Friday, May 14, 2010

Tonight: Hieu "Hugh" Nguyen on The OC Show with Cameron Jackson

Tune in tonight and listen to the OC Show with Cameron Jackson on 88.9FM! 



Hieu "Hugh" Nguyen


A few days ago I decided to email Hieu "Hugh" Nguyen some questions about his plans for the for the Orange Couty Clerk-Recorder's Office.  

1. What is the first order of business, should you win the election?

Response:
I will complete a management audit within the first 90 days to review the organizations structure, authorized positions, workload statistics, systems performance, customer service, communications with Title/Mortgage Industry, fee schedule and operations of Clerk, Recorder and Vital Records functions. This will be the basis of preparing a long-term plan supported by short-term deliverables. I want to improve services to customers, improve department morale and productivity and reduce operating costs. This effort will be coordinated with the Board of Supervisors and CEO and Human Resources Department.

2. What are the top three issues facing the Clerk-Recorder's Office in the coming years?

Response:
a. Review the mission and operating strategy for the Vital Records Program.
b. Correcting personnel and contracting problems created by the current administration.
c. Improving services and communications to the public and title/mortgage industry who rely on the Clerk and Recorder Offices’ services.

3. What new/improved technology do you hope to implement?

Response:
I want to continue to implement technology that improves productivity of staff and protects the security of public records. I will review the disaster recovery plan and insure the security plan and back up plans are in force and provide adequate business continuity protection. The use of Interest based services and off-site digital storage should be explored to enhance the security and capabilities of the department and reduce costs.

4. Elections must be tough on the family. Can you tell me how supportive has your family been and in what way?

Response:
My wife and two children have been extremely understanding and supportive of my campaign. We have run a grass roots campaign so for the past year I have been attending community meetings and discussing my candidacy with political leadership in Orange County. I have maintained my employment as Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board during this process. This has required my nights, days off, vacation and weekend to be devoted to the campaign. I am very grateful for my family’s participation in the campaign and understanding of my time commitment to winning the Clerk-Recorder election.

5. Recently, Tom Daly has been criticized for his expenditures. FFFF has reported extensively on the fact that Daly convinced the Board of Supervisors to OK the purchase of a building in disrepair for $2.1million that Daly hired the relatives of political contributors, and that Daly has handed out tens of thousands in no-bid contracts to questionable consultants. As Clerk-Recorder, will you attempt to rite these numerous wrongs, and if so, how?

Response:
I plan to review the mission of the Vital Records program and source of long-term funding of facilities and operations. I will conduct this review with the assistance of the CEO, Real Estate & Facilities Department. I will report the results to the Board of Supervisors in public meetings and request policy direction. Based I want I have read, I believe the purchase of the vacant office building for over $2.0 million was not a good decision and it is not feasible or cost effective to renovate it into a Vitals Records facility at a cost of $5 to $7 million. I also believe the scope of the collection needs to be limited to public records of historical significance.


Tom Daly has awarded a number of consultant contracts to friends and political associates during his term. He has structured these “Sole-Source” agreements to be under $50,000 thereby avoiding the requirement to obtain Board of supervisors’ approval. He has also split contract scope of work into phases to stay under the limit. He has also awarded contracts for work retroactively for work completed and has paid for services that were never delivered or of little value. This practice will STOP 100% under my administration. I plan to run the department in a fiscally conservation manner and follow the correct contracting and personnel procedures to accomplish the work of the office. The funds derived from user fees needs to fund the services and systems used and should not be diverted to pet projects and work for friends as has been the current practice.

6. How will you win back the public's trust in the Clerk-Recorder's Office?

Response:
I will consistent plan, organize, direct and control the operations of the Clerk-Recorder in a manner that respects we are there to provide a service and the expenses are public funds that must be spent efficiently. My communications plan will be the primary means to assure the public that they can trust the office is being run with their best interest driving decisions. This will include:


a. I will start a public education program and personally spend time speaking to community groups.


b. I will institute a suggestion program or ideas from the public and staff. I will also establish a working relationship with each OC City Clerk and City Council to determine how we can work closely to provide improved services to the City and their residents.


c. I also will conduct quarterly workshops with the mortgage, real estate, title insurance and legal professional in Orange County who depend on the services of the Clerk-Recorder to discuss legislation and service improvement initiates.


d. I will actively participate in the State Association of County Clerk-Recorders to share best practice information and review legislation that impacts our office.

7. What is your greatest revelation or lesson learned while participating in this race?

Response:
The time and expense required to run for a County Wide Office and reach the voters is greater than I anticipated. The expense of running a campaign, filing candidate statements, creating a web site, create campaign materials and holding fund raising events has been challenging. The greatest lesson I have learned is to believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help from others who believe in good government and the need for a change in leadership in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Insiders in government know of the mismanagement by Tom Daly and his lack of work ethics. It is difficult to get this information out to the general public because there is inadequate government watchdog capability within County government and government coverage by the press is lacking due to cutbacks in resources.

8. Currently, Records of Survey maps are filed by the County Surveyor on behalf of land surveyors and property owners in order to bring land surveys into the public domain. Historically, these maps have been filed away for safe keeping pursuant to state law; however, there is no connection between the maps and the lots/parcels they depict. This disconnect has lead to uninformed members of the public purchasing land without being fully aware of encumbrances and title issues. Do you support adding these survey maps to the property grantor/grantee index so that when a title company issues a policy, they can include relevant Records of Survey maps? If so, can you explain what the time-line might be?


Response:
I generally believe the more information we can provide in our public record on land ownership and outstanding liens and encumbrances the better we are serving the public. The imaging, storage and retrieval of survey maps should be reviewed for potential linkage to lot and parcel identification. I want to consult with other County Clerk-Recorders, Assessors and Surveyor officials to gain an understanding of the implications. I will examine the issue carefully to understand the security and cost issues before I take a position on this initiative.

9. Former Sheriff Mike Carona retaliated against OC Sheriff Lt. Bill Hunt after Hunt ran against him in the contentious 2006 election. If you were to loose the election, is Tom Daly in a position to penalize you for running against him, much like Carona did to Hunt?


Response:
Tom Daly is not in a position to penalize me for running for office. I don’t work for Tom Daly. We have continued to maintain a business relationship even though we disagree about issue on how to manage the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. I expect this will continue.

I also have no intentions of retaliated against anyone who did not support my election if I am elected. I will serve the office in an honest and ethical manner and follow County rules and protocols. People on staff will be judged on the performance and contribution to the efficiency of the office.

10. Do you support the new satellite Clerk-Recorder locations in Fullerton and Laguna Hills?

Response:
I support the initiatives to make services more accessible to the public through technology and providing services in partnership with other County Departments and local government agencies. The expansion of services to satellite offices required long term lease of facilities, tenant improvement, utilities, maintenance and out-stationed staff. I need to review the workload statistics and measurements of cost effectiveness compared to centralized services, use of technology and shared facilities. Over the long term I believe we can expand on services through Integrated Voice Response Systems, web based services and shared services with other government agencies to make services available to the public in a more cost effective manner than operating satellite facilities with low volume usage. I need more facts before I can make any decision about the two existing facilities future.

Sincerely,
Hugh Nguyen
http://www.hugh4clerkrecorder.com/

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

High-Speed Disaster "Choo choo has new boss"

Mark Landsbaum wrote up a short piece on HSR's new chief.  It's kind of like hiring Henry Ford to build a freeway...

"Remember the disastrous high-speed train? The choo choo has a new boss at $375,000 a year

The high-speed rail boondoggle just gets uglier and uglier. The state rail authority has announced hiring Roelof vanArk, president of a French rail car manufacturing company, as chief executive. His paycheck?

$375,000 a year."

Read more by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fox L.A. and Rep. Gary Miller, (R) 42nd Congressional District



Special thanks to Allen Wilson for bring this to my attention...

George Will and Public Employee Pensions: Trickle-Down Misery in L.A. - Mayor Villaraigosa's nightmare numbers


"Nationwide, government employees are most of what remains of 'defined benefit' America. More than 80 percent of government workers have defined benefits—as opposed to defined-contribution—pension plans. Only about 20 percent of private-sector workers have defined-benefit plans. California's parlous condition owes much to burdensome health-care and pension promises negotiated with public employees' unions, promises that are suffocating the state's economic growth."


Read the entire column at http://www.newsweek.com/id/237640.

The pension noose is around our neck as we wait for the baby boomers to retire from their public employment and cash in their unfunded pension plan.  Can we get the noose off before they cash in?  I doubt it...

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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