Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
January 18, 2013

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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 2

Year-Round Emergency Shelter and Multi-Service Center

The Board approved the purchase of property in the amount of $3,150,000 at 301 S. State College Blvd. in Fullerton to be used as a Year-Round Emergency Shelter and Multi-Service Center site for homeless families and individuals in Orange County.

In September 2011, the Fullerton City Council established the Fullerton Task Force on Homelessness and Mental Health Services in response to the death of Kelly Thomas. The City Council charged the Task Force with five duties, all focused on improving the resources and services available in Fullerton for mentally ill and homeless members of the community.

The Task Force submitted eight recommendations to the Fullerton City Council, the primary being to “Collaborate with the County of Orange, surrounding cities, and service providers to identify and secure a site to create a regional year-round multi-service center that includes a low threshold emergency shelter for the homeless that is accessible to Fullerton residents.”

In support of the County’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness, Fourth District Supervisor and former Fullerton City Mayor Shawn Nelson met with stakeholders from north county cities and other stakeholder groups – including representatives from the City of Fullerton, the County of Orange, Vanguard Commercial Real Estate, and the Commission to End Homelessness – to identify potential sites for a year-round emergency shelter and multi-service center to serve homeless families and individuals.

As a result, a number of sites were identified and reviewed, with 301 S. State College ultimately selected as the best site for such a facility. The property consists of a one-story 29,032 square foot industrial/retail building, which is substantially larger than the County’s two seasonal Emergency Shelters currently housed at the National Guard Armories located in Santa Ana and Fullerton.

For more information, please click here.

Land Swap a Win-Win for County and City of Mission Viejo

The Board approved a land swap between OC Parks and the City of Mission Viejo. In exchange for 3 acres for the Mission Viejo Dog Park, the County received 7 acres of high quality habitat adjacent to O’Neil Regional Park. Additionally, this property included the final piece of the Arroyo Trabuco Regional Trail.

This agreement is a great example of win-win situations created by local collaboration with our City partners. As such, the City of Mission Viejo gains needed land to complete their dog park while the County gains quality habitat to preserve and for the public to enjoy.

For more information, please click here.

Friends of the Library License Agreement Update

On December 11, 2012, the Board of Supervisors approved the Friends of the Library License Agreement template. Although the License Agreement has already been signed by several Friends of the Library groups, OC Public Libraries has been contacted regarding a provision of the Agreement related to “Sharing of Funds.” The concern of the provision is that funds raised by the individual Friends of the Library groups may not necessarily be allocated for the benefit of their specific branch library.

To further clarify the language, staff is proposing an amendment to the License Agreement to assure the Friends of the Library that we are indeed responsive to their concerns and that any funds they raise shall be for the benefit of their specific library. To that end, a letter was recently sent to the various Friends of the Library groups, proposing the amended language for their review and soliciting additional feedback before the amendment is presented to the Board.


OCTA Rescinds Prior Action and Re-Appoints Next CEO

On November 26, 2012, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors voted in a Special Meeting to appoint Darrell Johnson, OCTA’s current Deputy CEO, as the next CEO upon current CEO Will Kempton’s anticipated departure from the agency on February 28. The Board also approved the proposed employment contract for Mr. Johnson.

At that time, I was among the minority who did not vote to support those actions. My decision was not a reflection of my support for Darrell Johnson, but rather a concern with the way the process had gone forward, as there had been no prior consideration by the OCTA Board of the recruitment process. In addition, the Board had not been given adequate time to discuss the candidate’s qualifications or review the proposed employment contract, which had not been posted for public review.

Also, with ten Board members (a majority) leaving OCTA in a matter of weeks after the vote, I felt strongly that the new Board members should be afforded the opportunity to discuss the appointment and vote for the next CEO, who would serve during their tenure.

Subsequently, I discovered and informed OCTA’s legal counsel that a new provision effective January 1, 2012 amended the Brown Act to prohibit consideration or approval of salary or compensation of a local agency executive at a special meeting. Therefore a rescission of the November 26 vote was required.

To that end, at this week’s meeting, the Board (including the ten newly selected members) voted to rescind the prior Board’s actions to eliminate any possible issues arising out of the Brown Act violation. The newly constituted Board then voted to approve the appointment of Darrell Johnson as the next CEO, as well as the contract for employment.

While I supported the appointment of Darrell Johnson, I voted against his contract because it included a provision that the agency would pay all of the employer and employee contribution to the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS). With the County of Orange taking steps that will require managers and executives to pay their full employee share, I did not believe it prudent or consistent to support a contract that did not require the CEO to contribute to the executive pension benefit.

Widening I-5 Freeway Sparks Interest in South County

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) staff presented an overview of the improvements to the I-5 Freeway at the Laguna Hills City Council meeting last Tuesday.

The $560-million project from SR-73 to El Toro Road – adding a general purpose lane, extending second high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes in both directions on the I-5, and rebuilding the La Paz Road and Avery Parkway interchanges – is now in the environmental review phase.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018. The project team will continue to present information to city councils at the following dates and locations:
  • Aliso Viejo – Jan. 16
  • Mission Viejo – Jan. 21
  • Laguna Niguel – Feb. 5
  • Laguna Woods – Feb. 20
The OCTA outreach team also invites the public to attend its community open houses from 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM at Mission Viejo City Hall on Feb. 27 and Laguna Hills Community Center on Feb. 28.

I-5 Freeway / Crown Valley Parkway Ramp Closure Jan. 26

The southbound on-ramp and the northbound on-ramp for drivers heading east from Laguna Niguel to the I-5 Freeway on Crown Valley Parkway will be closed from 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM on Saturday, January 26 (weather permitting) to complete the final paving of both on-ramps as part of the Crown Valley Widening Project. The northbound on-ramp for drivers coming west from Mission Viejo will remain open.

As heavy traffic congestion is expected in the area, motorists can access the I-5 freeway in both directions from Crown Valley Parkway by using alternate routes.

For more information, please click here.

Caltrans Keeps Community Updated on Upcoming

With construction starting mid-February on the I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange, Caltrans hosted three community meetings last week to prepare San Juan Capistrano residents and businesses for the upcoming improvements.

More than 200 community members attended an open house at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano last Thursday. Outreach staff shared project information, including a project overview, construction staging, and a detailed traffic management plan.

For those who could not attend the open house, Caltrans also hosted two neighborhood meetings Saturday at Town Center Park and Cook Park in San Juan Capistrano. More than 60 residents braved the cold to share their questions and comments with members of the project's outreach team.

In addition to the three community meetings, Caltrans held the second project Stakeholder Working Group meeting this Wednesday. Project stakeholders, including elected officials, city staff, major business owners, as well as key community leaders attended the event to share questions and feedback to project staff.

The project, funded by county, state, local and Measure M funds, will provide improvements to the I-5 / Ortega Highway interchange by widening the Ortega Highway Bridge, as well as reconstructing the on- and off-ramps at the interchange.

For more information or to sign up for the project database to receive construction alerts, please visit the project website. Additional information, including daily updates, is also available on the project's Facebook and Twitter pages.

OCTA Board Gets New Chair & Vice Chair and New Members

In a unanimous decision at Monday’s Board meeting, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors selected Director Greg Winterbottom, who is one of two public members on the Board, as the new Chairman and Director Shawn Nelson, who is the County Supervisor for the Fourth District, as the new Vice Chairman of the 17-member Board.

In addition, oaths of office were administered to new Board members Lori Donchak, who is from the Fifth District, Gail Eastman, Steve Johns and Todd Spitzer, as well as returning Board members Janet Nguyen, Miguel Pulido and Gregory T. Winterbottom.

Environmental Oversight Committee Seeks Applicants

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is seeking qualified applicants for the open Environmental Oversight Committee public member seat.

Members of the 12-person committee make recommendations on allocating funds for the Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program, a plan that works to ease the impact of freeway improvements on the environment.

OCTA is looking for individuals with experience who have demonstrated interest and/or expertise in transportation, conservation and/or environmental mitigation of infrastructure projects. Individuals should also be committed to dedicating at least 25 hours a year for a three-year term to OCTA meetings and activities.

Under Measure M2, the half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, at least 5 percent of the funds are allocated to the Freeway Environmental Mitigation Program to protect and preserve natural habitats and resources.

By monitoring the effective implementation of the program’s master plan, committee members also ensure that the program successfully delivers on streamlining project approval for the thirteen Measure M2 funded freeway projects.

All applications, along with a résumé, must be received Feb. 8 by email or mail to Marissa Espino, Orange County Transportation Authority, P.O. Box 14184, Orange, CA 92863-1584. For additional information, please contact Marissa Espino at (714) 560-5607.

Measure M Annual Public Hearing

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee is conducting the 22nd Annual Measure M Public Hearing. Public comments will be taken about the implementation of Measure M during the past year.

Event Details:
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
6:00 p.m.
OCTA Headquarters
600 S. Main St., Orange

Can't make it to the public hearing? Submit your comments regarding Measure M actions taken in 2012 online instead by clicking here.

About Measure M:
In 1990, Orange County voters approved Measure M, a 20-year program for freeway, street, road and transit improvements funded by a half-cent sales tax. In 2006, voters approved the extension of Measure M for another 30 years.

The Measure M Taxpayers Oversight Committee (TOC) reviews OCTA's administration of Measure M every year to make sure the spirit and the letter of Measure M are fulfilled.


Grand Jury Applicants Sought: Deadline Extended

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 deadline to apply for consideration is now been extended to January 25.

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 all 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.


Laguna Beach DUI Enforcement Operation this Weekend

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign.

DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Sunday, January 20 between 9:00 PM and 3:00 AM in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

For more information, please click here.

OCFA: On The Front Line

The Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) has released its January issue of “On The Front Line.” The latest OCFA newsletter includes important information on how to protect your home from carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as practicing your home escape plan.

To view OCFA’s January edition of “On The Front Line,” please click here.


Congratulations to Dana Point Shipyard

Dana Point Shipyard in Dana Point Harbor will be honored at the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA) Boatyard Business Conference in Ft. Lauderdale. The Shipyard will be recognized for their environmental stewardship and achieving Certification as a Clean Maritime Facility.

ABBRA’s Clean Maritime Facility Certification is only given following completion of the certification and inspection by committee representatives. Founded in 1943, ABBRA is a national marine trade organization that is dedicated to strengthening and encouraging professionalism in the boat building, boat repair and marine service industry.

The California Region Clean Maritime Facility certification is focused on environmental stewardship and was successfully implemented through an examination of many Best Management Practices in partnership with others, including the California Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Coastal Coalition

Please join me Thursday, January 24 for the Orange County Coastal Coalition “2013 Environmental Policy Outlook” meeting. The meeting will begin at 9:00 AM at the Newport Beach Public Library.

Presenting will be David Cordero, Municipal Water District of Orange County; and Matt Lentz, AMEC. Their presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

For more information, please click here.

Check Before you Burn

The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, has activated an annually recurring program to reduce air pollution caused by burning wood or manufactured logs in fireplaces or outdoor fire pits.

During late fall and winter, pollutant levels consisting of fine particulate matter (also known as PM2.5) can rise to unhealthy concentrations during stagnant atmospheric conditions.

Under the South Coast AQMD’s “Check Before you Burn” program, mandatory no-burn alerts will be issued on days and in specific areas where PM2.5 levels are forecast to reach unhealthy levels.

During a no-burn alert, residents in affected areas are not allowed to burn wood or manufactured fireplace logs in their fireplaces or outdoor fire pits. To learn if a mandatory no-burn alert has been issued for a particular area of the Southland, residents can:
  • Sign up at http://www.airalerts.org/ to receive electronic e-mail notices when a no-burn alert is issued for their area;
  • Enter their ZIP code at www.aqmd.gov/noburn to see if a no-burn alert has been issued for their area; or
  • Call AQMD’s 24-hour Check Before You Burn toll-free line at (866) 966-3293.
For more information, please visit the AQMD website or click here.


Property Tax Auction

The Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector’s (TTC) property tax auction is scheduled for Thursday, March 14 at 10:00 AM in the Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana, CA. The list of properties scheduled for auction will be posted on the TTC website one month before the auction.

The Tax Collector annually offers for sale real property located in the County of Orange. The properties offered for sale have become subject to the Tax Collector’s Power to Sell due to non-payment of property taxes for five or more years. The TTC is responsible for the administration of these sales pursuant to the provisions of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

Prospective purchasers for the live auction will be required to register. Registration will be held at the TTC offices Wednesday, March 13 between 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at 625 N. Ross Street, Room G-58 Santa Ana, CA.

For more information, please e-mail or call (714) 834-3411.


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.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in the Affordable Housing Ad Hoc Committee Meeting.
  • Attended the Moulton Niguel Water District meeting to present a certificate of recognition to Director Richard Fiore for 35 years of service.
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Installation & Awards Breakfast to present certificates of recognition to the Chamber’s 2012 Awards recipients.
  • Met with OC Dana Point Harbor staff to be briefed on current issues and activities.
  • Toured the Mission San Juan Capistrano Historic Gate Project with Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, Executive Director of Mission San Juan Capistrano.
My office also:
  • Participated in the South Orange County Association of Mayors meeting held in Rancho Santa Margarita.
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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