MOORLACH UPDATE — Undergrounding In Paradise — May 28, 2019

I do not issue that many press releases. But, after PG&E unilaterally decided to underground its utility lines in the city of Paradise, it was time for a shout-out. Undergrounding in areas that suffered a conflagration was one of the initiatives SB 584 was pursuing (see MOORLACH UPDATE — SB 584 Goes To Natural Resources — April 21, 2019 and MOORLACH UPDATE — Big Gas and Electric Costs — May 21, 2019). It was provided by the Orange County Breeze in the piece below.

25th Anniversary Look Back

Some newspaper editorial boards endorse in campaigns. Consequently, I met with the LA Times editorial board and pleaded my case. I was unsuccessful.

Steve Burgard, the Editor of the Editorial page, would rue the day that he endorsed Citron in their Sunday, May 24, 1994 edition. He would be reminded constantly about the “bum rap” conclusion for a long period of time. I remember scheduling lunch with him a few years after the debacle to bury the hatchet and move on. His editorial is provided in full below:

ORANGE COUNTY PERSPECTIVE : Another Term for Treasurer Citron

Robert L. Citron’s winning record as Orange County’s treasurer-tax collector is good enough that he deserves reelection.

As treasurer, Citron is responsible for investing county funds. In the last decade he has earned favorable returns for the county and has been so successful that all but three of its 31 cities, as well as school districts and government agencies outside it, have entrusted their money to him to invest.

How does Citron earn the higher rates? He takes greater risks. But experts say the risks are not foolish; an official of Standard & Poor’s, which investigates how likely companies and governments are to repay their debts, said company analysts recently gave Orange County a “very high” credit rating.

Citron entered county government in 1970 as tax collector and added the job of treasurer three years later when the Board of Supervisors combined the two countywide posts. This is the first election in which he has had opposition. Unfortunately, the campaign of Citron’s opponent and his supporters has the potential to jeopardize the county’s credit rating and the return it gets on the money it invests.

Citron’s opponent, certified public accountant John M. W. Moorlach, has expressed worry over the county’s investments if interest rates continue to rise. Citron answers that he has taken steps to protect against that possibility. Shrewd investors know that past performance does not ensure future results, but financial advisers urge people to choose, for example, a mutual fund that has been a winner in the past. It is not a guarantee of success, but it does increase the odds.

The concerns over outside nervousness in reaction to attacks made on Citron actually prompted state Sen. Marian Bergeson (R-Newport Beach) to withdraw her endorsement of Moorlach. Bergeson said she did not want to take part in anything that could be “detrimental to the county.”

During the campaign, the notoriously skittish stock and bond markets have shown some signs of nervousness about Orange County. A special district said it would have to pay more to investors in its securities and the county finance director said the county would delay refinancing of bonds in the hope that any worry would subside.

The challenger has no experience in investing billions of dollars, while Citron’s 24 years in office have included rising and falling stock markets. His successful stewardship of the county’s money has given the supervisors funds for programs they otherwise could not have afforded.

The cloud drawn over Citron increasingly looks like a bum rap. He deserves another term.

Senator John Moorlach calls on utilities to broaden effort to mitigate fire risks

On Wednesday, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) announced a plan to underground electric lines in areas ravaged by the deadly Camp Fire. This came after CalFire determined PG&E electric power lines caused the most destructive wildfire in California’s history.

In response, State Senator John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, calls on all electrical utility companies to extend this endeavor to other areas of the state, such as Laguna Beach. Unilaterally undergrounding after a conflagration in a high-fire risk area should become the standard operating procedure. This is all the more essential after the Senate Appropriations Committee recently refused to pass Senate Bill 584 – Wildfire Mitigation through Undergrounding of Power Lines.

“For decades, cities like Laguna Beach have been ravaged by fires caused by fallen power lines. It is time to implement this common sense solution to prevent future tragedies from happening,” said Senator Moorlach.

SB 584 would have expedited unused Rule 20A credits to assist in the undergrounding of electric lines in jurisdictions located in Tier 3 fire-threat areas. Thus giving local jurisdictions the tools to initiate undergrounding projects to help mitigate the risks of devastating fires in their communities like the Camp Fire in Paradise.

“PG&E should be praised for their leadership and example subsequent to the tragedy inflicted on the city of Paradise,” Senator Moorlach stated.

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


This e-mail has been sent by California State Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th District. If you no longer wish to subscribe, just let me know by responding with a request to do so.

Also follow me on Facebook & Twitter @SenatorMoorlach