By John Moorlach
The state is enduring a very unique time in its history. It is taking a much different approach to a pandemic than that of the Spanish Flu a century ago. Locking down the economy is a strategy that has created immense financial stress for many Californians. And I get to feel it firsthand. My first call today was yet another request for assistance with the Employment Development Department (see MOORLACH UPDATE — EDD and Misdiagnosis — September 24, 2020).
It’s not only constituents who are suffering; municipalities are as well.
The County of Orange is no exception. Performing the necessary services for the state and Federal governments through its Social Services Agency, Health Care Agency and other departments has been a financial strain.
This is another inflection point for Orange County and I’ve been through a couple of them. In particular, addressing a nearly $1.7 billion investment loss and the effort involved in exiting from the resulting Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing from 1994 and serving as Chair of the Board of Supervisors in 2008, during the height of the Great Recession.
The bankruptcy debt has been paid off. The County is in better financial shape than most counties, post the liquidity crisis, based on decisions I made during that most difficult era.
With the County facing up to a $300 million structural deficit, the residents may want someone who has a thorough understanding of how this level of government operates.
For a review on the County’s projected financial status, see the Voice of OC’s “Orange County Grapples With ‘Devastating’ $458 Million Revenue Drop Projection” (https://voiceofoc.org/2020/05/orange-county-grapples-with-devastating-458-million-revenue-drop-projection/).
This piece quotes County managers that reported to me when I previously served as a County Supervisor, like Michelle Aguirre, the County’s Chief Financial Officer and Frank Kim, the County’s CEO.
I was very active with the California State Association of Counties and served a term as Chair of the Urban County Caucus. And I now have six years of Sacramento experience under my belt to assist the County. This gives me a large network to draw from in pursuing solutions.
Maybe that’s why I’m receiving so many calls and emails to run for this position? I don’t need to pursue another elected position. But, I’m happy to jump in and serve when encouraged to do so by those who are key observers of what is currently happening to our County. That’s why I have pivoted in this direction.
The residents of Orange County need an experienced hand at this time in history. They need someone who can hit the ground running, who can interface with department heads and various agencies immediately, and who has worked in a professional, open-door manner with the bargaining units.
This is why I’m stepping up to pursue my former position to assist the County that I have invested about a third of my life in for the remaining two years of Supervisor Steel’s term. Stu News Newport provides the opening steps of my efforts. It’s been a very busy two weeks. But, I’m definitely in.
The campaign officially starts when Supervisor Steel resigns from the position and is sworn in to the United States Congress. An election date should be announced shortly thereafter, and a filing period will open. I just wanted to provide the background for recent events and why I have made the decision to run. And, to thank so many of you that have connected to encourage me to continue serving the county we cherish and love.