July 22, 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. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
2. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
3. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
4. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
Deputy Chief of Staff
Deputy Chief of Staff
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|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
The Board received a staff report on our legislative efforts to restore $48 million in county funding. As you may recall from my July 1 newsletter (2011-2012 Budget Update), the County’s annual allotment of Vehicle License Fee revenue was eliminated in the recent state budget.
The County of Orange was the only county in California to be targeted for such a cut. As such, Orange County legislators have introduced legislation (AB X36) to restore this funding and are working around the clock for the bill’s passage.
For more information, please click here.
A report with recommendations from the Orange County Redistricting Committee was presented at our Board meeting Tuesday, as the Board-appointed Committee was tasked with making recommendations on new supervisorial districts.
The Committee recommended three maps for the Board’s consideration. Map 21 was ranked first by the Committee. Maps 20B and 16B were recommended as alternates, with both being equally ranked. To view Proposal 21, please click here. To view Proposal 20B, please click here. To view Proposal 16B, please click here.
Following the public hearing, the Board directed the Committee to reconvene and create an additional map that reflected the desires of those that spoke during the public hearing. This map will be considered by the Board along with the other three recommended proposals.
To that end, the Board will hold another public hearing on redistricting and decide next steps at our August 23 meeting. Please study the proposed maps and share your thoughts with me, as public input will be a major factor in determining which map I will ultimately support.
Work Plan for Office of Performance Audit Director
In January 2008, the Board established the Office of Performance Audit. Under the Board’s direction, the Office conducts independent performance audits of County operations with an emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness. As a result, the Board has gained deep insight and instituted effective change.
Most recently, a detailed report on our Human Resources Department was released. As a result, a sub-committee comprised of Supervisor Nelson and I was formed to address the report’s findings on behalf of the Board of Supervisors. To that end, we will be reporting on our committee work at the August 9 Board meeting.
Having completed the current work plan, the Board this week discussed the basis for the next set of audits, ranking Construction Management, Purchasing, and Automotive Fleet Services as the top three County functions to be reviewed by our Performance Audit team in the coming fiscal year.
IRS Guidance: Proposed Pension Formula Election
In May 2010, the Board instituted a new lower benefit tier in the County’s pension plan for new employees. While this was a beginning, greater savings can be achieved by current employees choosing to opt into this new lower tier. This is beneficial for both employees and the County, as it provides employees more take-home pay in the short term and saves the County considerably more in the long term.
Although no money changes hands, a quirk in IRS law exposes current employees to a large “windfall tax” on what amounts to phantom income generated by the plan change. We have been working diligently over the past year to lobby the IRS and Treasury Department to fix this quirk and allow employees to opt-down to the lower tier.
While it appears we have reached an impasse in direct negotiations with the IRS, the Board remains committed, directing the CEO and legislative staff to seek a legislative solution. For more information, please click here.
Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness: Chief Strategy Officer
Since early this year, the Ending Homelessness 2020 Board (EH 2020), in conjunction with the Children and Families Commission of Orange County (Commission), has searched to find a Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) to implement the County’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness.
The Board of Supervisors committed $75,000, fifty percent of the salary, to support the CSO position for one year. The EH 2020 Board will be responsible 100 percent of the salary in subsequent years.
After two extensive Request for Qualifications and interview processes, Steven Kight was introduced to the Board of Supervisors as the Ending Homelessness 2020 Board’s new CSO. For information on the duties and goals of the CS0 and the Commission, please click here.
Orange County Superior Court
The Board approved an agreement to lease office space in the North Justice Center in Fullerton to the Orange County Superior Court. The office space will be used by the Court to provide free legal services to those in economic need.
The Honorable Thomas Borris, the current Presiding Judge, was present at our meeting to speak on this agenda item. While there is currently no location in South County for such services, Judge Borris indicated the Court is in the process of identifying space.
In other Court news, Judge Borris spoke to the Board about opportunities for the public to become engaged in the judicial process. The Court Leadership Academy provides the public and opportunity to take part in a six-week program to learn how our court system operates. The 2011 Academy recently concluded and plans are underway for next year’s Academy. Stay tuned for an announcement in my newsletter.
Citizens are also encouraged to apply to serve as members of the Orange County Grand Jury. Each new fiscal year, a Grand Jury is appointed to investigate and report on civil and criminal matters within the County. The Grand Jury is comprised of 19 jurors and 11 alternates. For more information, please click here.
Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Services
The Board approved agreements with five community-based providers of tobacco use prevention and cessation services. These agreements, totaling over $1 million for Fiscal Year 2011-12, are funded with Measure H, Tobacco Settlement Revenue.
Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in our nation. In Orange County, over 9% of adults and 15% of teens smoke, with some communities experiencing much higher rates, including Capistrano Unified School District (CUSD), which has a 24% tobacco use rate among 11th graders.
The goals of the free services provided under these agreements are to prevent initiation of smoking among youth and young adults, as well as to provide support to smokers who wish to quit.
Two providers, Anaheim Regional Medical Center and Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic, were selected through a competitive application process to provide free smoking cessation services to over 1,100 youth and adults. The following services can be accessed by calling the Orange County Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Tobacco Use Prevention Program at 866-NEW-LUNG (866-639-5864):
Three prevention agreements were awarded as follows:
- Adult services available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese, including telephone counseling, individual counseling, one-time seminars, and five session classes.
- Young adults 18 – 24 years of age can receive quit kits and telephone counseling.
- Teen services, including one-time seminars and five session classes.
- Adults 18 and over, upon completing cessation services, can receive a free one-month supply of nicotine patches.
These programs have been very successful in Orange County, where the 90-day quit rate for cessation services ranges from 45% to 61%, as compared to the national average of 20%. Additionally, recently completed prevention projects at several Capistrano Unified School District high schools resulted in smoking prevalence rates among 11th graders 25% lower than the District average.
- Youth Tobacco Use Prevention – provided by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, targets students in four high-prevalence high schools in Capistrano and Orange Unified School Districts by working directly with students, parents, and school administrators.
- Young Adult Tobacco Use Prevention – provided by Community Service Programs, Inc., uses coalitions to develop outreach strategies and campaigns targeting young adults (18-24 years old) in Anaheim, Fullerton and Santa Ana.
- Reducing Youth Access to Tobacco – provided by Orange County of Track, works with businesses, community leaders and adults in cities within the Capistrano, Laguna Beach and Newport Mesa Unified School Districts to decrease tobacco sales to minors and provision of tobacco to minors by adults.
For more information on programs and services, please contact HCA’s Tobacco Use Prevention Program at 866-NEW-LUNG (866-639-5864) or click here.
The Board received a semi-annual report regarding on-going efforts to increase diversion rates and preserve landfill capacity through implementation of the AB 939 Surcharge. The AB 939 Surcharge was established in Fiscal Year 2005-06 to divert self-hauled waste from Orange County landfills.
To view a copy of the semi-annual report, please click here.
Native Plant Relocation Project Employee Recognition
The Board was pleased to recognize several OC Parks employees from the South County Historical Parks for efforts above and beyond the call of duty.
Winter storms had caused severe erosion and damage throughout Modjeska Canyon. Unfortunately, healthy native plants were caught up in the mud, water and debris that washed down Modjeska Canyon Road, which was closed to protect public safety.
After learning these plants had previously been slated for removal by road crews, OC Parks staff saw the opportunity to preserve these natural resources while saving money for the County. Rather than purchasing new plants for the Modjeska Staging Area parking lot, the OC Parks employees worked from February to April to transplant more than 500 plants recovered from the slides, achieving an estimated savings of $5,000.
The project was well received by canyon residents, who did not want to see these beautiful native plants destroyed. For more information on the native plant relocation effort by OC Parks staff, please click here.
Extraordinary Achievements in Scouting
The Board was pleased to present a resolution to 16 year-old Robert Nelsen for his extraordinary achievements in scouting and community service.
The Boy Scouts of America works to meet six essential needs of young people growing up in our society, including mentoring, lifelong learning, faith traditions, serving others, healthy living, and building character. To help learn life lessons in each of these areas, the Boy Scouts of America has developed a merit badge program, whereas as Boy Scouts can earn up to 130 merit badges in as many subjects.
To that end, Robert Nelsen became the first Boy Scout to earn all 130 merit badges in the 100-year history of Scouting in California. The accomplishments this Orange County teen has achieved at such a young age are extremely impressive and his commitment to the Boy Scouts of America is truly commendable.
To read a copy of the Board resolution presented to Robert Nelson, including a long list of his remarkable accomplishments, please click here.
La Pata Avenue Gap Closure / Del Rio Extension Project
The Board of Supervisors authorized staff to negotiate a contract with Huitt-Zollars, Inc. for Architect-Engineer Support Services for preparation of plans, specifications, and the cost estimate (PS&E) for the La Pata Avenue / Camino Del Rio Extension Project.
This project will widen La Pata Avenue from three to five lanes, from approximately 900 feet south of Ortega Highway in the unincorporated area of the County to the existing road terminus at the County's Prima Deschecha Landfill. The project also includes construction of a gap closure, with four new travel lanes from the existing roadway terminus at the Landfill to the intersection of Calle Saluda in the City of San Clemente.
The County has secured $2.25 million in Measure M2 funding for this contract.
County Receives Measure M2 Funding for Projects
In January, the Board of Supervisors authorized OC Public Works to submit funding applications to the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for the Measure M2 Regional Capacity Program call for projects.
On June 27, OCTA's Board of Directors approved funding for four County projects, totaling $12,259,585, including:
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a Master Funding Agreement to define specific terms, conditions, and funding responsibilities between OCTA and the County for funding these projects.
- Cow Camp Road, Segment 1 – $1,000,000 (Engineering Phase)
- Cow Camp Road, Segment 1 – $8,320,000 (Construction Phase)
- La Pata Avenue Extension – $2,250,000 (Engineering Phase)
- Edinger Avenue Bridge Widening – $689,585 (Engineering Phase)
In addition, the Board of Supervisors approved a Reimbursement Agreement with Rancho Mission Viejo (RMV), which enables the County to provide $1 million received in Measure M2 to RMV for the County’s obligation for engineering services on the Cow Camp Road project, as RMV is the lead agency.
Ortega Widening Project Settlement Agreement
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has entered into a settlement agreement with the City of San Juan Capistrano and the Hunt Club Community Association over the Ortega Widening Project, as Caltrans plans to widen a stretch of Ortega State Highway 74 from two to four lanes, from Calle Entradero in San Juan Capistrano to the City/Orange County line.
The City had previously pushed Caltrans to produce a full environmental impact report (EIR) on the project. After Caltrans certified its EIR, the City challenged some of its findings.
Under the settlement agreement, which was amicably resolved between the parties, Caltrans will restrict widening on the north side of Ortega Highway and replace every tree removed with at least three more trees. In addition, transparent material will be used for the upper section of sound walls to be built on the south side of Ortega Highway, east of Via Cordova.
Mitigation measures also include replacing removed sidewalk and landscaping with similar features; prohibiting nighttime construction; conducting noise measurements and noise reduction measures within the Hunt Club community; and using rubberized asphalt concrete along the project's roadway footprint.
In addition, the project will include a four-way traffic control signal at Hunt Club Drive; and the community's guardhouse will be relocated to prevent cars stopped at the guard gate from backing onto Ortega Highway.
The agreement will become effective upon approval by the Orange County Superior Court and incorporated into a judgment.
OC Fair Express
The OC Fair Express provides non-stop direct service from six park and ride lots to the OC Fair until August 14. Buses run hourly from 3:00 PM to midnight Fridays; and 10:00 AM to midnight Saturdays & Sundays.
Riders can board the buses for a regular one-way fare of $1.50 or with OCTA passes and Metrolink tickets & passes. Passengers can board at:
OC Fair Express passengers will also receive a coupon valid for $2 admission into the fair. For more information about the OC Fair Express, please click here. For information about the 2011 OC Fair, please click here.
- Route 691 – Junipero Serra Park & Ride in San Juan Capistrano
- Route 633 – Fullerton Park and Ride
- Route 662 – Santa Ana Depot
- Route 670 – Golden West Transportation Center in Huntington Beach
- Route 671 – Anaheim Canyon Metrolink Station and Tustin/Lincoln Park & Ride
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Laguna Beach: World Famous Art Festivals
Art festival season is in full swing in Laguna Beach – daily through the end of August – featuring a wide array of outstanding art and entertainment. For information on the Festival of Arts / Pageant of the Masters, please click here. For information on the Sawdust Art Festival, please click here. For information on Art-A-Fair, please click here.
Dana Point: Summer Concerts in the Park
As part of their FREE Summer Concerts in the Park, the City of Dana Point is pleased to present "Sapadilla" performing Calypso and Steel Drum music on Sunday, July 24 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM at Sea Terrace Park. For more information, please click here.
Rancho Santa Margarita: Summer Concert Series
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita’s Summer Concert Series continues Sunday, July 24 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM with “Neon Nation” performing 80s hits. For more information, please click here.
Lake Forest: Yarning, Yakking, Tales and Snacking
Join the South Coast Storytellers’ Guild for an afternoon of stories, laughter and music on Sunday, July 24 from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at Heritage Hill Historical Park in Lake Forest. For more information, please click here.
Ladera Ranch: Hullabaloo
“Hullabaloo” will be visiting Ladera Ranch Library, hosting a live music concert for kids! Don't miss out on this fun family event on Thursday, July 28 at 10:30 AM. For more information, please click here.
Laguna Niguel: Summer Concerts
As part of the City’s FREE Summer Concerts, Laguna Niguel is pleased to present "Don’t Stop Believin’" performing a musical tribute to the band Journey on Friday, July 29 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at the Crown Valley Community Park Amphitheater. For more information, please click here.
Mission Viejo: Symphony in the Cities and Prelude in the Park
On July 30, Mission Viejo presents the Target Symphony in the Cities and Prelude in the Park at Oso Viejo Community Park. Concert-goers can jumpstart the fun by attending the “Hometown Block Party” at 4:00 PM. An interactive “Musical Playground” follows at 5:30 PM; and the Pacific Symphony performs at 7:00 PM. For more information, please click here and here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Welcomed Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis and his delegation at the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Republic of Latvia Consulate Office in the City of Rancho Santa Margarita. For more information, please click here.
- Convened a stake holder meeting for the La Pata Avenue gap closure.
- Met with San Clemente Mayor Lori Donchak to discuss a number of City needs.
- Met with representatives of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers to be briefed on Coalition programs and strategic initiatives.
- Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Scott Sellman of Lake Forest.
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended the San Clemente City Council meeting, where OC Parks staff presented an update on efforts to maintain and improve access to Poche Beach. To view staff’s presentation, please click here.
- Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Quench Bistro in the City of Dana Point.
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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