ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley commented on yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting where the Board reviewed the third iteration of Orange County’s Housing Element, voted to join the amicus brief for the City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Gloria Johnson, et al. as it heads to the Supreme Court, approved the purchase of equipment for Harbor Patrol, and responded to grand jury reports regarding fentanyl and human trafficking.
Supervisor Foley released the following statements highlighting the votes by the Board of Supervisors from the September 12, 2023 meeting:
Housing Element: Received the third iteration of Orange County’s Housing Element, the plan for addressing housing needs in the unincorporated areas of Orange County through October 2029. The county’s plan will be submitted to California’s Department of Housing and Community Development to review for approval.
“Our Housing Element is thoughtful, realistic, and addresses the requirements and challenges outlined by the State of California to address the housing crisis.” said Supervisor Foley. “I hope that the State recognizes our progress and partners with us to meet the housing needs for Orange County.”
County of Orange Joins Effort to Protect Anti-Encampment Laws – The Board voted for the County of Orange to join the amicus brief in support of the Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on City of Grants Pass, Oregon v. Gloria Johnson, et al. The city of Grants Pass, Oregon is being prevented from enforcing public anti-camping laws.
“We have made significant progress to humanely address homelessness in Orange County. Orange County saw 17% decrease in people experiencing homelessness from 2019-2022. We must protect the ability of local government to get people off the streets and into shelter and housing.”
“Russian Roulette: Fentanyl in Orange County” Grand Jury Response: Approved an official response to a grand jury report on fentanyl in Orange County. The grand jury report provided findings and recommendations on the fentanyl crisis to the Board of Supervisors.
“I would like to thank the members of the Grand Jury who dedicated their time to prepare this important report,” said Supervisor Foley. “This week - AB 1027, by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie Norris, a bill to combat online illicit drug sales, was voted off the floor and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. While more work must happen to hold those poisoning our kids accountable, we continue to address locally in Orange County, and by leaders in Sacramento like Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris.”
"Human Sex Trafficking in OC” Grand Jury Response: Approved an official response to a grand jury report on human sex trafficking in Orange County. The grand jury report provided findings and recommendations on addressing human sex trafficking to the Board of Supervisors.
"Human trafficking remains a serious problem in Orange County,” said Supervisor Foley. “In 2022, Orange County Sheriff’s Investigators made 32 human trafficking arrests and rescued 10 juvenile victims. We must take urgent action to strike down human trafficking to ensure our neighborhoods remain a safe place to live.”
Purchase of Harbor Patrol Equipment: approved the purchase of harbor patrol radio console upgrades for Sheriff Harbor Patrol’s Newport Beach dispatch center. The location serves as a secondary public safety answering point for 911 emergency calls within the Harbor Patrol’s service area.
“Orange County’s world class Harbor Patrol deserve the technology that will allow them to respond to emergencies across our coastline, including the county harbors in Dana Point, Newport Beach, and Huntington Beach. Equipping first responders with the tools they need protects our most basic need – public safety,” said Supervisor Foley.
Dental Plan for County Employees: Approved the dental plan for County of Orange employees. This modernizes benefits for families throughout the county, including an increase of the annual benefit maximum by $2,000, updating coverage for basic services to 90% coinsurance, and the establishment of a Preventive and Diagnostic category that covers benefits at 100%.
“The work we accomplished at the County of Orange over the last few years is not possible without our 18,000 employees. I will continue to advocate for benefits for our County employees,” said Supervisor Foley.
Data Sharing Agreement with Rancho Mission Viejo: Approved a digital information sharing agreement with Rancho Mission Viejo, LLC, a land developer in the Fifth District, which will provide cost savings to both a local business and taxpayers. Both parties create and maintain individual Geographic Information System (GIS) data and associated digital files to support their respective land ownership, development and management needs.
“This information sharing agreement provides cost savings to both local business and taxpayers. Providing both the County and this local developer access to better information cuts costs on the development and maintenance of these systems,” said Supervisor Foley.
Grant Funding for County of Orange:
- Stormwater Quality Improvement Project: Secured $500,000 in competitive grant funding for an urban stormwater infiltration and pre-treatment project. This project will support a new housing community in the Rancho Mission Viejo and will ensure the project does not negatively impact groundwater systems and San Juan Creek.
“As we plan for new communities that will help meet our housing shortage, we must continue to protect our environment and keep San Juan Creek clean,” said Supervisor Foley. “I'd like to thank OCTA for providing this competitive funding to our county, which will protect water systems in the Fifth District for generations to come.”
- Library and Civic Engagement Funding: The Samueli Foundation awarded the County $250,000 for library and civic engagement services. This funding will support community programming related to workforce readiness and small business development.
“Libraries are a critical resource for our community, providing free and easy access to information, ideas, books and technology,” said Supervisor Foley. “I would like to thank the Samueli Foundation for this donation, which will help ensure that our library system supports our workers, small businesses, and ultimately our regional economy.”
Housing Choice Voucher Program Funding: The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded nearly $1.4 million to the county for our Housing Choice Voucher Program. This funding will support 75 additional incremental/fair share vouchers. The waitlist for Housing Choice Voucher enrollment opens from September 18 – 29, 2023 for the first time in 12 years.
“We must address housing affordability for our workforce, families, veterans, seniors, and homeless neighbors by using every tool at our disposal, said Supervisor Foley. "By opening the list for Housing Choice Voucher Program for the first time in more than a decade, the County creates a pathway to housing stability for our workforce and vulnerable community members.”
Property Taxes: approved the property rate for districts in Orange County. Property owners may become eligible for refunds on a case-by-case if the value of a property has gone down. Residents can begin this process by filing a Request for Informal Assessment Appeal or by calling the Orange County Assessor’s Office at (714) 834-2727.
Supervisor Foley also made the following appointments during today’s board meeting:
- Joni Nichols to the Orange County Senior Citizens Advisory Council
- Libby Cowan to the Animal Care and Community Outreach Committee
- Evan Carey to the Development Processing Review Committee
- Irene Baskdakis to the Community Action Partnership of Orange County Board of Directors
- Dr. Ted Heyming to OC Emergency Medical Care Committee
Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2022 to represent the newly established District 5, which includes the cities of Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, a large portion of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, as well as the unincorporated areas of Coto de Caza, Emerald Bay, Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, Rancho Mission Viejo, Stonecliffe and Wagon Wheel. This is her second term on the Board of Supervisors, where she previously served District 2.
Supervisor Foley’s Board appointments include the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), OCFA Legislation & Public Affairs Committee Chair, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA), TCA Joint Environmental Committee, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, Ocean Institute, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) Community Engagement Panel, Spent Fuel Solutions Coalition Co-Chair, Law Library Board of Trustees, Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, Local Agency Formation Commission (alt), Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and OC Public Libraries Advisory Board.