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County wins three prestigious awards from state organization

logosmallerAutomating hospital referral records, improving the quality of health care for patients and streamlining access to services for the homeless are three of the outstanding County programs recognized Tuesday by the California State Association of Counties.

Three 2015 CSAC Challenge Awards will be presented to the County’s Information Services Department, Inland Counties Emergency Medical Agency (ICEMA) and the Sheriff’s Department at an upcoming Board of Supervisors meeting.

“These awards show our County’s commitment to improve the lives of our residents, particularly in the field of health and wellness,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “It’s an honor and a pleasure to be recognized once again by CSAC.”

The CSAC Challenge Awards are part of a competitive recognition program that honors the best and most innovative among California’s 58 counties. This year, CSAC received more than 250 entries and judges awarded 40 programs throughout the state.

The following are descriptions of each of the County’s CSAC Challenge Awards:

Automated Referral Tracking System – Information Services Department

The Automated Referral Tracking System is a web-based system designed to assist doctors and medical staff at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center to efficiently track and manage referrals on a daily basis. Prior to the ARTS system implementation, referrals were handled in a manual process, backlogged and in some cases got lost. Now medical staff has eliminated the backlog and the possibility of a lost or dropped referral is down to zero.

ICEMA Continuation of Specialty Care – ICEMA

ICEMA designed a program for EMS providers to recognize the specialized needs of patients – particularly those with trauma, stroke and heart issues – and deliver them to a hospital that is best able to treat their needs. Through the end of 2014, approximately 25 percent of 8,000 patients included in the ICEMA registries with these specialized needs were transferred to specialty care and half of those transfers were made in under an hour. Now patients that may have otherwise had to wait longer for transfer to an appropriate medical facility will not have to endure a delay in treatment.

The Homeless Outreach Proactive Enforcement (H.O.P.E.) program – Sheriff’s Department

The H.O.P.E. team is a collaborative effort among law enforcement and public agencies to accomplish a more meaningful and efficient response to homelessness. Deputies team up with mental health clinicians and conduct outreach to the homeless. Integrating resources such as the Department of Public Health, Behavioral Health, Housing Authority, Veterans Affairs and Code Enforcement has made it possible for deputies to link the homeless with services or shelter, instead of simply relying on arrest and incarceration to solve the problem. Since July 2013, the H.O.P.E. program has contacted more than 820 homeless people and obtained housing for 110 people and linked 400 others to some form of assistance.


Board endorses Vision2Read literacy campaign

Vision2Read_Logo_FINALVision2Read, a year-long campaign designed to help improve literacy throughout San Bernardino County by connecting people to literacy programs – whether they need help or are able to help – was endorsed by the Board of Supervisors today as part of its recognition of National Literacy Month.

About 60 percent of San Bernardino County third graders are not proficient in reading, scoring lower than their peers in neighboring Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties on the 2013 California Standards Test. Reading at grade level by the third grade is one of the greatest predictors of children’s success in school, their likelihood of going to college, and their future earning potential, according to a 2010 study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

“Vision2Read is an opportunity for all sectors and members of the San Bernardino County community to engage and take action to support literacy and the success of every child from cradle to career,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Literacy has a profound impact on several elements of the Vision we have for our county, including jobs and the economy, public safety, education, and wellness.”

The Vision2Read campaign kicks off with a Saturday, Sept. 19 Family Reading Rally held by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools at Cal State University San Bernardino. More than 5,000 children and their families are expected to attend the Reading Rally from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. to participate in interactive workshops, learn about the importance of reading and obtain free books.

Throughout the year, will serve as a reading and literacy portal to include literacy facts, resources and services, event information and volunteer opportunities in partnership with the United Ways of San Bernardino County and its 2-1-1 San Bernardino County and HandsOn Inland Empire programs. The web site will go live next week.

All of San Bernardino County is encouraged to get involved in Vision2Read to help raise the bar for literacy in our community and advance our efforts to achieve the Countywide Vision, adopted in June 2011 by the Board of Supervisors and the San Bernardino Associated Governments Board of Directors, which includes the County Board members and a mayor or council member from each of the county’s 24 cities and towns.

Vision2Read helps achieve both regional goals of the Countywide Vision – supporting the success of every child from cradle to career and establishing the county as a model in the state where local government, regulatory agencies and communities are truly business-friendly.

Board continues support for Give BIG campaign

givebiglogoThe Board of Supervisors today agreed to partner with The Community Foundation to support Give BIG, an online fundraising campaign intended to strengthen local nonprofits that serve the needs of San Bernardino County’s residents.

The Board authorized $100,000 toward this year’s effort to increase the ability and visibility of nonprofits serving San Bernardino County so agencies can attract and retain donors. This funding will go a long way to help Give BIG develop the donor base and infrastructure to maintain itself moving forward.

“This is a wise investment of tax dollars,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “If we can make our local nonprofits stronger by spending a little money up front, we can save millions of tax dollars that would otherwise be spent on public assistance.”

Last year’s Give BIG campaign, led by The Community Foundation, was a huge success, exceeding a goal of raising $300,000 for 150 participating nonprofits. On May 8, 2014, 262 participating nonprofits raised about $550,000 in donations with a single agency earning $250,000 in donations. The Board is proud to support The Community Foundation in this year’s effort.

“I’m confident that our county will come together again and surpass the goals we have set for this year’s campaign,” Chairman Ramos said. “Last year, Give BIG brought nonprofits, sponsors and community members together to raise money and the effort inspired a new culture of philanthropy.”

Give BIG utilized a growing trend of 24-hour online and social media-based fundraising efforts that are replacing traditional telethons. The campaign provides a cohesive and collective opportunity for participating nonprofits to raise funds to address needs in the local community. Give BIG also helps build the fundraising and social media skills of participating nonprofits and engages new and younger donors.

This year, Give BIG will be held on Dec. 1 with a goal of raising $300,000 for 175 participating nonprofits.

A successful non-profit sector is important to achieving the Countywide Vision. Non-profit organizations provide health and social services to the county’s most vulnerable residents and contribute to the economic health and social well-being of the county.

More information about how to get involved and donate to Give BIG San Bernardino County will be forthcoming.

Supervisors offer $75,000 bounty for drone operators

dronepresserDrone operators have been asked repeatedly not to fly their aircraft during wildfires. But at crucial moments in each of the wildfires that have broken out in San Bernardino County so far this year, fire-fighting air tankers had to be diverted away from their targets because of the presence of small airborne hobby drones.

The Board of Supervisors decided asking is no longer enough and this week created a $75,000 reward fund for the arrest and conviction of anyone who flew any remote control-operated aircraft and interfered with fire-fighting aircraft during the recent Lake, Mill 2, and North fires.

“Because fire-fighting planes could not be used, those fires spread faster and further,” Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos said during a news conference today.

“In the most recent fire, the North Fire, we saw cars and trucks burning on the freeway, we saw homes burn, and we saw families running for their lives,” Chairman Ramos said. “We want to know who was flying drones, and we want them punished. Someone knows who they are, and there is $75,000 waiting for them.”

Sheriff John McMahon said his department will actively pursue drone operators in addition to its other vital duties during wildfires. And District Attorney Mike Ramos warned drone operators that they could and would be prosecuted for murder if their drones led to the death of a fire-fighting flight crew or anyone on the ground.

Those with information on anyone who flew drones during those fires are urged to call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous.

Up to $25,000 is available for each of the three fires. The District Attorney will ultimately determine who qualifies for the reward money and for how much.

Low-flying air tankers cannot share the sky with drones because the small aircraft can be sucked into jet engines, causing the engines to fail and the planes to crash.

Interfering with fire-fighting operations is a criminal offense, and District Attorney Ramos said there are several criminal statutes prosecutors can employ to bring drone operators to justice. State and federal lawmakers are in the process of creating new laws aimed specifically at those who fly drones during wildfires.

County CEO receives regional leadership award

Devereaux portraitCounty Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux today received a regional honor for his work with the Board of Supervisors and other county leaders on the Countywide Vision, as well as his 19 years of service as an executive with the County and the cities of Ontario and Fontana.

Mr. Devereaux became the 59th recipient of the Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government from the Southern California Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration during ceremonies in Los Angeles.

“My fellow Board members and I are proud of the work Greg has done to develop and achieve the Countywide Vision, which will make our county community a better place for our residents and investors,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Greg also deserves credit for working so closely and so well with the Board of Supervisors to get County Government back on the right track.”

Information on the Countywide Vision is available at

“It is very rewarding to work for a Board of Supervisors that is committed to good government and to achieving the vision the people of our county have for our community’s future,” Mr. Devereaux said.

“No one accomplishes anything alone in government,” Mr. Devereaux said. “In government, you always work as a team, and everything for which I have been given credit would not have been possible without the elected representatives, elected department heads, executive staff, line staff, and community members who have worked with me over the years.”

Mr. Devereaux has served as the County’s chief executive since early 2010. He served as city manager for Ontario from 1997 to 2010, and city manager for Fontana from 1993 to 1997.

The American Society for Public Administration, ASPA, is a 9,000-member organization of government and nonprofit administrators, scholars, educators, and students. ASPA advances the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration through its programs and services and fosters core public service values, including accountability and performance, professionalism, social equity, and ethics at the local, national and international levels.

The Southern California Chapter of ASPA was founded in 1948, has approximately 400 members, and is the second-largest chapter of ASPA. The Southern California Chapter’s mission statement is, “To inspire and promote leadership in the Southern California region.”

The Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government was first awarded in 1956 and is named for the nation’s first city manager, having held that position in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Dykstra also served as provost of UCLA from 1945 to 1950. Mr. Devereaux will join a long line of distinguished Southern California leaders who have received the award. Mr. Devereaux was nominated for the award by Phil Hawkey, executive vice president emeritus and assistant professor of Public Administration at the University of La Verne.

During the past four years, San Bernardino County has claimed nearly 150 national and state innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors. Earlier this month, the county led the nation in claiming 46 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.

Supervisors adopt balanced budget, restore services

sb_cologo-full_colorThe Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously adopted a balanced and fiscally responsible budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, investing in infrastructure, public safety, social services, and reserves, and supporting achievement of the Countywide Vision.

“This budget reflects the board’s desire to improve life in our communities and keep our county finances on the right track,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.

The $5.2 billion budget includes funding for medical and mental health services in county jails, which under state prison realignment are now being used to house inmates serving long sentences. It also includes additional funding to support increased social services caseloads, funding to begin restoration of services reduced during the recession – including fiscal auditing, ongoing funding for road maintenance, investments in capital improvement and transportation projects, and a sizable contribution to county reserves – referred to by some as a “rainy-day fund”.

“I commend the board for doing the hard and responsible work of government,” said County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux. “Rather than spending money flashy items that grab headlines, the board is investing in operating systems and facilities that will save money in the long term.”

Supervisor Curt Hagman praised the investment in reserve funding, something he said the state failed to do while he served in the state Assembly. Supervisor Josie Gonzales recognized county staff for creating a clear, easy-to-understand budget. And Supervisor Janice Rutherford commended “the entire organization for the incredibly innovative work this county does”, noting that earlier this month San Bernardino County led the nation in claiming 46 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.

During the past four years, the County has claimed nearly 150 national and state innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors.

“There are some great improvements in this budget. The worst times are behind us,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Robert Lovingood.

Despite a small surplus in the coming fiscal year, the County is still looking at many more years of tight budgeting in response to projections showing a shortfall of $17.7 million to $40.8 million by 2020 when the cost of possible employee pay and benefit increases are factored in.

The recommended budget adopted today by the Board of Supervisors can be viewed at

County first in the nation with 46 NACo Awards

NACo Awards badgeInnovative and money-saving programs instituted by the County of San Bernardino won 46 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties, more than any other county in the nation.

NACo recognizes groundbreaking county government programs throughout the nation in the areas of children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, planning, information technology and health. The 46 programs recognized by NACo vary widely from helping homeless families find housing to improving the Land Use permit process for customers.

This year, the County broke its own record of 31 NACo Achievement Awards set in 2014. In 2013, the County won 18 NACo awards and has won an average of 14 NACo awards during the last 10 years.

This year, only 17 of California’s 58 counties won awards. San Diego County won 39, Los Angeles County won 25, Orange County won nine and Riverside County won two. Nationally, Maricopa County, Arizona came second to the County of San Bernardino with 43 awards.

“These awards emphasize what a great County we live and work in,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “County officials are continuously working together to provide our residents with the most innovative and efficient programs and services. I congratulate all recipients recognized with NACo awards.”

The following are the County’s award-winning programs:

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County employees honored for public service

award for excellenceA commitment to the Countywide Vision and improving the quality of life for San Bernardino County residents was celebrated at the Government Center Thursday during the Public Service Recognition Award for Excellence ceremony. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and Chief Executive Officer Gregory C. Devereaux recognized 42 County employees during the annual event that recognizes the everyday work of public servants. One employee from each County department was selected for an Award for Excellence, based on outstanding service to the county and its citizens.

“It is our goal to have a vibrant economy and a skilled workforce. Each of these honorees is a reflection of the Countywide Vision in action,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “We thank them for their continued commitment to improving the quality of life for those whom we serve.”

The honoree selection was based on specific criteria including customer service, initiative and leadership, accomplishments, and the commitment to the realization of our Countywide Vision. Following the awards presentation, honorees were recognized with a private reception in the government center rotunda, sponsored by the San Bernardino County Human Resources department.

This year marked the 26th year the County has participated in this national Public Service Recognition event. Public employees in the United States and around the world take part in the annual celebration honoring the men and women serving America as federal, state, and local government employees.

The following County employees were recognized as part of Public Service Recognition Week:

Robert Saldana, Administrative Office – Finance and Administration

Willo Couey, Aging and Adult Services

Paul Sharpe, Agriculture/Weights and Measures

Rikki Vahovick, Airports

Louis Tickemyer, Architecture & Engineering

Staci McClane, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

Ed Liou, Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk

Joanna De La Cruz, Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector

Dr. Gurmit Sekhon, M.D., Department of Behavioral Health

Tina Sides, Department of Child Support Services

Sheila Muir, Children and Family Services

Anne Michelle Ellis, Children’s Network

Michelle Moreno, Clerk of the Board

Kathryn Brann, Community Development and Housing

Angela Rodriguez, County Counsel

Flerida Alarcon, District Attorney

Monique Carter, Economic Development

Dyana Peterson, Facilities Management

Shane Glaze, Fire

Scott McGrath, First 5

Gary Schiele, Fleet Management

Elena Zamuner, Human Resources

Mary Chase, Human Services Administration

Anju Kapoor, Information Services

Larita Manalili, Land Use Services

Michael Jimenez, Library

Craig Putnam, Museum

Joe Prologo, Preschool Services Department

Mark Bradley, Probation

Raymond Bell, Public Defender

Jason Phillippe, Department of Public Health

Richard Cho, Public Works

Debra Kirkpatrick, Purchasing

Michele Cohn, Real Estate Services

Wayne Hartel, Regional Parks

Kamelyta Plimley, Registrar of Voters

Brent Williams, Risk Management

Jassmyn Sanchez, Sheriff/Coroner/Public Administrator

Tim Millington, Special Districts

Richard Calles, Transitional Assistance Department

Malinda Hernandez, Veterans Affairs

Madeline Tsang, Workforce Development Department

Fiscal overview shows progress, but tough times ahead

sb_cologo-full_colorThe economic recovery will allow the County to start restoring some levels of service that were reduced during the recession. However, the County is still looking at many more years of tight budgeting in response to projected shortfalls.

The Board of Supervisors today received the County’s annual fiscal overview, which projects $4.7 billion in revenue to address $4.7 billion in expenses for the fiscal year that begins July 1, including modest increases to community and fiscal oversight services that were cut to the bone during the recent economic downturn. It also includes prudent investment in basic County operating systems and infrastructure.

“The fiscal overview presented today shows that the County is continuing to focus on fiscal responsibility while slowly restoring service levels to where they were before the recession,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.

Projections show a modest $10.8 million budget surplus for the fiscal year that begins July 1. However, those same projections show a shortfall of $17.7 million to $40.8 million by 2020 when the cost of possible employee pay and benefit increases are factored in.

“We have been able to provide more to our hard-working County employees, who make public service possible, in areas where recruitment and retention have become challenges,” Chairman Ramos said. “But we must be extremely cautious going forward. Putting the County on stable fiscal footing, and restoring and maintaining vital public service levels, have to remain the County’s top priority.”

Rather than using funding and going into debt to pay for flashy new projects, the County is concentrating on restoring funding that was previously cut and investing in infrastructure to avoid higher costs later. This includes repairing roads, replacing antiquated emergency communications and fiscal systems, making the best use of existing space instead of building or leasing new space, and gradually restoring drastic cuts made to parks, museums, elections, and the Auditor-Controller.

Rebuilding the Auditor-Controller function will help the County keep even greater control of spending and collecting.

The County is also focusing on innovations that save money and time for taxpayers. San Bernardino County is the first Southern California county to use virtual building inspections to save travel costs and wait times. The County is also instituting a new system to identify and reduce welfare fraud.

During the past four years, the County has claimed more than 100 national and state innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors.


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