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First two Countywide Vision goals win adoption

VisionLogoThe Countywide Vision took a major step forward this morning when the San Bernardino Associated Governments Board and County Board of Supervisors approved the first two regional implementation goals developed through the Vision process, targeting cradle-to-career success and the creation of a business-friendly environment.

The goals emerged from meetings between experts and stakeholders representing the elements of the Countywide Vision and were honed by city, town and county leaders during the annual City/County conference in March. The element leaders will now meet again to set a course for achieving the goals through collaboration with residents and other stakeholders.

One goal calls for partnering with all sectors of the community to support the success of every child from cradle to career. The other goal adopted today calls for the establishment of San Bernardino County as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business friendly.

“These goals reflect discussions that took place within several of the element groups,” said San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Josie Gonzales. The county and SANBAG have coordinated the development and achievement of the Countywide Vision.

“Groups representing education, healthcare, and jobs and the economy have emphasized the need to guide young people from an early age into career fields that will benefit the county community,” Chair Gonzales said. “Groups representing the environment, housing and jobs and the economy have emphasized the need and the opportunity we have to be a model of business-friendliness in a state that is perceived to be hostile to business.”

The element groups will set the specific steps for moving forward, but generally achieving the cradle-to-career goal will involve:

  • Educating the public on the broad impacts of students dropping out of school and the benefits of completing high school and advancing to post-secondary education
  • Engaging parents and the community as partners in efforts to improve students throughout their educational careers
  • Providing adult intervention, tutoring and mentorship to students
  • Addressing the social and economic needs of families that impact educational success
  • Setting higher goals for educational and career achievement in the community
  • Educating and training the workforce for existing local career opportunities and attract new high-demand jobs to the area
  • Fostering entrepreneurship and incorporate training that provides students with the skills to create their own jobs

Achieving the business-friendly goal will involve:

  • Permitting and regulating agencies adopting an attitude of “helping” rather than “making” businesses comply with laws, regulations and requirements
  •  Encouraging business investment and development through predictability and clarity; fostering TLC (transparency, longevity and certainty) in regulatory environment
  • Develop an inventory of best practices in use by government and regulatory agencies; adopt and promote best practices throughout the county
  • Convene ongoing discussions among permitting and regulatory agencies (including their governing board members) and the business community to evaluate and improve working relationships
  • Develop a central point of contact (ombudsman) in the county for business and development assistance, similar to the “Red Team” approach employed in the state during the tenure of Gov. Pete Wilson.
  • Developing multi-species habitat conservation plans that build upon and link existing species-specific HCPs and mitigation land banks
  • Working in partnership with the business and educational communities to improve the housing-job balance in order to reduce commuter demand on highway capacity and improve quality of life

In addition, the element groups will reconvene to continue work on specific priorities they identified during meetings in January and February. For instance, the Public Safety group plans to develop a forum for collaboration among all public safety agencies, the Water group plans to create a water inventory and explore a plan to share resources, and the Jobs and the

Economy group hopes to foster development of the next generation of business and community leaders.

BACKGROUND:

The Countywide Vision was adopted by the County Board of Supervisors and SANBAG Board in June 2011 following and was based on information gathered during community meetings held throughout the county, an online survey, and expert roundtable discussions each focusing on a specific subject area.

The Vision Elements are Jobs/Economy, Education, Housing, Public Safety, Infrastructure, Quality of Life, Environment, Wellness, Image, and Water.

Our Countywide Vision:

We envision a complete county that capitalizes on the diversity of its people, its geography, and its economy to create a broad range of choices for its residents in how they live, work, and play.

We envision a vibrant economy with a skilled workforce that attracts employers who seize the opportunities presented by the county’s unique advantages and provide the jobs that create countywide prosperity.

We envision a sustainable system of high-quality education, community health, public safety, housing, retail, recreation, arts and culture, and infrastructure, in which development complements our natural resources and environment.

We envision a model community which is governed in an open and ethical manner, where great ideas are replicated and brought to scale, and all sectors work collaboratively to reach shared goals.

From our valleys, across our mountains, and into our deserts, we envision a county that is a destination for visitors and a home for anyone seeking a sense of community and the best life has to offer.

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