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The Bartlett Bulletin: News and Updates from Lisa Bartlett, Orange County Supervisor 5th District
Going into my second year as a county supervisor, I would like to sincerely thank my colleagues for appointing me as 2016 chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. I am deeply appreciative of Supervisor Todd Spitzer for his passion and leadership in 2015, and I offer my congratulations to the recently appointed vice chair, Michelle Steel.
With new leadership on the board, many residents are asking about my goals and objectives for 2016. There are many goals, as the county government consists of more than 25 departments that address many areas of our lives. To that end, a number of my key county initiatives include, but are not limited to:
- Increasing efficiency, effectiveness and transparency as a foundation of good governance: I am committed to ensuring that good governance values are what I utilize to lead our county. One of the first efforts will be to distribute board agendas two weeks ahead of meetings, which will result in better preparation and transparency.
- Alleviating traffic and improving goods movement: I am working in collaboration with stakeholders to deliver key transportation projects including the connection between San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano via the La Pata Extension, a direct carpool connector between SR-91 and SR-241, I-5 widening and completing SR-241.
- Enhancing John Wayne Airport so that Orange County can remain competitive in a globalized economy: JWA ranks within the top 50 commercial airports in the country and contributes more than $6 billion toward Orange County’s economy. Gaining Point of Entry status would allow JWA to remain competitive as a world-class airport.
- Building the county’s first permanent homeless shelter in Anaheim to help vulnerable families, children, domestic violence victims, veterans and individuals: Research in similar counties report that housing is more productive and can save taxpayers nearly 80 percent in public cost to address homelessness.
- Modernizing OC Animal Care for improved and cost-effective service: Based on recent milestones, we are on a path to building our new state-of-the-art animal shelter, developing a strong partnership with animal rescue groups, developing private funding sources that help to lower the overall cost of operating a shelter and reforming OC Animal Care procedures and policies.
- Advocating for Orange County’s fair share of tax dollars from the state: Out of 58 counties in the State of California, Orange County receives the least amount of property taxes at 6.4 cents for every tax dollar paid. Orange County residents stand to benefit up to $600 million for essential services.
- Improving public safety, especially as it relates to securing more resources to address the growing presence of AB 109 offenders in county jails: Under AB 109, a prison reform initiative mandated by the state, convicted felons are allowed to be sentenced to county jail rather than state prison. This burden along with Proposition 47, which converted many offenses from felonies to misdemeanors, has clearly demonstrated the need for additional resources to ensure the safety of our communities.
- Revitalizing OC Dana Point Harbor to spur economic development and better access to the coast: After 18 years of waiting to see revitalization of Dana Point Harbor begin, I have ensured that the revitalization of the Harbor will not go by the wayside. Last year, we received Coastal Commission approvals to move forward and board approval to begin phase one of the revitalization plan.
- Developing a collaborative solution to the challenges San Clemente Hospital has faced in the wake of increasingly punitive regulations and downward pressures on reimbursement rates.
- Ensuring that San Clemente has the appropriate level of access to healthcare that the community desires.
- Instituting new reforms at CalOptima: One in four residents receives medical care from CalOptima. As a CalOptima board member, I am committed to the financial stability and enhanced oversight of the agency in order to improve the quality of medical care for residents.
- Addressing the drought through regional cooperation: Working with a team of the county staff, water districts and cities, we will advocate for grant funding for new water projects, streamline local permitting and creating a definitive guide for water conservation. We are working on several innovative solutions to address our dependency on imported water.
- Continuing to host public service events in South County that benefit my constituents: These events include my annual Senior Summit, Disaster Preparedness Expo, Veterans Summit, Job Fair, Conditions of Children Forum, Pet Expo, Water Workshop, State of the Community, Flu Shot Clinic and Prescription Drug Drop-off, among others.
In closing, I strongly believe that 2016 will be a year in which our board, our employees and our county will achieve many great things that will have a positive impact now and well into the future. Our collective strategic goals and initiatives will truly make Orange County one of the best places in the world to live, work and play.
To stay up to date on how the county progresses with these goals, I encourage you to follow me on Facebook (Supervisor Lisa Bartlett), Twitter @ocsupbartlett and visit my website at www.ocgov.com/gov/bos/5 to sign up to receive my weekly e-newsletter.
My door is always open. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at Lisa.Bartlett@ocgov.com or 714.834.3550.