Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
May 13, 2014

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

Sergio Prince:
Policy Advisor

Erik Weigand:
Policy Advisor

Emily Osterberg:
Policy Advisor

Veronica Yniguez:
Policy Advisor

Ruth Strachan:
Office Manager

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Volume 8 Issue 18

OC Animal Care Services

OC Animal Care provides animal care services to the unincorporated areas of the County and 17 contract cites. OC Animal Care is funded by a combination of user fees, charges to contract cities, and County General funds. The specific services provided include animal control field services, animal shelter services, animal licensing and animal business licensing, and public education/outreach services.

Due to a reduction in revenues and increases in operational costs, OC Animal Care is experiencing a significant funding shortfall of approximately $1.4 million. As such, OC Animal Care identified $1.4 million in cuts and presented them to the Financial and Operational Advisory Board (FOAB), which is is a subcommittee of the Orange County City Managers Association composed of representatives from the cities that contract with OC Animal Care.

After careful deliberation of the potential service level reductions and related impacts, the FOAB recommended to the City Managers Association that the contract cities provide additional funding of $780,200 to avoid undesirable service reductions. The additional funding from the contact cities was approved, reducing the shortfall to $626,300.

Staff identified three options to eliminate the remaining shortfall:

Option #1: Approve and direct staff to implement the $626,300 in service level reductions approved by the contract cities;

Option #2: Approve an allocation of an additional $626,300 in County General Funds as part of the FY 2014/15 County budget to retain the current service level, thereby eliminating the need for service reductions;

Option #3: Direct staff to re-agendize the proposed new OC Animal Care Fee Schedule Update for consideration by the Board of Supervisors as part of the FY 2014/15 Budget adoption.

After lengthy discussion, I supported Option #2. However, a majority of the Board did not support that option and instead approved Option #3. I abstained on that motion without knowing how the previously proposed fee increases will be reduced by the additional revenues from the contract cities and an assurance that the increased revenues will be spent on expanding our pet adoption effort, as well as reducing the use of euthanasia at the shelter.

Stay tuned on this, as it will return for Board discussion during our Budget Hearings in June.

For more information, please click here.

Registrar of Voters Earns High Marks for 2012 Election

The Board sent a follow up response to the Orange County Grand Jury’s report titled, “Registrar of Voters Earns High Marks for 2012 Elections.”

When the Board submitted the original report May 1, two recommended actions were not implemented at the time. A year later, the Board is pleased to announce they have implemented the requested actions.

The two recommendations included determining the lifespan of the Registrar of Voters’ (ROV) current equipment and hosting an emergency exercise to be prepared in the event a manmade or natural disaster would strike Orange County in the days prior to a general election.

Responses given to the Grand Jury were that the ROV’s voting equipment is built to last until at least until the 2016 General Election and a successful emergency exercise was held March 27 that confirmed Orange County was well handled to allow its citizens the ability to vote during an emergency situation.

For more information, please click here.

Underground Fuel Tank Contamination Remediation

Due to unacceptable contamination levels from a leaking underground fuel tank from the 1990s, the Sheriff’s Department was required by the Santa Ana Region Water Quality Control Board to remediate the James A. Musick Facility’s groundwater.

As a result, the Board approved and awarded a contract for remediation of the site. For more information, please click here.


2014 South Orange County Job Fair

The 2014 South Orange County Job Fair will be held Thursday, May 15 at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center, located at 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo.

This popular annual event is held in partnership with my office, the County of Orange, Orange County Workforce Investment Board, and the City of Mission Viejo.

The general public is invited to attend from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, with special early access from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM for Veterans and One-Stop registered job seekers. All jobseekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resume.

For more information, please call (949) 341-8000 or click here, here and here.


The Toll Roads Removing Cash Collections May 14

As previously reported in my newsletter, The Toll Roads will be removing cash toll collection effective Wednesday, May 14. To that end, the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) recently introduced three new Express Account payment options that will give toll road drivers more options for paying tolls.

With the transponder-free ExpressAccounts, images of a vehicle’s license plate taken on The Toll Roads are linked to an account and the appropriate toll is collected. When customers sign up for an ExpressAccount, they may choose from one of three payment options:
  • Prepaid – Customers open an account with a prepaid balance and tolls are deducted from the amount whenever they use The Toll Roads.
  • Charge – – At the end of each day, customers’ tolls are charged to the credit card on file for each trip on The Toll Roads.
  • Invoice – Customers are sent an invoice at the close of the month for tolls incurred that month; no need to use a credit card or link a bank account to your account. This account type includes an invoice fee.
In addition to the ExpressAccount option, toll road users can explore two more options:
  • FasTrak® - Customers with FasTrak, which uses transponder technology fixed to a vehicle’s windshield, will continue to pay the lowest toll and may be used on all toll roads, lanes, and bridges throughout California. FasTrak customers won’t have to make any changes to their accounts when cash collection ceases on the Toll Roads.
  • One-Time Toll – Great for visitors and infrequent users! Customers can pay their toll within 48-hours of a trip online without creating an account or purchasing a transponder. To pay, please click here or download The Toll Roads mobile app.
In anticipation of The Toll Roads removing cash toll collection, TCA is offering new FasTrak and ExpressAccount customers a FREE week of nonstop driving as soon as they establish an account (PROMO CODE: FREETOLL). The offer ends May 11.

For more information, please click here, here and here.


New Orange County Fire Watch Network

With the memories of the 2007 Santiago Fire and the 2008 Freeway Complex Fire lingering as painful reminders of the devastation wildfires can inflict on our wilderness areas and nearby residential communities, in 2009 I initiated OC Fire Watch in partnership with the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) and OC Parks.

OC Fire Watch increases public awareness of fire dangers by raising red “Fire Alert” flags at OC Parks and other County facilities, as well as at OCFA fire stations and participating city halls throughout Orange County. The program also incorporates OC Fire Watch volunteers to help monitor the County’s wilderness parks, which are especially vulnerable to fire during Red Flag conditions.

Needless to say, the past two years of drought have increased the wild land fire danger to extreme conditions. As such, Irvine Ranch Conservancy has been working with OC Parks to ensure the County’s open space fire prevention needs continue to be met.

Today, I am pleased to announce that OC Parks and Irvine Ranch Conservancy are combining their Fire Watch Programs into one comprehensive unit, creating a significant part of a new Orange County Fire Watch network. This will result in a more coordinated fire prevention effort countywide. To that end, they have created a Fire Watch workshop to include new training and updated deployment procedures.

I urge you to attend an upcoming workshop. We hope this new opportunity will inspire your commitment to protecting the County’s open spaces, as you must attend one of the workshops to participate in the new Orange County Fire Watch network.

Three training sessions have been scheduled for your convenience. The workshops are scheduled for:
  • Irvine – Saturday, June 7 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon
  • Orange – Tuesday, June 17 from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
  • Newport Beach – Saturday, June 21 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

Please register no later than Thursday, May 15. For instructions on how to register for one of the workshops, please click here. If you have any questions prior to the workshop, please contact Fire Watch Coordinator Kevin McArthur at kmcarthur@irconservancy.org or (949) 525-0440. For more information, please click here and here.


Spruce Up Your Sprinkler System and Save

Now is the perfect time to spruce up your irrigation system before you ramp up your watering efforts this spring and summer. To get started, follow these four simple steps:
  • Inspect – Check your system for clogged, broken, or missing sprinkler heads. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro—look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled irrigation program.
  • Connect – Examine points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes/hoses. If water is pooling in your landscape or you have large wet areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (1/32 of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Direct – Are you watering the driveway, house, or sidewalk instead of your yard? Redirect sprinklers to apply water only to your lawn or prized plants.
  • Select – An improperly scheduled irrigation controller can waste a lot of water and money. Update your system’s schedule with the seasons, or select a WaterSense labeled controller to take the guesswork out of scheduling.
Don’t forget to add “sprinkler spruce-up” to your spring cleaning list this year! Learn more about maintaining a water-smart yard by visiting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense website.

For more information, please click here.

Cox Conserves Heroes

Cox Communications is proud to present Orange County's third annual Cox Conserves Heroes program. Created in partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the program recognizes local environmental volunteers and donates $15,000 to local nonprofits on their behalf.

Whether it's planting a community garden, organizing a beach cleanup, or educating the public on the importance of conservation, show your appreciation by submitting a Cox Conserves Heroes nomination.

2014 Timeline:
  • Nominations: Now through May 21 (5:00 PM)
  • Voting: Mid-July
  • Winner Announcement: Mid-August
For more information, please click here, here and here.


Free Vessel Safety Exam

May 17 kicks off National Safe Boating Week and the beginning of the 2014 Boating Season.

To that end, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be in Dana Point Harbor at the Embarcadero Launch Ramp and in the East Basin Marina on Saturday, May 17 from 7:00 AM until 2:00 PM, offering FREE vessel safety exams. No appointment is necessary, but you can conveniently preschedule a safety exam for your powerboat, sailboat, or any personal watercraft wherever it is located within the Harbor by contacting Eric Gritzmacher at 949-632-2378.

This is a great opportunity to make sure your boat has all the safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, please click here.


John Wayne Airport launches JWA CONNECTS

John Wayne Airport (JWA) announces JWA CONNECTS, a new program to demonstrate how the Airport connects with the community, commerce and conservation efforts. The JWA CONNECTS program (#JWACONNECTS is also being used in media) seeks to inform the public of the many ways the Airport connects and benefits individuals, business and the environment in Orange County and Southern California.

JWA CONNECTS people with many services that enrich the community. From college students and members of the armed services in need of a safe, convenient route home, to volunteers who offer assistance and provide tours in the Riley Terminal, to exhibition programs that feature local arts and culture, John Wayne Airport provides a connection to Orange County's community.

JWA CONNECTS not only business and leisure travelers with a convenient gateway to over 20 nonstop destinations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Airport also connects thousands of people with jobs. From on-airport services, to off-airport business and tourism, John Wayne Airport is an economic engine creating 43,000 jobs and contributing $6 billion annually to the regional economy.

JWA adheres to best practices in environmental responsibility and has been an industry leader in implementing policies that provide both sustainability and cost effectiveness. From water conservation and recycling programs, to alternative fuel taxis, to the construction of a central utility plant built to reduce the Airport's carbon footprint and generate its own electricity, JWA CONNECTS with conservation initiatives that limit the Airport's impact on the environment.

The community, travelers and visitors alike are encouraged to share photos demonstrating how JWA connects them to the important things in their lives by posting a photo or commenting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using hashtag #JWAConnects.

For more information, please click here and here.

First USO to Open at John Wayne Airport

For 73 years, USO centers have welcomed troops and their families at airports across the nation. A unanimous vote last week by the Board of Supervisors will allow that warm welcome to be extended for the very first time at John Wayne Airport (JWA).

The center will be located in the Airport's Terminal B, next to the baggage claim area on the Arrivals Level. Staffed by volunteers, the center will feature a canteen, movies, travel assistance and Wi-Fi. Active and reserve members and their dependents are welcome, as well as military retirees on a space available basis. All services are complimentary for troops and guests.

Bob Hope USO credited the Board of Supervisors and John Wayne Airport and their dedication to supporting troops and their families for making the center a reality. The County is leasing the space to Bob Hope USO under a five-year agreement for $1 per year.

For more information, please click here.


Animals for Armed Forces Memorial Day Weekend

To honor and thank our dedicated service men and women, OC Animal Care will host Animals for Armed Forces Memorial Day Weekend, May 24 & 25 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The adoption discount applies to active duty, reserve and veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard, and/or immediate family members. Please bring your photo ID and one of the following to receive the adoption discount:
  • A copy of your Military ID
  • A copy of your DD-214 and Driver’s License
  • A copy of your NGB Form 22
The FREE adoption does not include licensing or microchip. The discount applies to the first 50 animal adoptions. Limit one animal per household.

For more information, please click here.


County Streamlines Regulations for Craft Breweries

New rules allow beer manufacturing facilities to be inspected by the California Department of Public Health instead of the Health Care Agency’s (HCA) Environmental Health Division, which inspects retail and wholesale food establishments in Orange County.

HCA Environmental Health determined that the craft breweries – those which do not offer beverages other than samples of their product and do not offer food other than crackers or pretzels – were low-risk in nature and best overseen by the State.

Inspections of beer manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and San Diego counties follow the same procedure.

HCA Environmental Health identified 13 craft breweries throughout Orange County eligible for the new regulatory oversight, as well as seven under construction. Should the activities of any of the breweries change, such as offering food for sale or manufacturing beverages other than beer, the County will resume primary oversight.

For more information, please click here.


Clerk-Recorder’s Special Saturday Hours Continue

The Old County Courthouse will again be open Saturday, May 17 and June 21 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM for marriage licenses, civil marriage ceremonies and passport applications. The Orange County Archives will be open as well.

The department’s branch offices in Fullerton and Laguna Hills will also be open for copies of property records, vital records, marriage licenses and civil marriage ceremonies. FREE parking will be available at all three locations. Appointments are recommended.

Passport services are only available at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

For more information, please click here.


Laguna Beach Artist Featured at John Wayne Airport

Laguna Beach artist Jenn Prewitt will have a selection of her photography on exhibit through June 12 in the Thomas F. Riley Terminal as part of John Wayne Airport's Community Focus Space Program.

Jenn's work can be seen on the Departure (upper) Level near the security screening areas in Terminals A, B and C and on the Arrival (lower) Level adjacent to Baggage Carousels 1 and 4. Her photographs feature ocean and underwater action shots, as well as marine life.

Jenn was born and raised in Laguna Beach, where she currently resides. For more information, please click here.


Laguna Niguel: Business Training Workshop

The City of Laguna Niguel will provide a FREE business training workshop on social media marketing to help local businesses be successful. The workshop will take place Wednesday, May 14 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Laguna Niguel City Hall Community Room. A light dinner will be provided. For more information, please click here.

San Juan Capistrano: Historical Fiesta Day

Piñatas, toy making, live interactive events, Native American crafts, traditional tortilla-making, and more will be part of Historical Fiesta Day in San Juan Capistrano’s Los Rios District on Saturday, May 17. The FREE event runs from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and is just steps away from the Capistrano Metrolink station. For more information, please click here.

South County: Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon

Memorial Day, May 26, marks the 16th annual City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 5k, and 10K, honoring the U.S. Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. This favorite Memorial Day running event takes place in the beautiful South County cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Laguna Niguel. For more information, please click here and here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Presented a proclamation to Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) in celebration of Water Awareness Day and in honor of SMWD’s 50th anniversary.
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel Mayor's State of the City Luncheon.
  • Introduced Laguna Beach Mayor Elizabeth Pearson at the Laguna Beach State of the City luncheon.

My office also:
  • Presented an Adjournment in Memoriam signed by the Board of Supervisors in memory of James Nix, primary donor of the James and Rosemary Nix Nature Center in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.

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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