MOORLACH UPDATE — District Events — May 13, 2017

Yesterday morning I had the privilege of participating in the Lake Forest Civic Center ground breaking. My thanks go to the City Council for holding it on a Friday, the weekday that I am in the District. The OC Register’s website provides this historic occasion in the first piece below.

From there I had the privilege of speaking to those at the South County Senior Summit, a Fifth Supervisorial District tradition, in Laguna Woods. The OC Register’s website also covers this tenth annual event in the second piece below.

I did receive a kind e-mail:

I really enjoyed hearing what you had to say at Senior Summit, I am a fan.

Joey of Laguna Woods

Finally, the Orange County Breeze provides our press release in response to the Governor’s May Revise, for your reading pleasure, in the third piece below.

Officials break ground on Lake Forest’s ‘100-year home’

Senator John Moorlach speaks during the ground breaking ceremony for the Lake Forest Civic Center project on Friday, May 12, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

Lake Forest Mayor, Scott Voigts, center, and fellow dignitaries turn soil during the ground breaking ceremony for the Civic Center project on Friday, May 12, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

Lake Forest Mayor, Scott Voigts, center, and fellow dignitaries turn soil during the ground breaking ceremony for the Civic Center project on Friday, May 12, 2017. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)


Judith Rosario stood on a dirt field with her 8-month old grandson, Sage Munoz, in his stroller and pondered the possibilities of what the new Civic Center campus will bring to the city.

The $72 million, four-building campus — scheduled to open in May 2019 — will have a senior center, community center, City Council chamber that doubles as a performing arts center and a city hall building. A two-story parking structure will be built on the north side.

After months spent on designs and finances, officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, May 12 on Biscayne Bay Drive south of Commercentre Drive, to signal the start of construction on the Craftsman-style project.

“We have hope for our future generations,” Rosario, a 10-year Lake Forest resident said as she looked at her grandson. “From my age to his…this center is going to bring a lot for the community. I can’t wait to see what it looks like.”

More than 100 people came to the ceremony, including a group of senior residents, like Rosario, who helped shape the senior center by participating in workshops and taking surveys.

Rosario said she is looking forward to playing bingo in the new 23,000-square-foot senior center.

Conrad and Evelyn Bullard, 39-year residents of Lake Forest, said the center has provided a lot of excitement.

“This is the pulse we need for our identity,” Evelyn Bullard said. “It will be nice to have a place to congregate for people of all ages.”

City officials have dubbed the Civic Center project as Lake Forest’s “100-year home.” They said they believe the 9-acre center will become a destination for all residents.

Currently, the city leases office space for its City Hall at 25550 Commercentre Drive, just west of the Civic Center project location.

Along with city staff and all five City Council members, others speakers at the ceremony included state Sen. John Moorlach, state Assemblyman and former Irvine mayor Steven Choi and Linda Zubiate, project manager with Carrier Johnson, who has worked with the city through the design phases of the project.

The project is slated to cost $72.7 million. The city currently has roughly $40 million saved up through developer fees, and the remaining total will come from fees associated with new residential developments, officials said. Maintenance costs at the new Civic Center are anticipated to be covered by funds in the budget that are currently being used for lease payments at the existing City Hall facility, officials said.

“All this is made possible without paying taxes,” Mayor Scott Voigts said. “By the end of this project, the Civic Center will be debt-free. No future taxes.”

Voigts thanked the community for providing feedback through a series of workshops and surveys that led to the design concepts by Carrier Johnson, which were presented to the City Council in September and March.

“The Civic Center was inspired by the vision and feedback of our community,” he said.

The Civic Center will have a Craftsman style and the interior of each building will present different color schemes and textures. Pine meadow, oak chaparral and riparian landscaping will be utilized throughout the project to complement the buildings.

Rough grading of the site is scheduled to be completed in August. At that time, utilities and Civic Center Drive (now Indian Ocean Drive) street improvements will take place and crews will begin constructing the parking garage, which is scheduled to be completed in February 2018. The campus buildings are scheduled to be completed in May 2019, according to the timeline on the city’s website.

The city has also set a Lake Forest Civic Center Construction Camera at the top of a business building at the end of Indian Ocean Drive. The camera takes still images of the site every 15 minutes, allowing residents to see a time-lapsed visual timeline of the project.

A number of new amenities will be offered throughout the campus, including a community and conference center, community policing center, emergency operations center and connections to the Serrano Creek Trail.

The City Council chamber will double as a 200-seat performing arts theater with 710 square feet of performance space and a seven-seat dais.

“It’s been a long time coming and we’re blessed to be able to bring a new Civic Center to our community,” Voigts said. “It will be a welcome place where people can live, work and play. It will be our future home, where memories will be made.”

10th annual South County Senior Summit draws nearly 1,000 to Laguna Woods


Finances, frauds and scams took center stage at this year’s South County Senior Summit on Friday, May 12 in Laguna Woods.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the 10th annual conference at the Laguna Woods Village Performing Arts Center, with 5th District Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett hosting. There were six keynote speakers, including Nakia Thierry, manager of the Office on Aging, state Sen. John Moorlach and David Little, certified financial planner at Eclectic Associated Inc.

“We have a number of keynote speakers talking about financial planning for seniors,” Bartlett said. “To be able to give (seniors) some good information and tips for their financial future is really satisfying.”

Little gave tips on how to pick a financial planner, going over the details such as a fiduciary versus a salesperson, fees, commissions or conflicts of interest when doing business, and hiring a professional beneficiary to a trust.

A professional beneficiary is a fiduciary who is licensed and bonded, hired to serve as a successor trustee, he said.

“(Professional beneficiaries) can avoid family conflicts for you, because anytime you get money involved the most loving family can turn into vipers to each other,” Little said.

Speaker and CEO of Age Well Senior Services Marilyn Ditty said this year’s topics and information were more critical for seniors than ever.

“We’re living in a society where the cybercrime has hit all the elderly,” Ditty said. “What started out three or four years ago was identity theft, and now everybody getting their bank accounts hacked, the ‘IRS’ calling them. It’s just awful.”

Ditty said her office receives calls daily about people being victimized by frauds or scams, not knowing where to turn.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Henderson spoke about how to avoid frauds and scams, in addition to sharing stories of fraud cases countywide.

“Unfortunately, Orange County is the fraud capital of, probably, the country and one of the reasons for that is seniors have a lot of money,” she said. “Crooks like people with a lot of money, so you may not think you personally have a lot of money, but you’ll be targeted by people who want to take advantage of you.”

Henderson said older adults lose an estimated $36.5 billion per year in elder abuse, fraud or scam cases. However, she believes it may be double that because many cases go unreported.

One case Henderson shared was about an elderly woman’s caregiver’s son, who convinced the woman to write her “life story” for $50,000 and later convinced her to give him power of attorney for her estate. Fortunately, he was caught and is serving a seven-year prison sentence.

Attendee Nellie Smith, 72, of Rancho Santa Margarita said that the information Henderson provided about frauds was the most useful of the presentations.

“The (scam) telephone calls are really bad, especially when they are targeting the seniors,” Smith said. “I just don’t answer my phone anymore. I have the answering machine pick it up.”

Also, she added, the presentations by Moorlach about state policy and its effect on seniors with Social Security, along with Social Security Administration Public Affairs Specialist Jeffrey Rodriguez were useful.

“I think it’s really important for seniors to know that they are supported,” Smith said. “As much as we can see or be informed, how the government is helping us.”

Senator John Moorlach’s response to May Budget Revision

After passionately opposing the Democratic majority’s largest transportation tax increase in the state’s history and watching our personal income tax revenues sputter this year, I am not confident that Californians are going to be happy with the majority of the increased spending proposals that continue to cascade out of the State Capitol.

Just yesterday, State Controller Betty Yee issued a release saying “we may be inching toward an economic downturn, and we must tailor our spending accordingly.” And yet, Democrats continue to advocate for single-payer health care, an expanded cap and trade system that will hike energy and food prices, and more resources for those that refuse to obey our immigration laws.

The Governor is warning about future cuts, but not setting aside additional funds now to address a potential economic downturn.

California’s unrestricted net deficit, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, remains at $169 billion. That’s $4,374 per person. This marks almost no improvement from the previous year. And that doesn’t consider all of our other unfunded liabilities which easily bring the state’s debt to a quarter trillion dollars! The University of California has an unrestricted net deficit that has grown to more than $11 billion, and the California State University system is upside down by $3 billion!

When will Sacramento stop the hemorrhaging? When will the elected leaders in California acknowledge that this state needs reform?

The time has come for state leaders to establish a 10-year financial workout plan to get our fiscal house in order — one that establishes a common set of goals and a framework by which all legislative and executive actions can be measured. Only then can we truly leverage our state’s resources to solve both our short and long-term fiscal problems.

I appreciate the Governor’s recommendation to prepay CalPERS by $6 billion. This is done by borrowing funds that are earning less than 7.5%. My bill, SB 671, encourages this technique, and I am excited that the Governor has proposed a technique for the State that has saved the County of Orange some $100 million over the last eleven years.

This article was released by the Office of Senator John Moorlach.


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