Board of Supervisors to implement a recommended reorganization of County departments, establishing OC Infrastructure, achieving $12 million in savings, and applying balanced scorecard performance measures.
- Rapid Methods Beach Water Quality Testing – The Health Care Agency’s Water Quality Program took part in an 8-week project that demonstrated the use of new ocean water testing methods, which provided same day results of water status and notification to the public.
Learn the ABC's of Water Safety
Sadly, children can drown without a sound; however, learning the ABC’s of pool safety can help prevent this senseless tragedy. Drowning is the nation’s number one killer of children under the age of 5 and it’s the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for ages 1 to 14, with the majority of these accidents occurring in residential swimming pools and spas.
The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) as well as other fire agencies support the ABC’s of pool safety. They include:
Children not only drown in pools and the ocean, but also in places such as bathtubs, mop buckets, toilets, and even in standing water as shallow as 2 feet. This summer and always, please be vigilant not to have unattended children around water, as glancing away for even just a few seconds can lead to a lifetime of regret.
- “A” (Adult Supervision): It is important that the “water watcher” be a capable swimmer. It is also advisable to have more than one water watcher who can swim and make sure there is a phone nearby to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- “B” (Barriers): In addition to barriers, you should have multiple layers of protection, such as safety covers, door alarms, gate alarms and motion detectors to warn of possible problems. On toilets, you can purchase a toilet latch so children cannot lift the cover.
- “C” (Classes): Learning CPR is extremely important. Also imperative is swim classes for children. Lastly, stay calm when calling 911 and make sure to clearly and calmly state the information and listen for instructions, as those vital seconds could save a child’s life. Always inform children of the dangers and water safety rules.
Get peace of mind! OCFA offers FREE educational pool and spa safety checks. Call now to schedule your FREE check at (714) 573-6200.
|AIRPORT ARRIVALS & DEPARTURES
JWA Celebrates Non-Stop International Service to Calgary
John Wayne Airport (JWA), Tourism Calgary, Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, Travel Alberta, and WestJet celebrated new, non-stop international service from Orange County to Calgary, Alberta, Canada this week.
JWA, WestJet and tourism staff celebrated in true western spirit, wearing cowboy hats and bandanas, as they distributed special promotional items to airport travelers, with the celebration continuing at the gate as the Orange County partners welcomed the new arriving passengers from Calgary.
For more information, please click here.
Farmers Market Vouchers for Senior Citizens
The Orange County Office on Aging is providing a booklet for seniors, containing $20 worth of coupons to be used at an Orange County WIC-approved certified farmers’ market to pay for fruits, vegetables and fresh cut herbs. Eligibility requires recipients be:
The coupons expire November 30. For a list of WIC-approved certified farmers' markets, please click here. For more information, please click here.
- 60 years of age and older;
- Of low-income; and
- Able to pick up the vouchers at the Office on Aging in Santa Ana or send a proxy to sign on your behalf.
|NOTES FROM THE FIELD
OC Parks Recognizes Employee Excellence
OC Parks honored some of its most dedicated employees at its quarterly Employee Recognition Ceremony held in the recently donated Irvine Ranch Open Space.
OC Parks Director Mark Denny presented Director’s Awards for Innovation, Excellence and Customer Service. Director’s Award recipients demonstrate OC Parks’ core values of stewardship, integrity, quality, cooperation, community service, pride of ownership, teamwork and education.
OC Parks Director Mark Denny also formally presented a national award that OC Parks won from the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS). For more information, please click here.
Dana Wharf Parking Lot Maintenance Project
OC Dana Point Harbor will be managing maintenance repairs in the Dana Wharf parking lot on June 21 & 22. This maintenance repair work will consist primarily of removal and replacement of existing pedestrian sidewalk access ramps. For more information, please contact OC Dana Point Harbor Engineering Division at (949) 923-3786 or click here.
Vessel Safety Check Event
Dana Point Harbor boaters can benefit from a FREE Vessel Safety Check on Saturday, June 25 from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM. For more information, please click here.
OC Animal Care: Under the Big Top
OC Animal Care invites you to a memorable day Under the Big Top at their annual Pet Fair on Saturday, June 25. The event is from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and will feature hundreds of adorable animals available for adoption, as well as pet-friendly vendors and rescue organizations, a costume contest for your four-legged friends, and lots of food and fun!
For more information, please click here and here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT SPOTLIGHT
South County Students Recognized
The Laguna Niguel City Council last week recognized Lauren Portice and Jonathan Li, each of whom was recently awarded a $5,000 Disneyland Resort Scholarship for their community service.
Lauren, a resident of Laguna Niguel and student at JSerra Catholic High School, was recognized for her work with Sports Gift – an organization that collects and donates old sporting equipment to underprivileged children in the U.S. and around the world.
Jonathan, also a Laguna Niguel resident and founder of the Orange County Math Circle, was recognized for utilizing his love of mathematics to teach motivated students in underserved schools in Orange County how to explore advanced problem solving techniques.
Last week, the Mission Viejo City Council recognized the Mission Viejo High School “Diablos” Varsity Baseball Team for its outstanding championship win at the Division 2 CIF finals at Dodgers Stadium this month – the first such championship in the history of Mission Viejo High School.
Also last week, the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County recognized the “Cool To Be Kind Club” (C2BK) of San Clemente High School as a 2011 Ambassador of Peace. The C2BK Club started in 2009 when students sought to make a difference on campus and in their community. For more information, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Rancho Santa Margarita Library: International Film Series
Join Rancho Santa Margarita Library on Friday, June 17 at 7:00 PM for a FREE movie, “Local Hero,” starring Burt Lancaster. A brief discussion will follow the presentation. For more information about the library’s International Film Series, please click here.
Laguna Beach: Fête de la Musique
The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association is pleased to announce their Fourth annual Fête de la Musique on Saturday, June 18, held in conjunction with “World Music Day” to celebrate the coming of summer each June.
For more information, please click here and here.
Aliso Viejo Library: Third Sunday Movie Matinee
Join Aliso Viejo Library the third Sunday of each month for one of a series of award winning independent and foreign films. The movie is FREE and refreshments are provided. For more information, please click here.
Laguna Niguel: Everything You Want To Know About Snakes
The City of Laguna Niguel invites families and youngsters (ages 5 and over) to learn about snakes in Orange County. On Wednesday, June 22 at 7:00 PM, a FREE presentation will be held at Crown Valley Community Park, featuring important information as well as live snake exhibits. For more information, please click here.
Dana Point: Summer Concerts in the Park
The City of Dana Point is pleased to present FREE Summer Concerts in the Park. On Sunday, June 26 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM, the public is invited to enjoy "Bella Donna" – a tribute to Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. For more information, please click here.
Mission Viejo: Movie of Character
The public is invited to enjoy Part I of the critically acclaimed miniseries “John Adams” at 2:00 PM on Sunday, June 26 at Mission Viejo City Hall. Attendees will also receive a pocket Constitution that includes the Declaration of Independence in modern English. Part II will be screened Sunday, July 17. For more information about this FREE event, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Attended the OCGOP annual Flag Day Salute event.
- Participated in the South County Economic Summit hosted by the Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano and South Orange County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
- Hosted a Fifth District Roundtable discussion with local elected officials on South County Transportation Issues.
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Presented a proclamation in honor of Kathy Khailifa, who was named Citizen of the Year by the City Laguna Niguel.
- Participated in the City of San Clemente Mayor's Walk at Poche Beach.
- Presented a certificate of recognition at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point in honor of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center.
- Provided certificates of recognition in honor of the winners of Laguna Beach Library’s 13th Annual Poetry Contest. To view the list of winners, please click here.
- Provided certificates of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremonies for STARFISH Asian Coastal Cuisine in Laguna Beach; Expedia CruiseShipCenters in San Juan Capistrano; and the Dana Point Athletic Club.
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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