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County wins record-breaking 31 national awards

2014-AwardsLargeThe County of San Bernardino this week surpassed its own record, winning 31 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties for its innovative programs and services, including top honors for the Countywide Vision as well as the State of the County event, which promotes the Vision.

Last year, the County won 18 NACo awards and has won an average of 14 NACo awards annually for the past 10 years. The most awards the County received from NACo were 27 in 2011. The NACo Achievement Awards Program recognizes innovative county government programs in the areas of children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology, and health.

This year, San Bernardino County led the region with more awards than the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and Ventura. Only 29 of California’s 58 counties received top awards.

The Countywide Vision won a 2014 Achievement Award in the category of County Administration and Management. The Board of Supervisors formed a partnership with the San Bernardino Association of Governments and launched the Countywide Vision in 2010 after receiving public input and feedback from experts on improving the county and moving it forward. The Countywide Vision is an active, ongoing, collaborative process aimed at setting a course of the county as a whole, improving life within the county and making the county attractive to investors.

“San Bernardino County consistently earns these accolades because we encourage our employees to share their ideas on how to improve services and find efficiencies so we can better serve our residents and businesses,” Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford said.

The Board of Supervisors will recognize and honor the people and departments responsible for the 2014 winning programs and services at an upcoming public meeting.

The following are San Bernardino County’s 2014 winning programs:

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Recommended budget available online

On Tuesday, June 17, the Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing and then consider adoption of a balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.Budget Cover

The $4.8 billion recommended budget is $165.2 million smaller than the current budget and reflects the County’s effort to achieve the Countywide Vision. It also reflects the County’s ongoing struggle to recover from the Great Recession and cope with dramatic increases in pension liabilities. However, it does manage to fund the  first phase of High Desert Detention Center staffing, fully fund the County’s leave liability, invest more in road maintenance and improvements, and fund an upgrade to the County’s public safety radio system without incurring additional debt.

The Executive Summary for the 2014-15 Recommended Budget can be viewed here. The complete 2014-15 Recommended Budget can be viewed here.

Early voting starts today in Hesperia and Montclair

votingThe San Bernardino County Elections Office is continuing to make it convenient for voters to cast a ballot in the 2014 Statewide Primary Election by expanding early voting in the County. Beginning today, voters can vote early during normal business hours at the Hesperia Branch Library and the Montclair Branch Library. Earlier this month, early voting began at the San Bernardino County Elections Office.

All three early voting locations will also serve as a mail ballot drive-thru drop-off location on Election Day. Elections Office staff will be stationed in the parking lot to accept voted mail ballots and distribute “I Voted” stickers. The drive-thru drop-offs will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

“These new early voting locations and mail ballot drive-thru drop-offs are just two examples of the many improvements we’ve implemented to make voting more convenient for San Bernardino County voters,” said San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters, Michael J. Scarpello. “In addition to these improvements, we recently added 55 locations throughout the county where voters can deliver their mail ballots,” Scarpello said.

Voters can also drop-off their mail ballots at any one of the county’s 413 polling places on Election Day. All mail ballot drop-off locations and polling places can be found on the Elections Office website at www.sbcountyelections.com. Voters can sign up to receive a mail ballot by filling out the Mail Ballot Application found in their Voter Information Guide, by downloading an application from the Elections Office website, or by calling the Elections Office. The deadline to apply for a mail ballot is tomrrow, Wednesday, May 28.

For more information about this election, visit the Elections Office website, www.sbcountyelections.com, or call (909) 387-8300.

 

County employee scores appointment from governor

Gov. Jerry Brown today announced he has appointed San Bernardino County Public Works traffic chief Mohammad Qureshi of Redlands to the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.

formal with glasses Qureshi has been chief of traffic at Public Works of since 2012. He was regional director and senior project manager at LIN Consulting from 2007 to 2012, director of the Jackson State University Institute for Multimodal Transportation from 2006 to 2007 and assistant professor and director at the University of Missouri-Rolla’s Missouri Local Transportation Resource Center from 2000 to 2006. Qureshi was a research specialist at the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research from 1998 to 2000 and senior associate at the Resource Systems Group Inc. from 1995 to 1997. Qureshi earned a Doctor of Philosophy in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

State of the County by the numbers

chairsotc

San Bernardino County is the largest county in the world and one of the nation’s most populous. The diversity and volume of services County Government provides might still surprise you. During tonight’s State of the County speech, Chair Janice Rutherford cited a number of quirky and interesting facts about the County:

2,076,399 – County population (more than 14 states)
20,160 – Size of the county in square miles (larger than Switzerland)
5,981 – Tires purchased by County Government in 2013
200 – Mosquito Fish on-hand for county residents with fish ponds
676 – Copies of “Green Eggs and Ham” in County libraries
5,825 – Average daily jail population
64 – Species at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge
160 – Animals at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge
1,134,088 – Cookies baked by the County in 2013
22 – Rare-earth minerals and metals mined in the County
15,000 – Toothbrushes purchased by the County in 2013
10,000 – Tubes of toothpaste purchased by the County in 2013
65,464 – Environmental Health inspections during fiscal year 2012-13
258,148 – Outpatients seen at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in 2013
0 – Deficiencies found during a recent inspection of ARMC
115,000 – Arrowhead Regional Medical Center ER visits, 2013
278,560 – Latex gloves purchased by the County in 2013
19,953 – Gas pumps inspected by the County in 2013
$56 million – Saved by county consumers in 2013 thanks to scale/gas pump/scanner inspections
7,000 – Coloring books purchased by the County in 2013
6,500 – Crayon 4-packs purchased by the County in 2013
80 – Sentinel chickens to warn the County about impending disease
200,000 – Bird eggs at the County Museum
185,742 – Calls for Sheriff service in unincorporated County areas in 2013
1,403 – Square miles covered by the Victor Valley Sheriff’s station (just shy of Rhode Island)
8,000 – Disposable diapers purchased by the County in 2013
15,171 – Public Health immunizations during fiscal year 2012-13
102,450 – Apples purchased by the County in 2013
250 – Bridges maintained by County Public Works
1,805 – Number of Sheriff’s volunteers
3,800 – Poll workers who served during the 2012 presidential election
1,171 – People who received job training through the Workforce Investment Board in 2013
13 – Aircraft Owned & Operated by the County

Live webinar scheduled to discuss the High Desert Corridor

highdesertcorridor

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Caltrans are hosting a live webinar to discuss the High Desert Corridor’s potential rail component and connections to the Palmdale Transportation Center in Palmdale and Desert Xpress in Victorville.

The webcast will be streamed live on Feb. 26, 2014 at 7 p.m. on https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4621315897213406209. Webinar participants will be able to share comments and ask questions during the live webcast.

The High Desert Corridor Study is currently considering an approximately 63-mile long, east-west multipurpose transportation corridor, between State Route 14 in Los Angeles County and State Route 18 in San Bernardino County.   The HDC could include the following: freeway/expressway, toll lanes, and/or a high speed rail connection, green energy production and transmission, and a bikeway.  The proposed project aims to improve mobility and access for people and goods in the rapidly growing Antelope, Victor Valley areas of Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

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Nonprofits encouraged to apply for Give BIG web-a-thon

givebiglogoNonprofit organizations interested in participating in Give BIG San Bernardino County, a 24-hour fundraising web-a-thon on May 8, 2014 can apply now at the following link: https://www.thecommunityfoundation.net/programs-initiatives/programs/give-big-san-bernardino or by contacting a regional representative listed here: Regional representatives.

The County in partnership with the Community Foundation encourages businesses, community leaders and volunteers to help reach a goal of $300,000 in new donations for nonprofits on May 8.  The Give BIG campaign follows a growing trend of 24-hour online and technology-based fundraising efforts.

Give BIG San Bernardino County offers participating nonprofit organizations training on how to use social media, marketing, donor cultivation and more in the lead up to the web-a-thon. The hope is that the event will provide an opportunity for nonprofit organizations in the county to become self-sustaining entities through a stable donor base with less reliance on grant funding. Participants will learn to fine-tune their fundraising capabilities and benefit those they serve.

Give BIG San Bernardino County is the first countywide campaign supporting organizations that help those most in need. Successful Give BIG campaigns have occurred in Minnesota, Colorado, North Texas, Ohio, Pittsburg, Seattle, San Diego and the City of Riverside.

Follow Give BIG San Bernardino County on Twitter @givebigsbcounty or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/givebigsanbernardinocounty.

Federal Court & County keep strip club doors closed

gavelSAN BERNARDINO – The County of San Bernardino on Thursday secured the permanent closure of the Déjà Vu strip club near Montclair.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on Thursday soundly rejected an effort by the club’s owners to renege on an agreement reached with the County that led to the October 2012 closure of the longtime eyesore once known as the Eyefull.

Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Gary Ovitt, whose Fourth Supervisorial District includes Montclair, said the County has stayed the course in holding the club owners accountable for the agreement.

“My constituents have waited patiently for many years to see this blemish on their community removed once and for all,” Vice Chair Ovitt said. “I will continue to listen to and work with our residents and the City of Montclair to see this site used for something that will benefit the neighborhood.”

The strip club closed its doors in October of 2012 under the terms of a settlement agreement with the County, but then went to court to try to nullify the agreement and reopen its nude cabaret on Mission Boulevard.

The court on Thursday rejected all of the plaintiff’s arguments and found that the County was not required to identify a location for an adult business, and that the agreement did not impose an unconstitutional condition or infringe upon the club owners’ First Amendment rights. The County was represented by Deborah J. Fox and Dawn McIntosh of Meyers Nave.

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