ARPA Comments

Note: Thank you for submitting your ARPA comments as part of the County’s strategic financial planning process by the October 22, 2021, deadline. Additional ARPA comments will be accepted by the County during the FY 2022-23 Budget development process starting on February 1, 2022 through March 11, 2022.

Date Received Name Organization Comment
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 23:20 Nathan Hayden   I’ve known 3 families over the last year who’ve either left Orange County or California in search of more affordable housing. In an age of growing inequality, they were fortunate enough to be able to move, but it would have been better if they could have stayed. The ARPA funds should be prioritized to provide rent relief to keep families in their homes. It should be used to finance long term solutions for the unhoused (not simply shelters). Funding should go to medical care for the underinsured or uninsured, including immigrant and undocumented communities. The county also needs a mental health response system that does not rely on police as primary responders. Too often police interactions with those in a mental health crisis result in escalations to violence by police and the criminalization of the unhoused and mentally ill. Jails are not a solution to poverty, homelessness, or mental health crises. Our communities need care, not incarceration.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 19:23 Pat Pat Davis HHROC

The ARPA monies discussed here have been and are adequate enough to make a huge impact on improving the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities. More spending on Sheriff's and Public Protection will not improve our community or the health and safety needs of so many worsened during the time of COVID-19. Housing and food insecurity has finally made it into the public consciousness. How you have addressed those needs over the last many years has been most telling and disappointing. Actually your approach kills those on the street and in the "care" of Sheriff's. Basic needs, allowed under this and other funding sources in the county's control, include housing for our unhoused community, (not one more dollar for your excessive and ineffective shelter system), food and housing assistance for those facing insecurities, affordable housing builds to meet 6th cycle Housing Element needs, long term rental assistance for those who’ve lost jobs, victim support, workforce development, small business support, and significant investment into care-first initiatives for those with unmet health care, mental health and substance use disorder needs.

The idea that Sheriff deputies are often paid almost twice what Social Workers draw in median pay and benefits is sadly an indicator of this County's priorities. The future and very expensive Musick jail in Irvine as a mental health facility should be considered a criminal act on your part!

COVID related assistance, like this source and other revenues generated in this wealthy County, gives you the opportunity to make major investments in your constituents and save lives. Do what is right for your community and create an open, clear and transparent, participatory process throughout - not just when eyes are on you. Finally, if you can show need, ear mark the dollars needed to insure well publicized, virtual, real time participation in any and all county meetings NOW!

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 17:35 Susan Guilford League of Women Voters of Orange County Orange County needs more housing for the unhoused as well as those with low and very-low incomes. We also need more Permanent Supportive Housing, which is affordable housing with services including mental and behavioral health, job training and case management. All of Orange County will benefit from an increase in housing for those who are homeless or housing insecure.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:44 Jacky Trani South County Homeless Task Force, San Clemente Affordable Housing Coalition, Housing is a Human Right OC

I am a senior citizen and a southern California native. Homelessness outside of the urban core was unheard of in my youth or even my children's youth. Now my grandchildren see it everywhere, even in our comfortable suburbs. The older ones are no longer allowed to go to the library on their own! The mental health of both the little ones and the teens is affected by seeing so many suffering people without solutions. This widespread misery negatively affects quality of life and public health (mental, physical, environmental and economic) for every Orange County resident! Do not try to move the problem out of sight, unless the move is into Housing First! We need to fund affordable housing for people without homes and those with extremely low and very low incomes. We also need permanent supportive housing for those who are unhoused and in need of mental and behavioral health services. This will actually make the jobs of social service providers and OCSD easier and more efficient. Now their jobs are frequently like spinning their wheels doing outreach and processing when only a tiny fraction of those in need can be housed. Adequate housing resources would revolutionize these jobs and revitalize our communities!

Do not use ARPA funds for more congregate shelters! Do figure out how to repurpose surplus government properties and underutilized commercial properties for housing and community healthcare. Do not use ARPA funds to enhance Sheriff's Department salaries and benefits or build more unneeded jail cells! Thank you for your consideration. Do the right thing! We are watching. We are advocates and public educators.

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:43 Debbie Salahi  

I don’t want to see any money going to the Musick Jail. That space could be used to provide affordable housing for 100 very low and the extremely low-income individuals and families. The money that would be spent on the jail could provide housing and support services for the homeless. I urge you to invest dollars in a real treatment center for mental health support. Cancel the expansion of the Musick Facility and take away the spending on social control into services your community really needs. Funds should also be used to divert people from going to jail! Funds should go for mental health care, drug programs and housing the homeless. This would decrease the number of people in jail and save our tax dollars on jails and the courts and PROVIDE REAL HELP!

There is absolutely no reason why the OC Sheriff’s Department should receive any additional funds, especially discretionary funds. Deputies now make almost twice as much as social workers. We need more social workers to handle situations that they are better trained in how to handle. We need these funds for healthcare (especially mental health care), affordable healthcare and housing the homeless. According to a UCI study with Orange County United Way and Jamboree Housing, it was demonstrated that the county could save $42 million per year by moving everyone off the streets, out of the shelters and into housing using the Housing First Model. I would like to see more public safety money go to working to the root causes!

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:37 Sudi Farokhnia  

Single most important item in the budget should be affordable housing and providing mental health services to the community. The solution to homelessness is not complicated – one need only supply sufficient places to live, subsidies to make them affordable, and the support services some people need to stay in their homes.

We just don't need so much money to go into Police and Sherif. Also, support the outdoor seating , infrastructure, and more money in school system.

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:31 Tim Burns Orange County Justice Fund

A budget is a moral document—a statement of values and priorities. Mere compliance with the law is not the same as good governance.

Many of the proposed line items for Orange County’s use of federal ARPA money would not address the negative economic impacts of the pandemic as intended by Congress and the President. The County Board of Supervisors should adjust and reallocate the proposed ARPA spending in consultation with community-based organizations and local experts who have first-hand experience serving community members in need.

The rescue plan guidelines from the U.S. Treasury Department point out that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted some demographic groups and exacerbated health inequities along racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. The federal guidelines also list many appropriate uses for these funds, including food assistance; rent, mortgage, or utility assistance; counseling; legal aid to prevent eviction or homelessness; cash assistance; and job training.

The priority should be to address the negative impacts of the pandemic that have disproportionately impacted vulnerable, underserved residents, students, and workers in Orange County, with the highest priority placed on addressing systemic racial and economic inequities and investments in community health for the long-term, and direct financial assistance where it is most needed, most impactful, and will be most effective.

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:18 Anonymous   The Board of Supervisors should use the ARPA funds to help our immigrant population in Orange County. We need more services in different languages so immigrants can find rental assistance, take classes to get better jobs and access legal services to help with their status and other issues. There is a lot of discrimination against people of color in this county and therefore we should use some of that money to educate about the culture, history and traditions of our OC neighbors so there will be more understanding and less hate. I've personally seen a lot of this racist behavior exhibited by our OC sheriff's department, so I would hope that none of the ARPA funds are used to increase the very ample budgets of county law enforcement.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 15:57 janet lusk   I would like to see some of the funds to going for housing: specifically for the homeless.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 15:29 David Salahi Salahi   Orange County residents deserve more of a voice in how our money is spent, and budget spending should reflect community needs and priorities. We a budget that prioritizes health & housing; a budget that cares for residents, and the basic human needs of our communities over law enforcement and jails.
It's not like we don't have the funds. The county is expecting a massive influx of cash for 21-22 – sustained by soaring housing prices and hundreds of millions in federal relief money. Other cities have taken steps such as these and have experienced positive change. I urge you to prioritize community healthcare and housing.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 15:14 Brian Hill   I would like to see funds go toward affordable housing with wrap around services to assist in combatting the homelessness crisis in OC as well mental health services. Please DO NOT fund the sheriff's department with more ARPA. They have already received an egregious and disproportionate amount of money, yet they have not felt the same impacts due to the pandemic. Our community is suffering, please do the right thing.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 15:13 Suzanne Model Concerned Citizens of Laguna Woods Village An ounce of prevention is worth of a pound of cure! Please use the ARPA money to help the less fortunate rather than enhance law enforcement. If we spent more on the down and out, we wouldn't need so many police. California must spend more on affordable housing, especially for those with very low and extremely low incomes.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 14:42 Coleen Ghara   The Federal money allocated to OC should be used for community investment; housing for the homeless, affordable housing for all, housing for refugee settlement including Afghans who will be settling in OC soon, investing in social programs for mental health, health insurance, substance abuse programs and job and skill training including computer coding. All these investments lead to a productive and healthy population which requires less need for jails and policing. Please support the most vulnerable in our communities with the $616 million.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 14:42 Sheryl Sterry   The ARPA funds should be used to assist low- and moderate-income people who live or work in Orange County by providing or assisting them with access to housing (including permanent supportive housing for unhoused people), childcare, education, and medical care/insurance (including mental health services). Please use these funds to make a difference in our people's lives because strong and healthy people are the essential basis of this great county and the country and COVID-19 has made life so much more difficult for those who have few resources. I do not support using these funds for law enforcement because the Sheriff's Department already uses a large enough portion of our county government spending, as well as funds from cities that contract with it. Finally, please be timely, proactive, and transparent with reporting on how the ARPA funds are used. Thank you for this opportunity to provide feedback.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 14:37 Felicity Figueroa Orange County Equality Coalition

I ask that the major part of the ARPA funding be spent on services that directly affect and improve the well-being of our community, such as affordable housing options, rental assistance, more access to comprehensive healthcare (including mental health care), free legal services, job training, college funds for marginalized populations, subsidized childcare and other priorities for county residents. IT SHOULD NOT BE SPENT ON LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE OCSD!

I have seen how the lack of community resources have resulted in a dearth of opportunities to thrive for families and their children in many parts of the county. There is a definite school to prison pipeline, which hobbles communities of color and deprives the county of those who have the potential to provide positive contributions to society. This is one more reason why we should end the practice of allowing police on our school grounds, as that presupposes a misguided belief that students will cause harm.

Police should also not be sent out to incidents of mental health crises and domestic violence episodes, as they have been shown to be incapable of de-escalating situations and treating these situations with professional expertise, something they sorely lack. Instead, money should be spent on specialized response teams made up of mental health and DV clinicians who have the skills necessary to handle these situations in a positive and restorative fashion. This will also save the county money in the long run.

The input that I and many county residents are providing here is extremely important. I am concerned about many of the county's recent decisions, including their spending millions of dollars on the construction of a jail that is neither needed nor wanted (especially considering that the jails we already have are only at 60% capacity). That's why it is crucial that the county supervisors hear and incorporate community voices to see where the county's true needs and priorities lie. After all, it is OUR money.

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:45 Thomas Fielder Housing is a Human Right OC The last thing Orange County needs is more jail beds. We should be looking for ways to reduce incarceration! We should be treating people with mental health issues in hospitals or recuperative care sites, not in jail cells! The notion that a jail should be used as a mental health treatment facility is ridiculous. The number one problem in OC today is the lack of affordable housing for folks at all levels of the economy, including those who need assistance to stay housed. Along with wages that are too low, it is the root cause of homelessness. Used the ARPA funding to build low-cost housing, not jails!!!
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:41 Rona Henry Welcoming Neighbors Home There is a tremendous need for affordable housing for people without homes and those with extremely low and very low incomes. We also need permanent supportive housing for those who are unhoused and in need of mental and behavioral health.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:17 Tatiana Turner National Action Network The money should be spent on a building to house the homeless and to help organization that to public outreach and housing. It should be used to help people who are behind o. There housing and also create job services for the unemployed. It should especially focus on organizations that are helping formally incarcerated individuals as well as employing equity and equality in Orange county for the disadvantaged and people of color.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 12:06 Karen Hernandez People's Budget OC, Stop The Musick Coalition

I grew up in Orange County and continue to live here to this day. Living in Orange County has always been a struggle for many families including my own. Over the years we've seen all levels of government continue to prioritize law enforcement & profits over people. Good governance requires responding to the needs of the people and prioritizing their interests, especially in the wake of a global pandemic. There is absolutely no reason why the OC Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) should receive any additional ARPA funds at this point. We, the community, need that money to fund community-based healthcare for substance use, community-based mental healthcare, rental assistance, employment programs, after-school programs, childcare, and affordable housing with wrap-around services to make our communities whole. The need for genuine investment in community needs has never been more critical than now. We were in a dark place before the pandemic and the pandemic has only shown how we still need to take care of our community - especially our community members who were most impacted by the COVID pandemic, whom this money is for!

OCSD deputies did not lose their jobs, or struggle to pay rent or their bills – they got raises and excessive amounts of overtime pay. OC Sheriff’s deputies now make more than double what the county’s social workers do in median pay and benefits, according to payroll data, a gap that has widened further in recent years. The Sheriff increases in recent years weren’t driven by increased service levels, according to their own department, but rather were mainly due to large salary and benefit raises approved by county supervisors that coincided with elections in 2016 and 2020.

ARPA funding should NOT be going to OCSD which already gets a disproportionate amount of the county's discretionary funds and which will not contribute to rebuilding and healing our community. Along with that, OCSD has already received an unjustifiable share of CARES Act funding, yet over the past two years, they have failed to provide sufficient food to incarcerated people, failed to protect incarcerated people from the spread of COVID, and begun construction on a $300 million jail when our jail population is at a historic low.

We do not need to continue to target and criminalize people who are facing financial and housing instability, people who are marginalized and discriminated against, people with mental health needs, and people facing hunger; we need to support them with food, housing, and healthcare. Public safety and public health mean an infrastructure that provides basic necessities and support to every community member, not policies that cage, fine, and isolate community members in need.

ARPA funds were not meant to bloat the budget of sheriff departments; they were meant to help communities survive and heal from this pandemic. Give this funding to services that provide permanent housing solutions, mental healthcare, and other basic support to our community that has been most impacted by COVID.

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 11:51 Andy Lewandowski   We need to see a shift from spending on law enforcement and jails to a massive investment in a shared vision of community safety that actually works. Our county budget should prioritize health, housing, and the basic human needs of our communities.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 11:47 Anonymous   The priorities of the Supervisors should embody the needs and interests of the communities and people they were elected to represent. Orange County residents deserve more of a voice in how our money is spent, and budget spending should reflect community needs and priorities. We must demand a county budget that prioritizes health, housing, a budget that centers care, and the basic human needs of our communities over law enforcement and jails.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 11:32 Jeanne Graham   My name is Jeanne Graham and I’m a lifelong resident of Orange County. I expect our elected Supervisors to put the needs of our communities first. In particular, I want our county budget to be focused on social services that includes housing for the unhorsed, rental assistance and “care-first” initiatives for those with mental and substance use needs. These services should take priority in the budget over law enforcement and jails.
Fri, 10/22/2021 - 09:20 David Stevens   Hello,
I'm a long-time resident of Orange County and I want to give some input on the allocation of ARPA funds here. These funds are supposed to relieve the effects of the covid pandemic. That's what they should be used for. One way to help is to invest ARPA funds in affordable housing. In the current State-mandated Housing Element cycle, the county is required to identify spaces to build 3,139 very-low-income and 1,866 low-income housing units in unincorporated areas of the County per the 6th RHNA cycle. Cities have their own RHNA numbers assigned to meet Housing Element’s needs. The financial acquisition and assistance needed to effectively build on identified locations must be a priority for Supervisors.
The BOS should commit a substantial portion of the $1 Billion discretionary funds available to ending homelessness in support of the Federal, State, and county’s Housing First model. The solution to homelessness is to supply sufficient places to live, subsidies to make them affordable, and the support services some people need to stay in their homes. It does require considerable funding, but the return on investment of helping everyone acquire a fixed abode more than justifies the upfront costs and long-term support. This has been shown by a number of studies, including a 2017 analysis by UC-Irvine professors in collaboration with Orange County United Way and Jamboree Housing, which demonstrated that the county could save $42 million per year by moving everyone off the streets, out of the shelters, and into housing. Finally, why is the Sheriff’s Department is getting more Covid money from the county than relief programs? Spending $350 million to expand and operate a jail is a waste of taxpayer money ($288 million for construction, and $61.5 million annually to operate), Please allocate these funds to add as many low-income housing units as possible.
Thanks,
David Stevens
Thu, 10/21/2021 - 22:33 Kathleen Ripley   The ARPA funds should have been spent on the county health care department, economic support for businesses and residents impacted by the pandemic and important social services that are severely lacking in the county including but not limited to permanent supportive housing, affordable housing, and community based comprehensive healthcare. Instead the county has already spent over a quarter of the funds ($145.9M) on the sheriff's department and over 60% of those funds were spent on Sheriff's payroll. When will the county stop fleecing its residents for the benefit of the sheriff's department? A department that year after year has reckless budget overruns that take money from all these services that so clearly need investment. A department that refused to enforce corona virus health and safety mandates. A department that has the lowest vaccination rate of all county employees.
These funds should go to keeping orange county residents safe and secure by providing funds for health workers, social workers, permanent supportive housing, rental relief, community based mental health services, in home supportive services for our elderly neighbors, and food and nutrition programs.
on Thu, 10/21/2021 - 20:11 Maurie Edelman   To the Orange County Board of Supervisors and Budget Office:
Please utilize all O.C. funds from the American Rescue Plan to provide social services, public health, mental health, and affordable housing services to those in need, including the added group of Afghan parolees, newly admitted to the United States but without places to live. I believe that more than one thousand Afghans will be coming to Orange County.
As I understand it, a large sum of county budget funds is being spent to expand the Musick County Jail, a project hard to defend in light of more successful alternatives suitable for many offenders. This is another source of funding that could be utilized far more productively to serve the survival, social, and health needs of Orange County residents.
I implore you to do the right thing, per the above recommendations and consistent with the recommendations of those who work in the trenches with our fellow residents struggling to survive and better themselves.
Thank you for your consideration,
Maurie Edelman, Ph.D.
Thu, 10/21/2021 - 18:57 Morgan Turner   I am a resident of Huntington Beach and can see so much need for housing justice here. Please use this funding to house our unsheltered neighbors and support those living in poverty here in Orange County. Under NO circumstances should any of this funding be designated for the Orange County Sheriff's department, whose bloated spending already accounts for a majority of the county's budget as well as a significant amount of the COVID relief funding received by the county. Please get our unhoused neighbors into permanent housing with this funding. Thank you.
Thu, 10/21/2021 - 18:52 Matt Ku   I would like to see funds go toward free housing for the homeless and mental health services. Please do not fund the sheriff's office.
Thu, 10/21/2021 - 15:38 CAROL SINGER Jewish Justice Advocates of Temple Beth El of South Orange County and Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees I strongly urge you to use a substantial portion of the CARES Act Funds Orange County is holding for two much needed purposes:
1. Provide rental and housing assistance and other assistance to Afghan refugees and humanitarian parolees who will be re-settled in Orange County. The biggest impediment to successfully resettling them is finding affordable housing.
2. Provide rental and housing assistance to the homeless of Orange County. These funds were provided to our county to meet the needs of our community and these two communities are in desperate need of these funds. Allocating these funds for this purpose will benefit the entire Orange County population by helping to ensure that these two vulnerable communities can be productive members of our community. Thank you for
Thu, 10/21/2021 - 13:54 Anonymous   Give it back to the citizens of this county to spend it at a local small business either within their city or county. I think the city of Los Alamitos is doing something like this. Let’s help support our own communities and the small businesses who suffered during the lock down.
Thu, 10/21/2021 - 12:47 Mark Gamble Hospital Association of Southern California On behalf of hospitals in Orange County, the Hospital Association of Southern California requests the County to consider using ARPA funds to provide financial assistance to hospitals to partially offset some of the significant expenses associated with COVID-19. These out-of-the-ordinary expenses include costs for nurse registry/staffing, vaccination, lifesaving drugs, space conversion, and personal protective equipment, among others. These important investments continue to enable the County’s private hospital partners to respond to this unprecedent pandemic. The County alone would not have been able to respond to the most recent surge – and previous surges – without the collaboration of its private hospital partners. In 2020, alone, Orange County hospitals treated over 13,000 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, over 4,000 of which were covered by the Medi-Cal program which does not cover the cost of care provided.
We value our County partnership and our collective success, which is dependent on our continued coordination and mutual support as we face more headwinds associated with COVID-19 and its aftermath.
Wed, 10/20/2021 - 21:18 Anonymous   I suggest using some of these funds to continue the fight against covid. Perhaps clinics that could accommodate the needle phobic? They represent a very large portion of the vaccine hesitant. Thank you.
Wed, 10/20/2021 - 17:40 Golden   I strongly recommend that a portion of the Covid-19 federal fund of $616 million, be appropriated (spent), to aid in providing housing and rental assistance to Afghan refugees / evacuees. It would be immoral, to see these Afghan refugees, become members of Orange County’s existing homeless community.
Southern California has seen a surge in homelessness within the last 1-5 years, due to Covid-19 and a shortage of housing. Thus, monies should be appropriated and spend, to create housing for Orange County’s existing homeless population.
Motion to Invoke Closure on the motion to proceed to the consideration

Sincerely,
OC Resident
Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:52 Mandy   I would like to see funds go toward affordable housing for the homeless, mental health services.
Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:44 Esther Wright   I believe there should be money available to support the needs of incoming refugees who are given permission to live in the USA, but not given sufficient money to pay rent, or purchase much needed supplies and furniture for their families. Please consider using more of the $616 million in Federal money for these families who come here with nothing and need money to have a decent life where they can purchase food and supplies for themselves and their children. Living in poverty is not a good way to begin a life in a new country.
Thank you for your consideration.
Wed, 10/20/2021 - 14:09 Kathy M.   Hello, I am a resident of Huntington Beach and I urge you to spend these funds on social services especially homelessness, food for people in need, and truly affordable housing. These funds give us a real opportunity to help our fellow Orange County residents who are in need and meeting their needs should take priority over all else. Thank you.
Wed, 10/20/2021 - 10:52 Marjorie Rooney   I would like the County to use some of these funds to set up a vaccination service for severely phobic people. Many severely needle-phobic people require supervised sedation to receive vaccinations, yet no such program exists for the COVID-19 vaccine. Needle-phobia is present to some degree in 10% of the population and may be the root of many people’s resistance to the vaccine. The more people we can get vaccinated, the safer we all will be.
Tue, 10/19/2021 - 18:00 Charles Victorio   Hello, I'm a student in Irvine. It would be great if those funds could be used to pay for school supplies, build affordable public housing & provide rent relief in order to combat California's rising house prices and unhoused population, or on mental health services. In fact, the county could save $42 million per year by moving everyone off the streets, out of the shelters, and into housing, according to a 2017 analysis by UC-Irvine professors in collaboration with Orange County United Way and Jamboree Housing. Please invest in this community to help your constituents. It is absurd that we are living in a world where OC Sheriff’s deputies now make more than double what the county’s social workers do in median pay and benefits, while people are unable to pay for rent in an increasingly unaffordable situation, in a pandemic.
Tue, 10/19/2021 - 17:53 Anonymous   As a 10+ year resident of Irvine and OC, I expect the priorities of the Supervisors to embody the needs of the communities they were elected to represent. The county budget has to prioritize health, housing, care, and the basic human needs of our communities over law enforcement and jails. Spending $350 million to expand & operate an empty jail is a waste of taxpayer money especially when the jail population is at a historic low. Instead, invest those funds in community-based care, mental health support, and affordable housing. Stop expanding the prison industrial complex that preys on vulnerable populations and cancel the expansion of the unneeded James A. Musick Facility. Instead of feeding a harmful cycle of criminalization and punishment, those funds could break the cycle of homelessness or food insecurity. The voters of Orange County want community care to prevent and help with the social issues that are left untreated, causing larger problems down the line. Realigning the budget to help people will save money in the long run and help the most vulnerable people in Orange County have happy, safe lives.
Tue, 10/19/2021 - 16:05 Sarah Kahn   Our community needs community-based mental health care and permanent housing solutions for folks who are at risk of eviction, don't have stable housing, or are living without shelter. We need to take care of our community - especially our community members who were most impacted by the COVID pandemic.
ARPA funding should not be going to OCSD, which already gets a disproportionate amount of the county's discretionary fund and which will not contribute to rebuilding and healing our community. On average, the Sheriff-Coroner has ended up spending 1/3 more than their recommended budget annually over the past six years. These budget overruns have increased to more than 1/2 of the recommended budget over the past two years. OCSD has already received an unjustifiable share of CARES Act funding, yet over the past two years they have failed to provide sufficient food to incarcerated people, failed to protect incarcerated people from the spread of COVID, and begun construction on a $300 million jail when our jail population is at a historic low.
The lack of affordable housing in Orange County has reached crisis levels. Pre-COVID, the county already had at least 7000 residents lacking a fixed abode and untold numbers of housing-insecure folks. Those numbers will increase dramatically once COVID-related eviction moratoriums are lifted. We desperately need leadership at the county level to become housing champions and aggressively pursue all possible funding sources for actual housing, as opposed to shelters.
We do not need to continue to target and criminalize people who are facing financial and housing instability, people who are marginalized and discriminated against, people with mental health needs, and people facing hunger; we need to support them with food, housing, and healthcare. Public safety and public health mean an infrastructure that provides basic necessities and support to every community member, not policies that cage, fine, and isolate community members in need. ARPA funds were not meant to bloat the budget of sheriff departments; they were meant to help communities survive and heal from this pandemic.
Give this funding to services that provide permanent housing solutions, mental healthcare, and other basic support to our community that has been most impacted by COVID.
Wed, 10/06/2021 - 07:15 E Bauer   The ARPA money should be divided with more diversity - a good chunk definitely should go to hospitals for staff, and or Covid-related services. While I whole heartedly support the OC Sheriffs Department, that huge amount of money should not be allocated to them - again, they should get a portion, but smaller. The homeless crisis NEEDS a solution, and maybe each city needs to equally figure out a community program for them that allows temporary shelter, food and shower. Isn't there land available on the old Tustin Air Base for something like this? One of the more important victims of Covid are our community people. It would be helpful to those that lost their jobs and still struggle. And lastly, a county cemetery IS ABSOLUTELY needed. The local Fairhaven & Santa Ana Cemeteries are busting at the seems. We want to be buried HERE.... not out of the county or out of town. Help us achieve that goal before all the land is grabbed up. Many people died from Covid and really impacted that whole mortuary system as well. We need a few acres ASAP.
Mon, 10/04/2021 - 22:23 Anonymous   Spanish speaking aides to help in the schools to help teachers in translating with parents about their children's problems or praises; help in translations at parent-teacher conferences, Back to school nights.
Communication in general between our teachers and parents.
Mon, 10/04/2021 - 19:13 George  

The intent of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was to provide needed resources to address the ongoing Covid-19 c risis, and keep the economy strong. The intent of the ARPA was not to reward public employees and rescue mismanaged cities and counties.
Why is Orange County giving more priority to sheriff's salaries then to the Covid-19 pandemic?
What about requiring all employees of the sheriff's Dept. getting vaccinated? The county should be providing emergency assistance for testing and vaccinations to large cities like Santa Ana which has the largest number of unvaccinated residents.

Mon, 10/04/2021 - 12:04 Brian Cox  

Do not spend the money on the sheriff department for salary / compensation. An organization whose employees swear to "protect and serve" are not 100% vaccinated for completely selfish reasons. This money should be going to health care, rent relief for landlords and tenants, and small businesses who have struggled through the pandemic.

Mon, 10/04/2021 - 10:44 Sandra Teske   I work for a field office which is a Subsidiary of Pathways Medical Group who service the Mental Health Community in Orange County. There needs to be more compensation provided to all the workers who continued to work through the Pandemic, and work with the public everyday in the means of a COVID-19 "cost of working" raise . We have only received a 1-2 % pay increase from the County and that's not enough for the work that we do. The COVID-19 impact fund should set aside added salary funding for Essential working employees, (many of whom can't afford rent on the salaries they are paid as full-time employees.) Orange County needs to take care of the hardest working people in the community... the ones who have never stopped and have put their health at risk everyday just by coming to work and doing their job.
Mon, 10/04/2021 - 10:11 Shain G   Fix the roads. Some of the streets have potholes, some have craters. I live near Warner and Springdale, which is used as a cross street connector to the south county. Springdale has been patched and dug so many times that it needs a total re-pavement. I am sure there are other, worse streets in OC. Surely, some money can be used on these roads.
Mon, 10/04/2021 - 10:06 Deborah Evans   I was outraged to hear the county supervisors had decided to allocate the rescue money to the Sheriff's department which has refused to enforce State mandates and vaccination mandates in particular. This is Covid relief money which should be used to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic and should also be used to deal with the rising toll in mental health the pandemic has spurred. Supervisors need to be responsive to the public that elects them!
Thu, 09/30/2021 - 14:57 Tim Johnson  

I asked a couple of questions on your County Budget Office Public Workshop regarding one-time versus recurring costs. If you have any further information on this, it would be great.  Big picture...I encourage the county to utilize one-time funding revenue for one-time purposes and not encumbering the budget with an on-going cost that there is not revenue to support the recurring costs in the future. I would ask that you present one-time versus recurring costs with regards to ARPA spending- increased transparency. We know that ARPA is one-time money coming in (over 2 tranches) but if we are using ARPA funding for on-going programs without the revenue to support it, that may create a fiscal issue in the future years. Thanks!!

Wed, 09/29/2021 - 08:40 D. Fachko   As a resident in the 4th District of Buena Park:
Funding definitely needs to be used for rental/bill assistance for those people, such as myself, who are not able to get employment through no fault of their own and can't pay their rent or their bills!
The Covid situation is NOT over by a long shot and people are still suffering and dealing with the after affects!
Do the right thing and help them, BEFORE they end up on the street homeless!
Also, funding needs to be used to help people get good employment/training in the County. (One-Stop/WIOA is useless for that!)
Tue, 09/28/2021 - 11:46 Cindy Ashley Welcoming Neighbors Home I encourage you to use at least 15% of the ARPA money on addressing the homelessness crisis in our county. Money should be used in a way that supports the Housing First Model. Too much money goes to shelters where there is no accountability on what we are getting for our money. We need non-congregate housing that provides the appropriate level of support for whatever issues folks are struggling with. I would be so proud to see Orange County say 'yes' to innovative and transformative solutions such as harm reduction for those struggling with Substance Use Disorder and stop labeling folks as service resistant. That is a failure of the services offered, not a comment on those in need. Let's access the resources of HUD's new House America initiative and make OC a leader in addressing homelessness. It is not going away without your leadership.
Mon, 09/27/2021 - 15:22 Monika Goodwin   I have forgotten in my previous comment to state the following very important item that should be done with the ARPA funds:
Please organize a greater outreach and advertising campaign to the OC residents to get vaccinated. As the low vaccination rate is hindering the well being of our residents and the greater economic return for all businesses in our area. Include this point in your advertising campaign to get vaccinated.
G9thanks much for your consideration.
Mon, 09/27/2021 - 15:16 Monika Goodwin   This money should be used for:
1) to build public housing for homeless people in Orange County;
2) build public housing for low-income OC residents;
3a) assist residents who are out of jobs with rent money and misc. needs for their families until they are able to get employed; AND
3b) assist their landlords with mortgage payment in case of renters unable to access money to pay rents;
4) assist all OC schools with money to provide all possible safeguards for children and staff--but depending on mandatory vaccination by ALL staff AND ALL children starting at 12 yrs.old to be vaccinated in order to access school grounds;
5) provide enough funds for needed staff to enforce all the above suggestions.
Tue, 09/21/2021 - 12:14 Amy C  

How in the world do you justify spending nearly $28 million more on the Sheriff/Coroners department than on all the other relief programs COMBINED -- for which this money is intended -- to help PEOPLE and BUSINESSES stay healthy and recover from the pandemic?

Small businesses closed down or had to layoff workers, parents had to drop their hours or jobs to care for their children while schools were closed, food pantries had record-setting lines, frontline and essential workers were risking their lives to serve their communities for minimal pay, restaurants invested tens of thousands of dollars to pivot to outdoor seating, and mental health issues surfaced from the financial anxiety, fear of disease, and lack of social opportunities. Hate crimes rose as a result of COVID-induced racism. Families dealing with the loss and sickness of their loved ones have funeral bills and medical bills crippling them. Now with the rent and mortgage moratoriums expiring, OC's families are going to need help as the economy recovers.

To the people and businesses that suffered and are suffering hardships is where the money SHOULD have gone and where I suggest you put future funds toward, NOT the Sheriff's department which has done NOTHING to help keep people safe from COVID.

Mon, 09/06/2021 - 10:41 Anonymous   Focus more funds on the latest outpatient treatment options and education in order to decrease the hospitalization rates. While vaccination should be part of the strategy, leading scientists have said that vaccination alone will not end this pandemic and an arsenal of treatment options are needed. As evidenced by thousands of breakthrough infections and the fact that the vaccinated can transmit the virus and have the same viral load in the nasal passages just as the unvaccinated. The county should work to at a minimum keep up with or stay ahead of the latest treatment guidelines by the NIH. As an example, monoclonal antibodies is a treatment option for mild cases (whether vaccinated or not given that there have been plenty of breakthrough cases with vaccinated being hospitalized), yet there is little preparedness education in Orange County that those with mild cases or exposure should receive treatment of monoclonal antibodies early to prevent serious disease and hospitalization. See NIH site here : https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/about-the-guidelines/whats-new/ … while this article was posted on September 3, 2021 other government agencies in other states were way ahead of this by implementing treatment centers and education about monoclonal antibodies before this was posted on NIH. Monoclonal antibodies for example should be available at most urgent care facilities for outpatient treatment or available at other treatment centers setup by the county. And education programs to respond quickly to the latest treatments and inform people what the latest outpatient options there are. There have been high profile cases of fully vaccinated being hospitalized for covid, if instead these patients had known to get monoclonal antibody treatment early on, they may not have had to be hospitalized. In addition, if other newer outpatient treatments become known, the county should focus funds to discover these treatments and implement them as soon as possible with quick and fluid educational updates.
Sun, 09/05/2021 - 15:23 Anonymous   Please use must of the funds for rent relief snd help small businesses. This what it is supposed to be used got. Americans have earmarked these funds to help during this very difficult time
Sun, 09/05/2021 - 07:35 Anonymous   I feel that residents would benefit from another stimulus check. People are struggling. I am behind in my rent nd car payment. My husband got child support taken out 500. My rent increased 50$ in Sept. Even with 2 parent household. I don't qualify for food stamps. Food is more expensive. We pay between 600-600 monthly. Plus rent credit card bills car payment etc. I had to take out two payday loans just to try to stay afloat. Please consider a stimulus check. For up to 40,000 income. Thank you
Sat, 09/04/2021 - 13:48 Anonymous   1. investment into public parks and expansion of oc regional parks
2. increasing the number of splash pads in oc
3. increasing the number of vaccinations and accessibility to vaccinations
4. investments into schools districts, building repair costs
5. investment into public transit
Thu, 09/02/2021 - 18:59 Athena   Funding should not be allocated to law enforcement. Not only do they have abysmally low vaccination rates, they have not supported COVID prevention efforts in any meaningful way. This funding should be used for pushing forward vaccination efforts, free school lunches, and public resources to help people get back on there feet. Rental assistance, private individual landlord assistance, college student housing and food, as well as homeless support. There are too many people who need help in Orange County as a direct result of the pandemic. Allocating funding responsibly, ethically and with compassion is incredibly important.
Thu, 09/02/2021 - 15:45 Ryan Labhart   Definitely don't send as much as your sending to the sheriff's office. This just seems like a ploy to increase pension and salary for people who don't even want to get vaccinated. Not a single dime should go to the sheriff's department. Please fund small businesses and health protection services.
Thu, 09/02/2021 - 14:12 Teresa Gordon-Grisenti  

I would like to see information to substantiate the departmental losses. The numbers alone are meaningless.

I assume the Assessors Office losses are due to unpaid taxes and the Real Estate department’s losses are due to unpaid rents which I also assume the responsible parties are still going to be required to pay, plus penalties and interest. If this is the case, I question why delinquencies are being characterized as a loss to be made whole with relief funds while repayment from responsible parties are pursued for repayment.

I also question how the Sheriff could have lost close to $300K?? That’s quite a bit of PPE for officers, employees and inmates!

The only losses that seems credible are: Registrar’s Office as I assume it relates to the additional expense for printing and mailing of ballots for all registered voters —and— $10 mil for food programs though again here— the 5-Ws need to provide. Who is this $ going to? What types of help are they offering? Where can these programs be accessed? When are these programs going to be available? Why/what is the criteria for obtaining help? And most importantly, what oversite is the County doing to ensure this money actually goes toward helping people?

My main comment is— must be nice to make yourself whole while you aren’t showing ANYTHING to help small businesses! What about the hairdresser or salon owner that was closed for months and still had rent to pay for their business? Same question for restaurants, shops, and other small businesses whom for all, recovery is a long way off or quite possibly never.

It is also disingenuous to request comments for concluded business.

These matters should have been openly and publicly discussed.

Thu, 09/02/2021 - 09:00 Karen Shaver   I suggest the funds be spent for two main purposes:
1. Enlarge and improve the OC Dept. of Public Health so we can cope with the next crisis
2.. Aid small businesses, which suffered greatly in the pandemic.
Thank you.
Thu, 09/02/2021 - 08:41 Scott  

The pandemic affected many people is many ways and I would like to suggest the following investments:
-provide matching funds for any city to improve public open spaces (parks, trails, Class I Bikepaths)
-homeless shelter for each city (population size greater than 50,000)
-public wifi with Zoom/Microsoft Team (upload bandwidth) capability in public parking lots and parks.
-subsidized wifi for all residences to have basic internet; not income related