Here's a rundown of the main issues we'll be tracking this week throughout Orange County.
Update on the CalOptima Audit
After a federal audit slammed the county’s health plan for poor, elderly and disabled residents, CalOptima’s overseers are set to get an update on what went wrong and how agency officials are responding.
County supervisors plan to receive the update at their board meeting on Tuesday.
The picture painted by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services isn’t pretty.
According to the audit, mismanagement at CalOptima’s OneCare program presents a “serious threat” to the health and safety of 16,000 seniors.
Auditors found many instances in which seniors who had a legitimate right to have prescriptions filled were improperly denied, as well as improper denials of medical services and emergency room payments.
Tuesday’s update was requested by Supervisors Todd Spitzer and Shawn Nelson.
“The chairman and I are summoning [CalOptima] CEO [Mike] Schrader to come front and center and update the board on what the hell is going on at CalOptima and why we are jeopardizing medical services to the most needy members of the public,” Spitzer told Voice of OC last week.
The issue will come back again on Feb. 25, when supervisors plan to review their appointments to CalOptima’s board. Their options include adding other supervisors to the panel, removing Supervisor Janet Nguyen or maintaining the status quo.
Tuesday’s meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the county Hall of Administration.
Santa Ana Might Call for Ending Deportations
City leaders could call for an extension of the federal deferred action program to “all immigrant families who are not engaged in criminal activity” if a proposed directive to the city attorney is approved Tuesday.
A similar measure was rejected last week by Anaheim City Council members, who cited a lack of presidential authority to end deportations on his own.
In Santa Ana’s case, however, the resolution would call on both Congress and the president to extend the program.
The meeting starts sometime after 5:45 p.m. at Santa Ana City Hall.
Update on Angel Stadium Negotiations
Anaheim residents and city leaders are set to get an update Tuesday on the controversial lease negotiations for city-owned Angel Stadium.
City officials have said they don’t know how much the land is worth. An appraisal is expected to be finished on Feb. 24, though it’s unclear when the council will make its findings public.
Residents will have a chance to weigh in with their thoughts at Tuesday’s 5 p.m. meeting. Click here for the staff report.
Santa Ana Presents Draft Strategic Plan
Santa Ana residents will get another chance to speak up about where their city’s priorities should be for the next five years, when the city presents a draft strategic plan on Saturday.
Activists have raised concerns that the strategic planning process is producing skewed and unreliable results.
About 80 percent of Santa Ana residents are Latino and more than 80 percent of residents speak a language other than English at home.
But only 7 percent of the surveys were taken in Spanish as of mid-December.
And more than a third of the 1,408 survey results at that point were from city employees.
City officials, meanwhile, said that they’ve made numerous efforts to get responses from the community and that the surveys are just one part of an extensive outreach effort.
Capping State Fees for Early Education Funding
Citing rising fees from the state Board of Equalization, the county’s Children and Families Commission plans to advocate for a state law that would cap the state’s fees for early childhood education funds.
The funding comes from Proposition 10, which places a 50-cent tax on cigarettes and $1 tax on other tobacco products to pay for early childhood education. It was a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1998.
The commission’s lobbyist, Curt Pringle, is expected to discuss the issue at Wednesday's meeting, which starts at 9 a.m. at the county Hall of Administration. Click here for the staff report.
County Video Contract Up for Extension
County supervisors are set to extend a $250,000-per-year contract to broadcast their meetings online.
Network Television Time or GovTV is the original contractor from when the broadcasts started in 2000 and is set to get a three-year extension at Tuesday’s board meeting.
It’s unclear why the county pays so much more for the service than many local cities.
The city of Costa Mesa, for example, pays about $19,000 per year to broadcast and archive its council meetings.
Some of GovTV’s technology also appears to be out of date.
The board videos and audio are low quality by today’s standards and are usually not available until a few hours after the meeting ends.
Other services — such as YouTube, which is free — will broadcast video in high definition and make it available for viewing almost immediately after it ends.
The county's meeting videos are viewed more than 40,000 times per year, according to GovTV.
Tuesday’s meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the county Hall of Administration. Click here for the staff report.
Costa Mesa Considers Increasing Pension Payments
Citing overall cost savings, the City Council will consider prepaying pension costs each year and paying an extra $1 million toward firefighter pensions this year and $500,000 per year extra going forward.
It’s the last action item at Tuesday’s council meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. Click here for the staff report.
Developing an All-Electric Bus
Local pollution officials plan to pay a company $857,000 to create and test an an all-electric transit bus that could be put into service across Southern California.
A $395,000 contract with Complete Coach Works is up for approval by the South Coast AQMD board on Friday.
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the agency’s headquarters in Diamond Bar.
Major Meetings This Week:
- OCTA Regional Planning and Highways Committee
- OCTA Executive Committee
- Huntington Beach City Council
- Rancho Santiago Community College District Board
- La Habra City Council
- Los Alamitos City Council
- Orange County Board of Supervisors
- Santa Ana City Council
- Anaheim City Council
- Anaheim City School District Board (special meeting)
- Irvine Unified School District Board
- Fullerton City Council
- Costa Mesa City Council
- Garden Grove Unified School District Board
- Mission Viejo City Council
- Lake Forest City Council
- Tustin City Council
- Yorba Linda City Council
- San Clemente City Council
- Laguna Niguel City Council
- Fountain Valley City Council
- Placentia City Council
- Brea City Council
- San Juan Capistrano City Council
- Laguna Woods City Council
- La Palma City Council
- Children and Families Commission of Orange County
- Coast Community College District Board
- Rancho Santa Margarita Planning Commission
- Aliso Viejo City Council
- Seal Beach Planning Commission
See something interesting in the agendas? Let us know!
Adam Elmahrek contributed to this post.