Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
November 10, 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 44

In Observance of Veterans Day

On Friday, November 11, we will pay tribute to all those who have served in our nation’s armed forces with our annual observance of Veterans Day.

Last week, I had the great privilege of participating in a special County event honoring veterans of conflicts since World War II. At the event, the veterans of these wars shared about their experience in battle as well as adjustment to civilian life.

To read my comments introducing a veteran of the Vietnam War, please click here. Please remember to take time to thank a veteran for their service, as they have done the work and risked their lives so that we can live free.


Performance Audit of Human Resources Department

On June 7, Chairman Campbell appointed Supervisor Nelson and me to serve on a subcommittee to review and make recommendations on the Performance Audit of the Human Resources Department (HRD). The audit uncovered significant problems in HRD, including policy violations and unsubstantiated raises granted to County executives.

On August 9, Supervisor Nelson and I reported back to the Board with 35 recommendations, all of which were unanimously approved. Most notably, the Board took steps to hire a third party to conduct labor negotiations and enacted policies that give the Board greater oversight over executive positions and compensation.

This week, Supervisor Nelson and I gave our second report to the Board. Subcommittee recommendations approved by the Board include improvements to management of employee benefits, more specific classifications for executive management positions, and agreement to discuss priorities for labor negotiations.

The Subcommittee also recommended recruiting a new HR Director and called for pay cuts and classification changes for executive managers who received improper raises and/or classifications. The Board agreed to continue action on these items until December 6.

In the early days of my tenure as your County Supervisor, it became evident that over time, too much authority over employee compensation and benefits had been ceded to the bureaucracy.

This is what has happened in our County HR Department and is why Supervisor Nelson and I are working diligently to assert more oversight and control by the Board of Supervisors over such decision-making, as we remain committed to ensuring the public has a transparent and accountable government.

To read a copy of our report, please click here.

Design Contract Awarded for La Pata Gap Closure Project

The La Pata Avenue Gap Closure Project is one step closer to completion this week, as the Board awarded a contract for the preparation of Plans, Specifications and Cost Estimates (PS&E) to support design of the project.

Because the road will traverse the Prima Deshecha Landfill, an area with one of the most unstable geotechnical conditions in South County, it is one of the largest and most complex roadway projects the County has undertaken.

The $6 million contract, awarded to Huitt-Zollars, Inc., represents an 18 percent reduction from the cost initially proposed by the Architect-Engineer and is considered to be reasonable and appropriate as a result of conducting a peer review of the scope of work and associated costs for such a complex project.

Preparation of the PS&E will make this project "shelf ready" for construction and improve its ability to successfully compete for various grant funding opportunities to fill the funding shortfall.

For more information, please click here.

CARITS Road Fee Program Adds Additional Projects

The Coastal Area Road Improvements and Traffic Signals (CARITS) Road Fee Program, approved by the Board in 1988, was created to fund roadway and traffic signal improvements, including 13 arterial highways, 6 intersections, and 29 traffic signals within the CARITS Area Of Benefit, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel and Laguna Woods.

With all but three of the original projects completed, the County has identified a significant fund balance will remain upon completion of the three remaining projects. To that end, the County met with the five South County cities that make up this program to seek direction.

The five cities requested that $3.1 million of the remaining $11.6 million be distributed on a pro-rata basis to fund additional traffic signal improvement work, which will improve regional circulation. Once all eligible work is completed, the CARTIS Road Fee Program will be closed out and the remaining funds will be returned to the cities.

For more information, please click here.

Stormwater Education and Outreach Campaign

The County of Orange, Orange County Flood Control District, and the 34 cities of Orange County are regulated by municipal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits for stormwater quality. The Permits include requirements for conducting environmentally-themed public education and outreach programs focused on water quality protection.

In addition, the County is required to coordinate the public education and outreach program on behalf of cities. The NPDES Permits specifically require the County deliver ten million educational messages, termed "impressions," to "measurably increase the knowledge and change the behavior" of the general population of Orange County.

To that end, the Board approved a contract with Faubel Public Affairs to conduct the public education and outreach programs on behalf of the County and the 34 cities of Orange County. The agreement will cover the period from November 9, 2011 through November 8, 2012 at a cost of $500,000, with four one-year extensions.

For more information, please click here.

El Toro Property Development Strategy

As a result of the transfer of the El Toro Marine Base to the City of Irvine, the County will be transferred 100 acres at the former base and developing the property for uses compatible with the surrounding community.

On March 4, 2008, the Board received a Parcel Revenue Generation Study prepared for the 100-acre parcel at MCAS El Toro. The study identified a series of recommendations as to how the parcel could be developed. At that time, the Board also directed staff prepare a Due Diligence Report, Development Feasibility Analysis, and release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Interim Uses.

At Tuesday’s Board meeting, we heard a presentation that outlined the viability of a range of potential uses for the property. Overall, the findings indicate the El Toro parcels are considered to be developable land in good locations within the Irvine market.

Office, mixed use development, retail, and residential uses are in highest demand in the area. A summary of existing market conditions and potential demand for the proposed site include Retail, Industrial, Office & Flex, Research & Development (R&D), Multi-Family Residential, Hotel, Solar, Storage, and Commercial Recreational uses.

As a result of these analyses and studies, the Board directed OC Public Works pursue viable development options for the County parcels at the former MCAS El Toro to generate long-term revenue for the County.

To view the PowerPoint presentation and additional information, please click here.

JWA to Offer Incentive for Airlines to Fly to Mexico

The Board approved an Air Service Development Incentive Program for John Wayne Airport (JWA) to encourage and promote operation of commercial passenger air service to Mexico.

The incentive program is open to new and incumbent air carriers and will offer three “incentive packages” that include a rent credit of $300,000 for terminal space costs. The goal is to serve three new non-stop destinations to Mexico.

To qualify, the proposed service must:
  • Be operated non-stop from JWA to a proposed airport in Mexico
  • Be operated continuously for a period of twelve months from the date of initiation of service
  • Be operated an average of five days per week over the first twelve months of service
  • Be initiated during the period from June 1, 2012, to December 31, 2013; and
  • Comply with all applicable airport noise and access regulations, including all provisions of the Access Plan.
Encouraging international travel will maximize the utilization of the new international arrival facilities, which were constructed as part of the Airport Improvement Program.

In addition, the Board approved a Memorandum of Agreement with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, which is required to initiate service to Mexico.

For more information, please click here.

Board Appointments

The Board appointed Elaine Werner-Hudson of Laguna Beach to serve on the Orange County Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board. Additionally, the Board reappointed Kenneth Inouye of Laguna Hills to serve on the Orange County Human Relations Commission.

As residents of the Fifth District, I commend Elaine Werner-Hudson and Kenneth Inouye for their outstanding commitment to public service.


South County Reliability Enhancement Open House

San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) will host an Open House on Wednesday, November 16 regarding the utility's planned "reliability upgrades" for South County. Residents can drop by the Open House being held at San Juan Hills Country Club from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM; or from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

SDG&E staff will be on hand to discuss the South Orange County Reliability Enhancement project. The public's input is welcome. For more information, please click here.

Free Health and Social Services for South County's Homeless

Illumination Foundation is coordinating the second annual Sun Fair Health and Fitness Expo at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in San Clemente to provide FREE medical care, eye exams and glasses, dental screenings and social services to South County’s underserved, homeless community.

The Health Expo on Sunday, November 13 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM is FREE and open to the public. For more information, please click here and here.


Metrolink Launches Bike Cars

As cycling’s popularity continues to grow as a commuting option, Metrolink is introducing bike cars into weekday service on 34 trains to provide for additional bike storage.

This week, I participated in an event to commemorate the launch of Metrolink’s new bike cars, which will provide commuters another option for the last mile connection from a Metrolink station to their final destination, making it easier for them to leave their cars at home and take public transit.

Metrolink introduced two bicycle cars as a pilot program this summer on the Inland-Empire line weekend beach trains and helped transport more than 250 cyclists to CicLAvia. Since then, the cars have been tested on trains throughout the five-county area.

More cars will be added in the future based on demand. To create the new bicycle cars, Metrolink crews removed 29 passenger seats on the bottom level of one of its railcars that traditionally seats up to 149 people.

Each car is designed to accommodate up to 18 bicycles. Previously, Metrolink standard passenger cars only had space for two bikes. Bicycle cars will be fully wrapped in the bike emblem or can be identified by yellow decals located on the outside of the rail car.

For more information and a schedule of the bike cars, please click here and here.


2010-2011 Volunteer and Intern Report

The County of Orange, along with the rest of the nation, has reported that the number of hours donated by interns and volunteer hours has remained unaffected during this economic crisis.

The 2010-2011 Annual Volunteer and Intern Utilization Report indicates from June 2010 through July 2011, 42,312 individuals contributed 894,054 hours of service within 19 County Agencies and Departments and several Board offices. The value of their service is an estimated $23 million dollars in avoided costs for County government.

Please join me in thanking our wonderful volunteers, interns and reservists for all they do to make Orange County a wonderful place to live, work, and play!

For more information, please click here.

WANTED: Orange County Grand Jurors

Are you interested in serving your community as an Orange County Grand Juror? Apply now for the July 2012 through June 2013 term!

The Orange County Grand Jury provides an oversight role for local government agencies and districts and participates in the criminal indictment process. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2012-2013 Grand Jury.

Completed applications must be received no later than Friday, January 13, 2012. To be eligible, applicants must be 18 or older, a U.S. Citizen, a resident of Orange County for at least a year, able to communicate in the English language, and of sound judgment and character.

For information and an application, please visit the Grand Jury website, or call the Grand Jury hotline at (714) 834-6747 to have an application packet mailed to you. For more information, please click here and here.


Veterans Receive Records Free of Charge

In honor of Veterans Day, the Orange County Clerk-Recorder is reminding Armed Forces military personnel that they are entitled to receive free copies of any record, including birth and marriage certificates and property records, when the document is required for military benefits for themselves or family members.

The free records include documents needed to receive pay and compensation, insurance, pension and other military benefits. Veterans will be asked to show proper photo identification and confirm they are entitled to receive the record for regular fees to be waived.

The Clerk-Recorder Department has three offices to serve the public, including one in South County at the Laguna Hills Civic Center. Please note that all County offices will be closed Friday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

For more information, please click here.


Earlier Sunsets Bring Earlier Closing Times to OC Parks

Clocks fell back November 6, marking the end of Daylight Saving Time and OC Parks’ spring/summer operating schedule. As such, Wilderness Parks close at sunset and most Regional Parks close at 6:00 PM for fall and winter.

Fall/winter hours for Regional Parks are 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with the exception of Laguna Niguel Regional Park, which opens at 6:00 AM.

Wilderness Parks open at 7:00 AM and close at sunset year-round, including Aliso and Wood Canyons, Caspers, Laguna Coast, Limestone Canyon and Whiting Ranch and Riley Wilderness Parks.

Hours for OC Parks Beaches vary, but are generally between 6:00 AM and 12:00 midnight.

OC Parks facilities will remain on these operating hours until Daylight Saving Time returns in spring. For more information, please click here.


South County Eagle Scout Achieves Extraordinary Milestone

Laguna Niguel Eagle Scout Ryan P. Pugh earned his 131st merit badge November 5, making him one of only two Scouts with more than 130 merit badges in all of Orange County and one of four Scouts in the entire country during the 101-year history of the Boy Scouts of America.

Troop 772, Ryan’s parents and friends are all very proud of this extraordinary accomplishment. Ryan began his scouting career in 2002 with Cub Scout Pack 872 when he was in first grade at St. Anne School in Laguna Niguel. He is currently a sophomore at J Serra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano.

Only 4 percent of Boy Scouts earn the highest rank of Eagle. In June 2010, at the early age of fourteen, Ryan earned the rank of Eagle. His Eagle project was titled “A Little Piece of Home,” which involved creating 2010 miniature pocket flags for US soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Each flag was designed to fit close to the heart in the left hand pocket of their uniforms. Attached to each flag was a personalized note saying “home is merely a heartbeat away.” The completed flags were shipped to Afghanistan for the Marines deployed from Camp Pendleton.

Among Ryan’s many other Scouting accomplishments are:
  • In 2010, he was named Scout of the Year by a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) unit and was selected by the City of Laguna Niguel to carry the colors and lead the 2010 Holiday Parade.
  • He holds many honorary offices, including President of the local chapter of the National Eagle Scouting Association (NESA).
  • He is an active member of the Order of the Arrow, considered the national honor society of Boy Scouting.
  • He is President of the New Scout Venture Crew (872) at J Serra Catholic High School.
  • He is one of the two youngest volunteer Amateur Radio Operators (Extra -KI6SHE) serving the City of Laguna Niguel, Auxiliary Communications Services (Disaster Worker).
Please join me in applauding Laguna Niguel Eagle Scout Ryan P. Pugh upon earning his 131st merit badge and for his outstanding community service.


Aliso Viejo: Veterans Appreciation Program

The Aliso Viejo City Council will honor local veterans for their service, sacrifices and commitment to our country in a special recognition program Thursday, November 10. The recognition ceremony is at 6:00 PM at the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, 31 Santa Barbara Drive. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: Veterans Day Service

The City of Dana Point will recognize all veterans for their service and sacrifice for America on Friday, November 11 at 9:00 AM. The Veterans Day Service is FREE and will be held at the Dana Point Veterans Memorial Strands Vista Park. For more information, please click here.

Lake Forest: Veterans Day Observance

The City of Lake Forest will pay tribute to all veterans at El Toro Memorial Park on Friday, November 11 at 11:00 AM. The program will include patriotic music and a historical display. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Veterans Day Ceremony

The City of Mission Viejo will pay homage to local veterans on Friday, November 11. The poignant Veterans Day ceremony will take place at 2:00 PM inside the Norman P. Murray Community & Senior Center. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: Fire Station Grand Opening

The City of San Clemente invites the community to attend the grand opening celebration of its new Fire Station on Tuesday, November 15 at 3:00 PM. The City’s new fire station is located at 121 Avenida Victoria in San Clemente. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Met with Assemblywoman Diane Harkey to discuss AB 262.
  • Participated in the OCTA/Metrolink Bike Car Launch event at the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo station.
  • Participated if the Orange County Transportation Authority’s Veterans Appreciation Day event.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition in honor of the grand opening of the new Dorothy Visser Senior Center in San Clemente.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Doris Walker-Smith and Jack Smith of Dana Point; and Victor Harris, Robert Ramos, Edmund Wanner, Richard McCarthy, Kenneth Bennet and Jeffery Maner of Laguna Woods American Legion Post 257.
My office also:
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony for The Vinyl Fence Company in San Juan Capistrano.
  • Provided a certificate of recognition in honor of the ribbon cutting ceremony of David Ventura – Edward Jones in Laguna Niguel.
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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