Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
June 29, 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

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 6 Issue 25

Celebrating Our Independence Day

Wednesday, we will celebrate our nation’s independence and the birth of the country we love so dearly.

July 4, 1776 was the culmination of much debate and deliberation by members of the Second Continental Congress. What now seems like a foregone conclusion was very much in doubt in the summer of 1776, as the men of the Congress grappled with the issues before them. However, the will and desire for freedom would override all other interests.

When the debates concluded and the votes had been cast, the men put their names to a document, which included phrases that altered the course of human history. The Declaration they signed fit perfectly the biblical passage inscribed upon the bell in the steeple of Independence Hall: "Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

While liberty for our land was won with the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, it has not been and never will be permanently secured. Freedom can be fleeting if we are not vigilant. We must, as Lincoln reminded us, “revere the Declaration of Independence" and “readopt the Declaration of Independence and, with it, the practices and policy which harmonize with it."

We live in a time when our freedoms are at risk from attacks abroad and are being infringed upon here at home. We must remember the legacy of our founders and stay committed to the philosophy of our nation, which is so well articulated in the Declaration. It is our duty to always ensure that we are a nation with a government this is “of, by and for the people” and that we live by the belief that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Fourth of July!


FY 2012-13 Final Budget for the County of Orange

The Board approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012-2013 County Budget, as reflected in the straw vote two weeks ago at the public hearing. The adopted budget next year is $5.6 billion, approximately 100 million dollars more than the FY 2011-12 budget year.

This is the first year since the FY 09-10 budget in which County Departments will not be asked to implement a 5% reduction to their Net County Cost. As a result of past cost reduction measures, as well as the increase in the FY 12-13 budget, the County will be begin to replenish funding to its reserves.

While the County adopted budget shows improvements over the previous years, continued uncertainty in the state budget leaves the County at risk. The state has failed year-after-year to address their structural deficit and, as a result 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 the governor.

For more information, please click here.

Human Relations Commission

Earlier this month, during the budget hearings, the Board had extensive discussions on continuing funding for the County’s contract with the Human Relations Council of Orange County (Council). Proposals for the Council’s funding ranged from continuing the $302,000 appropriation to cutting it by $200,000.

After much discussion, the Board continued action on the item until our June 26 meeting to allow a more thorough review of the Council’s budget and programs and, in particular, staffing issues related to compensation for retired County employees employed by the Council.

The County’s contract with the Council is a is a Sole Source Agreement that transitioned existing County staff positions supporting the County’s Human Relations Commission (Commission) to the Council, a non-profit organization.

Regarding staffing, the contract required the Council to provide the Human Relations Commission (Commission) with support services for programs, such as the Police Community Reconciliation Program (PCRP), various youth education programs, and monthly reporting of its activities with a submittal of invoices that bill for services to the County’s program manager.

A contract with an independent nonprofit organization with requirements for delivery of specific services to the County, such an arrangement provides the nonprofit the discretion in the hiring and compensation of staff providing those services. Therefore, discussion of prohibiting hiring a retired County employee to prevent “double-dipping” is not open to the Board’s discretion.

Regarding budget issues, since the County’s budget challenges which began in 2008, the Board has made it clear that to ensure it can deliver core County services, it needs to discontinue or reduce subsidizing nonprofit council/commission relationships and transition them to self-supporting community partnerships. Reducing funding for the OC Tourism Council in past years is an example of implementing this philosophy.

At the conclusion of this review, which I undertook, I proposed a compromising funding plan that provided for a 4-year phase down for the Council, beginning with a FY 2012-2013 contract of $252,000, with options for an annual reduction to be determined by the Board of Supervisors.

This approach for FY 2012-2013 will support the continuation of the PCRP, reimbursement of the County for building space, utilities, IT and administrative services, and provide staffing support as determined necessary by the Council in the delivery of services required by their contract.

This will provide the Council adequate time and opportunity to develop an outreach plan for increasing private sector fundraising to support their mission as well as provide the County the time and opportunity to determine future roles and responsibilities of the County’s Human Relations Commission and its relationship with the nonprofit Human Relations Council.

The Board ultimately supported this proposal with 4-1 vote.

Law Enforcement Contracts

The Board voted to approve the annual contracts with cities for law enforcement services. The Board approved agreements with 12 cities that contract with the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services. Each of these contracts includes a varied amount of increases from the previous year, ranging from a low of 0.61% in Laguna Woods to a high of 2.68% in San Juan Capistrano.

All contracts include increases due to increased benefit costs for workers’ compensation and health insurance rates, the apportionment of the cost of leave balances paid at the end of employment, and increased liability cost. Three contracts are increased as a result of overtime usage. Two others have increased infrastructure costs, and one city is restoring a previously unfunded position.

In each agreement, we can be assured that cities are paying their full costs for law enforcement services. The Board had previously expressed concern about whether the County is fully recovering costs. A recent draft report by the Internal Auditor shows that the County does indeed recover full costs.

In future years, we are looking to develop longer term contracts that will provide more financial stability for both the cities and the County. City managers and the Sheriff’s Department continue to meet and develop options for agreements of terms no less than 5 years.

Legislative Bulletin

The Board voted to oppose a proposal by the Governor to eliminate the Department of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and transfer its functions to the Department of Parks and Recreation.

DBW is a special fund agency supported by boater fuel tax dollars, registration fees, and interest payments on infrastructure loans. The County of Orange has received funding from the DBW to restore its beaches and maintain its harbors. The Board is concerned that this reorganization will result in the elimination of funding for beach maintenance and restoration programs.

Additionally, a revolving fund that benefits the harbor loan programs is at risk. The fund helps boating-marina infrastructure, and launch ramp programs. This is a classic example of the State taking local fees and using them for other purposes. These local fees are charged to boaters to address specific environmental mandates as well as infrastructure maintenance and replacement.

With this action, the State is taking a funding source from local government, yet still leaving the mandates in place and still forcing boaters to pay the fee. The Board will oppose this proposal unless there is statutory language to maintain the Revolving Fund and funding for beach maintenance and restoration programs.

County Human Resources Centralization

The Board voted unanimously to direct staff to proceed with initial planning efforts to recentralize the human resources services of agencies/departments under the Human Resources (HR) Department.

This is an important reform proposal that was an essential part of last year’s Performance Audit done on the County Human Resources Department. The Subcommittee, of which I was a member, that reviewed the performance audit concurred with this recommendation.

The audit uncovered serious mismanagement and flaws in the County's human resources system. The reorganization, along with new managers leading our HR Department, is an important step toward fixing a broken system. By recentralizing, we can insure that all facets of the County bureaucracy are following the same HR policies.

Board Certifies Election Results

Per Elections Code Section 15400, the Board officially declared elected or nominated the winning candidates at each election under its jurisdiction. Candidates for federal, state and other local offices are declared elected by their respective governing bodies.

To view the certification, click here.

7-Year Transportation Capital Improvement Program

The County utilizes Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Measure M & Measure M2 funds as a major funding component for the County’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). As a requirement of eligibility to receive Measure M/M2 funds, cities and the County are required to adopt a 7-Year Transportation CIP, update it annually, and provide it to OCTA.

OCTA requires all individual transportation-related projects for which Measure M/M2 funds may be sought be listed in the 7-Year Transportation CIP for purposes of identifying potential future project-funding needs.

To that end, the Board of Supervisors approved the County 7-Year Transportation Capital Improvement Program for FY 2012-13 through FY 2018-19. For more information, please click here.

Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness Status Report

On January 24, the Board received its first Quarterly Progress Report from the Executive Director of the Commission to End Homelessness (C2eH). The Quarterly Report provides the status on implementation of Orange County’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

The latest Status Report the Board received this week covers the reporting period of October 2011 through May 2012. For information on some of the accomplishments for addressing the homeless population’s needs, please click here.

Vicious Dog Ordinance

The Board approved introduction of an amendment to the County’s Vicious Dog Ordinance, implementing provisions of the California Food & Agricultural Code. Approval of the amendment will occur after the final reading of the Ordinance at our July 17 Board meeting.

The amendment will provide OC Animal Care the authority to impose dog ownership restrictions on owners of dogs that have been determined “Vicious.” This determination is carried out by OC Animal Care through its due process procedures. This ordinance will apply to owners of Vicious Dogs, who repeatedly and willfully refuse to comply with imposed safety restrictions or maintain their animals in a manner that protects the public.

This provision, authorized by State Law, will be useful in such situations where all other means of protecting the public’s safety have been exhausted, especially given that an owner of a Vicious Dog, who is required to release their animal to OC Animal, can immediately obtain another dog to continue to terrorize their neighborhood.

Staff will be bringing forward additional modifications to the ordinance in the coming months that will further clarify the definition of a Potentially Dangerous and/or Vicious Dog as well as how investigations are conducted, while providing legally required and necessary due process.

For more information, please click here.

California Waste Tire Program

The Board approved a Grant Agreement with the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) for the California Waste Tire Program.

In 1996, California created a program to create and promote a market for recycled tires and develop alternatives to disposal at landfills and illegal disposal. Beginning last year, the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health Division has been conducting a component of this program through a grant from the California Waste Tire Recycling Management Program.

OC Environmental Health’s part in this effort is to help businesses comply with waste tire regulations and ensure that waste tires are being kept within the collection and management/recycling stream.

Within the first year of the program, out of the nearly 800 facilities inspected, 120 potential problems (known as “Areas of Concern”) were resolved with assistance from Environmental Health, numerous violations that may have led to further issues were abated, one illegal tire dump containing over 150 tires was found and cleaned up, and only one unpermitted tire business with over 3,000 waste tires was referred to the State for further enforcement.

The benefits of having this program in Orange County is that local tire related businesses now have a point of contact to help them navigate California waste tire regulations and avoid any enforcement follow up from the State. Long term benefits also include saving precious landfill space and avoiding other possible health and environmental risks from illegally disposed of tires.

For additional information about this program (including frequently asked questions for businesses) or to report tire dumping or suspect activity involving waste tires, please visit the Waste Tire Program website or call Environmental Health at (714) 433-6249. For more information, please click here.


Audible Warning System Testing in San Clemente

The City of San Clemente has expressed an ongoing interest in pursuing efforts to maintain safety along its coastal trail rail crossings while reducing or eliminating the sounding of train horns on behalf of nearby residents.

Since the implementation of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) Rail-Highway Grade Crossing Safety Enhancement Program, the City established a Quiet Zone (QZ) at the North Beach Crossing – the only federally eligible crossing in the City. The pedestrian crossings along the trail were not part of this program because they are not currently eligible for a federal QZ.

The City desires to further lessen noise impacts to residents and asked OCTA to work with them on options for a less impactful alternative to the regular locomotive-mounted horns. An Audible Warning System (AWS), a variation of the “Wayside Horn,” has been presented as an alternative allowed by the Federal Railroad Administration at railroad/highway crossings.

Last week, City staff, OCTA staff and the consultant team were onsite to test prototype vessels for the AWS. After testing, both proposed prototypes appear to be viable alternatives and no further site testing will be required. The noise levels as detected on the bluffs from the two prototypes were lower than both the ambient noise and the train (even with no horns sounding); and the sound meets the program standards/goals.

Over the next couple of months, OCTA will work with its consultant team to develop the construction documents necessary to allow this project to be put out to bid later this fall. The project is expected to cost roughly $4 million and is subject to OCTA Board approval.

For more information, please click here.

Santa Ana/Garden Grove Fixed-Guideway Project Update

On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors discussed the Santa Ana/Garden Grove fixed-guideway project, with staff providing an update on potential project alternatives and funding options.

Two project routes being considered begin with a connection to the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and would be funded by either federal or local dollars. A long-term vision for the project would have the Santa Ana/Garden Grove fixed-guideway stretch along Harbor Boulevard and ultimately connect with Anaheim's proposed fixed-guideway.

The OCTA Board will have additional discussion next month on the project and alternatives. The locally preferred alternative is scheduled to be chosen by the Santa Ana and Garden Grove City Councils in the fall.

The Santa Ana/Garden Grove fixed-guideway project is part of Measure M2 Project S, known as Transit Extensions to Metrolink. The program provides funding for cities to build rapid-transit extensions from Metrolink stations to major employment, residential and activity centers. The goal of the program is to improve transit access to Metrolink stations.

To view the PowerPoint presentation, please click here.


John Wayne Airport: Fourth of July Holiday Travel Tips

John Wayne Airport (JWA) anticipates a busier-than-normal travel period from Friday, June 29 through Sunday, July 8 during the Fourth of July holiday. Visitors to JWA during this time should be aware of ongoing construction at the Airport and adhere to all posted speed limits to ensure a safe holiday weekend. Passengers are reminded that fireworks are prohibited and should be left at home.

A list of additional tips and prohibited items can be found here. For more information, please click here.


OC Dana Point Harbor: Fourth of July Parking and Traffic

The Fourth of July will soon be here, along with thousands of locals and visitors, as well as the associated parking and traffic management challenges.

OC Dana Point Harbor continues to actively engage the community, local police services and employees in proactively addressing potential issues and will be implementing specific parking management elements similar to last year’s holiday.

Around 7:30 PM, Police Services will be closing all entrances to the Harbor along Del Prado and PCH. During the closure, no vehicles will be allowed into the Harbor except for public transportation and emergency vehicles. The closure will remain in effect until the Harbor is emptied after the fireworks show (approximately 10:30 PM). Those wishing to come to the Harbor should make arrangements to arrive well ahead of the planned closure.

To view the notice sent by Dana Point Police Services, or for more information, please click here. If you have any questions regarding the notice from Dana Point Police Services, please contact Deputy Brett Gardner during business hours at (949) 248-3517 or blgardner@ocsd.org.

For more information, please click here.


The Spirit of Democracy Art Competition

The Orange County Registrar of Voters invites all Orange County residents to enter the 2012 Spirit of Democracy Art Competition. The competition is open to all Orange County residents, with winning entries exhibited at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana.

A jury panel of distinguished members from the arts community will select First, Second, and Third Place winners, in addition to Honorable Mention prizes, in each of the following categories for entries that best depict the theme of the competition:
  • Category I: Grades 1 – 6
  • Category II: Grades 7 – 12
  • Category II: Grades 7 – 12
A Grand Prize winner will be awarded to the overall winning entry. For more information, please click here.


Pet Fair 2012

OC Animal Care is kicking off summer with their biggest event of the year – Pet Fair 2012! The event on Saturday, June 30, will feature hundreds of adorable animals available for adoption, as well as pet-friendly vendors and rescue organizations, an adoptable-dog parade, and lots of food & fun!

For more information, please click here.


South County Swimmer makes 2012 US Olympic Team

Congratulations to Mission Viejo Nadador Chloe Sutton for securing a spot on the US Olympic Team in the 400 Freestyle! Chloe is on her way to London for the 2012 Olympic Games! With Chloe's performance this week, Mission Viejo has successfully placed at least one athlete on every US Olympic Team since 1976. Way to go Chloe! Go Mission Viejo and GO USA!

For more information, please click here.


Aliso Viejo: Independence Day Celebration

Mark your calendars for a spectacular Independence Day celebration in Aliso Viejo the whole family will enjoy! The July 4 bash is from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM at Grand Park in Aliso Viejo Town Center. For more information, please call (949) 243-7747 or click here.

Dana Point: July 4 Fireworks Extravaganza

Don't miss one of South County's best aerial fireworks displays in the City of Dana Point! The FREE fireworks show, off a barge outside Dana Point Harbor, begins at 9:00 PM. For more information, please click here and here.

Laguna Hills: 4th of July Celebration

Come celebrate America’s birthday at the City of Laguna Hills’ annual Fourth of July Celebration! Bring your family and friends to enjoy the fun, food and festivities beginning at 4:00 PM! For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Fourth of July Concert

Come take advantage of the FREE and popular Laguna Niguel Summer Concert at Crown Valley Community Park, beginning at 6:00 PM! After the concert, walk to Laguna Niguel Regional Park for the fireworks display at 9:00 PM. FREE shuttle service will be available 4:30 PM – 10:30 PM from the City Hall Parking Lot at 30111 Crown Valley Parkway. For more information, please click here and here.

Lake Forest: 4th of July Parade

It's time once again to celebrate our great country's independence, as the City of Lake Forest proudly presents its 21st annual 4th of July Parade. The Parade starts at 10:00 AM at the corner of Toledo Way and Ridge Route (in front of El Toro High School). For more information, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo: 4th of July Street Faire & Fireworks

The City of Mission Viejo invites you to celebrate our nation’s independence by attending the 4th of July Street Faire and Fireworks Spectacular on Olympiad Road between Marguerite Parkway and Melinda Road. The July 4 extravaganza takes place from noon to 9:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: Independence Day Celebration

On July 4, the City of San Clemente will host an Independence Day celebration for the community with a spectacular fireworks display from the Municipal Pier at 9:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: July 4th Spectacular

The City of San Juan Capistrano is gearing up for its spectacular July 4th Spectacular. The celebration is from 3:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the San Juan Capistrano Sports Park, 25925 Camino del Avion. For more information, please click here.

South County: OCPL Summer Events

During the summer months, OC Public Libraries (OCPL) makes a special effort to offer fun, free programs for the whole family. To view a list of July library events in the Fifth District, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Gave a County Update on Legislative Connection at Laguna Woods TV6.
  • Chaired the South County Mayors’ Transportation Roundtable, joined by my Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board colleagues, Lake Forest Councilman Peter Herzog and Laguna Niguel Mayor Paul Glaab.
  • Toured the Laguna Niguel Branch Library to view the progress of the Expansion Project.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Col. Russ Schleeh of Mission Viejo.
My office also:
  • Presented a certificate of recognition to Bill Lawson upon his retirement from the Ladera Ranch Civic Council.
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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