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Monthly Archives: June 2015

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 http://www.sbcounty.gov/CAO/Budget/.

Missing Persons Day helps families, friends make connections

sheriffFamily and friends impacted by the mysterious disappearance of a loved one should plan to attend Missing Persons Day on Saturday, June 20.

Sheriff-Coroner investigators hope to help families of missing persons make connections that could bring a missing person home and give people a chance to meet up with local law enforcement agencies dedicated to finding missing persons.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Inland Regional Center, 1365 S. Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino.

Missing Persons Day will allow people to file missing persons reports, and have a semi-private area to talk with missing persons professionals. Forensic professionals will be performing identification cheek swabs and helping people put together child identification kits.

If you are searching for a loved one please bring photos of the missing person; two of the missing person’s closely related family members from the mother’s side for the collection of identification cheek swabs; and X-rays, dental or medical records, or other identifying documents. Families and friends are also welcome to wear memorial T-shirts and bring posters to commemorate their missing loved ones.

For more information, visit www.missingpersonsday.com or click here for details.

County Fire urges firework safety on 4th of July

memorial day picIndependence Day celebrates the birth of our nation and gives us much to celebrate, but fireworks can be dangerous and should not be treated as toys. They cause blindness, maiming and even death when misused. Fireworks cause more fires on the Fourth of July than all other causes combined.
In California all fireworks that explode, shoot into the air or move along the ground are officially called “dangerous” and are illegal to possess anywhere in the state.
In unincorporated San Bernardino County possession of any fireworks is illegal. Fire and law enforcement officials will confiscate any fireworks and issue citations to the offender. If misused fireworks cause a fire, the responsible persons are likely to face criminal charges and liability for damages.
San Bernardino County Cities That Allow “Safe and Sane” Fireworks
Adelanto, Chino, Colton and Rialto, as well as specific locations in Fontana, Grand Terrace, and San Bernardino. Please call the fire departments in these cities for more information.
Safety Advice
If you’re thinking about using fireworks this July 4th, please keep these safety tips in mind:
Consider alternatives. For example, you can watch spectacular fireworks safely at a
community celebration.

  • Don’t allow children to use fireworks – even “Safe and Sane” ones – without adult supervision. Even “Safe and Sane” sparklers can ignite clothing easily.
  • Always read and follow label directions.
  • Always have water (garden hose/bucket) and a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach.
  • Always place fireworks on a firm, non-combustible surface before lighting.
  • Never alter fireworks.
  • Never re-light “dud” fireworks.
  • Never attempt to make your own. Leave the making of fireworks to the experts.
  • Never point, throw or mishandle fireworks.

Fire officials will be issuing citations for the illegal use of fireworks, with fines up to $1,250 for the first offense. Property owners may be cited if they allow fireworks to be possessed, stored or used on their property.
Due to the severe fire season, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and County Fire encourage residents to partake in a locally sponsored 4th of July celebration and leave the firework displays to the experts.
To report a fire emergency: 9-1-1 Fire dispatch (non-emergency): (909) 356-3805

Have a SAFE celebration!

Sign up for next week’s SANBAG General Assembly

Time is running out to sign up to attend the annual San Bernardino Associated Governments General Assembly next Thursday, June 18, at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. Register today at http://bit.ly/SANBAG2015GA for this unique event celebrating SANBAG’s many accomplishments.

This year’s keynote address will be given by retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark.2015-SANBAG-GA-Evite-0611

SANBAG is the council of governments and transportation planning agency for San Bernardino County. SANBAG is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. SANBAG serves all 2.1 million residents of San Bernardino County.

As the County Transportation Commission, SANBAG supports freeway construction projects, regional and local road improvements, train and bus transportation, railroad crossings, call boxes, ridesharing, congestion management efforts and long-term planning studies. SANBAG administers Measure I, the half-cent transportation sales tax approved by county voters in 1989.

The organization is unique among councils of governments and transportation commissions in California and is viewed by many as the model for integrated planning. Local governments within San Bernardino County find value in the monthly forum of city and county representatives who address issues of mutual concern with a unified voice.

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:

Continue reading

Government Works: Inmate Fire Crew Program

Final Government Works Stamp

On Tuesday, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) produced a YouTube video about the San Bernardino County Inmate Fire Crew program because it received a 2014 CSAC Challenge Award last year and is considered a best practice in the state. The County Sheriff and County Fire departments work together to identify and train inmates to assist County Fire in fighting wildfires.

The Inmate Fire Crew video is available for viewing here. A blog posting about the Inmate Fire Crew Program can also be read here.

The Inmate Fire crews are available to respond to all types of emergencies, including wildfires, floods, search and rescue, and earthquakes.  The crews are also busy with conservation and community service work projects, including brush abatement and wood chipping. Each inmate must pass a four-week training course that consists of classroom work.  Inmates must also complete rigorous physical fitness training. Job placement for graduates in the landscaping and construction industries is also helping to reduce recidivism.

This program is an example of how Government Works.

Lights! Sirens! Safety! and Public Works at the Museum

lights sirens museumActivities abound at the San Bernardino County Museum on Saturday, June 13. Lights! Sirens! Safety! is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the museum’s parking lot. In the museum’s courtyard, Public Works Week will be celebrated in conjunction with the County Department of Public Works from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lights! Sirens! Safety! is free; all other activities are included with museum general admission.

Lights Sirens Safety. The parking lot at the county museum will be filled with fire trucks, ambulances, police and sheriff cruisers, and more as visitors are invited to meet the people that help keep us safe. Visitors will meet emergency and service personnel (both human and canine), climb aboard emergency vehicles, inspect equipment, and watch demonstrations.

Participating agencies (subject to emergency calls) include San Manuel Fire Department, American Medical Response, San Bernardino County Fire Department, Redlands Police Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, San Bernardino Department of Public Health–Animal Control, American Red Cross, Multi-Purpose K9 Training, and the U. S. Forest Service.

Public Works Day. Museum visitors can join employees from the San Bernardino County Department of Public Works to recognize National Public Works Week with hands-on exploration and demonstrations in the museum’s courtyard. Create a glider, build a toothpick bridge, explore with the storm drain robot, find yourself with the County Surveyor, learn to keep storm drains clean with Environmental Management, and recycle with Solid Waste Management. Have your photo taken in a giant snowblower. Activities, included with paid museum admission, start at 10 a.m. and continue to 3 p.m.

Public Works Day, Lights, Sirens, Safety! and the County Museum’s other exciting events and exhibits reflect the effort by the Board of Supervisors to achieve the Countywide Vision by celebrating arts, culture, and education in the county, creating quality of life for residents and visitors.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. General admission is $10 (adult), $8 (military or senior), $7 (student with identification), and $5.00 (children ages 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.

County hires new ARMC director

William GilbertThe Board of Supervisors today unanimously selected an experienced executive with more than 30 years in the health care industry as the new director of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

William L. Gilbert, who has held chief executive officer positions for several large health care systems across the United States, will oversee Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton beginning July 6, 2015.

“Mr. Gilbert is the right person to serve as Director having years of experience in the health care industry,” said Board Chairman James Ramos. “I believe he will bring valuable contributions to the ARMC community.”

Most recently, Gilbert worked with Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington and Foundation Surgical Affiliates in San Antonio, Texas.

Gilbert has a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of La Verne and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. He has also been a board member for the Washington State Hospital Association, the California Hospital Association and several other healthcare associations throughout his career.

In his position as director, Gilbert will supervise 3,691 employees and manage a budget of $451 million at the state-of-the-art acute care hospital. His employment contract calls for him to earn a salary of $299,500. Gilbert succeeds William Foley who left ARMC in May for another healthcare position in the Midwest.

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center is a Level II trauma center which also operates a regional burn center, a primary stroke center, a free-standing behavioral center, four primary care centers including three family health centers and more than 40 outpatient specialty care services.

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