ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA — Today, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley released a statement in response to the Newport Beach City Council’s decision to reject staff’s recommendation to Proclaim a State of Emergency as a result of the recent winter storms.
“I am very disappointed that the Newport Beach City Council voted against proclaiming a state of emergency,” said Supervisor Foley. “Immediately prior to the County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopting my recommendation to proclaim an Emergency on March 14, 2023, the Mayor of Newport Beach personally requested that the County take action. We did that and that very evening the Governor added Orange County to the State Proclamation related to the Winter Storm.”
“The Councilmember who led the opposition has a fundamental misunderstanding of why Proclamations of this nature are necessary. It is the tool available for residents, business owners, and local governments to seek reimbursement and disaster relief from the Federal Government for expenses incurred as a result of the storms,” added Supervisor Foley.
“I have been in daily communication with the impacted residents on Galaxy Drive and have visited with the property owners on several occasions. I know that the 83 year old displaced resident and her family disagree with the Councilmember as to the extremity of the peril, as do the two other families whose homes remain at risk and uninhabitable. If the Council majority had bothered to visit with the impacted residents, they would understand why the City Council’s decision was not in the best interest of Newport Beach taxpayers.”
“Fortunately, new State regulations allow Counties to proclaim these types of emergencies on behalf of their cities and seek federal reimbursements. Ultimately Newport Beach’s taxpayers could be on the hook for the millions in costs and damages related to the storm if FEMA elects not to reimburse Orange County. The action by the Newport Beach City Council does not help.”
“I spoke with both Newport Beach Assemblywoman Diane Dixon and Congresswoman Katie Porter about this decision. We all remain committed to continuing to work to ensure all costs and damages the City of Newport Beach and property owners incur are eligible for reimbursement to the furthest extent possible. I will do everything in my power to qualify Orange County for FEMA reimbursement and support the residents of Newport Beach and Orange County.”
On March 14, 2023, the County Board of Supervisors adopted Supervisor Foley’s agenda item to proclaim a State of Emergency as a result of winter storms (prior release). This was in response to the hillside collapse in the Dover Shores community in Newport Beach and other weather-related events in San Clemente and throughout Orange County.
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, Coastal Greenbelt Authority, Law Library Board of Trustees, Newport Bay and South Orange County Watershed Executive Committees, OC Public Libraries Advisory Board, Orange County Housing Finance Trust, Orange County Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, Orange County Transportation Authority, and the Transportation Corridor Agency.