Santana: Could OC College Republicans Save the GOP?

With a car tax recall potentially on the ballot next year, four congressional races in Orange County and a campus-friendly central committee, young Republicans like UCI’s Ariana Rowlands could become a force on the local campaign scene across Orange County. Could they make the difference in 2018 for the GOP?

Santana: OC Vets Cemetery in Irvine Stuck?

Irvine City staff are asking questions about the future of idle portions of a proposed 125-acre veterans’ cemetery – possibly eyeing vacant parcels for commercial development. Veteran leaders are publicly worrying that an expected Tuesday vote to finalize a controversial land swap for the vets cemetery could be in doubt along with key aspects of the deal to bring a state veterans’ cemetery to Irvine.

Santana: Inaction Can Kill

Orange County Supervisors keep wasting precious time with an anemic response to the homelessness explosion along the Santa Ana riverbed and downtown civic center. With Hep A outbreaks prompting action in both LA and San Diego Counties, how much longer will it take county supervisors to step up and protect public safety in Orange County?

Santana: OC Contract Cities Rebuke County Supervisors Over Spiraling Sheriff Costs

Following significant salary hikes granted by Orange County Supervisors to Sheriff Deputies, fueling a 33 percent increase in costs over the past decade, contract cities are now starting to publicly question whether they need to look into alternatives. OC’s biggest contract city, Mission Viejo, takes leadership on a new audit of Sheriff’s patrol services. Big questions also loom over whether city or county taxpayers own the long-term pension obligations for both Deputy Sheriff’s and Firefighters if cities bolt from current regional policing and fire protection models.

Santana: Orange County Faces a Public Safety Leadership Crisis

Orange County’s Sheriff Sandra Hutchens’ credibility has been destroyed by Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals. Meanwhile, District Attorney Tony Rackauckas stands accused of political corruption by his own senior investigators. Regional fire service also is in full crisis mode after executives at the Orange County Fire Authority apparently ousted Fire Chief Jeff Bowman against the will of rank and file firefighters.