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County Chief Financial Officer Gary McBride, a lifelong San Bernardino County resident who has spent his entire 23-year professional career working his way through the county government organization, earning knowledge and trust along the way, was appointed
today by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the county’s next chief executive officer effective Nov. 25.
Board members praised McBride’s dedication to the county organization and the community, his commitment to innovation in the cause of public service, and his ability to grasp and translate into lay terms complex issues and provide sound, trustworthy advice.
Board members also praised Interim CEO Dena M. Smith for leading the organization during the past seven months since the retirement of former CEO Greg Devereaux. Smith, who plans to retire and was not a candidate for the CEO position, will stay on board to assist in McBride’s transition.
“You don’t get this far in your career without the support of a great family,” McBride, 46, told the board today. “Thank you for the confidence from the board. We have some great things headed our way, a lot of opportunities, and I am excited to share in the future with all five of you.”
The board conducted an exhaustive seven-month recruitment and interview process prior to appointing McBride as CEO. The board conducted more than 34 interviews over the course of 12 meetings with candidates from within county government, other public agencies and the private sector.
“Gary’s integrity, strong financial background and experience with the county made him the stand-out candidate for Chief Executive Officer of San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert A. Lovingood. “I have trusted his advice in the past and look forward to working with him as we pursue the opportunities ahead.”
“Gary McBride has provided outstanding leadership and skillful financial management for over four years as Chief Financial Officer for the County of San Bernardino,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Curt Hagman. “I have benefitted from his wise counsel, innovative management style and commitment to accept nothing but the best from himself and all those around him. Gary will make an outstanding CEO and I look forward to working with him and my Board colleagues in making San Bernardino County the best run county government in America.”
“We went through an extensively thorough process of interviewing a number of uniquely qualified individuals,” said Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales. “It was through each supervisor’s individual path of discovery that my colleagues and I came together to select the individual who would best help us realize our hopes and projects to better serve our residents. It is imperative that we, as a county family, view ourselves as visionaries and a flagship for implementing new ideas. Mr. McBride embodies the kind of talent that exists within our family.”
“Gary is incredibly smart and thoughtful, and he is eager to explore new ideas,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “He has a passion for this organization and a genuine, deep commitment to the County team that will serve him well in this new leadership role.”
“I am confident Mr. McBride, with his abundant wealth of institutional knowledge, will excel our county towards greater heights and into new horizons,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “I proudly join the Board of Supervisors as we wish him great success and look forward to working with him to strengthen our county.”
The chief executive officer is county government’s top non-elected position. The CEO works closely with the Board of Supervisors to develop the board’s goals and objectives and administers and coordinates the operations of county government in accordance with the policies established by the board.
McBride holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, graduating with departmental honors, and a master’s degree in public administration, earning the program’s Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year award, from Cal State San Bernardino. Last year he was named to the university’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Hall of Fame. McBride has also participated in the Leadership Decision Making course offered through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Executive Education program.
McBride has guest lectured for Cal State San Bernardino, set up an economics scholarship fund for CSUSB students, serves on the CSUSB Economics Department’s scholarship committee, and serves on the Advisory Board of the CSUSB Department of Public Administration.
McBride began his career with the county in 1994 as a fiscal clerk in Human Services. He was promoted to staff analyst in Public Health in 1996, administrative analyst in the County Administrative Office in 2000, Public Health division chief in 2002, deputy executive officer in the County Administrative Office in 2006, and county chief financial officer in 2013.
As CFO, McBride is responsible for the development of budget recommendations, monitoring and forecasting the county’s $5.2 billion annual budget as well as its $1 billion in outstanding debt. In his capacity as CFO he also serves as chairman and board member of a number of oversight and advisory boards and corporations. Under his leadership, the county has received several Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association. Recently, as a result of his work as chairman of the committee set up to restructure the county’s retirement savings plan, the county received a national award for the comprehensive restructuring of its savings plan.
McBride served on the founding board of the Animals Are First Fund, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to supporting animal care and control and animal rescue groups throughout the county.
He also serves as treasurer of the Los Angeles Region of Destination Imagination, a nonprofit organization that conducts an annual international problem-solving and critical thinking competition with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. He is also the assistant manager of his son’s Destination Imagination team, which has won the world championship tournament, conducted at the University of Tennessee, in three of the past five years against competition from around the world.
Blakemore joined the Office of County Counsel in 1989 as a Deputy County Counsel and was promoted to Principal Assistant County Counsel in January 2009. In December 2010, she was named to her current position as Chief Assistant County Counsel.
The Office of County Counsel provides civil legal services to the Board of Supervisors, the County Administrative Office, County departments, commissions, special districts and school districts. County Counsel also provides legal services to various joint powers authorities.
“Michelle has been very effective as Chief Assistant County Counsel,” said Robert A. Lovingood, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Her appointment as County Counsel is well deserved and I know the public will be well served by her integrity, commitment and experience in the law.”
The County departments Blakemore has served over the years include Purchasing, Community Development and Housing, the Economic Development Agency, the Redevelopment Agency, Special Districts and the Administrative Office. Blakemore has a strong background in municipal finance, public law and real property transactions.
Curt Hagman, Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said Blakemore’s experience with the County has been marked by unquestioned integrity, hard work and legal brilliance.
“She is extremely knowledgeable and a skillful legal strategist,” Hagman said. “Michelle is an up-through-the-ranks success story, and I am proud to support her as our new County Counsel. My colleagues and I will be depending on her for guidance in navigating complex legal issues facing San Bernardino County and I know she will be a tremendous asset for us.”
“Michelle is a consummate legal professional, and her breadth of knowledge about the County will be extremely important as we work through complex legal challenges in the years to come,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford.
Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales said Blakemore is the perfect choice to lead the Office of County Counsel.
“Her appointment is an excellent example of how succession planning should be exercised, leading to a smoother transition for the department and the legal advisement for our County,” Gonzales said. “As a Board we came together on this selection to promote a dedicated, hard-working member of our County family. I am extremely pleased with the process and our choosing Michelle to lead our legal team.”
Blakemore graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California, majoring in public affairs with a concentration in public policy. She earned her juris doctorate at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Blakemore began her career in Los Angeles as a public finance attorney specializing in utility, airport and healthcare financing and then on to Philadelphia, where she specialized in hospital financing. Before joining the County, Blakemore spent three years working for an Orange County law firm representing schools.
“With over two decades of serving our county as a legal professional, Ms. Blakemore has my trust and respect to lead us as our new County Counsel,” said Third District Supervisor James Ramos. “We are privileged to have a team of a knowledgeable and experienced individuals providing us with sound legal advice. I extend my congratulations to Ms. Blakemore and I look forward to working with her in the future.”
Blakemore will lead a staff of about 100 employees, including 53 attorneys. Blakemore begins the job on Nov. 25 following the retirement of County Counsel Jean-Rene Basle.
The Telephone Emergency Notification System (TENS) uses listed and unlisted numbers in the region’s 911 database to alert residents of life-threatening emergencies and San Bernardino County updates this database every six months. TENS is a proven success, and has placed hundreds of thousands of calls during wildfire and flood events since its creation in 2004. However, the 9-1-1 database only includes landline telephones, so other numbers must be registered. If a resident wishes to receive an emergency alert text message on their cell phone or an emergency call on their Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone they must register the number in the system.
TENS is only used in potentially life-threatening incidents such as an evacuation during a wildfire or earthquake. When the County deems it necessary to activate TENS, it will call the numbers in the 9-1-1 landline database in the affected area, and another separate alert will also go out via text message to the cell phones of those residents who have signed up for these alerts. In addition, a call will also be placed to any VoIP numbers that have been registered. The TENS system is currently TTY and TDD capable, however, residents who use these devices are encouraged to enter their numbers using this new feature so that the County can ensure they receive a message appropriate for their device.
To sign up, please visit www.sbcounty.gov and click on the “Sign Up for Emergency Alerts” icon or from the home pages of the County Fire and Sheriff’s departments at www.sbcfire.org or www.sbcsd.org. Thanks to the partnership with San Bernardino County’s 2-1-1 Social Services Hotline, residents who do not have internet access may register by dialing 211 to sign up.
Since many households do not have landlines these days, we hope that this additional method will go further towards alerting residents and enhancing the overall safety of even more San Bernardino County citizens.
Be Prepared BEFORE disaster strikes. Learn more by visiting www.sbcfire.org.
The County of San Bernardino Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department utilizes multiple ways to notify residents of impending danger, but residents should not wait for or rely exclusively on any single notification system. If you are concerned about your safety and welfare, please evacuate.
The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) invites individuals and families impacted by the Las Vegas shooting to attend a supportive, no-cost mental health wellness meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Victor Valley Behavioral Health Clinic, 12625 Hesperia Road in Victorville.
The meeting will be facilitated by licensed clinical therapists trained in trauma counseling. The meeting will support attendees and allow them to listen to and share their experiences related to the shooting in a safe, comfortable group setting. One-on-one counseling services will also be available.
Attendees will also be provided with educational resources and will be aided in navigating one’s own health care services to promote a healthy adjustment to normalcy and wellness. All services will be offered free of charge and insurance is not needed.
For more information, please call the Victor Valley Behavioral Health Clinic at (760) 995-8300.
DBH, through this community resource, is helping to achieve the Countywide Vision by providing behavioral health services and ensuring residents have the resources they need to attain wellness, recovery and resilience in the community. Information on the Countywide Vision and on DBH can be found at www.sbcounty.gov
Children’s Network of San Bernardino County wants you to take a stand against domestic violence. Participate in #SBCWEARSPURPLE social media campaign by taking a selfie wearing purple on Oct. 12, 2017, and posting it with the hash tag #SBCWEARSPURPLE.
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic Violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. One in three women and one in four men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Five million children witness domestic violence each year in the United States. On a typical day, there are over 20,000 calls received by domestic violence hotlines, and approximately 15 calls a minute. Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Forty percent of California women experienced physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. In a single day, domestic violence shelters serve about 5,800 women and children.
Children from homes with violence are much more likely to experience significant psychological problems short- and long-term. Those who grew up with domestic violence are six times more likely to commit suicide and 50 percent more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
For a list of domestic violence shelters in San Bernardino County visit http://www.sbcountyda.org/HelpingVictims/DomesticViolenceShelters.aspx.
The San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) will open a temporary, one-day no cost mental health wellness drop-in center to assist any San Bernardino County resident experiencing increased emotional and mental distress as result of the Las Vegas shooting.
The mental health drop-in center will be located at DBH’s Mariposa Clinic, 2940 Inland Empire Blvd., in Ontario and will be open on Saturday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Confidential services will be offered free of charge and insurance is not needed. Clinic phone lines will also be staffed with crisis counselors for individuals who prefer to call in for mental health support.
“DBH understands that individuals who receive immediate access to professional mental health services after a traumatic experience healthier mental adjustments post trauma,” said DBH Director Veronica Kelley. “DBH is offering this resource to our community to promote individual and collective healing and wellness for all affected by this tragic event.”
The temporary drop-in center will provide attendees and callers with services, tools and resources designed to support a healthy adjustment to normalcy and wellness. Services will include individual private trauma counseling with a mental health professional, case management services to aid in navigating one’s own health care services and educational information on how to cope with traumatic events.
For more information on the mental health wellness drop-in center, please call DBH’s Mariposa Clinic at (909) 458-1350.
DBH, through this community resource, is supporting the Countywide Vision by providing behavioral health services and ensuring residents have the resources they need to promote wellness, recovery and resilience in the community. Information on the Countywide Vision and on DBH can be found at www.sbcounty.gov
County residents are encouraged to join more than 600,000 people who live and work in San Bernardino County by practicing how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:19 a.m. on Thursday, October 19 during the Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. Register your family and friends here as ShakeOut participants.
What can you do to get ready for the ShakeOut?
Click here for a flyer to familiarize yourself with what to do when the shaking starts. This year, the Great California ShakeOut has modified the Drop, Cover and Hold On message to emphasize dropping where you are to your hands and knees to avoid being knocked down as you find cover and hold on.
If you, or a member of your household, are a person with a disability or have access or functional needs, click here for other tips and things to consider during an earthquake.
Watch this video to learn how to respond appropriately during an earthquake.
This video gives great advice to businesses and employers about how to prepare for an earthquake.
And San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Tracy Klinkhart has more earthquake safety tips in this video.
Share your ShakeOut day photos and videos using the hashtag #ShakeOut and #SBCounty we’ll share them on the County’s social media accounts.
The San Bernardino County Library is once again partnering with Baker’s Drive Thru for the 4th Annual Baker’s Book Club, to help promote reading among children and teens this fall. This reading for rewards program will begin on Monday, Oct. 2 and will run through Saturday, Nov. 18. The Baker’s Book Club reading program will be offered exclusively at all of our San Bernardino County branch libraries. The Baker’s Book Club will encourage youths in all county communities to read and is perfectly timed to support students returning to school and help them get back into their school routines.
To participate in this program, visit any of the 32 San Bernardino County branch libraries to sign up. Participants must be between the ages of 4 and 17, and a parent or guardian will need to sign to acknowledge reading progress. Participants will be able to reach three levels of reading goals by reading and logging the number of pages read. Each reading goal met is paired with a reward provided by Baker’s Drive Thru. Rewards include certificates for free Hand Dipped Real Ice Cream Milkshakes, bean burritos, Single Baker Burgers, fries and more. Every child and teenager who reaches the level 3 reading goal will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab A, also provided by Baker’s Drive Thru.
In support and celebration of the Countywide Vision’s literacy campaign, Vision2Read, this program will strive to help improve literacy among children ages 4 to 17, with the help of incentives, by inspiring an excitement to read, providing achievable goals, and encouraging a reading routine at home.
The San Bernardino County Library system is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County Library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all the people who call San Bernardino County home.
The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision by contributing to educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.
For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit http://www.sbclib.org/ or call (909) 387-2220.
Filling gaps in services for homeless people, addressing illegal dumping, creating a virtual receptionist program and managing mutual aid during the December 2, 2015 terrorist attack were four of the innovative programs and services recognized this month with Challenge and Merit Awards by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).
“These awards demonstrate the county has great people who are doing a commendable job of addressing the community’s highest priorities,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert A. Lovingood.
Each year, CSAC honors best practices in county governments in California. This year, CSAC received a record number of entries – 288 from counties around the state.
Last year, the County of San Bernardino received four CSAC awards and won three in 2015 and 2014, five in 2013, three in 2012, two in 2011 and one in 2010.
In the Health and Human Services category, San Bernardino County received a prestigious Challenge Award for its Housing Support Program Collaborative, which fills in gaps in services available to homeless families who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The Transitional Assistance Department (TAD) along with the Department of Behavioral Health, Housing Authority and Knowledge and Education for Your Success (KEYS) joined together to help families overcome homelessness. Since the collaborative began in 2015, 644 families have been permanently housed.
In the Health And Human Services category, the Department of Public Health won a Merit Award for Mutual Aid for a Public Health Emergency, which helped to rebuild the Division of Environmental Health Services when resources were limited following the San Bernardino terrorist attack on Dec. 2, 2015. Expertise from environmental health departments throughout California contributed to rebuilding the division and training programs were built into the mutual aid response.
In the Government Finance, Administration and Technology category, the Division of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) won a Merit Award for the Virtual Receptionist program, which was implemented at the (DEHS) High Desert location in Hesperia to improve staff efficiency and lower wait times for customers.
In the Housing, Land Use and Infrastructure category, San Bernardino County Code Enforcement won a Merit Award for its Illegal Dumping program, which uses inmate crews to help abate illegal dumping to prevent blight and save taxpayer money.
San Bernardino County is consistently one of the nation’s most-honored counties in terms of state and national awards for innovative and cost-saving public service. During the past eight years the county has won more than 250 awards from CSAC and the National Association of Counties for ground-breaking programs and services.
Talk. Read. Sing. ® Fest! is heading to the museums! Join First 5 San Bernardino for FREE* fun for infants, toddlers and preschoolers (ages 5 and under) as we champion the three little action words that make a BIG impact on your child’s learning. *Free Admission is limited! Arrive Early!
In partnership with San Bernardino County Museums, we’ll have entertainment and performances, kid-friendly activities, and our book giveaway for children ages 5 and under! Enjoy performances by Twinkle Time & Friends, Chazz the Drummer, and a variety of exhibits throughout the museums.
Make it a play date! Join us in Apple Valley at the Victor Valley Museum on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or in Redlands at the San Bernardino County Museum on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for all the early learning fun!
For more information, call First 5 San Bernardino at (909) 386-7706 or visit First 5 San Bernardino on Facebook.