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County Project Management employee wins statewide recognition for public service

A county government project manager has received statewide recognition for his exemplary public service.

Brenton Rankin

Brenton Rankin, a project manager with the county’s Real Estate Services Department Project Management Division, has received one of only three Excellence in Service awards given out each year by the California County General Services Association.

“Your demonstrated ability to manage logistically challenging and high-profile projects shows a high level of dedication and responsiveness to your customers’ needs,” the organization said in recognizing Brenton.

Brenton effectively manages a diverse roster of project types and brings a unique skill set to each, such as managing challenging projects within high-security detention facilities, upgrades at the Emergency Operations Center and new fueling stations, while managing and mitigating fiduciary risks and providing outstanding customer service.

One example of Brenton’s accomplishments is the Cafe and Conference Rooms Remodel Project, which converted a long-time restaurant into several multi-purpose conference rooms and a coffee bar within the County Government Center in San Bernardino. The project had the added challenge of having to serve as a temporary meeting place for the Board of Supervisors while the board’s chambers undergo renovation.

Brenton was tasked with keeping all construction efforts, audio/visual upgrades and furnishings on schedule to ensure the timely and seamless transition of the temporary board chambers functions into the temporary space to match the start of the chambers renovation project. Brenton worked closely with the county government leadership team to facilitate the scheduling and logistics of all public hearings, meetings and events.

Brenton is one of approximately 22,000 San Bernardino County government employees who define their job as creating “a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being.”

 

Supervisors direct funding toward community efforts to end homelessness

An estimated 3,400 homeless individuals and families at imminent risk of homelessness will benefit from more than $6.6 million in state grant funding distributed today by the Board of Supervisors to 15 local agencies throughout the county.

Photo Credit: SCNG

An additional $2.3 million in grant funding will be distributed to seven additional local agencies in the near future.

The funds are a portion of nearly $9.4 million the county received from the $500 million Homeless Emergency Aid Program, or HEAP, block grant funding program created by the state last year.

The county will use more than $6.3 million to support homeless prevention and diversion programs, general homeless services, homeless outreach, reentry services, emergency shelter response, utility assistance, moving assistance, transportation services, document readiness, eviction services and housing search and stability. Almost $1.3 million will go toward rental subsidies. More than $1 million will be set aside specifically to assist homeless youth, and $213,000 will go toward shelter acquisition projects to serve the homeless.

Funds will be provided to the cities of Barstow, Colton, Montclair, Redlands, Rialto and Upland, the Morongo Unified School District, and community organizations based in San Bernardino, Victorville, Twentynine Palms, Apple Valley, Redlands, Hesperia, Fontana and elsewhere collectively serving homeless throughout the entire county.

Ending homelessness in San Bernardino County is a priority for the Board of Supervisors, who created the San Bernardino County Homeless Partnership in 2007. In July 2016, the board launched an initiative to assist homeless veterans and since then has successfully housed 1,096 veterans. Since January 2017, 191 chronically homeless people with mental health issues have been housed.

San Bernardino County’s innovative approaches to address homelessness – which have received accolades at the state and national levels – focus on collaboration, creation of available dwelling units, whole-person healthcare, jobs, and technology.

On April 16, the Board of Supervisors and Gov. Gavin Newsom held a roundtable discussion about the county’s efforts to fight homelessness and solutions to the problem moving forward. Newsom said he was so inspired by the “big ideas” at work in San Bernardino County that he will work with the state Legislature to set aside funding in the state’s upcoming 2019-2020 budget to enhance support for the county’s efforts.

County Fleet Management among the best on the continent – again!

For the 14th time in the past 15 years, San Bernardino County Fleet Management has been named one of the 100 Best Fleets in North America, coming in 17th place this year – up from 23rd last year.

The 100 Best Fleets competition recognizes fleet operations that perform at a high level using industry recognized processes and procedures, key performance indicators and best practices. The 100 Best Fleets results are announced every year at the National Association of Fleet Administrators Institute and Expo conference.

The approximately 100 men and women of San Bernardino County Fleet Management provide acquisition, maintenance, repair, modification, and disposal services for the majority of county vehicles and equipment. Fleet Management’s main garage in San Bernardino includes four shops: automotive, heavy duty, welding/metal fabrication, and generator services, as well as a parts room and fueling station. The department also operates five smaller service centers in Barstow, Victorville, Needles, Rancho Cucamonga and Twentynine Palms and 60 strategically located fueling sites.

Additionally, Fleet Management operates a motor pool, which has ownership and/or maintenance and replacement responsibility for approximately 1,940 vehicles and pieces of equipment assigned to or used by county departments.

County’s homelessness efforts impress new governor

From left, County CEO Gary McBride, Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Josie Gonzales, Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman and Gov. Gavin Newsom listen to presentations outlining the county’s efforts to combat homelessness.

San Bernardino County officials and their community partners impressed California’s new governor this week with the various strategies being employed to combat homelessness in America’s largest county.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was so inspired by the “big ideas” at work in San Bernardino County that he will work with the state Legislature to set aside funding in the state’s upcoming 2019-2020 budget to enhance support for the county’s efforts.

“This seems to me to be an extraordinary opportunity,” Gov. Newsom said. “I have the privilege of this moment to convince my legislative colleagues that this is a wise investment.”

“I am going back home re-energized,” he continued. “I want to look to redirect some of that money in a much more robust way. … That’s missing from my budget, but it doesn’t have to be on May 1. We can figure out ways to bolster that effort.”

San Bernardino County’s innovative approaches to address homelessness – which have received accolades at the state and national levels – focus on collaboration, creation of available dwelling units, whole-person healthcare, jobs, and technology. Efforts are coordinated by the county’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is chaired by Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales and includes representatives from many cities within the county, and a variety of county departments, non-profit organizations, and other service providers.

During the meeting with Gov. Newsom on April 16, 2019, at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center McKee Family Health Center in San Bernardino, county and private sector partners outlined some of the county’s approaches toward ending homelessness, including:

  • Managed healthcare to ensure newly-housed people achieve and maintain physical and behavioral wellness to help prevent them from reverting to homelessness and relying on more costly emergency room care for their basic needs.
  • The conversion of hotels and motels to provide homes for the homeless. The Housing Authority of San Bernardino County and its private sector partners are in the process of converting motels in San Bernardino and Victorville into housing for homeless people. Tod Lipka, president and CEO of Step Up said there are 75 hotels and motels in the region that could be converted into housing if the state could provide funding for rent vouchers.

“There are wonderful things happening at the local level,” Gov. Newsom said. “We’ll have your back and we’ll be providing an unprecedented amount of resources, and we’re here for the long haul.”

A series of free fair housing workshops

Learn about:

  • Federal and State fair housing laws
  • How to recognize and report discrimination
  • The protections provided for individuals living with disabilities or families with children
  • New HUD guidelines on tenants with criminal backgrounds, evictions, deposits, habitability problems, notices

… and much more, during a series of fair housing workshops conducted free of charge by the Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board.

Workshops will be held throughout May 2019 in various locations, including Chino Hills, Ontario, Big Bear Lake, Hesperia, Barstow, Rialto, San Bernardino, Chino, Needles and Upland. Click here for details in English and Spanish.

Greenspot Road reopened to traffic

The San Bernardino County Department of Public Works today reopened Greenspot Road, which is a major connector for the community of East Highland, Mentone, Redlands, and Yucaipa, as well as Highway 38 for mountain commuters.

During heavy rainstorms on Feb. 14, a portion of Greenspot Road near Florida Street was washed out by heavy storm water flows in Mill Creek and has been closed to traffic since then.

One of the biggest challenges was restoring Mill Creek back to its original flow path in order to prevent future erosion of the roadway. Over 50,000 yards of material needed to be moved in order to protect the roadway. This work was complicated by the series of storms that occurred after Feb. 14. The 2018/2019 storm season has been the wettest since the 2010-2011 storm season, with rain gauges in the county receiving anywhere from 125 percent to 185 percent above the normal seasonal average.

The Department of Public Works Flood Control District and Transportation Department team, along with a contractor, Jeremey Harris Construction, have been working together to restore the creek and repair the road in order to reopen it to the public. The Department of Public Works appreciates the collaborative effort displayed by the City of Redlands and utility agencies that were involved.

County crews will still be working on the roadway in the next couple of weeks to place permanent guard rail and traffic striping. Motorists must be ready to slow down and pay attention to construction traffic signs to ensure everyone’s safety. The cost of the repair work is anticipated to be more than $400,000 once the project is finished.

 

County receives $17 million for homeless outreach program

The County Department of Behavioral Health has been approved to implement its Innovative Remote Onsite Assistance Delivery (InnROADs) program with a budget of $17 million over five years.

On Feb. 28, the department successfully presented the InnROADs project to the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission . The InnROADs project is funded through the Innovation Component of the Mental Health Services Act, also known as Prop. 63.

“We are pleased to bring such an innovative project to San Bernardino County that addresses persons who are homeless, have a serious mental illness/addiction and are living in our rural and remote areas,” said County Behavioral Health Director Veronica Kelley.

The five-year, time-limited learning project, is a multi-agency, multidisciplinary approach to engaging individuals experiencing homelessness and mental illness in rural areas of San Bernardino County. The project is a collaborative effort among four county departments – Behavioral Health, Aging and Adult Services, Public Health and the Sheriff’s Department.

The goal of the InnROADs project is to build trust, help support and care for communities and eventually link them into the appropriate system of care.

“These funds will enable a multidisciplinary team made up of our essential partners, to go into our rural and frontier areas via five off-road mobile teams, to treat in place and assist moving our homeless population into permanent supportive housing with a focus on treating their mental illness and/or addiction,” Kelley said.

Possible treatment could include counseling, medication and basic physical health screenings. Through this project services will “go to” the individuals in need, no matter where they are located within San Bernardino County.

“We have taken the lead from our stakeholders and are very excited to bring this project to life for our community,” said Office of Innovation Program Manager Karen Cervantes.  “This is a great opportunity to learn and improve the way we provide care.”

County Behavioral Health, through the Mental Health Services Act, 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 County Behavioral Health can be found here.

Supervisors seek applicants for Building and Safety Appeals Board

The Board of Supervisors is seeking individuals to serve on the County Building and Safety Appeals Board.

“The mission of this board is important, and I urge anyone who feels they are qualified and who is interested in serving their community to apply,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman.

The Building and Safety Appeals Board is a technical review panel. It is charged with considering matters in which property owners and builders believe the County has incorrectly applied the Building Code during plan review, construction, or to an existing building resulting in that building being declared substandard or unsafe. Applicants for this board should be familiar with construction and the California Building Code. The board has five seats plus three alternate positions. All members – regular and alternate – must have the knowledge, experience and training necessary to review and reach decisions on matters pertaining to building construction and applicable Building Codes, regulations and ordinances.

Two members of this board will also serve as members of the County Physically Disabled Access Appeals Board. This five-member board, with three alternates, will consider appeals to County decisions as they pertain to disabled access, consider ratifications of certain exemptions to accessibility requirements, and serve as an adviser to the County Building Official on disabled access matters.

The Building and Safety Appeals Board  will work toward achieving the Countywide Vision by capitalizing on the county’s diversity, ensuring a sustainable system of quality community elements, and governing in an open and ethical manner. Members of the board will be appointed by the Board of Supervisors and serve four-year terms.

Anyone who believes they are qualified and who is interested in serving on the Building and Safety Appeals Board may apply at http://cms.sbcounty.gov/cob/Forms/BCCApplication.aspx or in-person at the Office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., Second Floor, in San Bernardino.

This is NOT the weekend for roadside snow play

Southern Californians looking to play in the snow this weekend won’t find any of it by the side of the roads in the San Bernardino County mountains.

The Crestline, Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs areas are open for business and great for food, shopping and general relaxation, but Thursday’s relatively warm storm washed away most of the snow.

Snow conditions are great in the higher-elevation Big Bear area, but both of the roads between the San Bernardino and Big Bear valleys are closed while they recover from this week’s storms. The only way into Big Bear and to the area’s two major ski resorts is through the High Desert on Highway 18.

For those who plan on visiting the local mountains this weekend, the county continues to urge visitors to be safe, smart, and polite.

–Heavy fog is common on mountain highways. Motorists are reminded to be alert, slow for weather conditions and use headlights while driving. Avoid travel during storm events and check road and weather conditions before you travel.  Motorists should anticipate delays and longer travel time.

–Carry tire chains, but do not stop in the roadways to put them on. Chains are not a convenient option for motorists when ice and snow are present. They are required. Motorists must carry chains or other legally compliant traction devices. The San Bernardino Mountain regions have Caltrans-permitted and -trained chain installers available during periods when chains are required.

–Motorists are urged to drive carefully and use turnouts to allow faster traffic to pass.

–Stock vehicles with water, snacks, blankets, a charged cell phone, flashlight and a full tank of gas before visiting the mountains. For safe winter driving tips and chain control information please go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html. Check out Caltrans’ “Quick Map” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. For real-time traffic, download the Quick Map app on iTunes or Google Play.

–Be courteous. The mountains are a full-time home to thousands people. Visitors should carry their trash with them or use one of the dumpsters located along state highways 18 and 330, which are generously provided through a partnership between county government, Caltrans and Burrtec.

–Park only in areas clearly designated for parking. Illegally parked vehicles, especially those blocking roads or snow plows, will be quickly towed away.

Law enforcement will be present in greater numbers and will actively enforce laws concerning driving, chains, parking, roadside play and littering.

Generation GO! : High school seniors begin county internships

More than 100 San Bernardino County high school seniors got a jump start into careers on Wednesday as they began internships with more than 20 county departments.

The internships are part of  Generation Go!, a countywide program established by the County Workforce Development Board providing work-based learning opportunities to high school students. A key component of its work is ensuring that the county’s youth are ready to enter the workforce with the skills needed to compete today and for the future.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride and Deputy Executive Officer Reg Javier offered encouraging remarks to the students during their orientation Wednesday. McBride expressed a particular connection with the students, recounting how he began his career with the county at a young age in an entry-level position. 

Generation Go! is an essential element of Vision2Succeed, a project of the Countywide Vision aimed at preparing San Bernardino County residents for the jobs we have and the jobs we want to attract.

The county is currently seeking businesses that are willing to provide work-based learning experiences as part of a high school curriculum. Targeted industries include utilities/energy, logistics/transportation, construction/engineering, automotive, manufacturing and culinary.

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