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Virtual inspections are the County’s next innovation

Final Government Works StampSan Bernardino County’s spirit of innovation, recognized in recent years with a record number of state and national awards, will soon make building inspections a whole lot easier for businesses and homeowners.

The county this week will become perhaps the first western U.S. jurisdiction to launch a virtual inspection program that will allow county building inspectors to review projects over the Internet.

“This is the kind of smart innovation that saves time, taxpayer dollars and improves customer service,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Robert Lovingood, who represents the First District.

By downloading a special application, permit applicants will be able to show county inspectors their projects and exchange information using their smartphones or tablets. Traditionally, applicants have had to wait at their project sites for a building inspector to arrive during a window of time. Virtual inspections will take place at a precise time, eliminating the wait.

“Our customers deserve the best service we can provide,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Eliminating wait times is a major improvement in how the county conducts building inspections.”

The San Bernardino County virtual inspection program will be conducted on a pilot basis at first, only in the county’s desert and mountain communities, and will focus only on the simplest of projects, including water heater installations and roof inspections.

The desert and mountain communities were chosen because they pose the greatest challenges in obtaining a sufficient wireless data connection for the program to succeed. The pilot program, which will last at least 90 days, will also test the accuracy of the project site verification process and the clarity of the video signals. The goal during the pilot is to conduct two to three virtual inspections per week.

“Using technology to make the County’s inspection and permitting process more efficient will help residents and contractors save both time and money,” said Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford. “I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot project and to expanding the use of virtual technology to improve efficiencies throughout the County.”

During the past four years, the County of San Bernardino has claimed more than 100 state and national innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors. The awards have recognized the county’s efforts in emergency response, inmate re-entry, senior housing, public health, behavioral health, and economic development, to name a few.

This project helps fulfill several of the County’s Board-adopted Goals and Objectives, including achievement of the Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision; Create, Maintain, and Grow Jobs and Economic Value in the County, Improve County Government Operations, and Operate in a Fiscally-Responsible and Business-Like Manner; and Ensure Development of a Well-Planned, Balanced, and Sustainable County.

Many of the county’s other innovations are featured here on CountyWire under the category “Government Works.”

“San Bernardino County has a solid record of innovation,” Vice Chairman Lovingood said. “We will continue working to leverage technology and innovative thinking to deliver better results to taxpayers.”


Join the Friends of the PE Trail at the Cucamonga Challenge

Hundreds of runners, walkers, and cyclists are expected for the 10th Annual Cucamonga Challenge starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Central Park in Rancho Cucamonga. The Cucamonga Challenge, presented by the Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail, was created as a lifelong initiative to challenge individuals with their own fitness goals, from couch to trail to intermediate and expert fitness levels.

run1The annual Cucamonga Challenge is a family event, which is held to encourage health and wellness goals while connecting with the community. The Countywide Vision recognizes that wellness is a key element in our community, and is essential toward attaining educational goals and a robust economy. The realization of the Countywide Vision depends on support, participation, and leadership from all community stakeholders, including non-profit organizations.

Join us to support the Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail in its efforts to promote the use of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail in the Inland Empire and contribute to the achievement of the Countywide Vision by fostering wellness.

The event is open to all levels. The Cucamonga Challenge will consist of five events:

* 5K

* 10K

* 35-mile Bike Ride

* 8-mile Pacific Electric Trail Ride

* 1-mile Family and Pet-Friendly Fun Runrun2

For route maps, registration and other information, visit: www.CucamongaChallenge.com. Costs vary depending on the event. The event location is: Central Park, 11200 Baseline Road, in Rancho Cucamonga.

Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail, a 501 c(3) organization, promotes the use of the 21-mile Pacific Electric Trail to encourage a healthy lifestyle. The PE Trail is a rail-trail that connects five cities: Rialto, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland, and Montclair. All funds raised from the Cucamonga Challenge will support trail amenities such as benches, rest stops, bike racks, pet stations, and drought-tolerant landscaping.

County and National Weather Service honor local weather watcher

The National Weather Service in San Diego recently presented Hesperia resident Phillip Dupree with an award for his 15 years of service to the Cooperative Observing Program.

Noel Isla, Observing Program Leader, Mike Watkins, Hydrometeorological Technician, and Tina Stall, Meteorologist Intern, traveled to the High Desert Emergency Operations Center in Hesperia to make the presentation.current-newsletter

Mr. Dupree is a dedicated Sky-warn coordinator for San Bernardino County and has been reporting the daily temperatures and precipitation from his home in Hesperia for the past 15 years. He also provides vital reports to the Weather Forecast Office during storms, fires, plane crashes, and more.

Mr. Dupree is proud of his many years of service in weather support, and looks forward to contributing further in the future. Members of the High Desert EOC and San Bernardino County Fire Department were also in attendance, and presented Mr. Dupree with their own award for his dedicated weather support services.

Supervisors adopt 2015-2016 Goals & Objectives

Achieving the Countywide Vision, increasing jobs and economic value, and ensuring the development of a well-planned, balanced, and sustainable county are among the goals and objectives established April 7 by the Board of Supervisors for the coming year.

“The Goals & Objectives are a promise to the people of San Bernardino County that the Board of Supervisors is fully committed to creating an outstanding quality of life for our residents, visitors, and investors,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Continuing our work toward achieving the Countywide Vision in collaboration with our cities and towns, schools, businesses, and other stakeholders will ensure that our county community will continue to thrive and succeed for generations to come.”

Final Government Works StampAnnual goals and objectives were established to create a clear line of authority between the public, as represented by the Board of Supervisors, and the activities carried out by County Government. The Board meets annually with the Chief Executive Officer as part of the CEO’s performance evaluation to develop the Goals & Objectives, which are then publicly discussed and acted upon by the Board. All proposals submitted to the Board and all activities carried out by County departments and staff must be tied to one or more of the Goals & Objectives.

“This Board has a strong commitment toward open and honest government,” Chairman Ramos said. “Publicly setting goals and objectives ensures that the public sets the County’s course and that County Government is accountable to the public for the work it does in our communities and how it spends the taxpayers’ dollars.”

The categories under which the Goals & Objectives fall are

– Implement the Countywide Vision

– Create, Maintain and Grow Jobs and Economic Value in the County

– Improve County Government Operations

– Operate in a Fiscally Responsible and Business-like Manner

– Ensure Development of a Well-Planned, Balanced, and Sustainable County

– Provide for the Safety, Health, and Social Service Needs of County Residents

– Pursue County Goals and Objectives by Working with Other Agencies

The County’s primary goal remains implementation of the Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision, by convening conversations on community collaboration and collective action, and supporting the work of the Vision element groups.

Public input sought for Behavioral Health report

The County’s Draft Mental Health Services Act (MHSA, Prop. 63) Annual Update will be posted for public comment from March 20, 2015 through April 20, 2015. The public is invited to review the draft report and provide feedback on the comment forms, posted in English and Spanish. The report and comment forms are located at www.sbcounty.gov/dbh.

“I encourage all interested parties to participate in this community planning process,” stated CaSonya Thomas, the County’s Behavioral Health Director. “The annual update process is something that occurs every year and we are always trying to improve the services provided and the way we work with community partners.”Behavioral Health_ full color_Alternate Config (2)

County Behavioral Health, through the MHSA, 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 the Department of Behavioral Health can be found at www.sbcounty.gov.

County Behavioral Health has leveraged resources provided through the MHSA to expand existing behavioral health services. The services are geared to target the unserved, underserved and inappropriately served members of our community.  Programs provided through MHSA are approved annually by the Board of Supervisors after a comprehensive stakeholder process and public review and approval by the San Bernardino County Behavioral Health Commission.

There are several components of the MHSA including Community Services and Supports, Prevention and Early Intervention, Workforce Education and Training, Capital Facilities, Technology and Innovation.

The Annual Update provides an overview of the outcomes related to each MHSA program and goes over the proposed changes for these components in the upcoming fiscal year.

The MHSA was passed by the California voters in November, 2004, and went into effect January, 2005. The Act is funded by a1percent tax surcharge on personal income over $1 million per year.

Financial literacy classes now available on Saturdays

Begin the new year by learning how to secure your financial future!

Do you know that no matter how small your income, you can save for your future and budget for your current needs?

Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board (IFHMB) is offering financial literacy classes and has added Saturday classes.  Deposit your budget for investment

Classes will be held at IFHMB’s Ontario office located at 1500 South Haven Avenue, Suite 100.  Classes will be offered in both English and Spanish. The classes are free of charge.

The topics to be covered include:

• budgeting

• borrowing

• savings

• credit repair and wise use of credit

• financial recovery

• homeownership

Click here for details or visit the IFHMB website at http://ifhmb.com/.


County employee recognized for effort leading to lower business fees

Supervising Hazardous Materials Specialist Kristen Riegel with the County’s Office of the Fire Marshal was honored Thursday night for her role in a project that led to a reduction in fees for many county businesses.

OFM PATCHRiegel was recognized during the Inland Empire Economic Partnership’s Second Annual Red Tape to Red Carpet Awards Reception as the runner up in the Leadership Award for Public Service Category. The IEEP’s mission includes  improving the overall quality of life in the Inland Empire through education, transportation, health care, communication, and raising the standard of living in the region.

Riegel was recognized for leading a team of Hazardous Materials Specialists in completely revamping the Fire Marshal’s fee structure. One new component of the fee structure was based on risk. As a result, approximately 20 percent of regulated businesses in San Bernardino County received a reduction in their fees because they generate low amounts of toxic waste while storing small numbers of hazardous materials. These small businesses experienced the most economic benefit.

Riegel’s efforts embody the County’s job of  creating a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being and the Countywide Vision’s goal of establishing San Bernardino County as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business-friendly.


Public input sought during renewable energy listening session

sb_cologo-full_colorThe Land Use Services Department will continue to solicit public input on the future of renewable energy development throughout the County’s unincorporated areas during a special listening session from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 5.

For the last several months, the San Bernardino County Partnership for Renewable Energy and Conservation (SPARC) has held 10 public meetings and events to encourage people to help Land Use Services develop a Renewable Energy Element Framework for the County’s General Plan. The County seeks to strengthen its policies and regulatory system to manage renewable energy development while protecting our environment, communities, residents and economy.

The listening session will begin with an overview of the County’s planning progress and priorities from Planning Director Terri Rahhal, followed by public comments on the Element Framework and Outline.

The Element Framework and Outline can be found online at www.sbcounty.gov/main/renewable.pdf.

“Proper planning will allow us to find the balance between development and preservation.  While we agree that renewable energy sources are both beneficial and necessary, we must determine where those projects fit best within our county,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “On March 5th, I encourage residents to provide their input into how our county will deal with renewable energy development.  The County is here to listen.”

“Renewable energy can significantly impact local communities, so these projects need to be carefully located. That’s why I encourage residents to share their thoughts and concerns during this process,” said First District Supervisor Robert A. Lovingood.

The listening session will be the third round of public exchange on the County General Plan Renewable Energy Element process. Additional public workshops will follow in the spring.

The March 5 listening session will be conducted at:

Covington Chambers

County Government Center, First Floor

385 N. Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino

During the session, the public can participate via videoconferencing at:

• Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center

15900 Smoke Tree Street, Hesperia

• Bob Burke Joshua Tree Government Center

63665 Twentynine Palms Highway, Joshua Tree


Come out for Ranchero Day at the County Museum

balletfolkloricomuseumMusic, dance, crafts, and learning will highlight Ranchero Day at the San Bernardino County Museum on Saturday, February 28. The program is designed to complement the museum’s newest exhibit, “Turn Left at the Rockies,” by focusing on the ranchos that hosted the first mountain men to enter southern California in the 1820s and 1830s. Family activities, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. are included with paid museum admission.

Dancers from Ballet Folklorico Cultural of San Bernardino will perform traditional dances during the afternoon. Children will have a chance to make adobe bricks, create tissue paper blossoms, and decorate maracas. Families can test their skills by working together to load a “mule,” and kids can “gear up” by dressing up and equipping themselves like a mountain man.

“Ranchero Day is a focused but traditional Family Fun Day,” said Jolene Redvale, the museum’s curator of education. “Our goal is to offer activities that promote learning and interaction among families and visitors while having a great time.”

The San Bernardino County Museum is at 2024 Orange Tree Lane, at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student), and $5 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit www.sbcountymuseum.org. The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities.

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