Header image with Photo of Supervisor Pat Bates. Followed by office information
February 7, 2014

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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 Camuglia:
Deputy 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 5

CalOptima Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Audit

The Board received a presentation from CalOptima regarding the final outcome of a November 2013 OneCare audit performed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The audit identified deficiencies related to compliance issues among CalOptima, their health networks and pharmacy management company.

CalOptima’s OneCare program is a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan, which currently serves about 16,000 Orange County residents eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal. Based on the audit, CMS directed CalOptima suspend marketing and enrollment into OneCare, effective January 24.

Current members enrolled in OneCare will continue to have access to their benefits and services. In addition, CalOptima will continue to market and enroll new members into the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). However, CalOptima must temporarily delay implementing Cal MediConnect, which was set to launch April 1. CMS plans to conduct a follow-up audit no sooner than six months to ensure deficiencies are fully addressed.

CalOptima CEO Michael Schrader also noted that CalOptima expected a subsequent State audit of the Medi-Cal program. We received notice yesterday that the State audit will begin Monday, February 10 and last for two weeks.

The audit will be conducted jointly by the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). As with the CMS audit, this State audit will include the delegated health networks. However, the State audit will only cover half the time period of the CMS audit – from July 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. It is expected that DHCS/DMHC will evaluate many of the same areas as CMS, including: grievances, care coordination, utilization management, appeals, and fraud/waste/abuse.

While there is a significant amount of work ahead for CalOptima, there is no higher priority than ensuring access and quality care for members. CalOptima will work collaboratively with CMS and the State to address concerns.

La Pata Gap Closure Project

The Board approved a contract with Hill International, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $7,706,372 for Architect-Engineer Construction Support Services for the La Pata Avenue and Camino Del Rio Extension Project.

The Hill team will include staff from the Project's design team with unique project-specific technical expertise and specialized knowledge that will benefit the County in terms of design interpretation, schedule efficiency, and minimization of change orders cost for the Project. The Hill team will be responsible for overseeing the work of Sukut Construction, the firm awarded the construction contract for the Project in December 2013.

The Board also approved an agreement to pay $2.3 million to San Diego Gas and Electric for the relocation/realignment of four transmission towers required to implement the Project, as well as an agreement to receive $600,000 from the City of San Juan Capistrano for the County to relocate a City waterline within the La Pata Avenue roadway right of way.

Enforcement of Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance

The Board voted to seek legislation that would allow Orange County to contract with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for enforcement of the County’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance.

This legislation is being pursued in response to a 2013 Grand Jury Report that found Orange County lacking in effective ethics oversight with regards to campaign finance reform, and recommended formation of an Ethics Commission.

An ad hoc subcommittee that includes Chairman Nelson and Supervisor Spitzer was created to look at all options available, including contracting with the FPPC and forming a new County Ethics Commission. The subcommittee recommended contracting with the FPPC, as it would be cost effect and provide very important audit oversight of County elected officials’ campaign contributions. The County of San Bernardino is currently contracting with the State and is experiencing positive results.

The legislation will include language that will ask the FPPC to enforce Orange County campaign limits and gifting regulations rather than the State of California’s limits, which are substantially higher.

Public Administrator Office

The Board voted to consolidate the elected position of Public Administrator with the position of the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

The Public Administrator serves the public by managing the estates of Orange County residents who have died without a will or without the appropriate person(s) willing or able to act as executor. This includes the estates of persons who died and the next of kin cannot be located.

In 2012, Orange County voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have made the Public Administrator an appointed position, rather than elected.

I did not support combining the Public Administrator position with any other office because I believe the public’s vote in 2011 supported keeping the Public Administrator as a standalone position. However, I am confident the District Attorney’s office will seamlessly transition into this new role and provide critical oversight and services to the public.

For more information, please click here.

District Attorney Fellowship Program

The Board authorized the District Attorney to continue their Fellowship Program with participating California law schools.

Selected Fellows perform duties of entry level prosecutors, including the review and filing of cases, interviewing crime victims and witnesses, responding to defense motions, interviewing crime victims and witnesses, responding to civilian and law enforcement inquiries, and conducting jury trials and sentencing.

Prosecutor Fellows under the program are deemed independent contractors and are not considered “employees” of the County or the participating Law School. They will receive an annual stipend of $50,000 annually but no benefits.

Recruitment for the 2014 Fellowship Program will occur this spring. For more information, please click here.

2013 Homeland Security Grant Program

The Board approved and accepted $2.9 million for the Homeland Security Grant Program. The grant funding will be used to deter, respond to and recover from threats and incidents of terrorism. This will help fund the multi-agency Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center, the Sheriff’s Homeland Security Division and the Sheriff’s Emergency Management Division.

For more information, please click here.

Electronic Monitoring Home Detention

On a 2 to 3 vote, the Board opposed designating the Sheriff’s Department with responsibilities related to electronic monitoring and home confinement for those who have received felonies. Had this action been approved, the Sheriff’s Department would have been permitted to release certain convicted felons and allow them to serve the remainder of their term at home, under electronic surveillance.

While I thank the Sheriff for her solution to free-up bed space in our County jail system, I was troubled by the notion of releasing felons to home confinement before they finished their full institutionalized term. The passage of AB109 has created many difficult policy decisions at the County level; however, I continue to be adamantly opposed to “early release” of prisoners in any form.

For more information, please click here.

Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs

OC Animal Care recommended the Board modify the language of County ordinances pertaining to Potentially Dangerous and Vicious Dogs by creating a Level 1, 2, and 3 system to classify such dogs; however, the item did not receive a motion and did not pass.

The Level 2 Vicious Dog definition received the most attention from the public. The main issue for the opposition was the perceived stigma the ordinance would have created against animal victims of cruelty, as it would have automatically deemed dogs used or trained for fighting as Level 2 Dogs, when many such dogs have been rescued and successfully rehabilitated.

Because the proposed revised ordinance did not pass, the County will continue to enforce the ordinance currently in place, with the most significant distinction being that dangerous dogs will continue to be classified as “Potentially Dangerous” or “Vicious”.

California State law does not allow counties or cities to impose ordinances that classify certain breeds as potentially dangerous or vicious. As such, neither the proposed ordinance nor the one currently in place references specific breeds.

For more information, please click here.


I-5 South Improvement Project Groundbreaking

Last week, I participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-5 South Improvement Project, along with several members of the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors, officials from OCTA and Caltrans, and more than 100 transportation, community, and business leaders.

This $249 million project will add a carpool lane in both directions on the I-5 between Avenida Pico in San Clemente and San Juan Creek Road in San Juan Capistrano. This project is a partnership between OCTA and Caltrans and is being funded by Measure M, as well as state and local funds.

To view photos from the event, please click here.

Bus Service Changes

Beginning Sunday, Feb. 9, as part of the Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) annual February service change, minor schedule adjustments and route alignments have been made to provide additional customer service and/or relieve bus overloads.

Schedule adjustments were made to the following routes: 21, 24, 25, 26, 30, 33, 47, 50, 51, 53, 54, 55, 57, 59, 71, 76, 79, 82, 85, 90, 91, 129, 143, 153, 188, 191, 193, and 216.

Route adjustments to Route 21 and Route 24 in the Fullerton Park-and-Ride area will reallocate service to areas of greatest demand.

Low ridership on the following routes has resulted in their discontinuation: 25, 51, 76, 129, 143, and 153. Service hours will be reallocated to other routes with greater demand. Alternate choices are on the OCTA website.

For more information, please click here.

New Text4Alerts Enhances Communications with Bus Riders

To improve communication with customers and enhance their transit experience, the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has launched another valuable text-messaging tool designed to provide timely information to bus riders. Text4Alerts sends messages to mobile phones to alert riders about events impacting specific bus routes, such as detours or schedule changes.

In addition, Text4Alerts helps improve the experience of transit riders by keeping them informed so they can adjust their schedules and expectations based on real-time information. Such interactive programs may also reduce OCTA’s operating costs, as passengers receiving information by text may be less likely to call OCTA’s customer support center.

Text4Alerts allows users to sign up for up to five routes per text message, a particularly useful feature for those using connecting routes to make their way through Orange County. Text4Alerts is FREE and available via mobile phone and on OCTA’s website. Standard message and data rates apply.

For more information, please click here.

Orange County: On The Move

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) has released its latest edition of “Orange County: On The Move.” To view the OCTA e-newsletter, please click here.


Confirmed Measles Activity in Orange County

The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) has confirmed three cases of measles in Orange County in the last six weeks. These cases are unrelated and thus far have not resulted in transmission to other Orange County residents.

In the last five years, Orange County has only seen zero to one case of the measles per year. The Orange County Health Care Agency reminds people that the way to protect yourself and your family against measles is to get the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

Routine measles vaccination of children (with MMR) is recommended at 12-15 months with a repeat dose at 4-6 years of age. The vaccine is effective, safe, and usually provides lifelong protection. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to preventing outbreaks of disease in our community.

It is also recommended that unvaccinated persons of any age get the MMR vaccine, especially college students; healthcare workers; cruise ship passengers and international travelers; and women of childbearing age.

MMR vaccine is widely available from medical providers throughout Orange County. The HCA’s Family Health Clinic located at 1725 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana offers vaccinations to eligible individuals Monday through Friday. Appointments can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling (800) 914-4887.

For more information, please click here and here.


Construction Scheduled on Dana Wharf

Beginning Monday, February 10, contractors will be removing and replacing the existing accessible ramp on the North East side of the Dana Wharf Sportfishing building. This construction is part of the renovation for the new restaurant tenant in this location.

Contractors will be working in the evening hours to minimize disruption to neighboring businesses. The construction is anticipated to last approximately one week, with no work scheduled Friday, February 14.

For more information, please click here or contact Ken Stetson at Vintage Marina Partners, (949) 254-9384.


Doheny Update

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

To view the DSBIA February e-newsletter, please click here.


"Jails to Tails" at Theo Lacy

Theo Lacy’s Jail Sustainability Team have come up with many innovative ways to “Reduce, Re-use and Recycle” over the past year. This past month, the team started working with OC Animal Care on a new way to provide them with bedding supplies for their shelter dogs.

Thirty-two pet beds have been donated to OC Animal Care since December 2013. The inmate workers involved with the program enjoy making the beds for the animals, as this allows them to give back to the community. The goal of the program is to be able to donate to the shelter on a consistent basis.

The Sustainability Team’s chief goal is to divert waste out of landfills and reduce costs related to waste management. It is a huge “plus” when the team can make our furry friends comfortable while accomplishing their goal of reallocating waste.

For more information, please click here.

Valentine's Day Pet Dangers

Valentine's Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the ones we love, but it can also be a dangerous holiday for our pets. Please take extra steps to be sure your dog or cat is safe.

Valentine's Day dangers include:
  • Roses have thorns with could get caught in a paw or swallowed. Keep roses out of reach of your pet. Keep plenty of fresh water available to your dog or cat so the water the roses are kept in won't tempt him.
  • Lilies can be poisonous to your pet. Some lilies have a toxic chemical and can cause harm.
  • Chocolates can be very tempting to your pet but should be considered poisonous.
  • Gift-Wrap may smell of sweets, candy, and chocolate. The sweet smell might be inviting to your pet and cause him to eat the gift-wrap. Ribbon, etc. may be ingested and cause big trouble for your dog or cat.
  • Candy Wrappers are another danger. The wrappers have the scent of sweet chocolate and smell like a treat to your dog or cat. Many wrappers have sharp edges (such as foil) and may have some chocolate left on the wrapper.
For more information, please click here.


Vendor Information Day at County Procurement Office

The Orange County Procurement Office is a vital part of the County Executive Office, as it is the department responsible for acquiring goods and services to meet the needs of all County departments and agencies.

The last Thursday of each month (except holidays), the County Procurement Office holds a Vender Information Day, which provides prospective vendors an opportunity to learn how to do business with the County and get answers to questions regarding the County’s purchasing process.

For more information, please click here and here.

Project of the Year Awards

Congratulations to our County’s projects that will receive Project of the Year awards at the Orange County branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers! On Wednesday, February 19, the American Society of Civil Engineers will award:
  • Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year to OC Public Works, San Juan Creek Bike Trail at Pacific Coast Highway.
  • Energy Project of the Year to OC Waste and Recycling, Broadrock Renewable Energy Program – Olinda Landfill.
  • Flood Management Project of the Year and Geotechnical Project of the Year to OC Public Works, East Garden Grove/Wintersburg Channel from the Bolsa Chica Tide Gates to Warner Avenue.
  • Parks & Recreation Project of the Year to OC Public Works, Haster Retarding Basin, Pump Station & Recreational Field Project.

Clerk-Recorder Extends Hours

The Orange County Clerk-Recorder will be offering extended hours and is now accepting reservations for couples who wish to be married on Valentine’s Day at the department’s three marriage offices.

Ceremony rooms and marriage services will be available at the Old County Courthouse in Santa Ana from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Ceremony rooms and marriage services will be available at the department’s branch offices in Laguna Hills and Fullerton from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, the branch office locations offer free parking.

Appointments are highly recommended for those wishing to have a ceremony on Valentine’s Day since this day continues to be one of the most popular days to “tie the knot.” You can make an appointment by visiting their website and using the online application and appointment system. Walk-ins will be assisted based on availability of ceremony rooms.

Valentine’s Day has consistently been one of the busiest days for civil marriages at the Clerk-Recorder. Last year, the department married 170 couples. The all-time record for the department is 173 ceremonies performed on Valentine’s Day in 1997. The department also issued 224 marriage licenses last year on Valentine’s Day.

For more information, please click here.


Orange County Offices to be filled at Upcoming Election

The Registrar of Voters this week released the list of elective offices to be filled in the upcoming June 3 Primary Election. To view the list, please click here.

Nomination Papers may be obtained at the Orange County Registrar of Voters office beginning on February 10 and must be filed by March 7, 5:00 PM.

A Special Election will also be consolidated with the June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election to fill one short-term seat on the Irvine Unified School District Board of Education. To qualify for the office of Irvine Unified School District Governing Board Member, the candidate must be a registered voter in the Irvine Unified School District at the time of issuance of Nomination Papers.

For assistance with candidate filing, members of the public may call (714) 567-7600, press option "0" and ask for "Candidate and Voter Services", Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Are You Ready to Vote?

The upcoming Statewide Direct Primary Election, Tuesday, June 3 and the General Municipal Election, Tuesday, November 4 provide an opportunity to review your voter registration requirements and upcoming dates.

If you have moved since the last election, changed your name or political party affiliation, you will be required to re-register in order to be eligible to participate in the upcoming elections. If you are turning 18 on or before Election Day, you are eligible to vote.

Important upcoming dates:

June 3 Statewide Direct Primary Election
  • May 19 – Last Day to Register to Vote
  • May 27 – Last Day to Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot
November 4 General Municipal and Statewide Election
  • October 20 – Last Day to Register to Vote
  • October 28 – Last Day to Apply for a Vote-by-Mail Ballot
To check your voter registration status, please click here.


Mission Viejo Honored with Wheelchair Tennis Award

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) recently named Mission Viejo recipient of the Brad Parks Award.

The Brad Parks Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the game of wheelchair tennis, and Mission Viejo is the first city to be recognized in the award’s history. The award was named after Brad Parks, the San Clemente resident who founded the sport in 1976.

In November, Mission Viejo’s Marguerite Tennis Pavilion was the first U.S. host of the International Tennis Federation’s NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters tournament, held annually since 1994. Thirty-eight of the world’s top wheelchair tennis players competed for Masters Titles in three divisions – men’s, women’s and quads.

The City will receive the award at the USTA award luncheon in Carslbad on March 16.

To view photos, please click here.


Laguna Beach: First Friday Flicks at the Forum

First Friday Flicks at the Forum will be held Friday, February 7 at the Forum Theatre on the Festival of Arts grounds at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. The Oscar nominated film “20 Feet from Stardom” will be screened at 7:00 PM. For more information, please click here.

San Clemente: Coffee With A Cop

San Clemente Police Services invites residents to enjoy “Coffee With A Cop” on Wednesday, February 12 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Ellie’s Table, located in North Beach at 120 West Avenida Pico. For more information, please click here and here.

Mission Viejo: “Communication: Face to Face” Workshop

Teens and adults are invited to take part in a special workshop Wednesday, February 12 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Norman Murray Community Center. The program will focus on opening and maintaining lines of communication within the family. For more information, please click here.


In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other supervisorial activities, I also:
  • Participated in the renaming ceremony of the street “Camerons Way” in Ladera Ranch, in honor of Cameron Cook’s legacy to that community.
  • Was interviewed for the KNX 1070 News Radio program "On Your Corner.”
  • Participated in the South Orange County Watershed Management Area Executive Committee meeting.
  • Attended the Shea Homes & Toll Brothers unveiling of Baker Ranch in Lake Forest.
  • Delivered the keynote address at the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee meeting.
  • Was appointed to the Southern California Edison Community Engagement Panel that will provide public education and involvement in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station decommissioning process.
  • Adjourned the Board of Supervisors meeting in memory of Ronald Ward Brown of San Clemente.

My office also:
  • Presented certificates of recognition to honorees at the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Installation & Awards Dinner.
  • Participated in a tour of potential new office spaces for the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission.

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.

For an ADA version of our newsletter, click here.

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