Commissioner Updates

Appointee: Charlene Ashendorf -- Senior Citizen Advisory Council

Date: November 12, 2021

ABOUT: On Friday, November 12, 2021, I attended my first meeting at the Senior Citizen Advisory Council. 

The Zoom meeting consisted of more than 25 members who were engaged and very committed to the work of the Council. Committee chairs provided detailed, yet succinct updates on their work.

First, Erica Danczak provided an update on the work of the OC Community Veterans Services Office. The work of the VSO, throughout the pandemic, is impressive and I believe that it's safe to say that Orange County is leading the state in services to our veterans!

Next, Cynthia Thacker, SCL Coordinator, shared an update on the availability of iPads for seniors in the county. 

Also, Elaine Gennawey, Chair, presented updates on SCAC membership, SCAC and BOS appointments and the February 2022 workshop.

I attended the Senior Citizens Engagement Committee meeting on November 15th and the Housing & Transportation Committee meeting, on November 18th; as a result, I have requested that to represent SCAC on the Housing and Transportation Committee.

I am also looking forward to getting my appointment as Senior Center Liaison to a couple of centers, including one in Costa Mesa.

I can't tell you how proud I am to serve!

 


 

Appointee: Michael Wellborn – OC Parks Commission

Date: November 5, 2021

The monthly meeting of the Orange County Parks Commission was held at OC Parks offices in Irvine on November 4th.  The agenda focused on the five year strategic financial plan for the OC Parks program.  OC Parks Director Tom Starnes and his staff provided details on the finances for a number of projects and actions to be submitted to the County’s Board of Supervisors.

The FY 2022 projects (that begin on July 1, 2022) includes commencing work on the Mile Square Park 93 acre expansion, developing the Talbert Regional Park Master Plan, initiating work on the Crawford Canyon Park, and protecting the beach and parking lot at Capistrano Beach Park.

An anticipated revenue decrease and expense increase (partially due to costs of Covid response efforts) are being balanced by reduced large equipment purchases and reduced capital improvement projects. Director Starnes noted that the dropped projects are in the “nice to have” list while projects for needed maintenance, health and safety, etc. remain on the action list.  I inquired about increased visitors in the parks due to the pandemic and any availability of Covid funds from State and Federal agencies. The staff noted that they are receiving over $600,000.

The Commissioners thanked the staff for the detailed report.  

The final item on the agenda was the proposed calendar of meetings and field trips for 2022.  Shifting the Commission’s start time from 7:00 pm on the first Thursdays of each month to 6:00 pm was also discussed.  Staff advised that the start time is mandated in the County’s codified ordinances, and an amendment to the existing ordinance would have to be adopted by the County Board of Supervisors.  Staff will look into the ability to process such an amendment.

 


 

Appointee: Daniel Morgan – OC Planning Commission

“This week's planning commission meeting was a study session reviewing the upcoming Housing Element. Staff prepared a comprehensive presentation covering the upcoming housing element. The presentation covered constraints, affirmatively furthering fair housing, housing resources, housing action plan, and the proposed land inventory, among other things. The proposed plan demonstrates 11,277 homes, as compared to the 10,269 required under RHNA. There was some discussion as to whether or not the surplus was sufficient, and there was some discussion regarding additional sites that could, or should, be added. Banning Ranch was removed from the plan, although mentioned by some commissioners as a potential addition. Other commissioners, legal staff, and consultants from Kimberly Horn expressed concern that the site was not likely to pass through HCDs review and should not be included due to prior litigation related to being in the plans for an open space park.

 


 

Appointee: Sue Dvorak – Orange County Airport Commission

Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Airport Commissioners voted unanimously to approve Amendment One with JBT AeroTech Corporation for Passenger Boarding Bridges and Baggage Handling System Maintenance Services. This one-year amendment with JBT in the amount of $4,273,116 will extend their contract through January 13, 2023.

In a split vote, the Airport Commissioners voted in favor of approving the John Wayne Airport capacity allocations for the 2022 plan year. This item includes several component parts lumped together into one single vote. The item authorizes the Airport Director to take certain allocation-related actions during the 2022 Plan Year in accordance with the Access Plan and includes the following:

  • Class A and E Average Daily Departure (ADD) and Seat Capacity allocations
  • Withdraw Seat Capacity during 2022 if necessary to comply with the million annual passenger limit
  • Allocate or reallocate any additional regular or supplemental ADDs and associated seat capacity
  • Allocate additional supplemental seat capacity to qualified commercial air carriers if needed
  • Allocate up to 30 Remain Overnight positions for commercial air carriers
  • Allocate passenger capacity and Remain Overnight positions and allocate any additional supplemental passenger capacity and Remain Overnight positions to qualified commuter carriers
  • Find that the County has exclusive discretion to require mandatory withdrawals of operational capacity in any form if deemed appropriate

 


 

Appointee: Nita Tewari PhD – OC Behavioral Health Advisory Board Mental Health System of Care (MHSOC) and Substance Use Disorder System of Care (SUDSOC) Committee Meeting

Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

  • Annette Mugrditchian spoke on the Be Well Mental Health Crisis Unit
  • Supervisor Foley will be discussing plans to increase awareness of the Fentanyl crisis with the OC Health Care Agency
  • In the System of Care Meeting, the MHSOC and SUDSOC met in two virtual breakout rooms to discuss topics relevant to mental health.
  • The SUDSOC discussed Health and Equity, Opioid and Methamphetamine overdoses, SUD Longterm Recovery and Increased Marketing.
  • The MHSOC discussed Health and Equity, Suicide Prevention and Eliminating Stigma/Community Outreach, Student Mental Health and Increased Marketing.
  • There was a request for attendees to join the BHAB Data Notebook committee focusing on the mental health services being provided to OC.

The next BHAB General Meeting will be via Zoom on October 27, 2021 from 9-10:45am.

 


 

Appointee: Daniel Morgan—Orange County Planning Commission

Date: October 13, 2021

There were two items on the agenda:

  1. The Commission approved the certification of an additional Acoustical Consultant, Stephen Martin, PE - Veneklasen Associates, Inc. The certification is valid for 5 years.
  2. Approval of Planning Commission meeting schedule for next year.

We also discussed the Housing Element which is available for public review. Public comment period is September 17- October 15.

https://ocds.ocpublicworks.com/service-areas/oc-development-services/planning-development/ current-projects/all-districts-2

 


 

Appointee: Michael Wellborn – OC Parks Commission

Date: October 7, 2021

OC Parks Director Tom Starnes hosted the meeting and introduced recently promoted staff members to the Commission. The new concessionaire for the snack bar lease at Salt Creek Beach Park came before the commission for approval. Of the four proposals reviewed by County Real Estate, the recommended entity Laguna Beach Golf and Bungalow Village (aka The Ranch). After numerous questions on the proposed improvements, fiscal structure of the proposed lease and the operational aspects, the Commission voted unanimously to recommend the proposed concessionaire lease to the Board of Supervisors.

 


 

Appointee: Yvonne Rowden – Audit Oversight Committee

Date: September 17, 2021

There were no findings noted in the External Auditors Report for this period. He noted that there was clear and transparent communication between the auditors and County departments.

OCERS Annual Update:

CEO of OCERS, Steve Delaney, reported on the status of the 20-year (2013-2033) plan to reduce the plan’s unfunded liability which improved year-over-year by 5.38% to 80.74% between 2019-2018. 80% is considered the minimum for a healthy plan.

Internal Audit Department Status Report, Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Update, and AOC Policy Changes:

Aggie Alonso, Director of Internal Audit, noted 11 final audit reports with no critical control weaknesses, one significant control weakness, and seven control findings were issued during the quarter ended June 30, 2021. The Internal Audit Department met or exceeded 10 of 12 KPIs for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21. The shortfall on the remaining two occurred due to staffing issues outside the Director’s control. The Committee approved two procedural changes recommended by the Director to improve efficiency and timely reporting in all County departments/agencies governed by the Board.

Recruiting Continues to be a Challenge:

The Internal Audit Department faces recruiting headwinds due to the increasing importance of finding qualified candidates with both auditing and IT background. Up to 25% of internal audit now involves IT audits.

 


 

Appointee: Michael Wellborn – OC Parks Commission

Date: September 10, 2021

I was joined by Coastal Cities Commissioner Joe Muller (Chair) and Inland Cities Commissioner Dave Shawver. After introductions, Chair Muller presented a memento of thanks from the Commission to departing OC Parks Director Stacy Blackwood. Stacy was then given the honor of doing a release of a rehabilitated red tail hawk! The hawk took off, obviously enjoying its freedom. The Commission then heard a presentation from Center staff and were given a tour of the facilities. Two other red tail hawks, a great horned owl and a bald eagle were brought out for viewing. We also were able to observe a number of other raptors at the site.

 


 

Appointee: Rick Foster – Development Processing Review Committee

Date: September 1, 2021

  • SB 9 - Passed in both houses and awaiting the Governor’s decision. It would make all residential lots eligible for 2 buildings on a lot, thus doubling the number of dwelling units per lot. If passed, new policies would need to be adopted to accommodate these changes. Planning and Zoning are monitoring the outcome and whether the Governor signs the bill
  • SB 743 - Adopted new guidelines for transportation section requiring new projects to have VMT (vehicle miles traveled) analysis which will include greenhouse impact relating to travel impact on each project as a part of development planning as it relates to residential travel, recreation and employment travel impacts for each development. Guidelines are forth coming for board approval before moving forward with updates.
  • Working on update to bylaws which haven't been updated since the 1950s.
  • Goals for next year will be submitted to the DPR board.

 


 

Appointee: Muriel Ullman — Housing and Community Development Commission

Date: August 26, 2021

OCHCA was awarded 557 vouchers to assist individuals and families who are: experiencing homelessness; at risk of homelessness; fleeing domestic violence and/or human trafficking; or were recently homeless or at high risk of housing instability. Mike Alvarez was appointed 3rd District Chair and Cecelia Hupp was appointed Vice Chair of City Selections. Additionally, there are 5 ADHOC committee positions open.

 


 

Appointee: Sue Dvorak – Orange County Airport Commission

Date: August 18th, 2021

The Airport Commission voted unanimously to extend the contract with LAZ Parking California, LLC through September 30, 2022 to ensure shuttle service is provided for employees and passengers from the Main Street parking lot to the main terminal. JWA expects a competitive bid process in the fall of 2021 for a new parking management shuttle contract. The Commission also voted, unanimously, to recommend the approval of an Air Canada lease from October 1, 2021 – December 31, 2025. Air Canada passengers will travel from JWA to Vancouver on the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane which utilizes the latest aircraft technology resulting in lower fuel consumption and quieter departures. This week I also worked with Supervisor Foley and her internal advising team on the Fly Friendly program to encourage use of cleaner fuels and quicker departures.

 


 

Appointee: Alexander Gonzalez – Veterans Advisory Committee

Date: August 11, 2021

The committee met to discuss the resettlement of Afghan and Iraqi interpreters in Orange County. Since the meeting, the situation in Afghanistan has evolved to consider alternative actions to properly respond to the magnitude of recent events in the country. Additionally, the committee is monitoring the progress on the resolutions supporting the Orange County Veterans Cemetery that are being brought forward for consideration by various cities and encourages local jurisdictions to support this crucial action for our country’s veterans.

 


 

Appointee: Michael Wellborn – OC Parks Commission Meeting

Date: August 5, 2021

The OC Parks Commission voted to approve a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors to approve the Crawford Canyon Park project which will fill the need for a local community park at the corner of Newport Blvd and Crawford Canyon Rd. Additionally, we recommended an approval of a drainage easement and agreement with the City of Newport Beach on a County-owned parcel. This agreement will clarify that the city will take responsibility and liability for the drainage facility. Finally, we concurred with the County Chief Real Estate Officer to purchase a trail easement along the Serrano Creek Trail necessitated by the creek’s natural alignment.

 


 

Appointee: Sue Dvorak – Orange County Airport Commission

Date: August 4, 2021

Due to aging infrastructure at JWA, the Airport Commission voted to recommend approval of the Maintenance Task Facilitation and Support contracts with JOA Group and Woolpert, Inc. which will help JWA’s Maintenance Division plan for maintenance, repair or replacement of assets. We also voted to recommend approval to extend the contract with LAZ Parking California, LLC for Shuttle Maintenance Repair and Support Services which provides on-call and emergency transportation through December 31, 2021. Fun Fact: Shuttles at JWA are expected to be all electric within the next ten years, and a majority of other ground support equipment at the airport will be electric by 2026 supporting clean air objectives.

 


 

Appointee: Rick Foster – Development Process Review Board

Date: August 4, 2021

  • Transportation manual to be updated and sent to Board of Supervisors for approval. This manual has not been updated since 2012.
  • Reported that urban development is up nationwide and at record pace. OC planning is slow with mapping currently looking to correct that.
  • ADU’s: planning conducting panel reviews to look at plans to offer to the public as pre-approved plans, making the plans less expensive for consumer/ homeowners. Currently 200 ADU's permits in the pipeline.
  • The Water Board is having conflicts with Canyon areas for ADU approvals.
  • 10,000 new dwellings to be added will most likely occur in an overlay of multifamily and commercial properties. Only 1 controversial site located in Newport Beach.; conflict on County and City both including site in overlay numbers. This is being looked at for resolution.
  • The traffic planning division is looking for any input on the traffic manual updates, so far none were presented and the project manager was out.

 


 

Appointee: Armando De La Libertad – Orange County Historical Commission

Date: August 3, 2021

The OC Historical Commission met on August 3, 2021 at the Irvine Ranch Historic Park. At the gathering, new District 2 Commissioner Armando De La Libertad introduced himself and provided an overview of his interests in historic preservation. The Commission received an update on the progress of the Old County Courthouse’s repairs, discussed the status of 56 historical site plaques spanning the county, and approved a collaboration initiative with Preserve OC to make progress on an interactive mapping project. For more information on the Commission, please visit https://www.ocparks.com/about-us/oc-historical-commission.

 


 

Appointee: Jon Peat – OCTA, Special Needs Advisory Committee

Date: July 27, 2021

The Special Needs Advisory Committee of OCTA held its quarterly meeting on Tuesday, July 27. The board elected a new chair and vice chair. Associate Community Relations Specialist, Jared Hill, asked current Chair, Sue Lau, to complete her term as chair by conducting the current meeting. Mr. Hill will meet with the newly elected chair and vice chair, prior to the meeting scheduled for October 26, 2021, to provide training in the roles and responsibilities of the two positions and to prepare the agenda for that meeting. The committee voted to change the name of the committee from the Special Needs Advisory Committee to the Accessible Transit Advisory Committee. It was felt that this name provided a greater sense of awareness connectivity to people who utilize the services provided by the Access program who may not have special needs, like seniors. The committee received a series of reports and updates from staff on topics, including:

  • Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Disabled Grants Program Review
  • Bus Restructuring Study Update
  • OC Flex Microtransit Pilot Program Update
  • 2021-2022 OCTA Budget Overview
  • OC Bus Update
  • OC Access Operations Update
  • OC ACCESS Eligibility/Mobility Management Service Update