Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
Ooctober 26, 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

Click here to subscribe.

Click here to unsubscribe

Volume 6 Issue 42

Drug and Alcohol Programs

The Board approved increases to fees charged by the Health Care Agency (HCA) to those individuals who are required to complete alcohol and drug programs as part of their sentence. The County is required to by the State to allow first time alcohol and drug abusers the opportunity to complete rehabilitation programs in lieu of incarceration.

The County collects an administrative fee to ensure all the programs are providing quality services to our residents. All costs associated with these programs are paid by the defendants enrolled, based on their ability to pay.

As with many State programs, the County is put in a very difficult position. We are required to provide this service by the State; however, we are not provided funding to do so.

This situation approaches what is commonly called “an unfunded mandate.” Therefore, it is up to HCA to develop a fee structure that is fair and ensures cost recovery, without adding additional burden to this population of individuals already facing personal and financial difficulty.

This is an example where my commitment to the taxpayers to keep fees low and support financial stability is tested. At my request, staff will be sending a letter to the State, requesting that, if they continue to require us to provide these services, they must provide additional performance metrics to determine the success rate and ultimate future of these programs.

For more information, please click here and here.

Gang Reduction Programs

For the past few years, the Board had used redevelopment dollars to fund a Neighborhood Development and Preservation Program. The purpose of the program was to address crime and blight throughout designated areas of the County.

The funding resulted in an initiative that implemented a four-pronged approach to effectively address the gang issues in these communities, including:
  • GRIP (Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership Program)
  • Gang Injunctions
  • TARGET (Tri-Agency Resource/Gang Enforcement Team); and
  • The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET)
The programs have demonstrated great success in preventing crime and blight. Unfortunately, as part of the dissolution of redevelopment funds, the State rejected the continued use of redevelopment dollars for these programs.

In order to continue funding the programs for the remainder of the year, it is necessary for the Board to approve an adjustment to the FY 2012-2013 allowing the use of Proposition 172 dollars. The amount of funding required is 3.8 million.

At Tuesday’s Board meeting, my colleagues and I heard a presentation on these very worthwhile programs. We will consider the $3.8 million funding request during the First Quarter Budget Report, which will be adopted in November.

Mortgage Credit Certificate Program

The Board adopted a resolution authorizing the establishment of the 2012 Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program. The MCC Program uses a federal income tax credit to assist first-time home buyers in qualifying for home mortgages.

With a mortgage credit certificate, the qualified, first-time home buyer becomes eligible to use a portion of the annual interest paid on the mortgage loan as a special tax credit. The credit amount on the MCC is a maximum of 20% multiplied by the annual mortgage interest paid.

The MCC credit reduces the federal income tax liability of the qualified home buyer, resulting in an increase in the home buyer's net spendable earnings. Increased buyer income results in increased buyer capacity to qualify for, and pay, a mortgage loan.

The cost associated with processing MCC Program loans is payable from participating lenders' fees. The County receives $100 per loan to offset expenses that may be incurred in the administration of the MCC Program. There is no impact on the County’s General Fund.

For more information, please click here.

Second Amendment to Lease for Office Space in Aliso Viejo

The Board approved the Second Amendment to Lease Agreement for 13,523 square feet of office space in the City of Aliso Viejo to provide Adult Mental Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, and Mental Health Services Act programs for the surrounding communities, as this clinic is conveniently located in South County, between the cities of Laguna Hills and Aliso Viejo.

For more information, please click here.

2012 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report

The Board was presented the 2012 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report.

Since 1993, the Orange County Children's Partnership (OCCP) has championed the health, education, safety, and economic stability of children and families in Orange County by advancing more responsive services that effectively meet their needs.

To that end, OCCP sponsors the Annual Report on the Conditions of Children in Orange County, which looks at indicators across four main areas, including:
  • Health
  • Education
  • Economic Well-Being
  • Safe Homes and Communities
This year, the Report's special section focuses on community collaborations that improve the well-being of children and families by establishing partnerships to ensure that services are not duplicated and resources are utilized effectively.

To view the 2012 Conditions of Children in Orange County Report, or for more information, please click here.

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

The Board unanimously supported a resolution declaring November as “Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month in Orange County. The County is proud to join the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and their Orange County partners in supporting those patients currently battling pancreatic cancer, as well as the loved ones of those who have lost the battle.

For more information about pancreatic cancer and how you can help in the efforts to develop a cure, please visit the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s website. For a link to the Boards resolution, please click here.


Alternative Selected For I-405 Improvement Project

On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors selected a Locally Preferred Alternative for the Interstate 405 (I-405) Improvement Project. The Board voted to support Alternative 1, choosing to add one general-purpose lane in each direction on the freeway between Euclid Street and I-605.

The project has taken nearly 10 years of planning to date, with significant input from local and regional stakeholders.

The Board was asked to consider three different alternatives. In addition to Alternative 1, described above, Alternative 2 would have added two general purpose lanes in each direction between Euclid Street and I-605. There would be a $100 million funding gap if this Alternative was chosen.

Alternative 3 was to add one general purpose lane and one High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane to be combined with the existing HOV (carpool) lane to create a two-lane toll facility in both directions from the SR-73 to the county’s northern border. This Alternative would require bonding for the toll facility and would only allow cars with three or more people to drive free or at a reduced rate during peak hours. The current HOV standard of 2+ people per car driving free would have been eliminated.

At the meeting, the Board voted on all three alternatives, as well as variations of the alternatives, and ultimately passed Alternative 1 with a 12-4 vote.

The implementation of Alternative 1 will help to reduce congestion and increase mobility while minimizing environmental impacts and right-of-way acquisitions. The $1.3 billion project will be funded through Measure M2, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

OCTA's selection of the locally preferred alternative will be forwarded to Caltrans for final review and approval in early 2013. The final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is due for completion in spring 2013, and design and construction is scheduled for 2015 – 2019.

For more information, please click here.

OCTA Board Considers Bus Fare Increase

On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors held a public hearing regarding the proposed implementation of a 25 percent bus fare increase. The increase is being proposed in order to address rising costs and service levels and to comply with regulations. Approximately 30 members of the public addressed the board during a public hearing.

Nearly half of the $267 million bus operations budget is funded by the state. To remain eligible for those dollars, OCTA is required to maintain a 20 percent farebox recovery ratio. This means OCTA must collect from passengers a minimum of 20 cents for every dollar spent on operating the service. If bus fares are not increased, OCTA could fall below this mark, which could jeopardize funding.

If the increase is approved, it is scheduled to go into effect in February. Based on results from the 2005 and 2009 adjustments, the 25 percent increase would provide $6.4 million in additional fare revenue.

The OCTA Board is scheduled to vote on the increase at our November 26 meeting.

Board Receives Results From Metrolink Surveys

To encourage ridership, expand marketing outreach and generate customer feedback, OCTA recently conducted two marketing research surveys.

The Metrolink Customer Satisfaction Survey assessed existing Metrolink riders that use services in Orange County. This survey was carried out onboard and was intended to measure overall satisfaction and identify possible service improvements.

The Metrolink Market Study was given online and over the phone and studied non-users who are residents of Orange County. This study measured awareness and identified perceived barriers to riding Metrolink.

The Metrolink Customer Satisfaction Survey was conducted to gather information on how existing customers use and perceive the service. OCTA will use the feedback given to improve Metrolink service in hopes of attracting new riders. In addition to customer satisfaction, trip purposes, travel characteristics, demographics, and awareness levels were also assessed.

The survey findings included:
  • 70 percent of customers found taking the Metrolink more relaxing and less stressful than driving.

  • 46 percent felt it was a better value and costs less than driving.

  • 58 percent reported that if trains were regularly available, their destination of choice would be San Diego.
The primary goal of the Metrolink Market Study was to profile the potential market among Orange County residents that have not experienced riding Metrolink. This study will help OCTA better understand the travel patterns of residents, their awareness and perceptions of Metrolink, and the various factors that shape their interest in riding Metrolink.

OCTA, Caltrans Plan I-5 South County Improvements Update

Carpool lanes on Interstate 5 (I-5) that currently end in San Juan Capistrano will extend south of Avenida Pico in San Clemente, as part of a $275 million project by the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

The congested Avenida Pico interchange in San Clemente will also be rebuilt as part of the project, which is funded by Measure M, a half-cent sales tax approved by Orange County voters for transportation projects.

Construction to build the carpool lanes in both directions will begin in fall 2013. One new soundwall is planned, along Shorecliffs Golf Course on the west side of the freeway north of Avenida Vaquero. The final phase of the project, rebuilding the interchange, is expected to begin in 2014 and finish in spring 2017.

When finished, the portion of Avenida Pico under the freeway will expand to nine lanes. The lanes include two through lanes headed west and three through lanes headed east, as well as two left turn lanes to enter the northbound freeway and two left turn lanes to enter the southbound freeway. New bicycle lanes will also be added to Avenida Pico in both directions beneath the freeway and through the project area.

For more information, please click here and here.


Olympic Spirit to be Honored by Board of Supervisors

During our October 30 Board meeting, we will honor the Olympians of the 2012 Summer Games who live and train in Orange County, as well as organizations and individuals that support their Olympic endeavors,. They have all been invited.

For more information, please click here.


Have a Safe Halloween

Halloween is a fun-filled, spooky and sweet holiday for children. However, Halloween can also be a potentially dangerous event. Danger can be avoided with awareness and forethought.

For important tips to keep in mind for children to have a safe Halloween, please click here and here.

"Behind the Orange Curtain" in South County

"Behind the Orange Curtain," an award-winning documentary that discusses the abuse of prescription drugs among Orange County’s youth, will air in the theater at San Juan Hills High School on Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 PM.

The 55-minute film will be followed by a question-and-answer period with parents who have lost children to overdoses, as well as law enforcement and medical experts. The event is FREE.

For more information about the movie, please click here. To view a trailer for the film, please click here. For more information, please click here and here.


FREE Seasonal Flu Vaccinations

In South County, the Aliso Viejo Family Resource Center is teaming up with Mission Hospital to host a FREE Flu Shot Clinic for folks without health insurance on Thursday, November 1. The clinic is from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Iglesia Park Community Center, 24671 Via Iglesia, in Aliso Viejo.

The flu vaccine is available for people ages 9 and older. Parents must accompany kids under 18. No appointments are necessary. For more information, please call the Mission Hospital Health Line at (949) 364-1770.


Maddie James Seaside Learning Center

The Ocean Institute in Dana Point Harbor is holding a public information meeting about their upcoming construction of the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center. The meeting will be held October 27 in the Samueli Conference Center from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

For more information, please click here.


Girls Soccer Team Citizens of the Year

The 2012 Aliso Niguel Girls Soccer Team was honored as the City of Aliso Viejo's Citizens of the Year by Mayor Donald Garcia during the State of the City/Founder's Day event October 13.

The team made history in Aliso Viejo and the country! The Aliso Niguel Girls Soccer Team was ranked No. 1 in the country, after clinching the CIF Southern Regional Division I championship over the top-ranked team in the nation.

For more information, please click here.

Dana Point Chamber Chairman Receives Leadership Award

Congratulations to Dana Point Chamber of Commerce Chair Russell Kerr upon being awarded the District 5320 Award for Leadership at the 9th Annual Business Rotarian of the Year Award Luncheon. Russell was selected from 24 other finalists representing the 46 Rotary Clubs and 2,000+ members of District 5320 based in Orange and Southeast Los Angeles counties.

To view a photo, please click here.


OC Animal Care: MVP Adoption Event

Please join OC Animal Care in celebrating the great varieties of pets they have during their Many Varieties of Pets (MVP) Adoption Event on Saturday, October 27, where you’ll have a chance to interact with some of their most popular breeds and receive BIG adoption discounts all day!

For more information, please click here.

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Halloween is a favorite for many children and adults, but it can also be frightening and even dangerous for animals. With a little caution and common sense, Halloween can be a fun time for kids and pets alike.

For tips to help keep our furry friends safe and sound this Halloween season, please click here.


Halloween Zoo-tacular

OC Parks presents the anticipated annual Halloween Zoo-tacular at the OC Zoo in Irvine Regional Park on Saturday, October 27 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

It is FREE to attend the Halloween Zoo-tacular with paid zoo admission. The event is open to children of all ages, and the first 100 children that visit the OC Zoo in costume October 27 will receive a FREE special gift.

For more information, please click here.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: Beginning Fitness Hike

Fall is a great time to start a new fitness routine, starting with an easy 2-mile hike in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park over moderate terrain to Barbara’s Lake and back.

Join a Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer and registered dietitian to learn about fitness and nutrition during this 1.5-hour hike on Wednesday, October 31, beginning at 9:00 AM.

For more information, please click here.


Laguna Niguel: Haunted Trails

The City of Laguna Niguel invites you to Crown Valley Community Park to take a jaunt through Haunted Trails 2012. This VERY SCARY event runs through Saturday, October 27 and is not recommended for children under 8 years of age. For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: Halloween Half Marathon 5K/10K & 1K Kids Run

Salt Creek Beach Park in Dana Point will be a spooktacular venue for the Halloween Half Marathon 5K/10K & 1K Kids Run. All participants are invited to run in costume and enjoy the Halloween related activities on Saturday, October 27 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For more information, please click here and here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Hosted my 5th annual South County Disaster Preparedness Expo in the City of Mission Vejo. To see photos of the event, please click here.
  • Attended the Orange County Children's Partnership 30-year anniversary celebration hosted by Supervisor Jane Nguyen.
  • Participated in the IT Ad Hoc Committee meeting.
  • Attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point Harbor.
  • Attended a Medicare Marketplace event in Laguna Woods Village.
  • Delivered a County Update at a meeting of the Aliso Viejo Republican Women, Federated.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory Dealva “Dee” Hedborg of San Clemente.
My office also:
  • The South Orange County Economic Coalition’s Mobility Summit.
  • Presented a certificate of recognition at the one-year anniversary celebration of the Dorothy Visser Senior Center in San Clemente.
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!