Welcome to the September edition of the San Mateo County e-newsletter.
This is our opportunity to share with you stories about the work our employees are doing in the community, provide you with updates on our initiatives and invite you to participate in a variety of events. We begin with a portrait of Veronica Pineda.
Veronica Pineda (holding commendation) with her family, from left Christine, Edgar, little Johanna, Catherine and Philippe Jason
Pineda, a County employee for six years, oversees Touchpoints Totes in our Prenatal to Three program. Provided to parents, these totes are filled with educational materials that encourage healthy prental care and the growth and development of infants.
Yet in January Prenatal to Three was informed that children’s books, which are a critical part of the totes, could no longer be provided. Pineda took the initiative and found FirstBook.org, an organization that provides free or low-cost books to programs primarily serving low-income children.
Pineda applied to First Book and in March Prenatal to Three received its first shipment of 120 books — Baby Einstein’s Moving Circles. The retail price for the book is $8.99. Our program paid just 45 cents per book for shipping. She did not stop there and applied to regional book banks.
Thanks to her efforts, we have received seven more shipments totaling 1,410 books at an approximate retail price of $12,391. Prenatal to Three has paid only $634.
Pineda has demonstrated outstanding initiative that has made a significant contribution to our program and our clients. For her efforts, the Board of Supervisors recognized her as our August Employee of the Month.
Our County is fortunate to have Veronica Pineda as one of its outstanding employees.
Tons of Trash, Pesticides Hauled from Crystal Springs Watershed
Rotenone. Tamaron. Metafos. Toxico. Furadan. Weevil-cide. These are not exactly the words most people associate with the beautiful Cyrstal Springs Watershed region of our county.
Yet those chemicals were among the trash and debris discovered in the watershed when our San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force joined forces with the State’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting to eradicate marijuana fields and clean up grow sites.
The Task Force removed 1,579 marijuana plants and approximately 7,200 pounds of garbage — well over 3 tons – from multiple locations in the Crystal Springs Watershed, which supplies drinking water to thousands of homes.
The garbage consisted of both legal and illegal chemicals, fertilizers, household garbage, camping equipment, propane tanks, drip lines, plastic buckets and much, much more, reported John Munsey, Commander of the Narcotics and Vehicle Theft Task Forces.
San Mateo – A Cool County
Being an environmentally conscious community is a key component of the San Mateo County Shared Vision 2025. And reducing the County’s carbon footprint is one of the key initiatives adopted by our Board of Supervisors to achieve that vision.
On September 11, the Board of Supervisors approved the Government Operations Climate Action Plan, which documents our work to date and outlines recommendations to reduce emissions.
Between 2005 and 2010, greenhouse gas emissions from County operations went down by approximately 2 metric tons. This was achieved largely by:
Installing a solar array on the County Center parking garage
Improving efficiency of our heating and ventilating systems
Using motion sensors on lights and replacing high-energy fixtures with more energy-efficient equipment
We know more work remains to be done. A summary of our efforts to date, resolutions approved by the Board and the Climate Action Plan are all available on the September 11 Board Agenda.
STARS Awards Accepting Nominations
Want to get some recognition for a great program or a great idea?
Entries for this year’s employee STARS Awards Program are being accepted. Submissions for all award categories — Employee Suggestions, Program Performance, Customer Service and Green – should be received no later than Friday, October 5.
The STARS Awards recognize excellence in County government. The Program Performance Award, for instance, recognizes County programs that redesign processes that generate savings or increase productivity, show significant improvement in performance measure results, or that sustain a high level of performance over a period of time.
Enter and you and your colleagues could be a STAR recipient and receive recognition by the Board of Supervisors. Learn more and enter at http://countystars.co.sanmateo.ca.us/
Youth Commission: A Busy Year Ahead
The San Mateo County Youth Commission invites youths from 12 to 21 years old to take the online Youth Needs Assessment. The results will be used to assist the Commission in developing the 2014 Adolescent Needs Report so pass along the survey to any youth you know.
Commissioners are planning a busy year ahead and play an important role by advising the Board of Supervisors and departments on issues that impact youth. Commissioners are organizing the San Mateo County Youth Town Hall on October 27 when youth will meet at the College of San Mateo to raise issues, plan solutions and discuss ideas with local leaders.
This year’s commissioners represent public and private schools and serve in advisory roles on more than a dozen other commissions, including the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery Commission and Commission on the Status of Women.
To learn more about the commission and ways to get involved, contact Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Youth Commission Program Coordinator, at 650-401-8617 ext. 20 or at email@example.com. You can also learn more and follow the Commission’s activites at http://www.smcy.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/smcyc
Chief Information Officer Recruitment
Visionary. Effective Communicator. An Original Thinker. These are some of the qualities sought in candidates for the County’s Chief Information Officer.
In the next few years major business systems need to be upgraded or replaced such as the property tax system, payroll and human resources systems, and case management systems for criminal justice departments. The County is also in the process of redesigning its website to make it easier to navigate and provide services online. Technology has provided opportunities for County employees to do work away from the office, and many departments are looking to technology as a means to make their operations more efficient.
The recruitment is open until September 27. Learn more by reading the recruitment brochure.
During one week in August, five small Redwood City businesses were terrorized by a bandit who brandished a black handgun and demanded cash. The response from county law enforcement was swift.
Surveillance videos revealed clear photographs of the robber, a public appeal brought in tips and on the morning of August 16 a team of Sheriff’s deputies and investigators from the Redwood City Police Department were closing in on the Williams Street home of the suspect.
An overhead view of the scene
Neighbors had been whisked away from the scene, streets quietly cordoned off and deputies surrounded the modest duplex when events took a turn for the worse. The suspect stepped from his house, spotted law enforcement and barricaded himself inside.
Deputies knew exactly what to do. The Sheriff’s SWAT team was called to the scene, accompanied by specially trained Tactical Dispatchers to handle communications between deputies, the 9-1-1 call center and the numerous other law enforcement agencies monitoring the situation.
Read the entire entry to learn more about this tense situation.
Wellness Program Recognized for “Creating a Culture of Health”
San Mateo County’s Employee Wellness Program has been featured in a just–released research paper from the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans. It features San Mateo County as one of 18 employers that are making significant strides in improving workforce health.
The research notes that “people understand that maintaining good health is much preferred (and less expensive) than treating poor health…. For a modest investment, wellness programs provide a return in terms of quality of life, work performance and cost-avoidance.”
San Mateo County was specifically noted for “its foundation of strong, organized leadership; a comprehensive, collaboratively developed wellness policy; and a strategic vision that promotes a supportive environment, employee engagement and a culture of health.”
Read Creating a Culture of Health or view the full white paper.
Volunteer Opportunities and Things to Do
September 15: Clean our Coast
The 28th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, the state’s largest volunteer event, will take place on Saturday, September 15.
Local volunteers have dozens of sites to choose from, including inland creeks, bayside parks, and coastal beaches. This year’s event will also provide one of the first opportunities for Cleanup organizers to measure a baseline of debris on our shores that may have washed up as a result of last year’s devastating tsunami in Japan.
To find cleanup sites, meeting times and locations and tips for safe and waste-free participation, visit www.flowstobay.org/ccd.
October 10: The Active San Mateo County Conference
Registration is underway for the Active San Mateo County Conference on October 10. Participants will identify and discuss new strategies, techniques and programs to make our public places desirable destinations that promote healthy living. Workshops include:
The Bay Trail is a popular spot to walk and cycle
Nutrition from the Ground Up
Building Healthy General Plans
Walkable Urban Corridors
Visioning the Future of San Mateo County’s Parks
The free conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the San Mateo Library. Learn more and register.
October 13: Repair Bicycles
The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition helps needy families and individuals by repairing and donating used bicycles to community service organizations in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Join members of the County Manager’s Office on Saturday, October 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 2566 Leghorn St. in Mountain View to help out.
No experience is necessary. The warehouse and workshop are fully outfitted with storage, repair stands and tools. New volunteers learn bicycle repair skills by assisting a team of more experienced volunteers. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. A $3 donation gets you a pizza buffet for lunch. For more information about the SVBC Bike Exchange, visit http://bikesiliconvalley.org/bikeex.
To volunteer, RSVP to Beverly Thames, firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 23: Seniors on the Move
Register for the Seniors on the Move Conference on October 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the South San Francisco Conference Center. Discuss all issues that are important to the senior community.
Admission, parking and lunch are all free. Learn more by calling 650-342-0300 or view the Seniors on the Move flier.
September 15: Take A Hike
The 1,314-foot summit of San Bruno Mountain State and County Park is an iconic part of the Peninsula with sweeping 360-degree views of the Bay Area. It’s also the location of the next outing in our popular Take A Hike series this Saturday, September 15.
The view from the summit is spectacular
Our hike begins in the park’s main parking lot at 9 a.m. Rangers and volunteers lead the hikes and provide information about park history and the local habitat. The park’s address is 555 Guadalupe Canyon Parkway in Brisbane. For more information follow Take A Hike on Facebook or call 650-599-1009. The hike will last approximately an hour.
Consider bringing a picnic to enjoy after the hike at one of several drop-in picnic sites with tables, barbecue pits and drinking fountains. A nearby meadow is popular for volleyball and kite flying.
Register to Vote
Registering to vote is the first step every citizen takes to become an eligible voter. Once registered, you can begin to strengthen our democracy by participating in elections, working at our polling precincts, and even registering others like yourself to become voters.
Learn how and where to register. Register, then vote!
Keep Up with San Mateo County
Sign up to receive news releases and announcements from San Mateo County at http://sanmateocountynews.wordpress.com or from individual departments or programs at our GovDelivery e-news service.
You can find a list of the County’s social media sites and ways to get conntected with County programs at www.smcgov.org under “Get Connected.”
This newsletter was produced by the County Manager’s Office. If you have questions or comments, send an e-mail to Marshall Wilson, the communications director, at email@example.com or call 650-363-4153.