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eNews from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
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Supervisor Ryan Coonerty - Third District News
Dear Friends
I am happy to share this Third District e-newsletter with you.  My hope is that this e-newsletter provides some interesting and helpful information. Thanks for taking the time to read it.  

I am always happy to hear from you. Please feel free to call my office at 454-2200 or e-mail by replying to this message.  If you don't wish to receive this newsletter you can unsubscribe by clicking here.

All the best-
Ryan

Your Santa Cruz County Budget
On June 23rd the Board of Supervisors took final action to approve Santa Cruz County’s 2015-2016 budget.  Here are some highlights:
  • Expanded the County’s economic development efforts - to create more good jobs in our community.
  • Continued the restoration of the County Parks Department so that our wonderful County Parks are well-maintained and offer the programs and opportunities that our community wants
  • Added Deputy Sheriff positions so that the Patrol Division is better able to respond to community needs. Also, grant funding is allowing Sheriff Hart to add two full-time deputies on the North Coast through January of 2016.
  • Created a Homelessness Coordinator position within the County Administrator’s office to implement a centralized, effective homelessness response program
  • Expanded the DAP/PACT program which is increasing safety in our community and helping chronic offenders change their lives. 
  • Increased the reserve fund in order to be prepared for the next downturn and to lower the county's interest rate.
  • At my urging, the Board of Supervisors, in April, voted unanimously to direct county staff to develop a specific plan for installing solar panels on at least five County facilities within two years with the goal of offsetting County energy consumption by at least 40 percent. That plan was approved as part of the budget and work to implement it has started.
I advocated for increased county investments in programs for working families:
  • Santa Cruz Community Ventures’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program that helps low-income people file their tax returns and access the tax refunds (including the Earned Income Tax Credit) they are entitled to.
  • Day Worker Center which facilitates the hiring of day workers and ensures they receive dignified wages and safe working conditions
  • Encompass’ housing support staff who are successfully moving people into permanent housing.
Much work remains and resources are still limited, but we are making progress.
 
Divesting from the Law-Breaking Banks
At my urging the Board of Supervisors voted not to invest for five years with the five banks that recently plead guilty to federal felony charges.  The behavior of these banks is offensive and Santa Cruz County shouldn’t do business with institutions that flout the legal system. We have an obligation to protect the public’s tax dollars and these banks can’t be trusted. 
 
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich mentioned the Santa Cruz effort in his recent blog post: http://robertreich.org/post/122011081135.
 
My office has been reaching out to communities across the nation to urge them to take similar action.  So far we are getting a good response and we hope this movement spreads.

Award-Winning City/County Program Is Making our Community Safer
The Downtown Accountability Program (now known as the Bob Lee Community PACT) has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties. 

Launched in the spring of 2014, PACT is a partnership of City, County, and non-profit agencies that works to improve the quality of life for chronic offenders through court accountability and treatment.  The program focused on 70 repeat offenders in Downtown Santa Cruz during its first year and results show a 70% decrease in arrests and citation recidivism rates.  During that period, ambulance runs for those 70 PACT-focused offenders decreased 80%.  Such significant reductions greatly benefit both the criminal justice and health service systems.  I am proud of this award and the PACT team for working collaboratively across jurisdictions to solve a challenging problem in our community.

Get the Santa Cruz County Mobile App!
On June 30, 2015, the County of Santa Cruz released Citizen Connect, a new mobile application that allows citizens to use their mobile device to report issues in their community such as potholes, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, and illegal dumping.  The initial release of the application will also enable the public to register to vote, view or pay property tax bills, and explore the County’s parks system.
 
Citizen Connect is compatible with Android and iOS and can be downloaded at the County of Santa Cruz App Store, using the URL https://sccappstore.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/.

A Note on Marriage Equality
I join the community in celebrating the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage.  Many people in our community have been tirelessly working towards this for years.  I was on the City Council when we joined San Francisco and other cities in the legal fight against bans on same sex marriage.  The Supreme Court ruling is a wonderful reminder that real positive change is possible.
North Coast View

Next Board of Supervisors Meeting:
August 4th, 9:00am
701 Ocean Street, 5th Floor

LINKS
Board of Supervisors Meeting Schedule
Agendas & Minutes
Live Audio (during meetings)

In my office I'm proudly displaying several great local prints (like the one below) by Steve Hosmer of Santa Cruz's own Stokes Signs
Natural Bridges Poster

EMAIL
Ryan Coonerty

Staff
Rachel Dann
Allison Endert
Susie O'Hara




 
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