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eNews from Santa Cruz County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty
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Supervisor Ryan Coonerty - Third District News
Board Votes to Establish Nurse-Family Partnership Program
Last December I facilitated a meeting with a number of health agencies, providers and advocates to discuss the possibility of setting up a program I had learned about which could not only significantly improve the lives of low-income County residents, but provide long-term benefits for the County as a whole. 

I'm excited to report that at my urging and with the support of Supervisor McPherson, community members and health partners, on February 9th, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to direct the County Administrative Officer and Health Services Agency to pursue funding opportunities and report back at budget time with a plan to implement a Nurse-Family Partnership Program in Santa Cruz County in fiscal year 2016-2017.  

Nurse-Family Partnership Programs, which have been successfully implemented in 21 counties in California and in dozens of states and communities across the country, transform the lives of low-income first-time moms and their babies.  Each mother served by a Nurse-Family Partnership is partnered with a nurse early in her pregnancy and receives ongoing nurse home visits that continue through her child’s second birthday.  This program serves babies and toddlers during a critical window of opportunity in human brain development.

By establishing this proven program, we are making a smart investment that will produce better outcomes for kids and their families as well as our community for years to come.  The program has been rigorously tested in well-designed randomized, controlled trials conducted in three diverse settings.  Some of the program outcomes that have been observed are listed below. 
  • 48% reduction in child abuse and neglect
  • 59% reduction in child arrests at age 15
  • 39% fewer injuries among children
  • 56% reduction in emergency room visits for accidents and poisonings
  • 50% reduction in language delays of child at age 21 months
  • 67% reduction in behavioral and intellectual problems at age 6
  • 82% increase in months of maternal employment
  • 68% increase in father’s presence in household
  • 61% fewer arrests of the mother 
This highly-effective program will initially serve 100 low-income, first-time moms and their babies.  In the coming years, I hope that the program will be able to serve all low-income first-time mothers and their babies in Santa Cruz County.

The Nurse-Family Partnership program was recently featured on the PBS NewsHour.  Click here to view the PBS piece.  To find out more about the highly-regarded Nurse-Family Partnership program, click here

Cutting County Solar Permit Fees
At my initiative, the Board of Supervisors took action to support rooftop solar installations by cutting county permitting fees by 50%.
 
In addition to the lower permit fee, the Planning Department has developed a streamlined approval process. The County has developed a series of standard photovoltaic plans for use at the Planning Department or with online application submittals, and has created a dedicated email for solar permit applications.
 
This initiative is about increasing renewable energy, supporting local green jobs and making the permitting process easier.  It’s a win-win-win and a model for how the County can support the environment and local economy going forward.
 
Going Paperless: Electronic Review of Building Plans
In November I met with a local building designer frustrated with the amount of paper he had to use in order to get his plans approved.  He made the point that with current technology there had to be a better way.  I agreed and followed up with staff from the Planning and Information Services departments.  Turns out that not only can this be done but it shouldn’t cost very much to set up.

Supervisor Friend and I brought an item to the Board of Supervisors directing staff to develop a procedure to accept and process building plans electronically and to provide recommendations to improve service and to reduce the amount of time, travel and cost associated with the plan check process.  It is time for the County to utilize modern technology to improve services!

In January, the Board unanimously approved implementing electronic plan checking utilizing software which will allow applicants and staff to access a centralized online site through which plans can be submitted, reviewed, plan checked and approved. This software will provide an efficient and improved plan-check process and will expand and enhance services to applicants (and drastically reduce the amount of paper used in the permitting process!).     

The aim is for software purchase, installation and training to be completed this spring. 
 
Take a Hike With Me!
On the morning of Wednesday, March 30th, I'll be taking a hike on the Bureau of Land Management's beautiful Cotoni-Coast Dairies land.  BLM staff will lead the hike and up to 20 people are welcome to join me.  The hike will be 2-3 miles on varied, sometimes steep terrain. 

To reserve your spot on the hike, please call or e-mail Rachel Dann: 454-2200, rachel.dann@santacruzcounty.us.
 
Keeley Lecture on Environmental Policy
The Fred Keeley Lecture on the Environmental Policy will be presented this year on Saturday, February 27th by Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel Prize Winner and former Energy Secretary for President Obama.

There will be a dinner at 5:00 PM at Terra Fresca Restaurant and a lecture at 7:30 PM at the College Nine/Ten Multipurpose Room at UCSC Santa Cruz.  The suggested dinner donation is $100 per person and proceeds will benefit the Keeley Coastal Scholars Program.  For more information or to RSVP, contact Carla Noelle Jocson by February 19th: 459-2192, sciences@ucsc.edu
 
Supporting the North Coast Teen Center
The North Coast Teen Center is having a pupusa sale to raise funds to support programs.  All funds raised will help support this important resource for kids and teens on the North Coast!

As you may know, pupusas are a traditional dish from El Salvador.  Pupusas are corn tortillas with a filling (cheese, beans, chicharron).  Pupusas are cooked on a griddle and served with a pickled cabbage slaw and thin tomato sauce.

An order of pupusas includes 5 pupusas for $12.00
Individual pupusa  are $3.00 each

To order, please call Teresita at: (831) 425-8115 or e-mail TeresitaD@cabinc.org
Order deadline: February 18

Pupusas will be ready for pick-up on Wednesday, February 24, from 1PM to 7PM at the Davenport Resource Center (150 Church Street).  (Pre-order required)
North Coast View
Estuary at Scott Creek



Next Board of Supervisors Meeting:
February 23, 9:00 a.m.
701 Ocean Street, 5th Floor

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


EMAIL
Ryan Coonerty

Staff
Rachel Dann
Allison Endert





 
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