CEO Powers: State of the County 2020


By Sheryl Hamlin
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Hosted by the Ventura County Taxpayers Association (VCTA), the current Board Chair Ron Golden introduced the September 17, 2020 virtual event and the sponsors, a list that has been growing over the years. 1000 virtual attendees were on-line.

The video prelude to CEO Powers’ presentation oozed with lush, inviting, healthy scenes and festive music from the County of Ventura. Who wouldn’t want to live and work here after this enticement? Watch here: https://stateofthecounty.ventura.org/

What a Year!

CEO Powers started by reminding of the intense events the county endured: Borderline, erupting fires and historic pandemic with the “selfless generosity and compassion of the community.”

Covid Response

Starting on February 26 with the base quarantine at Port Hueneme, then the March 11 cruise ship passanger, the first County order on March 17 followed by the first State health order on March 20, the county’s Covid Response took flight.

The ”All hands on deck” spirit has driven the effort with intragovernmental cooperation and existing relationships with cities and business making the response more effective.

All hospitals, EMS and health systems were coordinated and sharing. 3.4 million PPE were distributed, EMS oversaw 400 long term care facilities in the county and the most vulnerable were served including seniors, farmworkers, homeless and disabled.

VCAAA (Ventura County Area Agency on Aging) served 1.8 million meals, screening for depression for isolated seniors, opened a food pantry and organized a massive volunteer effort.

A farmworker resource program began serving five different language cultures with an additional effort to mitigate high case rates among Latinos.

FoodShare doubled its clientele served from 75,000 to 150,000 for which the Board of Supervisors approved $855,000. Between Project Roomkey and Project Homekey 450 people were housed in four motels.

Covid testing is available at 13 sites with 130 contact tracers and 37 on duty. The Public Health lab has performed 17,000 test since February.

Helping Business

The county launched VCReopens, an on-line service to help business reopen. 14,000 businesses registered with 10,000 inspected for reopening. 99% compliance in over 3000 visits.

$24 million of business and rental assistance was made available. The EDC (Economic Development Collaborative) opened a new website for assistance. The county’s service Facebook page had 837,000 visits in the last month.

The county case rate is declining with a 4.4% positivity rate falling in the orange category with low hospitalization rate.

Stellar Financial Performance

In spite of historic calamities, the county balanced its $2.4 billion budget without using reserves, maintaining a AAA bond rating and expanding services.

Other financial highlights included:

• Increased Reserves to Highest Level
• Rainy Day: $152 Million
• Assigned: One-time Projects
• Pension Savings
• Set Aside Funds in Pension Reserve $12.5 million
• Includes CARES Act Funding
• Taxpayer support – Thank you!
• Department Managers
• Treasury Pool – Top Credit Rating

Even the Health Care budget was positive. See below.

Health and Human services is 51% of the budget with Public Safety Second. The county is ahead in understanding whole person care.

Lean Six Sigma

This methodology has been embedded in the county culture. To read about this employee generated improvement system, click here. This is a thought process that all organizations should internalize. Below is an example of a very successful Lean Six Sigma project.

Technology Helps Leverage Skills

Ventura County was selected as the NUMBER 1 Digital County in the Nation in the population range of 500,000 to 999,999. Read about that award here.

Well Positioned for Living

There were many more slides about new jobs, businesses and opportunities in the county.

Run well with enthusiasm, thanks to CEO Powers and his team.

To watch the video, click here.

To read about the author, click sherylhamlin dot com


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Sheryl hamlin
Sheryl hamlin
1 month ago

Just in from the county team. See below. Huge participation.

…This year we also streamed in Spanish and have had more than 5,500 views with Spanish and English combined….if you also count the zoom views we exceeded 6,230 views. We streamed via zoom, Facebook and website.