Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Community Edition): On the Latest Around Our Community (Updated) .

It has been quite a 24 hours here in Orange County as Irvine and Laguna Niguel (our hometown) voted to sue the County of Orange for plans to house the homeless.    This is as Orange County is slated to be hit with rainstorms--areas of the coast areas of Laguna Beach have been slated for evacuation.

As we went to press, some guidance was received from Orange County Public Works on this on this rainy day here in Laguna Niguel: 

Please see messaging below provided by the OC Public Works Public Information Officer.

With rain forecasted within the next 24 hours, the County is advising everyone, including the homeless community, to stay out of the flood channels, including the Santa Ana River. Flood channels can be life-threating during storm events and public safety is our #1 priority.  The County’s storm preparations --and efforts to notify and assist the homeless community involve a coordinated effort across multiple agencies including Orange County Public Works, Health Care Agency, Sheriff’s Department, local cities, and non-profit organizations. The County is assisted by “211OC,” to help coordinate assistance. 211OC has an around the clock phone line to help with all types of emergencies and provides regional connection to resources for disasters victims, the homeless, and others needing health and human services. Information about 211OC can be found at or by simply calling 2-1-1.

(Update:  Late tonight, our team received this from Supervisor Lisa Bartlett:

Lisa Bartlett - Supervisor, Fifth District
March 21, 2018
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett Opposes Laguna Niguel Temporary Homeless Shelter

On March 19, 2018, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted to direct staff to look into the feasibility and develop operational plans for emergency shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach, and Laguna Niguel.

I am OPPOSED to relocating homeless individuals to a vacant property in Laguna Niguel. It has always been my vision to develop a beautiful downtown center with retail, restaurants, homes, and a community center. This is a vision which is still being actively pursued with the City’s cooperation. The Laguna Niguel site does not adequately address public safety concerns.

I have spent a considerable amount of time listening to my Laguna Niguel constituents and members of the City Council. I am committed to fixing this problem, and going forward I pledge to Laguna Niguel residents:
  • There will be NO homeless people relocated to the Laguna Niguel site near the City Hall.
  • I have confirmed a meeting with Federal Judge David Carter, seeking judicial relief on all relocation sites, including Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach, and Irvine.
  • Supervisor Steel and I will request that the Orange County Board of Supervisors reconsider all homeless shelter siting at the March 27 Board meeting.
Orange County is facing a homelessness crisis of epic proportions. For years I have supported the creation of permanent supportive housing because it is the necessary long-term solution to homelessness. There are no easy answers to address our immediate need to respond to this crisis situation. In my haste, I supported an ill-conceived proposal that I now realize is distracting us from our real focus – building permanent supportive housing across Orange County in collaboration with cities.

I have a proven track record on public safety and working to solve the County's homeless crisis. There is a significant amount of confusion and concerns about how and why we got here, but I am 100% committed to fixing this issue.
Lisa Bartlett - Supervisor, Fifth District
OC Supervisor, Fifth District

Here is the perspective as published by councilmember and former Mayor Minagar of the City of Laguna Niguel:

Fred Minagar added 18 new photos from March 20 at 11:30pm — with Todd Spitzer and 12 others in Laguna Niguel, California.
March 20 at 11:30pm
The Laguna Niguel City Council Unanimously Voted for the Authorization to Initiate a Lawsuit Against the County of Orange for the Proposed Homeless Encampment "Tent City" in Laguna Niguel!
With over 600 concerned and emotional Laguna Niguel residents in attendance and over 100 speakers addressing the City Council, the voice of "we the people" was clear and loud! No Tent City in our beautiful City of Laguna Niguel!
Before our Special Meeting (behind closed doors) during the Regular Meeting, Supervisors Todd Spitzer & Lisa Bartlett discussed their voting rationale on the subject matter. The mayors of our two neighboring Cities of Aliso Viejo and Mission Viejo, Dave Harrington & Ed Sachs expressed their solidarity with our City respectively.
Prior to our meeting tonight, the followings are a synopsis of the recent County notification of potential use of defunct courthouse property as homeless transition shelter:
Three County owned sites for transitional homeless shelters to accommodate the homeless soon to be relocated from the motel voucher program. In order of activation the sites include:
· First Site - 100 acres in Irvine at the Great Park for 200 beds in multiple tents. Construction on laying asphalt and fencing will begin immediately. Once this site nears its capacity the second site will be activated.
· Second Site – Gothard site in Huntington Beach for 100 beds also in tents. Once again, if capacity is nearly reached the third site would be activated.
· Third Site – Defunct Courthouse Parking Lot adjacent to Laguna Niguel City Hall for another 100 beds.

 & the Mayor Prom Tem, John Mark Jennings:
YOUR VOICE MATTERS! With hundreds and hundreds of residents in attendance last night, your City Council voted UNANIMOUSLY to immediately initiate litigation against the County of Orange to stop the ridiculous homeless tent encampment in Laguna Niguel. We are hiring independent litigation counsel to seek a restraining order and injunction against the county.
To stay on top of this we will be holding a Special Meeting prior to our next regular meeting to monitor the litigation.
Huge thank you to everyone who came out last night on behalf of our beautiful city and to the tens of thousands of you that joined in by social media. Blown away by your efforts! Very honored to be your Mayor Pro Tem!
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