Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
October 7, 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 39

County Budget Reductions

The Board approved a budget reduction plan in order to address the loss of $49.5 million in Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenue. The plan includes $30 million in cuts to County departments, the use of $8 million in reserves, and the recalculation of some revenue projections.

Reductions include the elimination of 87 positions, 43 of which are currently filled. Efforts will be made to prevent layoffs, but the reality is that with a cut of this magnitude, layoffs are difficult to avoid.

The approved budget reductions will have an impact on services to the public. Most concerning is the fact that the plan includes several millions in cuts to public safety departments. These cuts will be painful, but the Board had no other option.

The State has denied the County of Orange basic property tax funds that ALL other 57 counties receive. These are not special funds that run pet projects or misguided social programs. These dollars assist us in funding core functions of local government, such as public safety.

While it is the responsibility of the County to provide many of the services being reduced, it is also the responsibility of the Board to ensure we remain fiscally solvent. We need to ensure that the County can continue to provide these core services in future years, even as we are forced to cut some of those services back.

Sacramento has caused this problem. Excessive spending, accounting gimmicks and an overall failure to responsibly address the state budget by bringing expenditures in line with revenue has severely damaged the fiscal condition of the state.

Your Board of Supervisors won’t use Sacramento-style solutions to solve our budget challenges. The Board correctly refuses to pass on debt to future generations and kick the can down the road. We will make the difficult decisions that are necessary, knowing it is the best thing for the long-term fiscal health of the County, as we simply cannot spend money we don’t have.

As the reduction plan is implemented, I will remain engaged in monitoring the impact of the budget reductions. At the suggestion of Sheriff Hutchens, I have asked Chairman Campbell to reconvene the Public Safety Working Group that was used to address shortfalls in public safety budgets during the 2010-2011 budget cycle.

The group was comprised of public safety department heads, Supervisor Campbell and myself. Reconvening this group will provide our public safety agencies with a forum to examine the impacts of these cuts and develop solutions or make needed adjustments to mitigate such impacts.

To learn more about the budget reduction plan, please click here.

HR Audit and New Executive Management Policies

The CEO and Human Resources Director provided a status report on the implementation of recommendations made by the Board’s Human Resources Audit Ad-Hoc Committee, on which I serve with Supervisor Nelson.

Additionally, the Board approved two new policies that enhance the role of your elected officials and is designed to prevent both excessive salaries and an inflated number of top level management positions.

The first policy limits the number of discretionary pay raises to a maximum of one per year. The second policy requires Board approval for all new or reallocated executive management positions.

We will be returning to the Board on October 18 with the remainder of our recommendations on reforming the County’s HR Department.

Additionally we will provide recommendations, using information provided by the CEO, on how to address classification and compensation issues identified in Appendix B of the Performance Audit of the Human Resources Department.

To see a copy of the status report and new policies, please click here.


Metrolink to Launch Ducks Express Service

Metrolink officials will launch the Ducks Express service on October 14, taking fans to Anaheim Ducks hockey games at the Honda Center. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) partnered with the hockey team to establish the special service as a way to encourage fans to take the train to the team’s home games.

For a limited time, game-day riders purchasing two tickets for the Ducks Express will receive a free voucher good for a future game.

The Ducks Express train follows the success of the recent Angels Express service. During the entire 2011 baseball season, ridership on the special game-day Angels Express trains totaled 20,613 passengers.

Funding for the game-day trains was made possible by a grant from the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC) as a way to provide a cleaner, more efficient way for fans to enjoy America’s pastime.

OCTA Seeks to Implement More Cost-Effective Bus Services

Last Thursday, I joined Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) officials to share an update regarding the status of the OCTA commissioned “Transit System Study” to the South Orange County Association of Mayors in Lake Forest.

The meeting included representatives from all South County cities, as well as OCTA Director Peter Herzog, OCTA CEO Will Kempton and California State Senator Mimi Walters of Laguna Niguel.

Mr. Kempton provided an update on the study, stating that OCTA is working hard to implement more cost-effective and innovative bus service as a result of significant service reductions in recent years.

Exciting Scholarship Opportunity for High School Students

The Orange County Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) is proud to announce a new scholarship opportunity for high school seniors. Two scholarships in the amount of $1,500 each will be awarded to local students that are planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program in a transportation-related field, such as engineering, planning, finance, logistics, or aviation. The scholarships are open to women only, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, that will graduate high school in 2012.

Funding for the 2011-2012 high school scholarships was provided through a donation from the Los Angeles Women’s Transportation Coalition. LA WTC is a non-profit, multi-ethnic association that seeks to advocate on behalf of women in the transportation industry.

The WTS Orange County undergraduate scholarships will be presented at the WTS annual Awards Gala on December 6. The scholarships are competitive and based on the applicant's specific transportation interests and goals, job skills and academic record. Minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please click here.


South County Children & Youth Summit Huge Success

Last week, over 100 people gathered at the first annual South County Children and Youth Summit sponsored by my office and the Orange County Children and Families Commission. The event, themed “Healthy Families, Healthy Futures!” brought together parents, grandparents and caregivers with a wide array of educators and service providers.

Over 25 resource agencies were on-hand to provide information and assistance across a wide range of subjects, including health care, dental health, behavioral health, car-seat safety and teenage driving, substance abuse, child abuse prevention, obesity prevention, Pretend City children's museum, and the Orange County Sheriff's Explorer Program - all eager to provide parents with support, information, and resources to raise happy and healthy children.

The morning included multiple experts who addressed the topics of this year's Summit: the importance of immunizations, Internet safety and cyber bullying, and drug awareness and risks for teens. I look forward to an even bigger and better Children and Youth Summit next year!


County Lobbyist Reporting Now Available

Two methods of reviewing County Lobbyist Registration information are now available to the public on the Clerk of the Board’s website, including Quarterly Reports and a Lobbyist Search.

For more information, please click here.

County of Orange Programs Receive 2011 CSAC Merit Awards

Two County of Orange programs were chosen to receive 2011 Merit Awards by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), as:
  • The Health Care Agency’s “Surge OC” has improved how the local health care community will respond to future emergencies by bringing together the County’s 34 city emergency planners and first-responder organizations to develop coordinated operational plans.
  • OC Public Works’ recently developed Customer Care and Permit Services unit improved the permit process for customers, whose reported satisfaction now regularly exceeds 95%.
For more information, please click here and here.


Secured Property Tax Bills Coming Soon

The Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector announced Secured Property tax bills will be mailed between October 11 and October 25 to the names of the property owners shown on the most recent tax roll. The current and prior year’s tax bills will also be available online after October 11 at http://bos.ocgov.com/octaxbill.

If you do not receive a property tax bill by November 10, you can obtain a copy of the property tax bill by going to the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website, e-mailing a request to ttcinfo@ttc.ocgov.com, coming into the Office of the Treasurer-Tax Collector at 625 North Ross Street in Santa Ana, or calling the office at (714) 834-3411.

The first installment of the 2011-2012 property taxes is due and payable on November 1 and will become delinquent if not paid by December 12. The second installment is due February 1, 2012 and will become delinquent if not paid by April 10, 2012.

Payments must have a USPS postmark date on or before the last payment day and payments made using home banking must be received by the Treasurer on or before the last payment day to avoid incurring a 10% late penalty.

The Treasurer-Tax Collector has also implemented and enhanced several new customer service features that are now available! For more information, please click here.


John Wayne Airport Aviation Art Contest

John Wayne Airport's (JWA) 22nd annual Student Art Contest, part of the International Aviation Art Contest, is now underway. Artwork that best depicts this year's contest theme, "Silent Flight," will be selected for exhibition and prizes and may go on to compete at State, National and International levels of competition.

Orange County students in grades K-12 are encouraged to submit their artwork to any Orange County Public Library Branch or participating city library no later than 4:00 PM, Wednesday, November 2.

Winners from two grade categories will be selected this year (kindergarten through 6th grade, and 7th through 12th grade) and will be exhibited from December 9, 2011 through January 16, 2012 on the arrival level, adjacent to baggage carousels 1 and 4, of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal.

Each entrant will receive a certificate of participation from JWA and select winners will be awarded prizes donated by sponsors, including The Irvine Museum, Laguna College of Art and Design, Knott's Berry Farm, Medieval Times, Go Kart World, Bowers Museum, Orange County's Pacific Symphony, and The Santa Ana Zoo.

Interested students can pick up materials at any Orange County Public Library or any library branch in the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach and Yorba Linda. Entrant information is also available by clicking here.

For more information, visit John Wayne Airport's Web site art page or contact Art Program Coordinator Jeffrey Frisch at Jfrisch@ocair.com.


Prevention Connection

The County of Orange Health Care Agency (HCA) Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Team (ADEPT) has released their latest issue of Prevention Connection – a quarterly newsletter designed to showcase the successful alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention work being done in Orange County.

To view the Prevention Connection newsletter, please click here.

CD Connection: Orange County Communicable Disease News

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA), Public Health Services – Epidemiology, has released their latest edition of CD Connection. In this issue of Orange County Communicable Disease News, Orange County Public Health has updated the list of reportable diseases, following recent changes made by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

To view the CD Connection newsletter, please click here.


AlertOC Regional Test

AlertOC is a mass notification system designed to keep residents and businesses informed of emergencies. By registering with AlertOC, time-sensitive voice messages from your city and the County of Orange can be sent to your home, cell or business phone. Text messages can also be sent to cell phones, email accounts, and hearing impaired receiving devices.

On October 20, more than two million Orange County residents will receive a call at 5:00 PM to test AlertOC. This is the second annual regional test of the system and will include 28 other participating cities and the County's unincorporated areas, including Coto de Caza, Ladera Ranch and Las Flores.

The key feature of AlertOC is the ability for residents to register more than one contact method at a specific address. Registrations of cell phone and alternate numbers increase the potential of reaching the greatest number of community members as rapidly as possible. This enables landlines, cell phones and e-mail addresses to be incorporated into a single notification system.

The regional test will be held in conjunction with the Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill. The AlertOC drill on October 20 will replicate a large scale, multi-jurisdictional emergency requiring thousands of numbers to be called simultaneously across Orange County's entire region.

The phone message will urge residents to prepare for real-life emergencies by registering their cell numbers, text numbers and e-mail addresses at www.AlertOC.com for the best chance to receive vital, timely information when away from home.

Emergencies can happen at any time. A wildfire could spread or a flood could close the roads to a neighborhood while residents are away from home. In these instances, AlertOC is a critical link for residents to immediately learn of any required actions.

Residents are encouraged to self-register their cell phone numbers and other contact information to be a part of the regional test. For more information and to register, please click here.


South County Low-Cost Vaccination and Microchip Clinic

On Wednesday, October 12, the Mission Viejo Animal Services Center will host a low-cost vaccination and microchip clinic for Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo pet owners. The clinic will take place from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM at 28095 Hillcrest in Mission Viejo.

Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo pet owners can also have their animals licensed at the clinic. A license is required for all dogs starting at the age of 4 months. Microchipping is also available.

For more information, please click here.

OC Animal Care: “Choose a Chihuahua”

Fall in love with OC Animal Care’s tiniest residents at their 2nd annual “Choose a Chihuahua” event on Saturday, October 15 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Adopters will receive a free spay/neuter and flea treatment when they find their perfect pint-sized pet. Be sure to stay for the Chihuahua parade and watch these miniature models strut their stuff in the finest doggie couture!

For more information, please click here.


Weekend at the Nix Center: Amazing Raptors

Join OC Parks and the Laguna Canyon Foundation on Saturday, October 8 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM for a special Weekend at the Nix Center - Amazing Raptors: Hawks, Owls & Falcons. Meet the hawks, owls, and falcons from the Orange County Birds of Prey Center. A live raptor presentation by Peggy Chase of Birds of Prey for ages 8 and up will be held at 2:00 PM.

For more information, please click here.

Doheny State Beach Update

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has released its monthly DOHENY UPDATE to inform the public about special events as well as current conditions at the State Park.

To view the DSBIA October newsletter, please click here.


Rancho Santa Margarita Repeats as Safest City

The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report has listed the City of Rancho Santa Margarita as the safest city in the State of California for cities with a population greater than 20,000 residents. This is the tenth consecutive year Rancho Santa Margarita has been identified as one of the safest communities in Orange County and the State.

For more information, please click here.


San Clemente: Seafest

The Seafest in San Clemente on Sunday, October 9 features a Chowder Cook-off with citizens, restaurants, and businesses competing for the best chowder. The event also includes an Arts & Crafts Show, Surf Contest, Business Expo, fun for the whole family and much more! For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Taste for Education

The CARE Foundation will host its “Taste for Education” event at Capistrano Toyota, 33395 Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano on Thursday, October 13. For more information, please click here and here.

Aliso Viejo: Founders Day Fair

Celebrate the City of Aliso Viejo's 10th anniversary at its annual Founders Day Fair on Saturday, October 15. This spectacular "Day at the Ranch" is from noon to 6:00 PM at 100 Park Ave and will feature free rides and attractions and much more! For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: City Hall Grand Opening

Please join the City of Laguna Niguel on Saturday, October 15, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM to celebrate the grand opening and dedication of the new City Hall at 30111 Crown Valley Parkway. Guests will be treated to music and entertainment, exhibits, desserts, giveaways, tours of City Hall and much more! For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for Da Vine Food & Wine in Dana Point Harbor.
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel City Council meeting to participate in a presentation on the Urban League Institute Technical Advisory Panel recommendations for reuse of the former South Court Justice Facility.
  • Attended the South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committee meeting to discuss a variety of watershed, water quality and water supply issues.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Sgt. Tyler N. Holtz of Dana Point.
My office also:
  • Attended the State Board of Equalization’s Small Business Seminar & Resource Expo in the City of Mission Viejo.
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!