Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
March 2, 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 8

Mandatory Minimum Pension Enrollment

The Board considered placing an initiative on the June ballot that would make pension enrollment at the lowest pension tier a requirement for future individuals elected or appointed to the County of Orange Board of Supervisors.

Choosing this lower pension tier is already a voluntary option, and opting out of a pension entirely, as I did, is also currently an option. Therefore, I did not see the need to have the voters force elected officials into a pension they can currently opt out of and voted against forced pensions.

As this item was approved by the Board on a 3-2 vote, you will have an opportunity to voice your own opinion when you vote in the June primary.

Ballot Measure: Lifetime Maximum for Supervisor Terms

The Board considered a proposal by Supervisor Moorlach to place a measure on the ballot that would change the County’s term limits for members of the Board of Supervisors. Current law limits an individual to serving two consecutive 4-year terms; however, there is no limit to the number of terms a person can serve non-consecutively.

Under Supervisor Moorlach’s proposal, a person would have a lifetime limit of three 4-year terms; however, they would be allowed to serve the three terms consecutively. Supervisor Moorlach’s proposal failed with a 2-3 vote. I was part of the majority that voted against his proposal.

While I applaud Supervisor Moorlach for bringing this item forward for discussion, I believe more feedback from the public regarding changes to Board of Supervisors term limits is need before placing a specific proposal or proposals on the ballot. I welcome your input on this matter, particularly on the issue of the lifetime ban.

For more information, please click here.

2011 Operation Stonegarden Grant Funding

The Board approved acceptance of $540,665 in Operation Stonegarden Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The grant funding is intended to enhance cooperation and coordination between Federal, State and local law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure U.S. borders along routes of ingress from international borders, including travel corridors in states bordering Mexico and Canada, as well as states and territories with international water borders.

The Sheriff’s Department will use the grant to fund special operations in the Harbor Patrol and Air Support bureaus, including helicopter flight costs, boat fuel and maintenance costs, overtime and equipment.

For more information, please click here.

OC Dana Point Harbor: Contract for A/E Services

The Board approved an architect/engineering (A/E) agreement with MVE Institutional, Inc. for completion of the design and permitting for the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization project. The agreement is for a six-year term at a cost of approximately $7.5 million.

MVE Institutional will be developing the A/E plans and specifications that will be used for construction of the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan Day Use Commercial and Marine Services Area - Planning Areas 1 and 2. In addition to providing the design work, MVE will also be providing technical support as the County obtains the necessary permits for the construction project.

For more information and to view the PowerPoint presentation by the Dana Point Harbor Department, please click here.

Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones

This week, the Board adopted a newly updated Fire Hazard Map for the unincorporated Local Responsibility Areas (LRA). The Board’s action followed a lengthy review process conducted by the Orange County Fire Authority in consultation with local stakeholder groups.

The initial fire hazard map for the County was generated in 1996. The County has seen dramatic growth and urbanization since that time, which significantly reduced the “wildland areas” designated as very high fire hazard areas. Fire Hazard Maps are generated by a State Agency known as Calfire and they identify areas subject to potential impacts from wildfires.

New residential or commercial construction projects located in “very high fire hazard” designations are subject to more rigorous building code requirements. Existing homes and businesses undergoing renovation or expansion are not required to be upgraded to the higher code standards.

Certain remote properties in our County are located in the State Responsibility Area (SRA) and are subject to separate maps issued by Calfire. For more information and to view the adopted LRA Map, please click here and here.

Quitclaim Deed from City of Irvine

In March 2003, the Board approved a Property Tax Transfer and Pre-Annexation Agreement between the City of Irvine, Irvine Redevelopment Agency, and County of Orange for the annexation and re-use of the former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The pre-annexation agreement includes, among other things, that the City provide the County with 100 contiguous acres in the southwest corner of the Base.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Board approved and accepted the Quitclaim Deed from the City of Irvine that will transfer ownership of 60 acres, consisting of three separate parcels that are part of the 100 contiguous acres the County is to receive in accordance with the Pre-Annexation Agreement and re-use of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro Base.

The County is currently reviewing potential re-uses for this property, with the expectation of moving forward with the development process later this year. For more information and to view the location of the 60 acres, please click here.

Fifth District Goals for 2012

At this week’s Board meeting, each Supervisor was requested by the Chair to make a presentation on goals for 2012 that are specific to their respective district. 2011 was a busy year for the Fifth District and we plan to continue that momentum forward into 2012.

To view the 2012 Goals for the Fifth District that I reported to the Board, please click here.

2013 Federal Transportation Improvements

The Board adopted the 2013 Federal Transportation Improvement Program (FTIP) for Federal Fiscal Years 2012-13 to 2017-18. This action allows the County to continue receiving state and federal funding for road related projects to improve transportation circulation and relieve traffic congestion.

The following is a list of County projects that are included in the current and updated FTIP:
  1. Antonio Parkway Widening from 4 to 6 lanes between the Ladera Planned Community and 900 feet south of Ortega Highway. (Currently Under Construction)
  2. Cow Camp Road from Antonio Parkway to the Foothill Transportation Corridor (FTC) Phase 1 and from the FTC to Ortega Highway. (Currently in Design Phase)
  3. Alton Parkway Extension (Currently Under Construction)
  4. La Pata Avenue Widening and Extension from Ortega Highway to Calle Saluda/San Clemente. (Currently in Design Phase)
  5. Ortega Highway Widening from the County/City of San Juan Capistrano boundary to 2,000 feet east of Antonio Parkway. (Completed)
San Clemente Library Expansion Project

On October 4, 2011, the Board approved a rent-free 25-year lease for the San Clemente Library. The lease contains an "Agreement for the Construction and Funding of the Expansion of the San Clemente Library," which provides direction for the County to solicit and hire an Architect/Engineer (A/E) to design plans and specifications for the expansion and remodel of the San Clemente Library.

To that end, an evaluation panel consisting of staff members from the City of San Clemente and OC Community Resources recommended, and the Board of Supervisors approved, the selection of Kishimoto Architects, Inc., as the primary A/E firm and Thirtieth Street Architects, Inc., as the alternate A/E firm to design plans and specifications for the San Clemente Library Expansion Project.

Laguna Canyon Foundation Donation

Laguna Canyon Foundation continues to provide outstanding support to the parks in the South Coast Wilderness Area, including Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Through programs for kids and adults, to raising funds to support park improvements and equipment, the Laguna Canyon Foundation has been one of OC Parks’ most steadfast support organizations.

At this week’s meeting, the Board was pleased to accept the donation of a tractor that will support parks in the South Coast Wilderness Area, as well as others, including Laguna Niguel Regional Park.

The Foundation worked with park staff to identify needs for equipment and was able to leverage grants from other organizations to realize the donation of a much-needed and very valuable piece of equipment. The new tractor will support trail and other entryway improvements, as well as the outstanding native plant nursery which supports our wilderness parks.

In addition to expressing my thanks to the Laguna Canyon Foundation, I also want to thank the Gimbel Foundation, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) and the Massen Green Foundation for their support of the responsible stewardship of our special places here in Orange County. We are fortunate to not only have preserved and protected these precious open space lands, but also to have strong community engagement in their ongoing stewardship.

To view a photo of the tractor, please click here. For information about Laguna Canyon Foundation, click here.

Orange County Veterans Advisory Council

The Veterans Advisory Council advises the Board of Supervisors on issues of importance to veterans and their dependents; provides a source of liaison and communication with various groups regarding veterans’ issues; and promotes veteran related events and activities within the County.

To that end, the Board unanimously supported my nomination of Maurice Hansen of Dana Point to serve as my Fifth District representative on the Orange County Veterans Advisory Council. I commend Maurice for his commitment to public service on behalf of his fellow veterans.


Fifth Annual South County Senior Summit

I’m pleased to announce I will be hosting our fifth annual South County Senior Summit on Friday, March 23 in Laguna Woods Village, Clubhouse 3. Joining me in presenting this enormously popular annual event is the Orange County Office on Aging, Laguna Woods Village, and Age Well Senior Services. The theme for the 2012 Senior Summit is “Mind, Body, and Spirit: Embracing the Positive in Aging.

Back by popular demand is Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of Geriatrics, UCI School of Medicine. Our other distinguished speakers include Dr. Debra Rose, Director, Center for Successful Aging, Cal State Fullerton; Dr. Kerry Burnight, Director, Elder Abuse Forensic Center, UCI School of Medicine; Dr. Marilyn Ditty, Chief Executive Officer, Age Well Senior Services; Karen Roper, Director, OC Community Services; and Dr. Trudi Carter, Medical Director, CalOptima.

The event will begin at 8:00 AM with a complimentary continental breakfast for all attendees. While at the Summit, guests will be treated to an array of vendor booths, featuring important information and many free giveaways. In addition, audience members will have the opportunity to win a number of fabulous prizes during the program, as well as a complimentary lunch to be served at the conclusion of the event.

As always, the South County Senior Summit is an outstanding opportunity for older adults to become better acquainted with the many programs and services available to them through the County of Orange. To that end, I’d like to thank our generous title sponsor – CalOptima.

This year’s Senior Summit is sure to be the best yet and seats are going fast, so don’t delay, reserve your place today! For authorized entry into Laguna Woods Village, RSVPs must be received by March 16. For more information and to RSVP, please call the Office on Aging at (800) 510-2020.

To download the invitation, please click here.

Update: San Clemente Officer Involved Shooting

This week, I met with Steve Connolly, Director of the Office of Independent Review (OIR), to receive an update on the progress being made to investigate the recent deputy involved shooting in San Clemente. The OIR was created by the Board of Supervisors in 2008 to evaluate such incidents with a critical eye.

As you may know, the District Attorney’s (DA) office is currently investigating this incident, as the DA is responsible for the investigation of all deaths arising from or related to contact with County law enforcement personnel. Concurrently, the Sheriff’s Department is conducting its own review of the incident and assessing its internal procedures.

OIR Director Connolly met with me regarding the status of the investigation processes. Due to the complexity and significance, these types of investigations routinely take several weeks or even months. However, I have been assured that this is a priority investigation and is getting the attention it deserves.


Crown Valley Signal Synchronization Project Moves Ahead

The Crown Valley Signal Synchronization Project moved one step closer to implementation this week, when the Board of Supervisors approved a Cooperative Agreement with the cities of Mission Viejo, Laguna Niguel and Dana Point as well as the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the State of California.

As part of OCTA’s Renewed Measure M Regional Traffic Signal Synchronization Program (RTSSP), the Crown Valley Signal Synchronization Project will synchronize thirty traffic signals, spanning over approximately nine miles and crossing five jurisdictional boundaries, including the above referenced cities, the County and Caltrans. Four of the traffic signals are located within the County's jurisdictional boundary in Ladera Ranch at the intersections of Antonio Parkway, Cecil Pasture Road, O'Neill Drive, and Sienna Parkway.

The total cost of the project is $459,000, with 80 percent being funded by OCTA through the Measure M2 RTSSP grant program and 20 percent funded by the local agencies. $34,000 has been allocated for the unincorporated areas, with the County's required 20 percent local match being $6,800.

Work on the project is expected to begin May 2012 and full implementation is scheduled for completion by spring 2013, followed by an additional two years of monitoring.

Measure M2 Workshop Held for OCTA Board Members

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors this week participated in a Measure M2 Workshop. Staff provided a review of the overall status of the Measure M2 Program, including an updated funding outlook. In addition, the Board discussed opportunities to expedite freeway program delivery.

Based on the discussion and feedback, staff will return with specific recommendations to the Board at a future meeting.

To view the PowerPoint presentation provided to the Board, please click here.

OCTA Rail Crossing Project Wins Engineering Award

Members of the Orange County Engineering Council (OCEC), American Council of Engineers Companies (ACEC) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) presented OCTA officials with awards for its rail crossings project at a ceremony last week.

ACEC members awarded this project with an Orange County Chapter Award of Excellence, and the ASCE recognized this program as a Project of Merit. Completed in January, the two-year, $93-million project involved making safety upgrades to 52 rail crossings throughout Orange County.

With better signage, signals and gates installed at the crossings, the enhanced safety features allow communities along the railroad corridor to implement quiet zones, which prevent trains from sounding their horns except in the event of an emergency.

OCTA/Metrolink Team Up with Dana Point Festival of Whales

OCTA and Metrolink invite passengers to the 41st annual Festival of Whales in Dana Point, an occasion celebrating the migration of the California Gray Whales to Mexico.

This Saturday morning, March 3, the first 100 people to arrive at Orange Metrolink station will receive free roundtrip Metrolink tickets.

OCTA’s outreach team also will be on hand to giveaway free prizes and Ruby’s Diner will provide free food to all passengers at the station. The band “Headshine” will perform at the station as part of the event.

Please visit the event page for train and bus schedules and special offers from local businesses.


John Wayne Airport Releases Passenger Survey Results

John Wayne Airport has announced the results of its most recent passenger survey, conducted in 2011. The biannual survey is conducted to measure traveler preferences and satisfaction.

The 2011 Passenger Survey confirmed that John Wayne Airport continued to earn very high approval ratings from travelers, both visitors and residents alike. Based on responses from both the Intercept (terminal) and Telephone surveys, findings include:
  • Ninety-five percent of Telephone survey respondents (Orange County residents) and 93% of Intercept respondents feel that "JWA provides excellent travel services and is a great asset to Orange County";
  • Ninety-five percent of Telephone survey respondents and 99% of Intercept respondents gave the Airport either an "A" or "B" for overall satisfaction;
  • Travelers continue to give JWA high marks for cleanliness of the terminal and parking structures and a feeling of safety and security within the terminal;
  • The percentage of Intercept travelers reporting leisure/pleasure as the purpose of their trip decreased from 56% in 2009 to 47% in 2011. Business travel, as the purpose for travel was reported by 46% percent of Intercept respondents traveling in 2011, compared with 37% in 2009.
I am pleased the 2011 survey confirms that passengers are satisfied with the level of service provided at John Wayne Airport.

To view the survey in its entirety, click here.


Special Saturday Passport Day

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department will host a special Saturday “Passport Day” on Saturday, March 10, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, to accommodate travelers who must present passports to enter or re-enter the United States.

Reservations are recommended due to limited space. To save time, passport applications can be completed in advance online. As an added convenience, passport photos are available on the spot for $15.

For more information, please call (714) 834-2588 or click here.


Free Tax Assistance for Seniors

As reported in my newsletter last week, many sites in Orange County offer FREE tax preparation services for those over 60 years of age, with low to middle incomes. The Office on Aging has a comprehensive listing of these sites, including dates and times of operation. Most services will continue until April 15.

Please call the Information and Assistance Line at (800) 510-2020 or (714) 567-7500 and the friendly and caring specialists will connect you to the nearest location to meet your specific needs. For more information, please click here.


National Nutrition Month: Get Your Plate in Shape

March is National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme, “Get Your Plate in Shape,” spotlights MyPlate, a new eating guide that replaces the MyPyramid guide. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks of a healthy diet, as recommended by the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

To learn more about the Health Care Agency’s Nutrition Services, please click here.


Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program

The Wetland Recovery Project's (WRP) Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2012-2013 Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program is now posted on WRP's website. The Program provides grants of $1,000 to $30,000 for community-based restoration projects in coastal wetlands and watersheds in the southern California region.

Contained in the application guidelines are the criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals, and the schedule for review and approval of potential projects. The proposal due date for this year’s Community Wetland Restoration Grant Program is Monday, March 26.

Please contact Shawn Kelly at (805) 984-9531 or skelly@scwrp.org if you have any questions about the Program or application process. For more information, please click here and here.


Irvine: Mason Park Arts Festival

Join OC Parks and Mason Regional Park to celebrate the first-ever community Art Festival at the park on Saturday, March 10 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The event and parking are FREE and open to the public.

For more information, please click here.

Doheny State Beach Update

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has released its latest issue of DOHENY UPDATE to better inform the public about special events and current conditions at the State Park.

To view the DSBIA March newsletter, please click here.


Laguna Beach: Friday Flicks at the Forum

On Friday, March 2 at 7:00 PM, enjoy the concluding FREE film screening at the Festival of Arts Forum Theatre, as the Laguna Beach Arts Commission will feature the film “The Red Chapel.” For more information, please click here.

Dana Point: 41st Annual Festival of Whales

On the weekends of March 3-4 and 10-11, hundreds of California Gray Whales on their annual migration to Mexico will splash by the seaside community of Dana Point – the West Coast's premier location to meet and greet these incredible creatures during the 41st annual Dana Point Festival of Whales. For more information, please click here, here and here.

Mission Viejo: Timeless Melodies

Make plans for the Timeless Melodies program featuring the fabulous songs of the 20th century on Sunday, March 4, with music historian Larry Maurer at 7:00 PM in the Mission Viejo Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center. Poignant lyrics set to transcendent melodies will translate into a special evening. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Vista Hermosa Sports Park and San Clemente Aquatics Center in San Clemente.
  • Met with members of the Orange County Grand Jury to discuss Orange County transportation projects.
  • Met with representatives of CIGNA HealthCare regarding the South County Senior Summit.
  • Toured the Orangewood Children’s Home with Cal Winslow, CEO of Orangewood Homes Foundation, as well as Foundation Board members and Orangewood Children’s Home staff.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Lenore Rickert of Laguna Woods.
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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