At least 250 people protested Sunday against plans for a homeless shelter at a former military base in Irvine, raising concerns about drug use and potential risks to children in nearby athletic fields and neighborhoods. Supervisor Shawn Nelson said no drug use or sex offenders would be allowed in the shelter.
Judge David O. Carter noted county officials had 30 days to prepare for the new shelter beds. His announcement puts pressure on the supervisors to have a plan ready before an April 3 meeting with Carter and city officials.
All three of the proposed shelter sites could be eliminated Tuesday, but another vote on re-selecting the location for the beds is expected at a later date, after county and city officials gather on April 3 for a court-organized meeting.
Orange County supervisors to create up to 400 new emergency shelter beds on county-owned properties and spend about $70.5 million in stockpiled money for housing and services for homeless people with serious mental illnesses.
Orange County’s top law enforcement jobs could be hotly contested races this year as four candidates, including District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, are running for DA and three contenders want to replace Sandra Hutchens as Sheriff.
“This was a campaign mailer, plain and simple,” said Supervisor Todd Spitzer. He and supervisors Shawn Nelson and Lisa Bartlett criticized Supervisor Michelle Steel’s handling of the invitations, which featured herself and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and were sent to 16,000 voters at county taxpayer expense, even though the event only could handle 50 people.
County Supervisors, who are responsible for defining who responds to which type of search and rescue incident, said it wasn’t their job to fix the dispute – which reportedly has led to near-collisions between rescue helicopters. Supervisors instead pointed to other agencies to resolve the issue.