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Board approves balanced, visionary 2019-20 County budget

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously adopted a balanced $6.9 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The budget fully funds increased costs to maintain current public service levels, makes a substantial contribution to capital project needs, and allocates funding to many projects and programs that support the Countywide Vision and the board’s goals and objectives.

“The Board’s longstanding fiscally prudent approach, coupled with continued growth in property and sales tax revenues, has placed the County in a position to take care of immediate needs and strategically invest in the future,” County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride wrote to the Board.

Examples of funding recommendations include allocations to:

  • Enhance public safety, such as the Sheriff Department’s Hope and START programs),
  • Improve decision-making capabilities through the use of technology, such as Esri GIS licenses and support),
  • Address workload issues, particularly staffing for the District Attorney and Public Defender,
  • Invest in capital projects, such as gully funding the Valley Dispatch Center project.

The budget includes $406.9 million in reserves, $1 billion toward law and justice, $2.3 billion for human services, and $721 million for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

S&P Global upgrades County’s credit rating to AA+

Citing prudent budgeting practices by the county and an improving county economy, one of the nation’s top three credit rating agencies today upgraded San Bernardino County‘s credit rating from AA to AA+.

“This is a testament to the great work being done by our budget staff, our department managers and all County employees, who provide the public with a high level of service with efficiency and innovation,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman.

The County requested the credit review by S&P Global as part of a $335.2 million dollar refunding of outstanding debt approved by the Board of Supervisors last month. Based on current market conditions, the County expects the higher rating to help save over $30 million dollars on that refunding alone.

In its notification to the county, S&P Global cited a strengthening local economy as part of the reason for the upgrade, particularly employment growth, a rise in retail activity and rebounding real estate values.

It also praised the County for using “fiscal discipline” in the face of surging tax revenue from the improved economy.

“We view the county’s management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices,” S&P wrote in its notification to the County. “We view the county’s budgetary flexibility as very strong. … Management reports that stronger tax revenue and continued actions to reduce expenditure growth contributed to a rebound in general fund performance in recent fiscal years.”

Among the specifics S&P Global cited were:

  • Strong budgetary performance, with operating surpluses at the general fund and the total governmental fund levels in fiscal 2018.
  • Very strong debt and contingent liability profile.
  • An analytically robust budget development process that uses trends and forecasts to build assumptions with input from local economists, and a budget document that includes details on assumptions to support decision-making by the Board of Supervisors.
  • Quarterly budget updates to the Board of Supervisors that include details on year-to-date revenue and expenditures.
  • Good debt disclosure online and in annual financial reports as well as a debt policy that is integrated with the strategic plan.

Join the Museum’s biggest party of the year

Celebrate the San Bernardino County Museum’s incredible work focusing on the region’s nature, art, history and science at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18. By attending Bucky Ball, you support the Museum’s mission to inspire the community about the Inland Empire’s rich cultural and natural history through year-round STEM-based and family-focused programming.

The Museum impacts the lives of nearly 70,000 schoolchildren, families, researchers and others annually in our diverse community at our Redlands site and an additional 12,000 at Victor Valley Museum and our historic sites. For many, the Museum is their first introduction to the wonders of nature and the remarkable region in which we live. These learning experiences set the stage for a life-long interest in science, art and the natural world.

This special night of festivities raises much-needed support for new exhibits and upgrades to permanent spaces inside the Museum and its branch sites, and for the Museums for All discount admission program, providing access regardless of ability to pay.

This year’s gala will include an exclusive preview of the upcoming exhibit, Pulp Culture: A Juicy Story in the Orange Empire. Enjoy beautiful décor, live music and dancing, a gourmet dinner and wines, the esteemed Good Egg Awards, silent and live auctions, and a few surprises designed to provide our guests a truly pleasurable evening.

To purchase tickets go to: https://thesbcma.org/bucky-ball/

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.

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.

Be safe and courteous when visiting the mountains

Recent storms have transformed the San Bernardino County mountains into a winter wonderland, and mountain residents, public safety agencies and government service providers are bracing for the usual mass migration of snow lovers from all parts of Southern California.

County government joins mountain residents and businesses, police and fire agencies, Caltrans and other mountain “locals” in welcoming weekend visitors while urging them to be courteous, be prepared, and be safe in their quest for snow and adventure.

  • Snow and rain are expected throughout the weekend. 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. 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.

Regional Parks now hiring lifeguards and pool managers for summer swim season

From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend the San Bernardino County Regional Parks opens its swim complexes for families to enjoy. We would like to invite any interested candidates to apply as a Lifeguard or Pool Manager at one of our Regional Parks for the 2019 Summer Season.

The department will be hosting a one-day hiring event on March 2, 2019 where potential same day job offers could be made. If you are unable to attend the event, applications will be accepted online continuously through April.

Regional Parks will be offering lifeguard certification training in March. Candidates who are selected at the hiring event, will be able to obtain certifications paid for by the department.

All applicants are required to have C.P.R. and First Aid certifications, prior to the first day of employment.  Lifeguards will be required to show proof of current Lifeguard Certifications, valid through September 2019. All requirements must be met before the first day of work. Bilingual abilities strongly desired.

The following positions are available for the 2019 Summer Swim Season:

Pool Manager – $ 17.00 hourly (2 at each site)

·         21 years of age or older

·         5 Years of Lifeguard Experience

·         1-2 Years of Supervisory Experience

Senior Lifeguard – $ 14.00 hourly (2 at each site)

  • 18 years of age or older
  • 3 Years of Lifeguard Experience
Returning Lifeguard – $ 13.00 hourly

  • 16 years of age or older
  • 1 or more years Lifeguard Experience with Regional Parks
New Lifeguard – $ 12.50 hourly

·         16 Years of age or older

 

Preferred work location is not guaranteed and will be decided by Park staffing needs.

Please visit www.sbcounty.gov/jobs and apply today!

Deputy Fire Chief Trapp to serve as interim chief

County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride has announced that Deputy County Fire Chief Donald W. Trapp will serve as interim chief during a nationwide recruitment for a new chief to succeed Mark Hartwig, who is leaving County Fire on Feb. 15 to begin serving as fire chief for Santa Barbara County.

“We would like to thank Don and all of the dedicated men and women of the Fire Protection District for their service and leadership during this transition period,” McBride said.

“I am honored to lead such a talented team of men and women who are proud to be serving in their communities,” Trapp said. “Through teamwork and collaboration with our partner agencies and the communities we serve, we will continue efforts towards community risk reduction plans. Looking for ways to reduce operating costs while still providing the highest level of fire, rescue and emergency medical services remains a priority.”

Trapp has served the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District for 29 years, promoting through the ranks in the Valley, Wrightwood, North Desert and Lake Arrowhead areas. He was appointed Deputy Chief of Administration in July 2015, and has served as Deputy Chief of Operations from 2017 to present. He is responsible for overseeing all fire suppression, emergency medical services, and rescue operations.

Trapp serves on the state Firescope Operations Team and serves as the Operational Area Coordinator.

Trapp became interested in the fire service right out of high school and became a paid-call firefighter for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in Temecula. He began his full-time fire service career with San Bernardino County Fire in 1989 in Fontana.

Throughout his career in County Fire, Trapp has remained heavily involved in the communities served by the district. He has served on the Emergency Medical Services committee, and co-chaired both the Operations Leadership Team and the Hiring, Testing & Development committees.

Nominate an Unsung Hero

It’s Nomination Time!

San Bernardino County Children’s Network invites you to nominate an individual or organization to be selected and recognized for their efforts in preventing child abuse.

  • Do you know an individual or organization that goes the extra mile for children while selflessly giving in order to make a difference?
  • Someone who goes above-and-beyond their regular duties to ensure children are safe?

Please take a moment to nominate an individual, agency or program for their outstanding efforts in assisting at-risk children and youth in San Bernardino County.

The nomination form can be found on the Children’s Network’s website, http://hs.sbcounty.gov/CN

The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8

Thank you for helping us honor those who deserve special recognition. Honorees will be recognized at:

The 21st Annual Shine a Light on Child Abuse Awards Breakfast

Thursday, April 4

7:30 to 9 a.m.

National Orange Show, Valencia Room

690 S. Arrowhead Ave.

San Bernardino

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