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IEEP honors SBCounty red-tape cutters
The Inland Empire Economic Partnership recently recognized the leaders of more than two dozen Inland Empire governments and agencies at its Second Annual “Turning Red Tape to Red Carpet Awards” reception, 14 of them representing San Bernardino County and the Countywide Vision’s Regional Goal of establishing the county as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business-friendly.
The IEEP, the region’s largest economic development organization, honored the cities, counties and agencies that came up with innovative ways to enhance job growth and the local economy despite an often-difficult regulatory environment. These are the San Bernardino County agencies, departments and people that have gone the extra yard to grow the economy.
Business Retention and Expansion
FINALISTS: The San Bernardino Community College District for far exceeding its goals of hiring local people to work on capital improvement projects; City of Redlands for an aggressive downtown improvement project that was accomplished without the use of the city’s general fund.
Sustainable and Green Development
WINNER: City of Rancho Cucamonga for an automation project for numerous city departments that puts vital services online for the first time, dramatically reducing the amount of paper and ink that must be used as well as the need to drive to city offices.
RUNNER UP: San Bernardino Associated Governments, for a regional plan to reduce greenhouse gases in compliance with state laws that brings simplicity and consistency for 21 cities in San Bernardino County.
OTHER FINALIST: San Bernardino Community College District, for alternative energy measures in construction, landscaping and energy consumption, along with other environmental strategies.
Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse
FINALISTS: City of Ontario, for a downtown office building project the will provide jobs while maintaining the character of the area; City of Rialto, for its repurposing a blighted area and helping create that land into the site of a 718,000-square-foot logistics center.
RUNNER-UP: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, which rallied other agencies to work with the promoters of the San Manuel Pavilion and other venues, achieving the twin goals of smooth operations and public safety.
Response to Globalization
WINNER: San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department, for using GIS technology to develop a computerized system that lets would-be developers, even developers in other countries, to self-search vacant land in the county.
Tales of Two Cities: Stories of Interagency Cooperation
WINNER: City of Rancho Cucamonga Library, for developing a program, in partnership with Riverside, Ontario and others, to establish new training parameters for a next generation of librarians in the Inland Empire.
RUNNER-UP: City of Fontana, for bringing other cities and agencies on board to solve issues relating to Interstate 10 interchange development, which helped Fontana redevelop some blighted areas.
OTHER FINALISTS: San Bernardino and Riverside counties, along with UCR and Los Angeles, for implementing the state’s Innovation Hub economic development project; The cities of Yucaipa and Calimesa, which work together on numerous projects despite being in two different counties.
Leadership in Public Service
RUNNER-UP: Kristen Riegel, the Supervising Hazardous Materials Specialist for the San Bernardino County Fire Prevention District. She has worked hard to ensure that businesses can operate with a minimal amount of government-imposed fees and still not compromise the environment or the safety of workers. Under her guidance, fees have come down for 20 percent of the businesses that are covered.