MOORLACH UPDATE — BOS Votes — June 22, 2011

It’s funny how some facts are missed or obfuscated in newspaper articles.  In the first article below from the OC Register, it is true that I asked if the program had to be called “promotora.”  It is also true that Health Care Agency Deputy Director Mark Refowitz stated that the name could be changed and it was.  What is not true is that I held up this item.  It was Supervisor Bates that requested a continuance of this item in order to do more research.  In most instances, when a fellow Supervisor requests a continuance, we vote to approve that request. 

What is more interesting is how a small segment of our wonderful community missed what really happened.  “Do I have a problem with the name ‘Latino Health Access’?” one reporter asked.  No.  What I do have a problem with is when a simple request is taken out of context and blown out of proportion, especially when the overreaction is unwarranted.  Once those who raised concerns, based on having only half of the information, understood what really occurred, things amicably calmed down.  The second article, from the Voice of OC, also covers this topic.

The third piece below is in the county’s various Patch paperless newspapers and covers some of the frustrations that we dealt with at yesterday’s Board meeting.

The final piece is from the Daily Pilot and covers the luncheon of last Friday where I served as Master of Ceremonies.  It’s provided in total to give you the list of honorees and to let you celebrate their contributions.  In a time when local governments are imploding due to poor fiscal stewardship, it is more important than ever for the citizenry to plug into service clubs and provide the necessary leadership to hold our communities together.

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Program’s funding tied to name change

Mental-health service provider is told to add English words to title to receive county money

Kimberly Edds

County supervisors approved a $1.5 million contract for a nonprofit’s mental health services program after the nonprofit agreed to change the name of its Promotora Program to include English words.

The program is now called Community Outreach Services/Promotora Program.

The contract with nonprofit Latino Health Access to teach their Promotora Program to outside organizations was held up by supervisors two weeks ago after Vice Chairman John Moorlach and Supervisor Shawn Nelson questioned the use of the Spanish word promotora when the program is aimed at educating people across Orange County on how to fight the early signs of mental illness.

Promotora is a Spanish word for community health worker.

“Does it have to be called promotora?” Moorlach asked at the June 14 board meeting.  “And if so, why?”

According to its website, “Latino Health Access (LHA) is a non-profit, 501c3 organization established in 1993, created to assist with the multiple health needs of Latinos in Orange County.”

Mark Refowitz, deputy director of the county’s health care agency, told supervisors the organization and its Promotora Program reaches out to all segments of the community in the hopes of identifying early signs of mental illness and providing early treatment.

The name of the program could be changed if the board desired, Refowitz said.

Nelson said the board wouldn’t give an organization geared toward “Anglo Catholics” a county contract and questioned at the June 14 meeting the use of Latino in the name of the nonprofit.

Nelson called the name “ridiculous” and added that “unless this agency wants to rename itself, I have no interest in supporting this sort of approach.”

The discussion – and the delay in approving the funding – was criticized in a OC Weekly blog post by Gustavo Arrellano who first wrote about the issue and from Hispanic advocates who demanded an apology by Moorlach and Nelson.

Supervisor John Moorlach stopped a very normal process because he did not like the use of the word promotora in the language of the mental health outreach agreement,” wrote Zeke Hernandez, president of the Santa Ana League of United Latin American Citizens, in a June 14 memo to the board. “Clearly Supervisor Moorlach this time has stooped so low as to suggest the county to ‘hold up’ critical services to persons who are in need of these mental health services by suggesting a non-English word should be removed for an English word.”

Supervisors voted to approve the name change and the funding Tuesday with no discussion about the name change. Chairman Bill Campbell was not present for the vote.

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Supervisors Reauthorize Old Program but Require New Name

Just about everywhere in the world, the word for the person who does healthcare outreach in underserved communities is "promotora."

In Orange County, it is now Community Outreach Services/Promotora.

That was the condition imposed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors Tuesday as they approved a $1.5-million grant to Latino Health Access for the program.

The program’s name became an issue earlier this month when Supervisor John Moorlach expressed concerns about using Spanish words in a mental health outreach grant.

Supervisor Shawn Nelson went even further, saying he had issues with the "Latino" in Latino Health Access.

Latino leaders were outraged by the stances taken by both Moorlach and Nelson. Nelson, however, has met with Latino Health Access leaders and talked things through.

According to health experts, the word promotora has become synonymous with localized outreach on difficult topics like mental health, where people are dealing with trained neighbors instead of government workers. The World Health Organization first developed the concept.

Latino Health Access has become a leader in the United States with the approach. In fact, county staffers initially used the word promotora in their own requests for proposals.

But after the questions from county supervisors, staff scrambled to concoct an alternate name. In the intervening weeks, numerous health care providers and experts, worried by the prospect of funds being delayed, have written to supervisors.

The issue ended Tuesday when with no debate the board voted to approve the contract for the renamed program.

— NORBERTO SANTANA JR.

 

County Bigwigs Rant About Multimillion-Dollar Cost Overruns

In the end, they throw more money at a couple of costly and controversial projects.

By Patch Staff

Millions of dollars in cost overruns left Orange County officials fuming Tuesday, but that was about all they could do.

At issue were a couple of pricey projects seeking additional funding from the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

The first involves a massive overhaul of the county’s computerized property tax management system, which hasn’t been updated since Ronald Reagan was president.

A few years ago, the county hired TaTa Consulting Services, an Indian company, to design a new system based on a 6,000-page memo written by county staff. Estimated cost: $7.6 million.

Apparently, the 6,000-page memo wasn’t detailed enough.

"There were a lot of loose ends in that document," county auditor-controller David Sundstrom told a frustrated Supervisor John Moorlach at Tuesday’s board meeting. And revisions to the state tax code caused additional snafus, delaying the completion date from July 2011 to June 2012–and jacking up the price tag.

Earlier this year, TaTa asked for an additional $4 million to finish the project, plus $800,000 for travel expenses and support. County officials negotiated the price increase down to $2.7 million, bringing the final tab to $10.3 million (which also includes a six-month warranty), an amount the supervisors unanimously, albeit somewhat reluctantly, approved Tuesday morning.

But wait, there’s more. In addition to buying the new computer system, the county also has to train employees to use it. On Tuesday, supervisors OK’d another $2 million to GCAP Services Inc. to teach county workers to use the new property tax system, as well as new software for the county’s payroll, purchasing and human resources departments.

Last year, the county employees union blasted all the computer system upgrades, saying they were ridiculously overpriced, full of bugs and inefficient.

The $3.7-Million Landfill Office 

Another item that riled supervisors was a request for an extra $400,000 to manage construction of an eco-friendly office building at the Prima Deshecha landfill, which serves South Orange County.

In 2009, the county budgeted $3.7 million to build a 10,000-square-foot "green" office building at the landfill. The project was supposed to be done last August but has turned into "a disaster," according to county officials, who said they expect to file a lawsuit against the construction company, Horizon Construction Co. International Inc.

However, much of Tuesday’s ire was aimed at Bryan A. Stirrat & Associates, which was hired to oversee the project and provide archeological services. Normally, a project manager’s fee equals 15 percent of the total construction cost, officials said, which would have been $555,000 in this case.

But, so far, the county has paid Stirrat $1.6 million. And, on Tuesday, the firm asked for an additional $400,000 to oversee final touches on the project, primarily landscaping at this stage, officials said.

Giving Stirrat $400,000 "to watch a guy finish landscaping … is ridiculous," Supervisor Shawn Nelson snarled. It’s like "paying nuclear engineers to keep track of someone changing a 9-volt battery."

In the end, supervisors agreed to pay Stirrat $138,000 for work already done and ask the county’s public works department how much it would charge to take over the rest of the project.

But Supervisor Janet Nguyen said she wasn’t sure in-house oversight would be much cheaper. Nguyen said she’s seen how much the public works department charges its fellow county agencies and "they’re expensive."

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Community & Clubs: Eight feted for their consistent service

By Jim de Boom

Editor’s note: Eight locals were inducted into the Community & Clubs Hall of Fame during a luncheon in their honor June 17 at American Legion Post 291 in Newport Beach. Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach emceed the event, while Daily Pilot columnist Jim de Boom presided over handing out Hall of Fame Awards to the eight inductees, who were nominated by Newport-Mesa service club chapters. This week’s Community & Clubs column features edited excerpts from de Boom’s speech introducing each of the inductee and welcoming them into the Hall of Fame:

Ed Kohlmeier

The Exchange Club of Corona del Mar is proud to nominate Ed Kohlmeier for the Community & Clubs Hall of Fame Award. Ed is married to Shirley, the club secretary, and together they have three children, four grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Ed has been an Exchange Club member for 35 years, including 25 years with the Exchange Club of Corona del Mar. He has served as club president, board member, district president, district secretary, Region 1 national vice president and was responsible for developing the National A.C.E — Accepting the Challenge of Excellence Award.

Ed has led the club in recognizing and honoring the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and O.C. Fire Authority annually. He has led the club in honoring students from numerous high schools through sponsoring the club’s Search for Talent. He supports many local projects such as Teen Challenge and Project Cuddle. But he is best known for saying "yes," as he remains involved in all club activities and fundraising, two Exchange clubs and is active in both District and National Exchange activities.

Sandi Scheafer

The Harbor Mesa Lions Club is proud to nominate Sandi Scheafer. Sandi has been married to Mike Scheafer, a 2009 recipient of the Hall of Fame Award, for 39 years. They have three sons and four grandchildren, and son Matt is Lions Club member.

Sandi has been a member of the Harbor Mesa Lions Club for 14 years, serving as club president, 2nd vice president and club treasurer. She has chaired fundraising for the Boys and Girls Club, and chaired the annual Lions International Peace Poster contest, among other events. In our Lions district, she has worked on the District Convention Committee several times and is known for organizing contests (i.e. survivor, medieval contests, etc.) She was also the District 4L4 Lions President of the Year a few years ago.

Sandi works as the administrative assistant for the Harbor Area Boys and Girls Club. She was a board member and served as President of the Costa Mesa National Little League. In 1995, French’s, the mustard maker, named the Scheafer family as the California Baseball Family of the year.

Hank Hornsveld

Hank has been involved in the Costa Mesa Newport Harbor Lions Club for 40-plus years and has served in many positions, including club president.

Over the years, Hank has been a leader and involved in all club projects, but he is probably best known as the electrician for the annual Lions Club Fish Fry. Before the Fish Fry begins, Hank is on site, hooking up the electrical power that is needed for the carnival, food booths, and the main stage. Hanks is also a founder and member of the Orange County Model Engineers.

A footnote: during World War II Hank helped Jews in his native Holland escape from the Nazis. Hank is a proud "Dutchman" and a strong family guy.

Walt Wagner

American Legion Post 291 is proud to nominate Walt Wagner. For 66 years, Walt has been an active member of the American Legion. He has held all officer positions, including commander, finance office and executive board member. He has served as the American Legion Baseball of Orange County commissioner.

This man who stands before us today, has freely given of his time, talent and treasure for the American Legion and our communities. A special note: Walt is a U.S. Marine Corps and World War II vet who served in the battle of Iwo Jima. Thank you for your service, Walt.

Jerry Nininger

The Exchange Club of Newport Harbor proudly nominates Jerry Nininger. Jerry is married to Jeanne and together they have one daughter.

Jerry has been an Exchange Club member for six years and has served as VP for programs and chaired the Field of Honor Committee: he ran the committees that installed 1776 flags, recruited volunteers, printed dedication labels, shipped flags and marketed the event. Jerry obtained the permits and negotiated key issues. He has always been on the Movie Benefit Committee and was chair of the Youth of the Year Committee.

Jerry serves as projects chair for the Orange County Woodworking Assn., which donates toys to kids and pens to soldiers. He has also been on the Board of Directors of the "Friends of Newport Theater Arts Center" for 17 years.

Jim Bonar

The Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa is proud to nominate Jim Bonar. Jim has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa since 2003. He had retired then from a career in accounting and finance for consumer product manufacturing companies, and wanted to become involved in volunteer work.

Jim was born in Long Beach, and first came to appreciate community service as a member of the Kiwanis sponsored Key Club in high school. After graduating from UCLA, he served as an officer in the Navy and saw duty in Vietnam. He married his college sweetheart, Ann, and they have two children, Julie and James, as well as four grandchildren.

Before joining Kiwanis, Jim was active in the Jr. Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles and is a past president of the UCLA Club of Orange County. He loves being of service in the community, especially working with the students in Costa Mesa and serving on the Kiwanis leadership team in the California, Nevada and Hawaii District of Kiwanis.

Dr. Tim Brown

The Rotary Club of Newport Beach is proud to nominate Tim Brown. Tim, a Rotarian for six years, is the immediate past president and vocational service chair for the Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club.

The Club’s Vocational Service Project, developed by Tim along with club’s partners Working Wardrobes and the Salvation Army, has been widely acclaimed throughout Rotary District 5320. Under Tim’s leadership, the club completed its first ever Vision Building Session and developed a five-year Strategic Plan.

Tim currently serves on the Newport Beach Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission. He served as the chair from 2007 to 2008 and again in 2009 and 2010. Since 1999, Tim has been a member of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. He was elected to the Board of Directors in 2006 and served as a Representative At Large for three years. Tim served as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Leadership Tomorrow for three consecutive terms. Since 2003, Tim has been an associate with the Upper Back Bay Naturalist and Friends. During the summer of 1999 Tim was a member of the second graduating class of the Newport Beach Citizen’s Police Academy.

Tim also served on the Executive Planning Committee of the Corona del Mar Centennial Celebration and is a volunteer at the Newport Beach Toshiba Champions Tour event at the Newport Beach Country Club since its inception in 1994.

Bill Hossfeld

The Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa is proud to nominate Bill Hossfeld. Bill is married to Jan, and they have two sons and one daughter.

A member of Rotary for seven years, Bill is the club’s incoming president. He has served as director of club service, community service, programs and First Battalion/First Marines Christmas and July 4th project. He has been awarded the Paul Harris Fellow, Rotarian of the Year four times, and the club’s Community Service Award twice.

His community activities include fundraising for Corona del Mar High School, Newport Beach East Pony League vice president and coach, Newport Beach AYSO regional commissioner and coach, Newport Little League Executive Committee and coach, YMCA Executive Committee, Indian Guides, BIA committee member, and Newport Harbor Jaycees president. Bill is best known for getting the job done and attention to detail.

COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published twice monthly on Wednesdays. Send your service club’s meeting information by fax to (714) 921-8655 or by e-mail to jdeboom@aol.com.

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