Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item
Accepted and filed
Sep 25, 2018 9:00 AM

Accept and file update on promoting and operationalizing the Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan for 2018-2024, and direct the County Administrative Office to return December 4, 2018 with an update on the operational planning process, as recommended by the County Administrative Officer


Department:County Administrative OfficeSponsors:County Administrative Officer Carlos J. Palacios
Category:CAO - Board LetterProjects:Master Calendar
Functions:General Government

Board Letter

Recommended Action(s):

1)     Accept and file update on promoting and operationalizing the Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan for 2018-2024; and


2)     Direct the County Administrative Office to return December 4, 2018, with an update on the operational planning process.


Executive Summary

On June 26, 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved a six-year strategic plan. The County Administrative Office (CAO) is now leading the effort to promote and operationalize the plan. Over the next year, the County will inventory current activities supporting County goals, identify gaps, and produce a two-year operational plan. The operational planning process will be transparent, inclusive, and mindful of the County organization’s capacity, resources and priorities.



The Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan for 2018-2024 was the result of a year-long strategic planning effort led by the CAO and the Strategic Plan Steering Committee (SPSC). The SPSC engaged with thousands of county residents and employees to develop a vision, mission, values, focus areas and goals.


Our vision, mission, values and focus areas are presented below.


Vision: Santa Cruz County is a healthy, safe and more affordable community that is culturally diverse, economically inclusive and environmentally vibrant.


Mission: An open and responsive government, the County of Santa Cruz delivers quality, data-driven services that strengthen our community and enhance opportunity.


Values: The County of Santa Cruz provides services and supports partnerships built on:













Focus Areas:


Health & Safety









County Operational Excellence


Each focus area contains four goals, for a total of 24, which are presented in the attached strategic plan book and trifold.




Promotional Plan


Since Board approval of the strategic plan, the CAO added a new section to agenda items that identifies the strategic plan goal the item is related to and how the item furthers the goal. The CAO also developed a website,, that will be expanded into a dynamic site to track progress towards County goals and highlight key County initiatives.


As part of promoting the strategic plan throughout the community, the CAO is currently giving presentations, talks and updates to various community groups. Additionally, the CAO developed promotional materials to distribute to departments, employees, partners and residents, and to display in visible locations so that the strategic plan elements remain a focus of our work. Materials include banners, booklets, brochures, cards and posters (see attached examples). The brochures, posters and website will be available in both English and Spanish.


Operational Plan


As outlined in the six-year strategic plan, the County will work this year to develop a two-year operational plan. The operational plan will add objectives and tactics to each of the 24 goals. The new elements are defined as follows:


·         Objectives - provide specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART) actions that work towards our goals


·         Tactics – represent activities and steps necessary to achieve each objective


An Operational Plan Steering Committee (OPSC), comprised of a diverse group of leaders from each functional area of the County, has been convened to oversee this effort and will be supported by six subcommittees (one per focus area) made up of subject-matter experts from within the organization. Each subcommittee will be responsible for coordinating their work with existing commissions, task forces, agencies, and community partners.


The work of the OPSC and subcommittees will be threefold. The first task will be to inventory the current work, both internally and externally, that aligns with the County Strategic Plan. The second task will be to identify gaps between the current work and County goals. The third task will be to develop objectives and tactics for a two-year operational plan that build on County strengths and puts the County on a path to achieving its goals.


The CAO met with the OPSC for the first time earlier this month, and an inventory of current work is well underway. The OPSC is meeting weekly in September to finalize the operational planning process. In addition, a training on objectives and tactics is under development and will be delivered to the OPSC and subcommittees in October. Once trained, the OPSC and committees will continue their work, addressing the tasks outlined and engaging with stakeholders. The CAO will return December 4, 2018 with an update on the operational planning process.


Strategic Plan Element:

6.D (Operational Excellence: Continuous Improvement) - The development of the two-year operational plan is the next step in strategic plan implementation, and represents the blueprint for how the County will achieve its vision for a healthy, safe and more affordable community.

Meeting History

Sep 25, 2018 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Ryan Coonerty, Vice Chair, Third District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput
ABSENT:Bruce McPherson