On the Agenda

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Here’s a rundown of the main issues we’ll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.

Is there something happening in your city we should know about? Let us know!

Anaheim to Pay $1.3 Million in Voting Districts Settlement

Anaheim City Council members are set to approve the payout Tuesday as part of an agreement to end a lawsuit that argued the city’s at large voting system disenfranchises Latinos.

The suit by the American Civil Liberties Union and Latino activists was officially settled in January with the city agreeing to pay the plaintiff’s full legal costs.

The plaintiffs originally asked for $1.32 million, which the city negotiated down about 10 percent to $1.26 million, according to a city staff report.

As part of the settlement, Anaheim voters will decide in November whether to transform the city’s voting into a district-based system and add two additional council members.

Factoring in the city’s costs, fighting the suit is expected to have ultimately cost the city $2.4 million.

Measles Outbreak Gets the Attention of County Officials

With Orange County leading the state in measles cases this year, the county’s Children and Families Commission is set to hear the latest on what’s being done to reduce further spreading.

Orange County has had 21 confirmed cases of measles this year, with local health officials attributing a lack of immunization to at least some of those cases.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles causes fever, runny nose, coughing and a body-wide rash. It can also lead to ear infections, pneumonia and in extremely rare cases, brain inflammation and death.

The disease can be prevented by the MMR vaccine, and officials say the rise in measles cases coincides with an increase in the number of parents who sign waivers to opt out of vaccinating their children.

A quick review of data suggests that children in higher-income districts in south and coastal Orange County are the least likely to be immunized countywide.

Local school districts with the lowest immunization rates for kindergarteners are Capistrano Unified (75.2 percent), Laguna Beach Unified (75.6 percent) and Newport-Mesa Unified (86.1 percent).

Districts with the highest immunization rates are Anaheim City (98.1 percent), Garden Grove Unified (96.7 percent) and Magnolia Elementary (96.5 percent).

The commission meets 9 a.m. Wednesday at 1505 E. 17th St., Santa Ana.

Ambulance Contracts Up for County Debate

County supervisors are set Tuesday to review proposed contract specifications for ambulance service in most Orange County cities and to recommend any changes.

The draft request for proposals or RFPs starts on page 11 of this document.

After giving direction on the draft RFP this week, supervisors are set to review it again next week before sending it off to the state for approval.

Check our site later Monday for a detailed rundown of the issue.

The ambulance discussion is scheduled toward the end of Tuesday’s meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m.

Update on Anaheim’s Streetcar Project

Anaheim city leaders are set to get an update this week on the city’s controversial $319-million streetcar project.

Policy issues up for debate this year include which agency will be head up final design and construction, what types of federal grants should be sought, how operations and maintenance would be funded and which agency will be in charge of owning, operating and maintaining the transit line.

Supporters have said the streetcar will increase connectivity and spur economic investment. Critics, meanwhile, have said that the project will benefit only a select few in the business community and that an enhanced bus alternative would cost $260 million less.

The latest controversy has centered on taking control of private property for the project.

Property that includes the 52-year-old, family-owned Park Vue Inn could be taken over, prompting an outcry from the owners.

An environmental impact report, scheduled to be released in December, is supposed to identify the preferred route and clarify which properties would be taken.

Public hearings on the project’s environmental effects would be held in early 2015.

The studies will consider impacts such as aesthetics, biological resources, air quality, cultural and historic resources, energy, geology and soils, greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, land use and planning, noise and vibration, utilities and service systems, transportation, traffic, land acquisitions, displacement and relocation, community and neighborhoods, parks and recreation areas, safety and security, environmental justice, construction impacts, cumulative impacts and economic and fiscal impacts.

The city expects construction to start in 2015, with the light rail line opening in 2018.

Tuesday’s discussion is set for the end of the council meeting, which starts at 5 p.m. Click here for the staff report.

Santa Ana to Get Update on Sunshine Ordinance

Santa Ana’s open-government law is now a year and a half old, and city leaders are set to review this week how its implementation has panned out so far.

The ordinance was passed in October 2012 after months of lobbying from a coalition of activists, the Santa Ana Collaborative for Responsible Development (SACReD).

Under the sunshine ordinance, the city now posts agendas at least 96 hours before council meetings, meaning that residents find out on Thursdays what’s coming up at the following Tuesday’s meeting.

According to the city, community meetings during the early planning phase have been held for six development projects so far, with community input boosted by a requirement that nearby renters and office tenants be notified about meetings instead of just property owners. So far no projects have been delayed because of the required meetings, officials say.

The other provisions of the sunshine ordinance have been implemented, according to staff, including a requirement that City Council members’ calendars be posted online. Staff isn’t recommending any changes to the law.

The update is scheduled toward the end of Tuesday’s council meeting, which starts at 5:45 p.m. Click here for the staff report.

Major Meetings This Week:

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Adam Elmahrek contributed to this post.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

Comments are closed.

On the Agenda

Print More

Here’s a rundown of the main issues we’ll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.

To get the latest updates on the latest civic action, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Is there something happening in your city we should know about? Let us know!

Main County Labor Deal Goes to Supervisors

After nearly two years of negotiations, a new labor deal is up for approval for the 12,000 county workers represented by the Orange County Employees Association.

The deal, which would run through June 25, 2015, calls for a 1.25-percent salary increase and a one-time payment of 1.25-percent of salary next month.

Other changes to health insurance, noncashable time off and premium pay for confidential employees are expected to reduce public costs by $15.6 million over the next three fiscal years.

The salary bump and one-time payment are expected to cost $37.8 million over the same period.

Overall, the new agreement is projected to cost the county $7.4 million per year.

Also up for approval Tuesday is an agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers for new craft and plant engineers to pay the reverse pickup of their 2.7 percent at 55 pension plans.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the county Hall of Administration. Click here for the staff report.

Anaheim Debates Lobbyist’s Fate

On the heels of a record-breaking state fine against its lobbying firm, Anaheim city leaders are set to decide what to do about their contract.

Sloat, Higgins, Jensen & Associates and its founder Kevin Sloat were recently fined $133,500 by the state Fair Political Practices Commission for illegally providing state legislators with liquor, wine, cigars, sports tickets and flowers.

That led Orange County Transportation Authority board members to fire the firm earlier this month, with Director Jeff Lalloway saying the violation “goes to the very essence of what they do for us here.”

Now, the Anaheim City Council is set to discuss its $150,000-per-year contract with Sloat Higgins.

Similarly to OCTA, Anaheim city staff have not recommended that Sloat Higgins be fired, with Deputy City Manager Greg Garcia writing that the firm is “critically important” to Anaheim’s objectives in Sacramento.

City staff notes that Sloat Higgins lobbyist Moira Topp has been working on the city’s legislative goals for issues like protecting “local control in land use decisions … economic development, CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] reform, medical marijuana, neighborhood issues, state budget issues and legislation impacting local transient occupancy taxes.”

The city staff report, however, doesn’t mention OCTA’s recent firing of the firm.

Meanwhile, the OCTA board is set to approve releasing a request for bids to replace Sloat Higgins on Monday.

Tuesday’s City Council meeting starts at 5 p.m. at Anaheim City Hall.

Ambulance Contracts Up for County Debate

As county officials take over the bidding process for ambulance service in most Orange County cities, county supervisors are set to begin giving policy direction on Tuesday about what those contracts should look like.

A central question has been whether ambulance companies or the Orange County Fire Authority will send patients a bill for a $388 “advanced life support” fee charged for the cost of Fire Authority paramedics responding to emergency calls.

When the issue last came to the board on March 4, two county supervisors sharply questioned the fee’s very existence.

The debate comes as county officials gear up to take over the ambulance contracting process from the Fire Authority in 19 cities.

That came as the result of a state determination that the county had improperly allowed the Fire Authority to oversee too much of the process.

As part of its new role, the county must submit its request for proposals for the 19 cities’ ambulance services to state officials for approval.

Another question will be who should constitute the panel that ranks the companies competing to provide the ambulance services.

State officials are requiring the highest-ranked bidders to be awarded the ambulance contracts. Supervisor Todd Spitzer has suggested placing supervisors themselves on the review panel.

Tuesday’s meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the county Hall of Administration.

Major Meetings This Week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Adam Elmahrek and Rex Dalton contributed to this post.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

Comments are closed.

On the Agenda

Print More

Here’s a rundown of the main issues we’ll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.

To get the latest updates on the latest civic action, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Santa Ana to Adopt Strategic Plan

After weeks of tension, Santa Ana officials and activists have come to an accord over the city’s strategic plan, which is expected to guide city policies over the next five years.

Local activists have called for the plan to address restorative justice, emphasize equity among neighborhoods, provide internships for youth and call for the end of the city contract with U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement to house immigration detainees.

While earlier drafts of the plan didn’t include those requests, that changed after the activists made a public show of frustration at the March 4 City Council meeting and reporters started calling city officials.

The strategic plan approval is scheduled near the end of Tuesday’s council meeting, which starts at 5:45. Click here to read our rundown of the issue and here to read the proposed plan.

Statewide Bike and Pedestrian Guidelines Up for Approval

Statewide transportation leaders are set to converge on Santa Ana later this week to hash out a series of key policy issues.

One of those topics up for approval by the California Transportation Commission is the statewide guidelines for transporting pedestrians, cyclists, cars and transit riders.

The goals of the 2014 Active Transportation Program Guidelines include:

  • Increasing the proportion of trips accomplished by biking and walking.
  • Increasing the safety and mobility of nonmotorized users.
  • Enhancing public health, including reduction of childhood obesity through the use of programs like those eligible for Safe Routes to School Program funding.
  • Ensuring that disadvantaged communities fully share in the benefits of the program.
  • Providing a broad spectrum of projects to benefit many types of active transportation users.

(Click here to read the draft guidelines.)

Commissioners also plan to discuss the statewide policy for toll lanes, which local officials have warned could be on the table for Orange County freeways.

The state transportation agency, Caltrans, sees toll lanes or “managed lanes” as a key option for future freeway upgrades, particularly to comply with a federal mandate to speed up traffic for zero-emission cars.

Staffers at the Orange County Transportation Authority were generally supportive of that idea as well, though the effort has so far been met with significant pushback from local elected officials and chambers of commerce.

A proposal to put toll lanes on the Interstate 405 freeway, for example, was recently scrapped amid the backlash.

Caltrans is also reportedly running far short of cash it needs for freeway maintenance.

The meetings kick off at 10 a.m. Thursday at the the DoubleTree Hotel in Santa Ana (map available here). You can click here for Thursday’s agenda and here for Friday’s agenda.

Red Light Cameras Face Cutoff in Santa Ana

As a bribery allegations against Santa Ana’s red light camera operator expand to California, city officials are considering whether to renew their contract next year.

Phoenix-based RedFlex Traffic Systems, which has been running Santa Ana’s camera program since 2002, has previously admitted that its Chicago camera program was likely helped by a $2-million bribery scheme.

And RedFlex official Aaron Rosenberg, who signed the firm’s 2010 extension with Santa Ana, recently said the company had frequently engaged in “providing government officials with lavish gifts and bribes,” the Chicago Tribune reported in January.

Dozens of municipalities in states across the U.S., including at least one in California, received gifts and bribes from company officials, Rosenberg alleges in a court filing.

It’s unclear which city or cities in California Rosenberg was referring to.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Santa Ana City Council members will decide whether to take up a staff recommendation to not renew RedFlex’s contract when it expires in June 2015.

The company would be required to take out its cameras within 60 days of the contract expiring, and city staff did not recommend hiring another firm in their staff report.

The meeting starts Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. Click here for the Tribune’s recent article on RedFlex.

Planners to Formally Reject Housing Project in Orange

Planning commissioners in Orange are set to officially reject the controversial Rio Santiago project this week.

Commissioners are following up on a 3-0 vote March 3 to deny the project’s environmental impact report, which they viewed as inadequate.

They had previously raised concerns about the report having more “significant and unavoidable impacts” than any other project known to be approved by the city, among other issues.

Rio Santiago would convert the former Sully Miller mine, which is just south of Santiago Creek in east Orange, into a housing development for hundreds of residents. Sports facilities and nature trails are also proposed.

A formal resolution is up for adoption Monday night that would deny the project’s environmental impact report along with a series of other approvals it would need.

It’s unclear whether the project’s landowner will appeal the decision to the City Council.

The meeting starts Monday at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Formal Labor Deal for Santa Ana Cops

Santa Ana City Council members are set to formally adopt a labor agreement with police officers on Tuesday that would run through the end of June 2015.

The city staff report, however, doesn’t explain what the changes are.

Instead, it states the new contract would ratify a previous “side letter agreement” from October.

That agreement calls for a 1-percent salary increase retroactive to last July. Sworn officers would pay an extra 1.1-percent of their paychecks toward pensions while nonsworn workers would pay 1.3-percent less toward their pensions.

The city would also pay $1,335 per month toward medical insurance for each officer, though the summary (here on page 177) doesn’t state how much the city was previously paying.

Sick leave and “personal necessity leave” would no longer be counted toward overtime hours, and new employees would be subject to unspecified changes to “career development pay,” among other changes.

In all, city staff estimated that the agreement will save taxpayers $515,000 per year.

The meeting starts Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. Click here for the staff report.

Major Meetings This Week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

See something interesting in the agendas? Let us know!

Adam Elmahrek contributed to this post.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

Comments are closed.

On the Agenda

Print More

Here’s a rundown of the main issues we’ll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.

To get the latest updates on the latest civic action, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Anaheim Debates Convention Center Expansion

A major expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center could be approved this week, with debate already underway about whether local taxpayers are best served by a newly proposed debt issuance.

Council members are set to vote on issuing at least $200 million in new debt to fund the project as well as major construction contracts to start the project.

The city maintains that revenue from additional hotel guests is enough to cover the expansion, which would add an extra 200,000 square feet of meeting space.

But convention center industry analysts have told Voice of OC that the city’s projections are unrealistic and that the gamble puts the taxpayers at risk.

(Click here to read our rundown of the issue.)

Additionally, it’s unclear how much the city will pay in interest, with the city-provided rundown of those projected costs showing up blank. That’s on page two of this document.

The city staff report on the bonds also doesn’t specify interest costs.

Interest on a typical 30-year bond can add about 80 percent to the total price tag, well over $100 million extra in this case.

Council members are also set to vote on awarding a series of contracts for the project.

Topping the list is a $155-million contract with Turner Construction Co. to design and build the expansion.

Another firm, STV Construction, would get $8.6 million for managing construction.

And the consulting firm Rider Levett Bucknall would get a $500,000 sole-source contract to be the city’s “convention center and [design-build] specialist.”

The city is also set to pay $50,000 each to two design-build contractors who lost the bidding process to Turner.

Council members plan to discuss the expansion at a 3 p.m. public workshop, followed by a vote at the 5 p.m. City Council meeting.

Click here for the meeting agenda. The convention center is the ninth item.

Will OCTA Fire Its Lobbying Firm?

Orange County transportation officials are expected to decide this morning whether to cancel their lobbying contract with a firm that recently agreed to a record-breaking fine for giving illegal gifts to lawmakers.

“I will not support writing a check to Sloat Higgins for lobbyist services,” Orange County Transportation Authority Director Todd Spitzer, who is also a county supervisor, said last week. “Hopefully they’ll be terminated on Monday.”

Kevin Sloat and his firm — Sloat, Higgins, Jensen & Associates — were recently fined $133,500 by the state Fair Political Practices Commission for illegally providing state legislators with liquor, wine, cigars, sports tickets and flowers.

Spitzer said he wants lobbyist Moira Topp to continue working for OCTA, provided she leaves her job at Sloat Higgins.

Director Jeff Lalloway, who is also an Irvine city councilman, agreed with Spitzer about canceling the contract, though other board members felt differently.

OCTA Chairman Shawn Nelson, who is also the county supervisors’ chairman, said the contract must be continued in order to keep Topp.

“Unless [Topp] quits, the only way to keep her is to have some relationship with this firm,” Nelson said.

Spitzer disagreed, saying emergency provisions exist to allow OCTA to contract directly with Topp.

A majority of OCTA’s executive committee agreed with Nelson, recommending last week that the lobbying contract be continued as long as Kevin Sloat doesn’t provide any services without their approval.

Sloat’s contract would still run through the end of November under that recommendation.

As officials gear up for Monday’s vote, a review of campaign records shows that Sloat Higgins clients have given at least $9,600 in contributions to support OCTA board member and county Supervisor Pat Bates in her bid for a state Senate seat.

Two of those contributions, totaling $2,000, were given on the same day last year.

They were provided by a Missouri-based pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts Holding Co., and the Northern California-based North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians.

They were two of the three contributions Bates received on June 4, 2013.

Bates and Sloat didn’t return messages seeking comment.

In an email over the weekend, an Express Scripts spokesman wrote that neither Kevin Sloat nor anyone with Sloat Higgins advised his company to contribute to Bates’ campaign.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Patricia Bates. She is a fair, balanced, considerate lawmaker who is good for California,” wrote Brian Henry of Express Scripts.

Bonnie Hale, treasurer of the tribal council of North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, declined to comment Thursday until the full council could speak together about it.

Bates’ state Senate campaign also received contributions from other Sloat Higgins clients:

  • Anheuser-Busch, $1,000.
  • Anthem Blue Cross, $2,000.
  • Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, $1,000.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric, $3,600.

Sloat’s clients were apparently less generous to OCTA board member Janet Nguyen, a county supervisor who is also running for state Senate, according to the review.

Nguyen received a relatively small $250 contribution from the student loan firm Sallie Mae.

Nguyen declined to discuss the contribution.

The meeting starts Monday at 9 a.m. Click here for some background on the issue.

Supervisors to Appoint Interim Public Guardian

County supervisors plan this week to discuss dismissing the current public guardian and appointing an interim replacement.

The discussion comes as the public guardian is moved into the county Health Care Agency and public administrator into the District Attorney’s office.

The public guardian oversees the estates of sick and elderly people who have no one else to look after them.

The current public guardian, Lucille Lyon, started in that position in July 2011.

The supervisors’ discussion is scheduled for Tuesday’s closed session.

Santa Ana Parents Take Charge on School Spending

As that Santa Ana Unified School District prepares for a boost in state funds, parents and community members will have a chance to weigh in on how they want to see it spent.

A series of “parent and community input sessions” are being held by the district to gather comments on its goals for extra spending under the “local control funding formula” or LCFF.

This week’s meetings are being held Wednesday through Friday at middle schools Villa Fundamental, McFadden and Spurgeon.

Another 15 sessions are scheduled through mid-April.

(Click here to read the full schedule.)

The new law boosts state funding for districts with high rates of students who are in low-income families, arelearning English or are foster youth.

LCFF, which starts in the fiscal year starting July 1, is considered the biggest change to California’s education funding in decades.

Central to the plan is each district’s “local control and accountability plan,” which will outline how they’ll meet certain goals.

Parent and community involvement is considered key to the plan’s success.

The advocacy group Children Now has a rundown of LCFF and how parents can advocate for their children through the plan.

Under LCFF, Santa Ana Unified is expected to get about $37 million in extra funding this coming fiscal year — a 10 percent boost in state funds compared to last fiscal year.

Two years later, that amount is projected to grow to an extra $84 million.

Under state law, the accountability plans set goals for the next three years and must be updated annually.

You can read the full schedule for input sessions by clicking here.

Political Aide to Join Housing Commission

The top political aide to county supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson is set to be appointed this week to a county panel that advises on affordable housing, homeless prevention programs and leftover redevelopment projects.

Denis Bilodeau, who is Nelson’s chief of staff and a city councilman in Orange, would serve on the 11-member Housing and Community Development Commission if appointed by Nelson’s colleagues on Tuesday.

Bilodeau would serve on the commission until the end of June 2015.

Details about the commission’s meetings are hard to come by. Its agendas couldn’t be found in a search of the county’s website.

The decision is before county supervisors on Tuesday. Click here for the staff report.

New Schools Chief in Anaheim

The 31,000 students within Anaheim Union High School District are about to get a new superintendent, and mystery surrounds who it is.

Board members plan to appoint the new superintendent on Tuesday, but the person’s name and salary aren’t disclosed in the meeting’s agenda.

It comes after the previous superintendent, Elizabeth Novack, was fired for undisclosed reasons.

Will Irvine Support Veterans Cemetery?

A bill to create a state veterans cemetery in Orange County could get a boost this week, with the possible endorsement by Irvine council members.

Assembly Bill 1453, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton, would establish a state veterans cemetery in Orange County.

Plans for the Orange County Great Park, which was formerly the El Toro Marine base, already call for a veterans memorial.

Councilman Larry Agran wants his council colleagues to expand that to a veterans memorial and cemetery.

If the bill is approved by the Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, the project would still need funding and a specific proposal, Agran wrote in a memo to city management.

The issue is up for debate at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, which starts at 5 p.m.

Major Meetings This Week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

See something interesting in the agendas? Let us know!

Adam Elmahrek contributed to this post.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

Comments are closed.

On the Agenda

Print More

Here’s a rundown of the main issues we’ll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.

To get the latest updates on the latest civic action, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Overload of Concealed Gun Permit Requests

County supervisors are set to decide this week on a request to temporarily hire 15 retired sheriff’s employees to handle an overwhelming number of concealed weapons permit applications.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has eased restrictions on the permits in light of a recent federal court ruling.

Officials are expecting a backlog of 600 or more applications, which they say would take an entire year to process with their current staff.

By bringing in the retirees, the permits would be processed in about three months, officials say.

However, the staff report doesn’t give an estimated cost for the hiring.

Angel Stadium Negotiations

As they work toward a new lease deal with the Angels, Anaheim City Council members are set to receive a presentation this week about Major League Baseball stadium issues.

The “due diligence” presentation by city consultant Daniel Barrett will include “a review of MLB stadium developments, stadium leases, stadium source and uses of funds, public-private investment summaries and other material related to MLB markets and economic structure,” a city staff report states.

The council meeting starts Tuesday at 5 p.m. Click here for the staff report.

OCTA Figures Out What to Do About Lobbyist’s Fine

In the wake of a record fine against its state lobbying firm, board members at the Orange County Transportation Authority are set to decide how to react.

Kevin Sloat of Sloat, Higgins, Jensen & Associates was recently fined $133,500 by the state Fair Political Practices Commission for giving illegal gifts and campaign contributions to state lawmakers.

OCTA board director and county Supervisor Todd Spitzer told Voice of OC that he’s “very upset” about the lobbyist’s conduct.

“Could you imagine if we put out bids for lobbyists, and we put out the question, ‘Hey, could you make sure to entertain legislators with whiskeys and cigars but make sure you don’t declare it?” Spitzer said. “It puts OCTA in a very uncomfortable position.”

OCTA staff, meanwhile, isn’t calling for Sloat’s contract to be canceled before its Nov. 30 expiration.

Instead, they want board approval to start conducting a competitive bid for Sloat’s replacement when next year’s legislative session starts.

OCTA could require bidders to disclose any “past enforcement or pending actions by the FPPC,” according to a staff report.

Sloat’s firm has held OCTA’s lobbying contract since 2002.

This week’s decision is before OCTA’s executive committee, which meets Monday at 9 a.m. Click here for the staff report.

New CalOptima Board Member

County supervisors are set to make their formal decision this week on appointing an additional supervisor, likely Supervisor Todd Spitzer, to the health plan’s board.

It comes after a federal audit found that the safety of elderly patients was put at risk by mismanagement at the agency.

The supervisors meeting starts Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

CalOptima’s board is also meeting this week on Thursday.

Ambulance Fee Collection

As county officials gear up to take over ambulance contracting in 19 cities from the county Fire Authority, county supervisors are set to decide Tuesday how they’ll handle certain fees.

The advanced life support rate is charged for Fire Authority paramedic assessment and ambulance escort services.

Supervisors plan to decide this week whether to continue having that fee be collected by ambulance companies or instead have it billed separately by the Fire Authority.

It comes after state officials determined that the county had improperly allowed the Fire Authority to oversee the contracting process for ambulance providers in the 19 cities it serves.

The county will be running its request for proposals language by state officials in April.

Click here for the staff report.

Anaheim Enterprise Zone Audit

A long-awaited audit of the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s contract for running the city’s enterprise zone is set to be discussed by Anaheim City Council members on Tuesday.

The audit found that the chamber had “inconsistent record keeping, particularly as it relates to timekeeping, and has resulted in the inability of the City to ascertain with reasonable assurance that all Enterprise Zone expenses were utilized in an effective manner.”

At the same time, the audit found that the chamber “substantially complied” with its core requirements under the city contract and was effective overall.

Click here to read the audit and here for the staff report.

Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month

As the issue gains attention across the county and nation, March is set to be declared as Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Month in Orange County by county supervisors.

The problem has exploded in recent years, now surpassing some of the other leading causes of death for adults.

Nationwide about 22,000 people ages 25 to 64 died from prescription drug overdoses in 2010, according to a resolution set for approval by Orange County supervisors this week.

That’s more deaths than from heroin and cocaine combined.

Misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals led to 1.2 million emergency room visits in 2009, the resolution adds.

Supervisors are on track this week to designate the month for prescription drug abuse awareness. It’s unclear whether they will also be ramping up on-the-ground efforts to address the issue.

Costa Mesa Repealing Sex Offender Park Ban

In light of a recent federal appeals court ruling tossing out such bans, Costa Mesa is set to repeal its ban on sex offenders in city parks and sports facilities.

The issue is up for a decision at Tuesday’s meeting. Click here for the agenda.

Major Meetings This Week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

See something interesting in the agendas? Let us know!

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that the county was found to have improperly delegated its contract oversight to the Fire Authority.  We regret any confusion.

Adam Elmahrek contributed to this post.

You can reach Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

Comments are closed.