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Board of Supervisors
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
Children at Emmerton Elementary School in San Bernardino were the first students to take part in a new County-funded resilience promotion program, Successfully Motivating African-Americans through Resiliency Training (SMAART). The 12-week, multi-year, K-8 educational program targets students in the San Bernardino Unified School District (SBUSD).
SMAART is provided by Young Visionaries Youth Leadership Academy, a local nonprofit organization that has served over 10,000 community youth since 2001. CEO Terrance Stone told the Westside Story Newspaper that the goal is to help support students, parents, and local families toward a successful future. Children learn life skills to help them deal with adversity and challenges in positive ways and learn about other cultures.
In the video we catch up on Terrance Stone and Young Visionaries’ work with community youth, and get an inside look on Day 1 of the SMAART program as they present to students at Emmerton Elementary School.
Here’s a link to SMAART’s Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/NewR1N
SAN BERNARDINO – Residents on the Westside of the City of San Bernardino will have greater access to health care services after the Board of Supervisors approved a new agreement during Tuesday’s meeting. The agreement will allow Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC) to use the Ruben Campos Community Center as a Mobile Medical Clinic site to provide primary care services to County residents.
“This is important because it helps us to provide not only primary care, but also preventative and health education services to the underserved in our community. We chose the Ruben Campos Community Center as a site because of the need expressed by the community, and the Center’s willingness to collaborate with us,” said Laura Ellers, ARMC Respiratory Care Services Director and manager of the Mobile Medical Clinic.
ARMC’s Mobile Medical Clinic is a 40-foot unit that features two exam rooms and a patient education area that can accommodate basic health screenings for conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, etc. and primary care services to remote areas of the county.
“The County and its partners strive towards providing the same opportunities of health to all of our 24 cities and towns. Wherever there is this type of medical need, we are committed to filling it,” said Supervisor Josie Gonzales, whose representative district includes both ARMC and the Ruben Campos Community Center.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday acted to update the system, which serves all police and firefighting agencies in America’s largest county, into a state-of-the-art Motorola Project 25 communications system compatible with systems in all neighboring counties and states as well as military bases within the county. The system will also allow the county and its 24 cities and towns to use their existing radios, saving millions in scarce local taxpayer dollars.
“The Board has made a significant investment in the safety of our citizens and the men and women in uniform who protect us,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford. “And we are doing this without incurring costly debt.”
The upgrade of the county’s public safety radio communication and microwave data transport systems will provide public safety personnel with a new stable and reliable digital communications system supported by its manufacturers. The system will provide improved voice clarity and signal strength, enhanced security features, and the ability to roam without having to manually change radio modes to find the strongest signal.
The project fulfills goals and objectives established by the Board by improving County government operations, operating in a fiscally responsible and business-like manner, and maintaining public safety.
The current system has long been a headache for public safety agencies and the technicians in charge of keeping it up and running. It is no longer supported by its manufacturer, and replacement parts have been difficult to find and will soon be non-existent. County technicians have had to find parts on eBay and similar websites and have even collected parts from agencies disposing of their old systems. The system is so old that the people who know how to fix it are approaching retirement age.
Periodic failures occur, and at some point the system will completely and permanently stop working.
“These systems are expensive, so in a sense, we are pleased we have been able to make it last this long,” Chair Rutherford said. “However, not upgrading our communications infrastructure has become a gamble with public safety that we cannot afford.”
Two years ago, the Board began setting aside $20 million a year to pay for the upgraded system. Continuing this through June 2019 will fully cover the $158.2 million project without incurring the costly debt government agencies often use to fund investments of this size.
The Board’s decision Tuesday also leverages a $40 million investment the County recently made in Motorola Project 25 portable radio and infrastructure equipment. Also, by acting when it did, the Board took advantage of an $18.5 million discount that would have expired on January 1.
The foreword to the 101-year-old Charter of the County of San Bernardino begins with these sage words from the Greek philosopher Aristotle: “Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always remain unaltered.”
Indeed, the County Charter has not remained unchanged; voters have approved more than 30 amendments to the governing document since its adoption in April 1913.
Yet even with those changes, the Charter is outdated in many ways. It contains provisions that are no longer applicable or relevant to the County, it neglects to clearly define lines of authority, and it fails to incorporate modern ethics or best practices provisions such as requirements for campaign finance rules.
It’s time to take a comprehensive approach to modernizing this important document to ensure that it provides the clearest and most efficient roadmap to governing our great County in the decades to come.
In October, I held a public meeting at my Rancho Cucamonga office to discuss potential changes and additions to the County Charter. The meeting generated some interesting conversation about ways to bring the document into the 21st Century.
County programs aimed at reducing truancy, preventing the spread of West Nile Virus, providing preschool services to foster children, improving customer service and shortening the time to obtain search warrants were honored today as among the best in the state.
California State Association of Counties Executive Director Matt Cate appeared at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting to deliver five 2013 CSAC Challenge Awards to the Public Defender’s Office, Environmental Health, Transitional Assistance, Children and Family Services, Preschool Services, and Information Services.
“These awards reflect the resourcefulness of County employees and their dedication to developing more efficient and effective ways to serve and protect our residents,” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Rutherford said. “I commend the staff members who earned this year’s CSAC Challenge Awards, and I challenge all of our employees to continue offering their ideas about how the County can improve customer service and better use its resources.”
The annual CSAC awards are considered a highly competitive recognition program that honors the best and most innovative among California’s 58 counties. This year, 18 counties were honored with awards after a panel of judges evaluated 220 entries. The CSAC Challenge Awards provide meaningful examples of how County employees are committed to achieving the Countywide Vision and creating a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being.
Don’t forget Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting at 10 a.m. inside the Covington Chambers at the County Government Center, 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San Bernardino. The agenda provides more information about what’s on the consent and discussion calendars.
Also, the Homeownership Protection Program Joint Powers Authority is meeting at 9 a.m. Friday in the Covington Chambers. The JPA will discuss moving forward with letters of intent with four groups who have proposed concepts for homeowner protection and foreclosure programs.
Probation’s Julie Hovis-Francis receives recognition by the Board of Supervisors after winning a National Association of Counties Award for her innovative program.