Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 20, 2012

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 6 Issue 2

No Board Meeting This Week

There was not a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Supervisors this week. To view the Board meeting schedule for 2012, please click here.

Our next Board meeting will be held Tuesday, January 24. Regular Board meetings begin at 9:30 AM in the Hall of Administration. For Agenda & Meeting Information, please click here.

Live Internet broadcasts of Board of Supervisors meetings can be viewed online and are archived as video-on-demand. To view live and/or past Board meetings, please click here.


TCA Development Impact Fees

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) has a Development Impact Fee (DIF) program that is used to help finance The Toll Roads. The DIF is charged to developers of new residential and commercial properties that impact the toll roads.

As part of construction of the new terminal at John Wayne Airport, fees were charged to the food concessionaires for tenant improvements. Some of the DIFs were over $100,000. The tenants appealed the fee, believing they were excessive and calculated incorrectly as applied to their concessions.

Last week, the TCA Board of Directors heard the appeal and voted 11 to 3 to deny the appeal, requiring the tenants pay the fee. I voted along with Supervisor Bill Campbell and Costa Mesa Councilman Gary Monahan to support the appeal.

I believe the current fee structure established in the early 1990s is unreasonable, as it does not accurately reflect current restrictions for public access to the tenant concessions and common area that serve passengers only. To that end, I will be working with stakeholders to determine possible remedies going forward.

Measure M Public Hearing

Members of the Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee (TOC) will conduct an annual public hearing January 30 on the countywide sales tax measure that funds transportation services and projects throughout Orange County.

The hearing begins at 6:00 PM at Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) headquarters, 550 South Main Street, Orange, CA 92863. Committee members will report on their recent activities and receive comments from members of the public on the implementation of Measure M in the last year.

The independent, 11-member oversight committee serves as a voter safeguard to monitor OCTA’s use of Measure M funding, approve all changes to the Measure M plan, and hold annual public hearings on the expenditure of funds generated by the sales tax measure.

Measure M has generated more than $4 billion of transportation improvements. Hundreds of local projects that impact residents everyday have already been completed, including enhancements to almost every freeway in Orange County, widening streets, signal coordination, intersection improvements, and funding the Metrolink commuter rail service in the County.

Completion of Safety Upgrades at Railroad Crossings

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) leaders joined local, state and federal officials this week in Anaheim at an event to mark completion of the rail safety upgrades along Orange County’s 52 rail crossings.

The $85-million Railroad Crossing Safety Enhancement Program helped enhance safety features along 52 railroad crossings in eight cities throughout the County. Each crossing now includes new medians, coordinated traffic signals, additional crossing gate arms for motorists and pedestrians, new warning devices, and improved signage to enhance safety around the crossings.

As Metrolink service continues to increase in the coming years, countywide improvements are necessary to enhance pedestrian and motorist safety.

After the completion of each rail crossing upgrade, cities along the corridor also became eligible to apply to the Federal Railroad Administration to establish a quiet zone in their communities. In designated quiet zones, trains are prohibited from sounding their horns except in the event of an emergency.


Rental Assistance Waiting List to Open

The Orange County Housing Authority (OCHA) will open its Waiting List to accept pre-applications for housing assistance from February 15 through February 29.

The Section 8 Waiting List is the only opportunity for very low-income families, seniors, disabled persons, and individuals to obtain a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher; and the February 2012 Waiting List opening may be the only opportunity for Orange County residents to apply for many years to come.

Beginning February 15, applications for the Waiting List will be available online or at participating cities and branches of Orange County Public Libraries. Applications will also be available at select community organizations. Numerous community partners will have computers available to apply online and applicants are strongly encouraged to use this method, which will provide an immediate confirmation.

Applications can be submitted three ways, including:
  • Online at www.ochousing.org, beginning 12:01 AM on February 15 through 11:59 PM on February 29; or
  • Fax to (714) 667-6544, beginning 12:01 AM on February 15 through 11:59 PM on February 29; or
  • Mail to OCHA, P.O. Box 22005, Santa Ana, CA 92702 and postmarked from February 15 through February 29.
No applications will be accepted at cities, libraries, or the OCHA office. Only one application per household will be accepted. Submitted applications are not considered first come, first served. Accepted applications will be grouped by preference categories (veteran, senior, disabled, working family or individual residing within OCHA’s jurisdiction). Applicants will be randomly placed within their qualifying preference group.

For more information, please click here, here and here or call the OCHA Waiting List Information Line at (714) 480-2740.

Children and Families Commission Recruitment

The Board of Supervisors has launched a countywide recruitment to fill three positions for 2012 on the Children and Families Commission of Orange County. The recruitment is open to new applicants and current members. Applications for these positions will be accepted through 3:00 PM, February 6.

Questions about the Children and Families Commission of Orange County and the recruitment process can be directed to Kelly Pijl at 714-834-5186. For more information and/or to download the application, please click here.


New Law for 2012: Buckle Up Orange County

Effective this month, a new state law requires children under age 8 be properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat.

Children age 8 or older may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or car seat.

The bottom-line is everyone in the car must be properly buckled up. For each child under 16 not properly secured, parents (if in the car) or drivers may be fined more than $475 and get a point on their driving record.

For more information, please click here.


Terminal B Security Screening Lanes Closed for Construction

The passenger security checkpoint in John Wayne Airport's Terminal B was closed as of January 18 for approximately two weeks. During this time, passengers departing John Wayne Airport should plan ahead, giving themselves extra time to get through screening and find their gate.

The temporary closure to the Terminal B security checkpoint allows for updating equipment at security checkpoints. The Terminal A security checkpoint will be updated once work is complete in Terminal B.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Coastal Coalition Meeting

Please join me Thursday January 26 at Newport Beach Public Library for our first Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting of 2012. The Coastal Coalition, which I am pleased to Chair, provides an opportunity to learn about and collaborate on current topics affecting not only our coastal cities, but those inland as well.

Our meeting will begin at 9:00 AM, featuring Ray Hiemstra, Associate Director, Orange County Coastkeeper; and Harry Helling, President/CEO, Crystal Cove Alliance. The presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

For agenda and meeting information, please click here.


New Residents Come to OC Zoo

Two pairs of young, orphaned animals recently found a new home at the OC Zoo in Irvine Regional Park. Not only did the OC Zoo take in two baby beavers over the summer, they recently adopted two mountain lion cubs. The new additions were rescue animals, as are most of the animals at the zoo.

To see photos of the mountain lion cubs and the baby beavers, please visit the OC Parks Facebook page. To see one of the beavers' high-profile appearance with KTLA’s Allie MacKay, please click here. For more information, please click here.


January is Adopt a Shelter Rabbit Month

Hop on down to OC Animal Care during the month of January to celebrate Adopt a Shelter Rabbit Month. All adopters who find their forever bunny will receive a free spay/neuter for their new pet and a gift bag filled with rabbit goodies.

For more information, please click here.


Overdrive Digital Bookmobile Coming to Laguna Woods

The Overdrive Digital Bookmobile will be at the Laguna Woods Branch Library on Saturday, February 4 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The large semi-truck type vehicle will provide patrons with an opportunity to have “hands on” experience with multiple e-reader devices.

This is an excellent opportunity for residents who may have a new e-reader device but aren’t sure how to effectively download e-books. Additionally, for those who may want to purchase an e-reader but aren’t sure which, they can come and try each of them out.

OC Public Libraries staff will also be on hand to assist. This event is FREE of charge and open to the public. For more information, please click here.


Applicants Invited to Apply for Elections Education Program

In 2010, the Orange County Registrar of Voters (ROV) launched the Orange County Election Academy, designed to teach participants about elections in Orange County. The ROV is currently accepting applications for the 2012 session, which is set to begin March 21.

This unique elections education program is open to the public and particularly beneficial to those interested in voting, running for office, and the elections process. Applications are due by February 24, 2012.

To learn more about the Orange County Election Academy, including dates and times or to complete an application for the program, please click here. For more information, please click here and here.


Making Enough Room for Love on Valentine’s Day

Double the number of ceremony rooms will be available at the Clerk-Recorder Department’s three wedding offices in Orange County to accommodate couples wishing to marry on Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day typically sees four times the volume of marriage ceremonies compared to an average day.

To that end, four rooms will be available at the Old County Courthouse, 211 W. Santa Ana Blvd, in Santa Ana. In addition, two ceremony rooms each will be available at the branch office at Laguna Hills Civic Center, 24031 El Toro Road, Suite 150; as well as in Fullerton at 201 N. Harbor Blvd.

For palindrome aficionados, this year’s date has additional significance because it reads the same forward or backward: 21412. For more information, please click here.


South County Volunteer Receives Senior Leaders Award

Elizabeth Busick of Mission Viejo was recently selected from a large and outstanding pool of statewide nominees as one of 30 exceptional senior volunteer leaders to receive the 2012 California Senior Leaders Award.

Sponsored by The California Wellness Foundation, the California Senior Leaders Program provides an opportunity to bring visibility to the often unacknowledged role of older volunteers and community activists in our communities.

Elizabeth Busick has been an advocate for many countries and cultures for over 20 years and now gives dedicated time to assist individuals in assimilating into our American way of life.

Her reputation as a talented educator has also resulted in her volunteer services being sought to enhance City of Mission Viejo programs. In addition, Elizabeth serves on the Mission Viejo Senior Citizen Activities Committee, which is an advisory group regarding the needs and interests of senior citizens in the City.

Elizabeth Busick is also my Fifth District appointee on the Orange County Senior Citizen Advisory Council (SCAC), which reports to the Board of Supervisors. In this capacity, she serves on the SCAC Legislative Committee, actively impacting social justice issues and decisions for the County.

South County Students Win With Savings Theme Video

Two future hip-hop stars from San Juan Hills High School won first place in the U.S. Bank "Lights, Camera, Save" video contest. Leo Moneymaker, 15, and Alex Colucci, 17, wrote and performed "Save Song" about the benefits of saving and the danger of carrying too much debt, which they performed as "Young Muny" and "Lil Savings."

As a result, the boys won a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond from U.S. Bank and an entry in the national competition for a $3,000 U.S. Savings Bond from the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.

To view their winning video, "Save Song," please click here.


Mission Viejo: Oso Creek Trail Family Hike

Families with children ages 5 and over are invited to explore the beauty of Mission Viejo’s Oso Creek Trail from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, January 21, beginning at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center. For more information, please click here.

Aliso Viejo: Snow Fest

The City of Aliso Viejo will transform Grand Park into a winter wonderland with Snow Fest on Saturday, January 28. The special event, which will feature refreshments and music, takes place in three sessions from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

Lake Forest: SnowFest

Not to be outdone, the City of Lake Forest will host its SnowFest event on Saturday, January 28 from 11:00 AM to 3:45 PM at Pittsford Park. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: The White House Garden

San Clemente’s Casa Romantica is proud to present the only west coast showing of The White House Garden, a Smithsonian travelling exhibition that captures the history and beauty of one of the oldest continuously maintained landscaped gardens in America, on display through February 26. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Executive Committee meeting.
  • Met with Laguna Canyon Foundation Advisor Mary Fegraus and Executive Director Max Borella regarding activities in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park.
My office also:
  • Participated in the planning committee meeting for the 5th annual South County Senior Summit. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Attended a meeting of the South Orange County Association of Mayors.
  • Provided certificates of recognition for recipients of the Heart and Soul Award from O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills.
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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