Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 11, 2013

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 7 Issue 1

Busy Board Week

The first full week of the New Year was quite busy for the Board of Supervisors, as we held Board meetings on January 7 and 8.

On January 7, the Board met for the swearing-in ceremonies for Supervisors Janet Nguyen and Todd Spitzer. Supervisor Nguyen was re-elected to represent the 1st District. Supervisor Todd Spitzer was elected to replace Bill Campbell, as the 3rd District Supervisor.

At the ceremony, both Supervisors spoke about their goals for the County over the course of their terms. I look forward to working with each of my colleagues on efforts a to keep the County of Orange fiscally responsible and responsive to the needs of the people.

On January 8, the Board of Supervisors met for a brief period to elect the Board officers of Chairman and Vice Chairman. To that end, Supervisor Shawn Nelson was elected as Chairman, and I was elected as Vice Chair.

The Board also convened a closed session meeting to interview and discuss candidates that have applied for the CEO position. Our goal is to hire a new CEO by March of this year.


Toll Road Transponder Procurement

Both the Foothill Eastern and the San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) Boards of Directors approved the purchase of 44,000 new transponders. The purchase includes 4,000 self-declaration transponders, which can be used on the I-110 express lanes.

The purchase is in response to the increased demand for transponders from toll road commuters. By taking this action, the TCA Boards are improving services available to TCA customers.

Tesoro Extension Project Design-Build Contract

The Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) Board of Directors unanimously approved additional Phase I Preliminary Engineering Tasks for the Tesoro Extension.

You may recall that in October 2011, the Board authorized the development of engineering plans and environmental assessments for the Tesoro Extension. Due to environmental and financial work, some additional engineering design tasks have been identified.

The design changes will result in an overall lower total construction cost for the extension project. When completed, the Tesoro Extension will greatly improve mobility for the South County region.


South County Virtual Tour

The Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), of which I am a member, received a “Virtual Tour” presentation of South County. As the Supervisor for the Fifth District, I introduced the South County Virtual Tour, which was provided by LAFCO staff.

South County, which includes 11 cities primarily incorporated in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has been a principal growth area. It includes large, master-planned communities and growth is expected to continue over the next 20 years with the build-out of the Rancho Mission Viejo development, known as The Ranch Plan.

South County also includes several large unincorporated residential communities: Las Flores, Ladera Ranch, Coto de Caza and Wagon Wheel. Additionally, the undeveloped Rancho Mission Viejo area includes 23,000 acres. Currently, County and multiple special districts are responsible for service provision to these areas.

The Ranch Plan, which also includes 17,000 acres set aside as permanent open space, is currently scheduled to proceed with the first phase of development beginning this spring.

With 14,000 homes, The Ranch Plan may surpass the total existing population of the communities of Coto de Caza, Wagon Wheel, Ladera Ranch and Las Flores, which will ultimately result in an increase in demand for municipal services. To that end, governance structure options must be considered before the area becomes inhabited.


Candidates Sought for Three Vacant County Offices

The Board of Supervisors is seeking candidates for the offices of Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder and Public Administrator. Applications must be submitted before 12 Midnight on January 15.

Information about the positions, including job descriptions and a link to the on-line application, can be found on the County’s website.

For more information, please click here.

Orange County Grand Jury Applicants Sought

Orange County residents who want to make a difference in their community are encouraged to submit an application to serve on the 2013-2014 Orange County Grand Jury. The application deadline is January 18.

The 19 members of the Grand Jury are empowered to perform civil oversight of local government by reviewing and evaluating county and city agencies, schools, and special districts within Orange County. They attend tours and briefings to increase their knowledge of the workings of county agencies to help them assess potential problems. The Grand Jury also considers evidence for possible indictment of individuals in felony cases.

For more information, please click here.

2013 Point in Time Count and Survey of the Homeless

The County, in collaboration with OC Partnership and the Commission to End Homelessness, is preparing to conduct Orange County’s one-day “Point in Time Count and Survey of the Homeless” on the morning of Saturday, January 26.

The effort is to help ensure all of our homeless residents are counted so we can help be a part of a systems change needed to address this important regional issue.

We encourage our residents to consider how to support this important effort beyond the holiday-giving season to ensure people living in desperate circumstances are “counted” and that we as a community can help be a part of the solution.

For more information, please click here.


Home Heating Safety Emphasized During Cold Weather

Overnight temperatures in some areas of Orange County will dip below 40° this week, so Public Health officials are urging area residents to use caution when heating their home.

While Orange County enjoys moderate winters compared to other areas of the United States, the temperatures in our area this week will be colder than average.

Almost every winter, there are cases of people who are overcome by carbon monoxide gas after bringing a charcoal grill indoors or using other faulty heaters to provide heat. Every home should have a carbon monoxide detector, which is similar to a smoke detector.

With many areas reaching near freezing temperatures, area residents are also reminded to consider the needs of their pets for warm, dry shelter from the cold.

For more information, please click here.

Winter Holiday DUI Campaign: Final Report

The Winter Holiday Anti-DUI crackdown resulted in a significant number of DUI arrests from the sobriety checkpoints, special saturation patrols and routine patrols in Orange County’s “Avoid the 38 ” DUI Campaign.

From December 14 through January 1, officers representing 38 county law enforcement agencies arrested 971 individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Last year, 836 DUI arrests occurred during the same time period. For the second year in a row, no DUI related deaths were reported in Orange County during the 19-day period.

Law enforcement officials will be conducting more Avoid DUI operations throughout the County during Super Bowl Sunday in February and again for St. Patrick’s Day festivities in March.

For more information, please click here.

Deputy Sheriff Trainee Recruitment

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is recruiting for Deputy Sheriff Trainees. Starting Friday, January 11, the Sheriff’s Department will be accepting applications and required supplemental information on a continuous basis until the needs of the department are met. Please be advised that this recruitment may close at any time without notice.

The next test day is scheduled for Saturday, January 26. Depending on the amount of applications received, some applicants may be scheduled for an alternate test date.

Please contact Recruiting at (714) 834-5811 with any questions you may have about becoming a Deputy Sheriff Trainee. For more information, please click here.


Orange County Reports First Influenza Death

A 51 year old Orange County man died recently from influenza B-related disease. This was the first influenza-related death reported for this season in Orange County.

A flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. While we have begun seeing both influenza A and B cases, flu season has not yet peaked in Orange County, and there is still time to get vaccinated.

For more information, please click here.


County Releases the CAFR and OC Citizens’ Report

The Auditor-Controller’s office has released its annual OC Citizens’ Report. This is the tenth year the report has been published. The County has received the prestigious Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Reporting for the past nine years from the Government Finance Officers Association.

This report presents financial highlights for the County of Orange for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 and provides a high-level summary of information contained in the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

For more information, please click here.

Standard & Poor’s Rates Pension Obligation Bonds ‘A+’

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned its 'A+' rating to Orange County's taxable pension obligation bonds (POBs), series 2013A. At the same time, Standard & Poor's affirmed its 'AA-' issuer credit rating (ICR) on the County and its 'A+' long-term rating and underlying rating (SPUR) on the County's lease revenue bonds, recovery bonds, and POBs, saying the outlook is stable.

For more information, please click here.

Investors Buy OC Pension Obligation Bonds at Low Rates

The County of Orange has successfully borrowed $268 million through the sale of short-term Pension Obligation Bonds at interest rates of less than one percent, allowing the County to reduce pension costs by over $20 million.

For more information, please click here.


Doheny Update

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association (DSBIA) has issued their latest edition of DOHENY UPDATE to better inform the public about events and conditions in the State Park.

To view the DSBIA January 2013 newsletter, please click here.


2012 Recording Volume Marks Six-Year High

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder Department reports that the volume of real estate documents recorded in Orange County surged in 2012, marking the highest amount since 2006, confirming renewed activity in the local housing market as the economy slowly recovers.

Since 2008, as the housing market collapsed nationally and document recordings plunged, real estate transactions recorded in Orange County have jumped 37%.

For more information, please click here.

Top Orange County Baby Names in 2012

The most popular names for babies born in Orange County last year included several repeats and a couple of new names, as Ethan topped the list for boys’ names for the first time in recent years, and Sophia continued as most popular for girls for the third year running.

The baby names list was compiled by the Clerk-Recorder Department from about 50,000 births recorded in Orange County in 2012.

For more information, please click here.


Aliso Viejo: Winter Newsletter

The City of Aliso Viejo's Winter Newsletter is now available online and features news and information about upcoming events and programs that impact the way people live work and play. For more information, please click here.

Mission Viejo: Winter Leisure Time

The City of Mission Viejo’s winter Leisure Time publication is now available online, offering detailed information about upcoming special events, programs and classes. For more information, please click here.

Laguna Niguel: Healthy Relationships Workshop

At the “Healthy Relationships Parent/Teen Workshop” on Thursday, January 17 in Laguna Niguel, you will learn what healthy and unhealthy characteristics of a relationship look like, signs of abuse, types of abuse, when to seek help, and techniques you can use to have healthier relationships. Seating is limited. Please call (949) 425-5100 to reserve your spot. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Administered the Oath of Office for Supervisor Janet Nguyen.
  • Participated in the Local Agency Formation Commission meeting.
  • Met with Rancho Mission Viejo representatives to discuss governance options for The Ranch Plan.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Tom Padberg of 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.

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