June 27, 2014
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.
IN THIS ISSUE...
1. PAT’S PERSPECTIVE
2. BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
3. TRANSPORTATION INFORMATION
4. HEALTH HERALD
5. ENVIRONMENTAL MEMOS
6. TAX COLLECTOR COLLECTIBLES
7. CRITTER CHRONICLES
8. AIRPORT ARRIVALS
9. HARBOR HAPPENINGS
10. SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
11. FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
Chief of Staff
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Celebrating our Independence Day
Next week, we look forward to celebrating Independence Day with family and friends.
The dictators and rulers of some countries force their citizens to observe national holidays by requiring they march in parades and wave flags in homage to their government.
Gratefully, we in this country celebrate our nation’s founding by our own choice. In doing so, it is not a government or a singular person we honor, but rather a set of ideals.
In signing the Declaration of Independence, our forefathers set this nation on a course never before seen in human history. As Ronald Reagan said, “July 4, 1776 was the first time it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own, except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.”
In our 235 year history, our country has enjoyed periods of great prosperity and endured times of extreme hardship. Still, as in all times, we have worked steadfastly to keep and expand the precious freedoms secured in our nation’s infancy and served as a shining beacon of liberty for the rest of the world. That is truly something to be celebrated!
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Independence Day!
|BOARD BULLETIN BOARD
All-Mail Supervisorial Special Elections
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board voted 2-3 and rejected a proposal that would have allowed the Board to enact an All-Mail Special Election for a vacant Supervisorial District, when a vacancy occurs within the first three years of a Supervisor’s term.
I did not support this proposal because statistics are showing that All-Mail voting does not accomplish the goal of increasing voter turnout. After the most recent Primary Election, statistics have revealed that voters who Vote by Mail are increasingly holding on to their ballots and dropping them off at their polling place on Election Day.
If this proposal succeeded, the Special Election would not provide traditional polling places and I believe that voters should have a variety of options between voting at the polls or having the opportunity to Vote by Mail.
To read more, please click here.
Restructuring of OC Public Works
I would like to take the opportunity to express my sincere appreciation of our team at OC Public works. After over six months of planning and strategizing, OC Public Works presented to the Board of Supervisors a complete reorganization structure. The new plan has many benefits to not only the Department but to the entire County. The Board unanimously approved the proposal and looks forward to all their future successes.
Several of the top OC Public Works reorganization benefits include:
For more information, please click here.
- Saving the County $1.6 million annually in salary and benefit costs. This is accomplished through the deletion of 12 positions and reductions in a number of other position classification levels.
- Balancing position allocations within the Department’s ten Service Areas to allow for increased accountability and better communication flow between line staff and the management team. Customers will also be able to find the appropriate points of contact more efficiently.
- Strategically integrating IT services within CEO IT to align with the Board’s priority for a countywide focus on providing IT functions and services.
- Reflecting the Department’s goals to improve morale, increase efficiencies and enhance customer service.
“F” Street Fee Credit Agreement with the Rancho Mission Viejo Community Development
The Board of Supervisors also approved entering into an Agreement for Grant of Fee Credits (Fee Credit Agreement) with the Rancho Mission Viejo (RMV) Community Development, LLC, and its associated entities (Developer).
The agreement will allow the County of Orange to grant Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) Fee Credits, as defined in the Major Thoroughfare and Bridge Fee Program (Fee Program) for the TCA, to compensate Developer for right-of-way, grading, and roadway construction costs that Developer would incur for the construction of "F" Street.
In 2004, the Board adopted a Resolution, which approved a General Plan Amendment (GPA) for the Ranch Plan Project, including an amendment of the Transportation Element’s Circulation Plan. The plan recognized that if the State Route 241 is not extended across the Ranch Plan Project area, and future traffic from proposed development reached certain levels, there would be a need for an arterial roadway, referred to as "F" Street, linking Cow Camp Road to Oso Parkway.
The provision of the fee credit has been authorized by the TCA and will allow the early delivery of "F" Street, providing much needed roadway options and increased mobility for South County.
I would like to thank County, TCA staff and the Ranch for their ongoing efforts to ensure new roads are in place to accommodate South County growth.
To view the report, please click here.
Law Enforcement Contracts
The Board voted to approve the annual contracts with 13 cities for law enforcement services, ten of which are in South County. Each of these contracts include varied amount of increases from the previous year.
All contracts include increases due to increased benefit costs for workers’ compensation and health insurance rates, the apportionment of the cost of leave balances paid at the end of employment, and increased liability cost.
In each agreement, we can be assured that cities are paying their full costs for law enforcement services. The Board had previously expressed concern about whether the County is fully recovering costs. A previous report by the Internal Auditor shows that the County does indeed recover full costs.
For more information, please click here (Items #33–45).
Sheriff’s Work Release Program
When County jails reach an average daily inmate population of 90 percent of the jails’ rated capacity, the Sheriff’s Department offers eligible inmates the opportunity to work in the community to repay their debts to society. On Tuesday, the Board adopted a resolution which allows those inmates to receive “good time/work time” credits for participating in the Sheriff’s Community Work Program. The inmate is charged a $90 administrative fee and is required to work the hours they are scheduled. In 2013, the program provided over 447,000 hours of labor to various County entities including OC Parks, OC Public Works and the Sheriff’s Department. This program helps in many ways. First, it frees up space in our County jails for those whose offense require them to be removed from society for the protection of the public’s safety. Secondly, it helps acclimate low-risk offenders to the community by teaching them work skills and the importance of reentering into the work force. Lastly, it saves the County tax payers by not having to house, feed, clothe and provide medical care to those who would otherwise be incarcerated.
All Electronic Tolling Conversion Update
Cash toll collection ended on Orange County’s toll roads on May 14. The Transportation Corridor Agency has implemented a program that will waive penalties for first-time violations for drivers of the 73, 133, 241 or 261 toll roads if they are paid within 30 days of receipt. This grace period will be in place through the Labor Day holiday.
The following improvements have been, or are being, implemented:
With five ways to pay tolls, there's a custom payment method that will work for every driver - no matter their method of payment, how they want to pay their toll, and how much of California they intend to explore.
- Additional signage is being installed to inform drivers about the One-Time-Toll™ online payment option.
- Customers who drive on The Toll Roads can pay online within 48 hours after their trip at www.thetollroads.com or with The Toll Roads free app.
- Information about the closure of cash booths has been added to changeable message signs.
- Penalties are being waived for drivers who use the 73, 133, 241 or 261 Toll Road without paying for the first time through the Labor Day holiday.
- Additional temporary customer service representatives are being added.
- Adjustments have been made to information on the website to address common questions.
Five ways to pay tolls on The Toll Roads:
To read more about the All Electronic Tolls please click here.
- FasTrak: Establish a prepaid account, pay tolls that are $1 less than all other drivers and receive a transponder that allows you to pay tolls electronically on every tolled bridge, lane and road in California.
- Charge ExpressAccount: Establish an account with no prepayment. Drive The Toll Roads and each toll is charged individually to your credit card.
- Invoice ExpressAccount: Establish an account with no prepayment. Drive The Toll Roads and, at the end of the month, receive an invoice for your accumulated tolls.
- Prepaid ExpressAccount: Establish a pre-paid account. Drive The Toll Roads and each toll is deducted from your prepaid account.
- One-Time-Toll payment option: Drive The Toll Roads and within 48 hours after your drive, use our website or free app to pay your toll(s) with a credit card.
I-405 Improvement Project Update
On Monday, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) staff provided an update to the OCTA Board of Directors (Board) on the status of I-405 Improvement Project (project).
The project proposes to add additional capacity on the I-405 Freeway from the Interstate 605 in the north to the State Route 73 in south.
The three proposed build alternatives include:
In December of 2013, the Board reaffirmed the recommendation of Alternative 1 as the Locally Preferred Alternative to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).
- Alternative 1 which adds one general purpose lane in each direction
- Alternative 2 would add two general purpose lanes in each direction
- Alternative 3 would add one general purpose lane in each direction, as well as a toll lane in each direction, which would be added to the existing HOV lane to create a two-lane High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane facility (similar to the 91 Express Lanes)
OCTA is currently awaiting Caltrans’ decision regarding the recommendation of the Preferred Alternative (PA).
To view the presentation on the current status of the project, please click here.
Stay Safe This Summer: Drowning Prevention
Drowning is the leading cause of death and disability in California for children under 5 years of age. In California during 2011, 58 children age 5 years old and under lost their lives to drowning. California Department of Developmental Services (DSS) data shows that 52 children per year survive but are disabled because of a near-drowning accident. Those who survive near-drowning accidents may live with severe disabilities for the remainder of their lives.
Drowning is preventable. Anyone can drown.
Drowning Prevention is most effective with a “layers of protection” approach:
- Drowning can be fast and silent, occurring without a struggle or splash.
- Young children are more at risk and can drown in any body of water, including a bucket, bathtub, sink, pool or spa.
For more information, please visit:
- Never leave a child alone near water, even for a few seconds.
- A supervising adult should be close enough to touch the child under 4 years old near water.
- Keep a constant adult eye on young children.
- All collections of water are dangerous for infants and toddlers including bathtubs, buckets, toilets, ponds, spas, swimming pools, and natural water sites.
- Swimming pools should have fences, alarms, and drains that meet regulations.
- Pool gates should be self-latching, opening outward, with the latch out-of-reach for a child.
- Keep reaching and throwing aids near a swimming pool.
- All children should wear a personal floatation device while playing near bodies of water.
- Parents and child caregivers should know how to perform rescue techniques and strategies to respond in an emergency.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first.
Time Running Out to Enter Eco Challenge Poster Contest
The chance to be an Honorary Bat Kid at a 2014 Angels baseball game ends soon. Young residents of Orange County have until Monday, June 30 to submit their posters and be eligible to win. Among other prizes, the five winners of the contest will serve as Honorary Bat Kids.
Please click here for more information.
|TAX COLLECTOR COLLECTIBLES
Payment Plan for Delinquent Property Taxes
A listing of all properties by city with delinquent taxes owed for five or more years has been published by the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector (TTC) in the newspaper and online. These properties may be subject to auction unless owners act now to enter into an installment plan for payment.
Property owners have until Monday, June 30 to begin a Five-Year Installment Plan to pay the delinquent taxes on their properties. The property owner must qualify for the plan by meeting certain criteria.
If the tax-defaulted properties with more than five years without payment do not have an installment plan started and in good standing by June 30, the only way to avoid the tax auction is to pay 100% of the taxes, penalties and fees levied on the property prior to the date of the next tax auction. No partial payments or installment payments will be accepted prior to the auction date.
Have you moved, your business has relocated, or you haven’t received a property tax bill recently? If so, and you did not file a change of address with the Office of the Assessor nor gone online to pay your property tax bill, your taxes may be delinquent. You can download a change of address form here, just click “How to” and then on “Request a Change of Address.”
An easy way to check whether your property taxes are outstanding is to go online and input either the property address or the parcel number (APN). Click “find” and then the APN link that will identify if there are outstanding property taxes due.
Taxpayers should consider checking online before the final tax installment payment date to make sure all payments have been processed. Another easy way to remember to make your payments is to sign up for the TTC’s email reminder system that sends an email alert when property tax bills are mailed. The alerts are sent 10 days prior to the last payment date and one day prior to the last payment date.
For more information, please click here.
South County Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic
On the first Tuesday of every month, the Orange County Animal Care hosts a Low Cost Vaccine and Microchip clinic. The clinic will open early for cats only at 6:30 PM to alleviate stress on our feline friends.
No appointment is needed. Pets are treated on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please click here.
Keep Your Pets Safe this 4th of July Holiday
The following are important tips to make the coming 4th of July holiday a pleasant one for you and your pets:
For more information, please click here.
- Keep pets inside. The best situation for your pet is to be at home with you. If your holiday plans take you elsewhere, it is best to leave your pet inside the house. Sometimes frightened animals will try to seek refuge from noise and confusion by chewing through ropes, jumping fences or running away. Keeping them indoors will assure that they won't get lost. It is a good idea to leave a radio or TV set on to drown out the load firework noises.
- If you have an animal that is nervous or predisposed to stress, you might want to consult with your veterinarian about having tranquilizers on hand during the July 4th holiday. The vet will prescribe according to weight, age and condition of the pet. It is important to consult a veterinarian because tranquilizers can overdose or become toxic when combined with other medications, flea collars or sprays.
- Make sure your pets are wearing proper ID tags with at least two phone numbers listed on them on the outside and a registered microchip on the inside.
- Don't leave pets outside, even in a fenced yard, anytime when fireworks are being set off in the neighborhood.
- More pets are lost around the 4th of July than any other time of year. If your pet gets lost, begin a search immediately.
John Wayne Airport Summer Travel Time Saving Tips
Summer travel is underway at John Wayne Airport (JWA) and with the upcoming
Fourth of July holiday, JWA anticipates a busy travel period from Friday, June 27 through Sunday, July 6.
Passengers are encouraged to plan ahead and are reminded that fireworks are prohibited in or around the airport.
Tips for Passengers and Visitors:
Tips for Parking at JWA:
- All passengers flying out of JWA are encouraged to arrive 90 minutes to two-hours before the flight departure time to find parking, check luggage and go through the security checkpoint. Passengers who are members of TSA Pre-Check can expedite the screening process in Terminals A, B and C.
- Drivers picking up passengers at the Airport are encouraged to utilize 2-hour parking spaces, located on the lower level of Parking Structures A1, B2 and C.
For more travel tips please click here.
- Curbside Valet Parking for $30 per day is located on the departure level between Terminals A and B and in front of Terminal C.
- Parking is available in Parking Structures A1, A2, B2 and C located adjacent to and directly across from the Riley Terminal at a rate of $20 per day and $2 per hour with the first 15 minutes being free for those dropping off and picking up passengers.
- Off-site Main Street Parking, located at 1512 Main St., Irvine, is available for $14 per day with free shuttle service to/from the Riley Terminal every 15 minutes.
- For parking availability, call 949.252.5200 or for directions to JWA, visit: www.ocair.com/parking.
Plan Ahead for the 4th of July in Dana Point Harbor
The busiest day in Dana Point Harbor is fast approaching, OC Dana Point Harbor encourages everyone to start planning ahead and consider the following:
Additional information regarding specific Parking Programs to be implemented will be sent next week. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your marina office directly.
- Depending upon the weather, public parking and picnic areas will fill up early so please plan accordingly.
- Marina parking lots will be staffed all day.
- If you are a boater, plan ahead and bring supplies to your boat early.
- Campers, R.V.s and trailers are prohibited in marina lots and may be towed.
- If you have guests coming, make plans to meet them at the parking gate.
- Gate attendants will monitor availability and use discretion regarding how many guest vehicles will be admitted to the parking lots.
- Please encourage your guests to carpool and use on-street parking.
For more information, please click here.
|SOUTH COUNTY CALENDAR
Laguna Niguel: Summer Concert Series
Add to your summer festivities by attending the City of Laguna Niguel’s FREE Summer Concert Series, beginning Friday, June 27 with DSB (Journey tribute) from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at Crown Valley Community Park, 29751 Crown Valley Parkway. For more information, please click here.
Dana Point: Doheny Surf Festival
The Doheny Surf Festival will take place Saturday & Sunday, June 28 & 29 at Doheny State Beach. The FREE event will feature Live Music, Surf Demonstrations, Environmental Education, Surf Legends and a Tandem Exhibition. For more information, please click here.
Aliso Viejo: Summer Celebration at the Library
The Aliso Viejo Friends of the Library will host a Summer Celebration on Saturday, June 28 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The library event will celebrate nature and feature music, activities and much more! For more information, please click here.
Lake Forest: Fourth of July Parade
Celebrate the Fourth of July at the City of Lake Forest’s 23rd annual parade, which begins promptly at 10:00 AM. For more information, including the schedule of events, please click here.
Rancho Santa Margarita: Summer Concert Series
The City of Rancho Santa Margarita presents its 2014 Summer Concert Series, beginning with Stone Soul (Motown) Sunday, July 13 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Central Park, 30842 La Miranda. For more information, please click here.
|FIFTH DISTRICT WRAP-UP
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
My office also:
- Met with the Laguna Niguel Historical Society
- Attended the Orange County Fire Authority Board of Directors Meeting
- Received a briefing on the Harbor Revitalization plan from the Dana Point Harbor Staff
- Presented a proclamation to the Forster family on the occasion of the 200th Birthday of the family patriarch John “Don Juan” Forster an original grantee of the vast ranch lands once defining South Orange County
My staff and I look forward to continually providing you updated information in our Fifth District Newsletter and website.
- Attended the Orange County Transportation Authority Board Meeting
- Attended the Mental Health Board Meeting
- Monitored the Emergency Medical Care Committee Meeting
- Participated in the South Orange County Economic Coalition’s South OC Transportation Update with OCTA Chief Executive Officer Darrell Johnson
Have a Happy Fourth of July! Let us all be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy through the efforts of our Founding Fathers.
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.
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