Category Archives: orange county

Wherever You Go, Whatever You Do

avoid DUI

Do me a favor and don’t be a victim to stupidity. Drunk driving is a serious offense that can easily exceed $10,000. And, don’t believe so-called DUI attorneys claiming a high success rate. There is a reason cops are successful in stopping drunks. And, the breath or chemical test is pretty proof positive, with the old days of fooling the test with Listerine a thing of the past.

With that in mind, here is a schedule of DUI activities from the Orange County Sheriff:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Lt. Jeff Hallock, 714.904.7042

JHallock@ocsd.org

 

Winter Holiday Mobilization Schedule of Operations

SANTA ANA, Calif. (December 12, 2014) – The Southern California Avoid DUI Task Force is announcing its upcoming enforcement operations for the Winter Holiday DUI Campaign.  The following schedule of operations, dates, and locations are provided for broadcast.

 

DUI / Driver’s License Checkpoint   

  • Friday December 12, 1900-0300, Cities of Garden Grove, Placentia & Tustin
  • Friday December 19, 1900-0300, Cities of Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Mission
    Viejo, Orange & Garden Grove
  • Saturday December 20, 1900-0300, City of Laguna Beach
  • Saturday December 27, 1900-0300, Cities of Westminster & Santa Ana
  • The City of Anaheim will be conducting additional DUI / Driver’s License Checkpoints with dates TBD.

 

DUI Saturation Patrols

  • Friday, December 12, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine and La Habra
  • Saturday, December 13, 2000-0300, City of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Tustin and Brea
  • Tuesday, December 16, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
  • Thursday, December 18, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
  • Friday, December 19, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim & Costa Mesa
  • Saturday, December 20, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim & Irvine
  • Tuesday, December 23, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
  • Saturday, December 27, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim, La Habra & Orange
  • Tuesday, December 30, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
  • Wednesday, December 31, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim, Irvine, Placentia, Westminster and Brea
  • The City of Fountain Valley and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting additional Saturation Patrols with dates to be determined.

On The City Council Agenda – June 17, 2014

Hidden Agenda ClipartSex Offenders and Hangar Reuse highlight the agenda for the Tustin City Council this week.

The Tustin City Council will consider the appropriation of $369 thousand dollars for consultant services to perform an assessment of the Tustin MCAS hangar under its control. The consultant, Page and Turnbull, Inc., have specific experience in assessing the hangars, having completed an assessment of two similar hangars at Moffett Field in 2006.

It’s difficult to say what the favored disposition currently is at the City. During Boss Tweed Amante’s reign, several sham discussions were held to a pre-determined outcome that the hangar would be razed in favor of other land use. However, a few years ago, the County of Orange, which controls Hangar Number One, decided reuse of the hangar as part of a larger regional style park was high on its list. Perhaps that will be the catalyst for Tustin to make an effort to keep our beloved hangars.

In any case,the consultant agreement will get the ball rolling as a necessary item for final disposition of the hangar. I will tell you, if the Moffett Field report is a telltale, things don’t look good. Keep your fingers crossed.

Sex offenders are a bit easier, though harder to swallow, for our intrepid council. The final item on the agenda is a second reading of the ordinance repealing the sex offender ordinance enacted a few years ago. Although no one (except the sex offenders themselves) is happy about this, all is not lost. As we reported earlier, state law should be adequate to protect our kids. And, I’ve noticed over the years taking my daughter to the park, parents are the best police. Expect a lot of discussion, nonetheless.

In Closed Session, the city council will discuss the work of our contract attorney, David Kendig. In our opinion, the city needs to put out an RFP for legal services. Kendig is a hack attorney whose sole purpose in life is to draw a paycheck and pander to the city council majority. Woodruf, Spradlin & Smart have been the city attorneys for many more years than it should have. The citizens of Tustin should have been alerted to the conflicts a few years ago when former city attorney (working for the same firm) Doug Holland abruptly resigned saying he could no longer adequately represent the city. At the time, we opined the city should go out to bid for a new law firm. That didn’t happen and I would assume the the Amigos are pleased as punch with Kendig. Let’s just hope they haven’t already sealed the deal for a bigger payoff to the firm.

Closed Session

Public Employment – Performance Evaluation of the City Attorney

Regular Session

Presentations

Student Safety Month – Steve Shirk, DCH Tustin Acura

2014 Water Awareness Poster & Slogan Contest

Public Hearings

Development Agreement - City of Tustin and South Coast Community College District (land swap)

Establish Tustin Community Facilities District 2014-1 – Conduct “election” and establish CFD for portions of Tustin Legacy under development. Procedure allows the city to establish a CFD with a sham vote of the “property owner” prior to actual development and sale, leaving new homeowners on the hook for $29 million dollars in bond debt.

Consent Calendar

Adopt Resolution 14-43 – Adds Tustin Ranch Road extension and Warner Avenue to list of eligible streets for added federal and local funds.

American Red Cross Shelter Agreement – Permits the use of Miller Center, Senior Center and Coliumbus Tustin Gym as Red Cross emergency shelters.

Adopt Resloution 14-47 – Reaffirm support for Prop 13.

Approve Tustin Legacy Park Master Plan – First step in approving 31.5 acre multi-use park in Tustin Legacy.

General Municipal Election Candidate Statement Regulations – Establish the authority and timeframe for candidate statements for the municipal election.

Regular Business

Consultant Services Agreement Hangar No. 2 – Provide funds for procuring Page and Turnbull Inc. to perform a re-use and structureal assessment of Hangar No. 2 at the former MCAS

Appropriation Limit for Fiscal Year 2014/15 – Adopt a fiscal limit of $73,045,518. This is not the actual budget, just the fiscal limit.

Second Reading and Adoption of Ordinance No. 1444 – Repeals certain sections of the Tustin City Code pertaining to registered sex offenders in parks and other areas frequented by children.

 

 

Annual Chili Cookoff 2014

We don’t care who wins but we do go for the chili. And, this year, there was lots of chili from lots of contestants. Although crowds appeared to be down from last year (I’m sure the city exaggeators will dispute this), that just mean there was more chili to go around.

The Tustin Street Fair and Chili Cookoff has grown over the years from a meager crowd of 3,000 or so, to accommodate more than 37,000 last year (this years figures aren’t in yet). This is the largest one day chili cookoff in the nation and Tustinites are justifiably proud.

There’s not just chili and beer here, either. A few years ago, they instituted a car show that has brought some of the finest classic and exotic vehicles to Main Street. We saw 57 Chevys alongside classic Karman Ghias in pristine condition and everything in between. The monthly Enderle Car Show was well advertised and, if this is a prelude, must be a great one.

Although we looked for the inevitable poltician, we actually didn’t find any – OK, we didn’t look that hard. We did see OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s tent sans Todd, who must have been out shmoozing with the other politicos in a hidden tent somewhere. No doubt many of them found their way to the judging table for the cookoff. As we all know, it’s the people’s choice that really counts. What do politicians know about chili?

Even in Our Town Tustin, security remains a priority for visitors

Even in Our Town Tustin, security remains a priority for visitors

B Street, was a respite for many from the Main Street crowds

B Street, was a respite for many from the Main Street crowds

New Cars

And New Cars

Old Cars

Old Cars

Some dogs had to work a little harder than others

Some dogs had to work a little harder than others

The usual suspects at the usual place

The usual suspects at the usual place

Long lines form at the best chili booths

Long lines form at the best chili booths

A brief clearing

A brief clearing

I coulda sworn it was the crooner himself.

I coulda sworn it was the crooner himself.

Our foothill communities were well represented

Our foothill communities were well represented

Tyron made the best chili fritos and you didn't need a ticket

Tyron made the best chili fritos and you didn’t need a ticket

 

A Flip Of The COIN

transparent governmentAs labor talks with the county’s public safety arm have ground to a halt, the Board of Supervisors are openly debating whether negotiations should be open to the public. Supervisor John Moorlach is leading the effort to open negotiations and openly criticized Todd Spitzer for holding private sessions with the deputies union in an effort to hammer out a deal.

The county recently sought to impose their “last, best and final” offer on the deputies union. That proposal would have imposed pension and other costs on deputies without a pay raise. While sounding good on paper, it would essentially have cost deputies up to 16 percent of their salary in take home pay. The previous contract imposed a tiered and measured implementation of costs designed to soften the blow on families. The stark approach imposed by the county this time around has left members of the deputies union fighting mad. And, they took that fight to court where a superior court judge ruled the county negotiator acted in bad faith.

Now, Moorlach is touting the idea of completely open negotiations – for labor, that is. In a recent missive to his constituents, Moorlach outlined his proposal to bring Costa Mesa’s COIN ordinance to the county. Essentially, the COIN (Civic Openness in Negotiations) ordinance would allow public review and input into the negotiation process, allowing everyone to see the fiscal impact of any proposals. Supervisors have already implemented several of the key points of COIN such as hiring an outside negotiator. Moorlach seeks to implement the entire ordinance.

As reported in the Voice of OC, union officials applaud the idea but say the ordinance should extend to all large contracts, including those with vendors the county does business with:

“Transparency should extend to members of the board of supervisors regarding contracts which they award to their political contributors, friends and lobbyists who bundle contributions from entities and individuals that are seeking public money,” said Nick Berardino, general manager for the Orange County Employees Association.

“They should disclose ex-parte discussions with lobbyists, contributors and other representatives seeking public money and political contributions received from those parties,” he added.

Of course, some Supervisors disagree. Shawn Nelson laughingly said that he is more worried about his own people than the contracts negotiated in the county. In an attempt to deflect the focus from contracts in general, Nelson said the issue was labor contracts because that’s what the people have to pay for and only find out the cost after the fact.

Berardino is correct, however. Nelson may foolishly think the public is only concerned with labor costs. There is a growing advocacy for complete openness in government where all contracts and their associated costs are discussed and debated in open forum. These costs, whether it is for labor or public/private contract, need to be publicized within the context of other issues such as recruitment and retention or cost of in-house versus  contracting in order to get an accurate picture.

While COIN is a good start toward open and transparent government, it is far from ideal. Side discussions and most closed session discussions would not be covered. That leaves a huge information gap and a potential for inefficiency when questions regarding motive and reason remain unanswered. The public, while not wanting to dredge through the day-to-day business of government (I just want my potholes fixed), is growing concerned over costs and would welcome a bit of sunshine on the process. To infer it is none of their business, as some city and county officials have, is disingenuous.

While the county debates the pros and cons of COIN, it is time for the Tustin City Council to do the same. In past years, their efforts toward open and transparent government have left much to be desired. The antics of former councilmembers notwithstanding, the city has been lavish with it’s compensation toward executives and upper management while giving the rank-and-file employees the short end of the fiscal stick. Then there is the so-called Strategic Plan that is supposed to be a guideline for city staffers. The plan originally was supposed to contain an ethics component that never made it into the final draft (or, if it did, it’s buried under the bodies). In formulating the plan, Management Partners, outlined some serious issues mostly centering around poor community relations. Those, too, were never taken seriously.

Tustin city planners like to think of themselves as forward thinkers, ahead of the game. An ordinance focusing on open government that would leave little to interpretation in regard to fiscal and ethical policy, would go along way toward demonstrating that trust. Open negotiations in all labor talks, whether they be for executive managers or rank-and-file employees with public notice of proposals from either side should now be an essential part of any open government mandate. Likewise for public/private contracts where tax dollars are expended. Government, particularly at the local level, should not be run under a lampshade.

 

 

 

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