It was a busy week throughout South County. For me, the latest adventure began last Saturday when I began the day attending a community event sponsored by the City of Laguna Niguel.
The City, in conjunction with the Orange County Fire Authority, sponsored a community forum on “Ready-Set-Go”. What has driven this has been a need to raise the awareness which began in earnest with the fires of Yorba Linda and Santiago Canyon. At the meeting, the Orange County Fire Authority Team talked about the potential of a major disaster if the Aliso and Wood Canyon fire was ever to occur. The wind patterns would causeÂ embers to spread out and the fires would be tough to contain. They have initiated a home inspection plan that would provide guidance to home owners so that homeowners can be ready.
Later on that day, I went on to visit the City of Laguna Niguel-sponsored car wash for the USS McCluskey. The USS McCluskey has been adopted by the City and this event was done to show support for the troops. I had a chance to confer with the Mayor and Councilman Ming about the State of the City as the ramifications of the State budget continue to be felt throughout the State. The impetus to do more with less is the reality. Everyone seems to realize that.
This was the week that saw the advent of the Great California Shakeout. AlertOC went through a test of the system that was implemented to help warn residents of emergencies. I received calls which I was glad to get in light of the spectre of a potential disaster that we operate in. Beyond the on-going happenings, there is of course the elections!!!
The battle is continuing. Unfortunately, unless one is a true political junkie, a Facebook fanatic or has the patience to dig through the 6th page of the Orange County Register, the only way one knows that an election is going on is through the battle of the signs. As signs go up, some are coming down. I have been particularly keen to see how the battle of signs had played itself out through Alicia Parkway. It has been, to say the least, fun!!!
There are many “forgotten” races as some of the more so-called newsworthy races have dominated the headlines. One of the more newsworthy one has been the CUSD trustee race. I recently finally got the opening salvo in the fight to counter what the Children’s First Team has been advocating. There was story reported out on the 6th page of the local section of the Orange County Register featuring the two factions. The one newsworthy item I saw on that story was John Alpay noting that the District was designated as a Program-Improvement District. This flies in the face of the claims by the current District Trustees about the achievements. What is also interesting to note is that they claim credit for things that the teachers have struggled to maintain despite some rather tough working conditions over the past twelve months.
John Campbell also made a presence. I was shocked when I finally saw his signs showing up in South County. I did see a few of the Beth Krom signs disappearing. It appears that the giant had finally realized that he had to do something. Although he is heavily favored to beat Beth Krom and return to Washington, no one should take anything for granted.
Moving on to some of the local races, I finally saw a couple of signs from Mike Fair, who is on the ballot in Laguna Niguel. I wonder why he even bothered to register because there was nothing of him up to now. This has forced both Linda Lindholm and Robert Ming not to take anything for granted. As for the other races, there are many forgotten ones. The race for Laguna Hills City Council is one. I had a chance to discuss the state of the campaign with one of the candidates, Pierre Gilbert. His story is a classic rags-to-riches story. He is part of a crowded field of 8 who are vying for 3 positions on the Council. As I asked him about the state of the Campaign, he expressed how there seemed to be no interest at all. The apathy was quite striking. It was as if the race was non-existent and was truly forgotten and devoid of a true discussion of the issues. I asked him about his signs. I had not seen any as I drove around town. He told me that he worked to strategically deploy signs throughout the City and it somehow disappeared from view. He was still quite hopeful about it all as the new week began.
I spent Thursday at the Registrar of Voters for a briefing/Orientation on the elections. During the briefing, we were advised that over 600,000 absentee ballots had already gone out. Some 1900 student poll workers had applied to serve. Some 1210 Polling sites were going to be up and running on Election Day. More than anything else, what was refreshing was to see the attention to detail and the keen attentiveness to insuring that taxpayers got value for every dollar. For all the bashing of Government that goes on every day, they ought to check out the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
I will be serving as an Election Coordinator for the Elections. It will be a long and anxious day. I have had the privilege to serve for the past number of elections and continue to be amazed ever more by the system, the processes and the redundancies in place to insure that nothing goes wrong. There have been many reservations about electronic voting. Not withstanding some of the reservations about electronic voting, The system within Orange County is secure enough to insure that every vote in fact will count.
Whatever your political views, I urge everyone to vote because every votes matters. I look forward to seeing everyone at the Polls On Tuesday November 2.