With the race for the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ second district seat less than two weeks away, The Epoch Times reached out to the five candidates to ask how they would act as supervisor on some of the county’s biggest concerns.
Each candidate was asked, “How would you improve public safety?”
Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Muldoon said that if elected, he would work to make sure law enforcement personnel had the adequate tools to keep the county safe.
“I have a record of supporting law enforcement,” Muldoon said. “We must fully fund public safety and ensure that law enforcement personnel have the equipment and training they need to keep our neighborhoods safe.”
Muldoon was elected to the city council in 2014 and previously worked for President George W. Bush in the White House’s Office of Strategic Initiatives.
Former state senator John Moorlach, who previously held the District 2 seat prior to becoming a senator, said public trust and respect for law enforcement is essential for the county to be free and safe.
“I oppose defunding public safety,” Moorlach said. “But I am also cognizant of the fact that increasing defined benefit pension plan contributions are crowding out services. Consequently, this may mean reductions in staffing. I will do my best to ensure the [Orange County] Sheriff’s Department is properly funded with the equipment, tools, and training needed to perform its duties.”
Moorlach served the 37th district as a state senator from 2015 to 2020. He was Orange County’s treasurer-tax collector from 1995 to 2006, where he came to public attention after helping the county move out of the largest municipal bond portfolio loss and bankruptcy in U.S. history.
International tax attorney Janet Rappaport told The Epoch Times that Orange County needs to continue expanding programs that enable juvenile inmates to move away from the criminal system.
“The county should focus on programs that work with a view to expanding these programs and concepts to other aspects of our juvenile population [and possibly adult] to prevent a pathway to the criminal system,” Rappaport said.
“The juvenile detention alternative intervention program has successfully moved juveniles with drug or mental [problems] from the criminal detention system and into supported programs in education. This program, in place for approximately 10 years, appears to be successful in saving young people from a criminal pathway as well as saving the county money.
“Looking at programs focused on intervention and preventing adults from ending up in the criminal systems, it might be possible to increase those successes and serve a wider population with additional funding from the County. … If we keep persons with noncriminal issues away from prison, there is a higher likelihood that they will not pursue a criminal path in the future.”
Fountain Valley Mayor Michael Vo said he is a strong supporter of robust public safety and law enforcement.
“As mayor of Fountain Valley, I ensured our public safety efforts were always fully funded,” Vo said. “I even added 13 police officers and 2 firefighters to improve public safety. As calls to defund our police continue, I will stand strong in my defense of law enforcement.
“My No. 1 priority is the safety of our communities. In order to improve public safety, I will listen to the expertise of the sheriff and fire chief and ensure the departments are fully funded. I will also fight against the unlawful release of felons into our community, prevent high-density housing in neighborhoods, and advocate for strong restrictions against sober living homes in neighborhoods.”
Prior to becoming mayor, Vo formerly worked as the Fountain Valley community director.
Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley could not be reached for comment.
The special election to fill the District 2 seat will take place on March 9. The candidate who receives the majority of votes will win the seat.