With the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ District 2 election happening March 9, The Epoch Times reached out to all five candidates to ask their opinions on a range of topics.
Each was asked, “Outside the pandemic, what would you consider to be the top issue facing District 2? How would you address it?”
Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Muldoon said that reduced spending will be key to handling the long-term financial impacts of COVID-19.
“The county must deal with the long-term impacts of the pandemic, including decreased revenues,” Muldoon said. “Disciplined spending and the temporary halting of nonessential projects will help us navigate these challenging times.”
Former state senator John Moorlach said he would find cost savings opportunities for Orange County’s upcoming budget crisis, citing his experience helping the county out of its bankruptcy in the 1990s.
“Orange County is facing a looming budget crisis that has been amplified by the weakened local economy,” Moorlach said. “As supervisor, I will find cost savings opportunities both short-term and structurally to put the county on a sustainable foundation. Taxpayers deserve quality results from the services the county is responsible for, and that is exactly what I intend on delivering.
“From an experience standpoint, I was able to help the county out of Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 18 months, after it filed on Dec. 6, 1994. I also chaired the board during 2008 and 2012 and addressed the Great Recession through many budget cycles.”
Fountain Valley Mayor Michael Vo told The Epoch Times that he sees lack of local control as one of the top issues facing the county, with many decisions being made for the county coming from the state level.
“I believe the top issue facing the Second District, and the county as a whole, is local control,” Vo said. “I truly believe that we have the mental capacity to make critical decisions for ourselves. Decisions that affect homelessness, law enforcement, housing, and COVID-19 restrictions.
“For far too long, Sacramento has exhausted every option to prevent us from flourishing economically and personally. We need a figurative wall between us and the unfunded mandates and harmful policies handed down from unelected bureaucrats and career politicians. I will proudly serve as that wall.”
International tax attorney Janet Rappaport said one of the most important issues will be the long-term impact on the mental health of children after living through the pandemic. She said it’s an issue that will likely require intervention due to the stress and isolation resulting from school and other closures.
“Experts determined that the pandemic is causing the same stress and mental issues for children as those who have suffered violence or severe trauma in childhood,” Rappaport said. “The result of childhood trauma is not good and can last for the rest of one’s life, impacting job, health, and other matters.
“This will require intervention, mental health support, and associated activities being available as quickly as possible; we have had an entire population of OC children who have suffered for a year through trauma. We do not know when this will end.”
Katrina Foley did not respond to requests from The Epoch Times.