MOORLACH UPDATE — Outsourcing Measure — July 21, 2014

In a September 21, 2006, speech to the Orange County Financial Society, titled “An Agenda For The Next Four Years,” I had a segment on fifteen possible solutions to pursue in reducing the County’s unfunded actuarial accrued liability. The third proposed solution on that list is to reduce the number of government workers through the utilization of contract employees, in order to pay salaries and pension costs more commensurate with that of the private sector, thus reducing the County’s overall expenditures. Now, I’ve enjoyed two constraints. The first is that of pacing myself. One can only do so much at a time, so addressing this solution is one of the last things I will be able to pursue. I had hoped to establish a Charter Committee while I was Chair, but certain events in 2012 crowded out this initiative. The second is that this item has to be approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday in order to qualify for the November ballot. If a full Charter, which the County lacks, is not in the cards, then separate modifications are the next best alternative. The OC Register and the Voice of OC introduce the topic in the first piece below. Should it be put on the ballot and If the voters approve this proposed Charter Amendment, it will give future Boards another necessary management tool to assist them with balancing annual budgets.

The second piece is from the Orange County Breeze. Orange County’s inception date is August 1, 1889. Therefore, Friday, August 1,2014, is the Quasquicentennial (125th anniversary) of this historic occasion. This milestone will be celebrated at the OC Fairgrounds at 12:30 p.m. I hope that you can attend.

The very first Orange County Board of Supervisors Board Meeting was held on August 5, 1889. Just by sheer coincidence, the current Board of Supervisors will have its regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, the Quasquicentennial of this historic event. Consequently, a reception will be held Tuesday in the Hall of Administration’s Lobby at 8:30 a.m. We have invited local historian and author, Phil Brigandi, to provide a presentation on the history of the nearly twenty years of political efforts to have the state legislature approve the splitting off of Orange County from Los Angeles County. If you have not heard his historical account of these efforts, then please join us for a celebration of the culmination of this accomplishment.

At the beginning of the Board meeting at 9:30 a.m., we hope to provide two more brief presentations. The state of California started with 27 counties when it became the 31st state admitted into the union in 1850. The legislature was very busy with approving new counties over a 57-year period. I hope to provide a brief history of the formation of the other 31 counties. Orange County would become the 53rd county. Also, we hope there will be time to have Orange County Historical Society President Chris Jepsen provide a few historical slides. If you can join us on August 5th for an hour or so, we would love to see you here at the Hall of Administration.

Countywide outsourcing? Supervisors to take up ballot option

A measure requested by John Moorlach would allow more privatization than currently is permitted by state law.

By NICK GERDA

Orange County supervisors are slated to decide Tuesday whether to ask voters in November to approve changes to the county charter that would allow more county jobs to be outsourced to private companies.

The proposed ballot measure, requested by Supervisor John Moorlach, would change the county’s charter to allow the county to privatize more county work than currently is permitted by state law.

Moorlach’s staff report doesn’t identify positions that could be outsourced.

The effort is likely to spark objections from county employee representatives while generating support from conservative groups. Proponents argue that outsourcing saves taxpayer dollars in salaries and benefits and spawns more innovative ways to provide services through the profit incentive. Opponents counter that privatization often costs taxpayers more and delivers lower-quality services, with poor oversight of contracts and companies that finance elected officials’ political campaigns.

The potential ballot measure comes as the Costa Mesa City Council majority fights a years-long lawsuit challenging its efforts to outsource most city work.

The county measure is scheduled for discussion toward the end of Tuesday’s meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m.

Voice of OC is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on public policy in Orange County.

OC Fair invites you to celebrate the County’s 125th birthday

Come celebrate Orange County’s Quasquicentennial on Friday, Aug. 1, when the OC Fair hosts “Orange County Day” with a special ceremony honoring the county’s birth on Aug. 1, 1889.

The celebration begins at 12:30 p.m. at the fairground’s Hangar building. The program includes a live performance of period music from the 1880s and a slide show of historic photos from the Orange County Archives.

A further celebration will take place at the Hall of Administration on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 8:30 a.m. The public is invited to a reception commemorating the very first Board of Supervisors meeting 125 years before, though it was held several blocks away above the Beatty Bros. store on Fourth St.

Prior to 1889, the region was part of Los Angeles County. The county seat at that time was seven hours distant by horse buggy on rutted dirt roads, and local residents felt overtaxed and unrepresented. Attempts to form a separate county began in 1870. The Legislature finally approved a county formation vote, which was held on June 4, 1889. Support for the new county was overwhelming — 2,505 to 499. The county officially formed on Aug. 1 of that year, and the rest is history.

The Orange County Fair & Events Center is located at 88 Fair Dr. in Costa Mesa. Standard fair admission fees apply. Special thanks are extended to the Orange County Business Council for their support of the Quasquicentennial ceremony and to Supervisor John M. W. Moorlach for his support of the Board of Supervisors reception.

The Orange County Hall of Administration is at 333 West. Santa Ana Blvd. in Santa Ana.

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