It is incumbent upon elected officials at every level of government to ensure we have adequate levels of public safety throughout our communities on a cost effective basis, especially in a down economy and in the wake Governor’s Brown’s terrible Early Release of Criminals law (AB 109). As Mayor of Dana Point, I created the Contract Cities Working Group, which opened communication between the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and all mayors in the contract cities in Orange County. This working group allows for public safety and government officials to discuss reallocation of resources, city-based crime reports/trends, specific areas of potential improvement and overall efficiency to keep cost within budget for each city. By keeping public safety a top priority, we will maintain our focus on drug prevention, decreasing criminal activity and managing the side-effects of the implementation of Early Release.
There are always steps we can take to improve and ensure the highest quality education possible for our children. In particular, I believe we should focus our school curriculum on retention rather than simply memorizing answers to pass a test. By getting back to the basics and focusing on the fundamentals, we can vastly improve education standards throughout the county. In addition, I am also a strong advocate of school vouchers as they provide parents a choice on the direction of their child’s education. California is rated amongst the lowest performing states with respect to education, and parents have the right to take their child’s future into their own hands.
With the failed implementation of Obamacare, healthcare has become a major concern for most Americans. I will heavily scrutinize the mandated implementation of this law and advocate for reforms at the state and federal level that promote choice and strengthen the patient-doctor relationship. As a county we need to assist those who have either been dropped from their previous insurance plans, forced to pay a higher premium or have lost their primary care physician of choice. We must entirely rethink how the county best serves the needs of the community while providing cost effective medical treatment options to save taxpayer dollars. Educating the public at large is important to achieve these goals and objectives.
Improving transportation and mobility in South Orange County is vitally important to preserve our quality of life. With more than 10,000 homes in the Great Park and 14,000 homes in Rancho Mission Viejo approved for construction, traffic congestion in the area is a pressing issue that requires proactive solutions and effective leadership. It is important that we implement transportation and mobility solutions that solve gridlock and public safety issues that may arise. As the Chairwoman of the Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (TCA) I am incredibly proud of the accomplishments the board has achieved relating to the Tesoro Extension on 241 Toll Road. The 241 Toll Road is just one significant solution to alleviating traffic and mobility issues throughout South Orange County. Another project I have had the pleasure of working to complete is the Tri-City Trolley Plan, which will provide transportation to tourist and residents alike to key locations in San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano that will stimulate our local economy and improve traffic.
We must reform our environmental regulatory system to one that is incentive-based encouraging businesses to stay in California rather than driving them out with the current punitive system that is overbearing and costing jobs. Sacramento has produced too much oversight and regulation pushing out profitable businesses that might otherwise want to operate in our state. I also believe in strict local control with regard to an open space policy. Counties should have the opportunity and jurisdiction to handle open space in unincorporated areas while our local city officials should manage the appropriation of open space in their respective cities.
Right to Bear Arms
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms. In addition, I believe we should make education and additional resources available for those wishing to obtain a CCW through the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. I strongly support the recent decision by our courts upholding federal law and making California a “shall issue” state when it comes to CCWs.
California state spending has remained unchecked and out of control for years; it is the primary reason why we are one of the highest taxed states in the country and one reason why good businesses are moving out of the state every year. We need to drastically reign in government spending and eliminate non-essential programs that are only hurting Californians and the economy. A prime example is Governor Brown’s High Speed Rail project. Having worked on various transportation boards over the years, I am familiar with the inefficiencies of government and want to work on implementing real solutions. Because of environmental concerns the train will no longer be “high-speed”, the cost of a ticket will likely be higher than predicted and equal than or great to an airline ticket. More importantly, this project will result in eminent domain on private property owners. Because of the fiscal mismanagement in Sacramento, Orange County is constantly suffering from limited state funds and various consequences of failed state policies; such as the 73 million dollars lost from the removal of the Vehicle Licensing Fee and overcrowding in our county jails due Prison Realignment also known as AB 109. We need smart and effective leadership in Orange County to properly manage the state’s shortcomings and in a fiscally responsible manner that doesn’t adversely impact our quality of life.
I am a strong believer in keeping taxes as low as possible. In the City of Dana Point, we have prided ourselves for having one of the lowest Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rates in the State of California, which has encouraged tourism and resulted in Dana Point becoming a premiere international resort destination.
I am a supporter and advocate for Prop 13, and I have always believed in promoting and protecting private property rights, both locally and throughout the State of California.
Improving Economic Viability in Orange County
We must develop initiatives that will improve the business climate throughout our county and serve as a strong foundation for our entire business community. For example, the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan is an important element to improving South Orange County’s economic viability because it advances our harbor’s accessibility and use for residents and tourists alike. The Tri-City Trolley Plan will provide transportation to key locations in South Orange County, and solving our regional mobility and transportation issues on our roads and highways will ultimately stimulate our local economy. I also believe we should explore alternative methods of bringing money into the county that are not dependent upon state or federal assistance.