Moorlach on the Issues
My number one priority will be responding to the COVID crisis by ensuring vaccines are available and distributed in a fair and fast process for all those who want and need them. I will also continue to fight to recover funding for the business community. As State Senator, I helped provide $500 million from the state budget for COVID relief, and will continue to advocate for Orange County’s fair share.
California’s response to the COVID crisis has been erratic and frustrating. The constantly changing rules and restrictions have caused untold harm to our economy, mental health of our residents and development of our children. I would employ proper guidelines based on data and science so that we can reopen schools and businesses in a safe and responsible way.
The bottom line is that we need to quarantine those who are vulnerable, not everyone. The residents of Orange County must practice proper safety protocols and be respectful of others.
When I served as the Orange County Supervisor for the Second District from 2006 to 2015, I was the inaugural Chair of the Commission to End Homelessness. We worked to collaborate with key members of the nonprofit community, like Mercy House, HomeAid, the Orange County Rescue Mission, Illuminaire and others. Along with the County, we also included municipalities and the business community. We worked with organizations like 2-1-1 Orange County to appreciate the magnitude of the situation and begin the process of addressing homelessness in a coordinated manner.
One of my major accomplishments was obtaining financial resources to implement Laura’s Law through SB 585 (Steinberg, 2013), which provided revenues from the Mental Health Service Act (MHSA), a designated tax created by Proposition 63 (2014). Nevada County, the home of Laura Wilcox, was the only county to adopt this tool, providing assisted outpatient treatment to those who are severely mentally ill and have an encounter with law enforcement, after AB 1421 (Thomson, 2002). Twelve years later, in 2014, Orange County adopted it. Consequently, some 17 counties in California have followed suit.
While in the Senate, I worked closely with Federal Judge David O. Carter on potential solutions and hope to maintain his pace and emphasis in this critical area. I pursued legislation to assist those with severe mental illness, like SB 640 (2019) to expand the definition of those that are gravely disabled. I pursued additional psychiatric beds with SB 1273. And I published a pamphlet on the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act.
I would like to pick up where I left off. I will bring my state experience and work with Projects Homekey and Roomkey. I will encourage the use of the Orange County Housing Finance Trust created by AB 448 (Daly, 2017), legislation that I co-authored. I will also work with the Commission to End Homelessness, the County, the nonprofits, 2-1-1 and now CalOptima and Be Well/Mind OC, to address this crisis.
Improving Transportation Infrastructure
County Supervisors oversee the County’s Public Works Department and also sit on the Orange County Transportation Agency (OCTA) Board of Directors. They are tasked with overseeing the coordination of transportation projects throughout the county. Before any major projects or improvements can be accomplished the funding sources must be in place.
I believe the County and OCTA have done a good job of focusing on lanes, versus trains. The Measure M sales tax has been allocated in a responsible manner.
For the widening of the San Diego Freeway through the Second District, I would be opposed to converting current existing and added carpool lanes into toll or congestion pricing lanes.
Public trust and respect for law enforcement is essential for us to be free and safe. I oppose defunding public safety. But, I am also cognizant of the fact that increasing defined benefit pension plan contributions are crowding out services. Consequently, this may mean reductions in staffing. I will do my best to ensure the Sheriff’s Department is properly funded with the equipment, tools and training needed to perform its duties.
Orange County is facing a looming budget crisis that has been amplified by the weakened local economy. As Supervisor I will find cost savings opportunities both short term and structurally to put the county on a sustainable foundation. Taxpayers deserve quality results from the services the county is responsible for, and that is exactly what I intend on delivering.
From an experience standpoint, I was able to help the County out of Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 18 months, after it filed on December 6, 1994. I also Chaired the Board during 2008 and 2012 and addressed the Great Recession through many budget cycles.
Moving Orange County Forward Past COVID-19
We are living in extraordinary times. I have the experience and knowledge to bring my skill sets to the job at moment in history. It is a sense of duty. I was recruited by many community leaders to run for the Second District Supervisor’s seat. Given my unique combination of experience and training as a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner, it prompted those leaders to ask me to run. The special interests and public employee unions have engaged in a smear campaign against me because they are threatened by my history of responsible fiscal policy and reforms. I look forward to delivering results for the residents of Orange County again.