Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item
Accepted and filed
Jan 14, 2020 9:00 AM

Consider first biannual progress report on the Santa Cruz County Operational Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-21, and direct the County Administrative Office to return in June 2020 with the second biannual progress report, as outlined in the memorandum of 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 first biannual progress report on the Santa Cruz County Operational Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-21; and


2)     Direct the County Administrative Office to return in June 2020 with the second biannual progress report.


Executive Summary

On June 26, 2018, the Board of Supervisors approved a six-year strategic plan defining what the County stands for and what we want to achieve. The Board subsequently approved the first of three two-year operational plans on June 25, 2019. For the 2019-21 Operational Plan, 15 (8%) of the 178 objectives are complete, 16 (9%) objectives have been amended, 147 (83%) are in progress and on time, and two objectives have been added from work that has been completed.



The Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan for 2018-2024 was approved by the Board in June 2018. The plan was the result of a year-long effort led by the CAO and the Strategic Plan Steering Committee (SPSC). The SPSC engaged with thousands of County residents and staff to develop a vision, mission, values, focus areas and goals. Each of the strategic plan’s six focus areas contains four goals, for a total of 24, which are presented online at


As outlined in the strategic plan, the County also developed a two-year operational plan that was approved by the Board in June 2019. To create the plan, the CAO convened an Operational Plan Steering Committee (OPSC) and six subcommittees made up of County leaders and subject-matter experts. In addition, the County conducted extensive community outreach, convening six focus groups of key informants, holding six open houses in the community, and presenting to over 20 local boards and commissions. The result is a plan reflective of community priorities, imbued with County values, and dedicated to achieving equitable, sustainable outcomes for all Santa Cruz County residents.


The operational plan adds countywide strategies, department objectives and key steps for achieving the 24 strategic plan goals. These elements are defined as follows:


·         Countywide Strategies Approaches for achieving strategic plan goals.

·         Department Objectives – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) actions that work towards strategic plan goals and countywide strategies.


·         Key Steps Critical activities or steps necessary to achieve each department objective.


The 2019-21 Operational Plan includes 178 objectives across 22 departments, many of which impact several areas of our strategic plan. The operational plan is a living document, and County successes and challenges will be transparent. Through the website, the County will track progress on each objective, as well as local, State and national indicators that demonstrate progress towards achieving the County’s goals, mission and vision. The website will be refreshed biannually in December and June.



All 178 operational plan objectives have been updated on the County website. The following analysis provides a brief summary of the Countys performance to date:


·         178 Total Objectives

o       15 (8%) Completed

o       16 (9%) Amended

o       147 (83%) In progress and on time

·         December 2019 Deadline

o       17 Objectives scheduled for completion

§         13 (76%) Completed

§         4 (24%) Amended

o       2 Objectives completed ahead of schedule


Completed Objective Highlights


·         Objective 1: Digital records and certificates from 1950-1980 are now available to the general public, making it more convenient to access official documents. (Assessor-Recorder)


·         Objective 26: Same Day Voter Registration Centers were increased by 300%, making voting easier and more secure. (County Clerk)


·         Objectives 31 & 33: An annual broker event was held to encourage development projects, and two cottage food operator meetings were held to encourage growth in that sector. (Economic Development)


·         Objective 67: A Groundwater Sustainability Plan for the Mid-County Groundwater Basin was completed, working towards sustainable water use by 2040. (Health Services)


·         Objective 109: A University of California (UC) Specialist in Organic Agriculture was hired and based at the UC Santa Cruz campus. (Agricultural Commissioner)


·         Objective 126: An inter-department Permit Center Team (PCT) was created to improve efficiency and problem solving for County permits. (Planning)


·         Objective 152: An event on Human Trafficking was held, raising awareness among law enforcement and community partners to prevent and identify human trafficking crimes. (District Attorney)


·         Objective 172: A Public Safety Center was opened in Aptos Village, increasing the availability of services to mid-county residents. (Sheriff-Coroner, District Attorney, Probation)


Amended Objectives


·         Objective 2: E-recording services delayed from December 2019 to June 2021 due to revised State regulations that took effect October 7, 2019. (Assessor-Recorder)


·         Objective 43: Facility maintenance management system delayed from December 2019 to June 2020 due to minor software procurement delays. (General Services)


·         Objective 55: Gender neutral policy and procedure updates delayed from June 2020 to June 2021 due to staff turnover in the Equal Employment Opportunity office. (Personnel)


·         Objective 68: Environmental health will no longer target a 25% reduction in restaurant and facility violations, and instead focus on prioritization of inspections based on food safety preparation risk. The amended objective focuses on reliability of inspections as a means to protecting the public. (Health Services)


·         Objective 77: A project to capture and recharge stormwater is delayed from June 2020 to December 2021 because required State grant funding was delayed to summer 2020.


·         Objectives 120, 122, 128: The sustainability update to the Countys General Plan will be complete by December 2021. This amended completion date impacts the sustainability update objective itself (Objective 120), as well as the related update to the Circulation Element (Objective 122) and public education and training on the proposed changes (Objective 128). (Planning)


·         Objective 134: Traffic improvements at Soquel Drive and 41st Avenue have been delayed from June 2021 to December 2021 due to commercial development delays. (Public Works)


·         Objective 145: Sewer upgrades within the Rodeo Gulch Basin have been delayed from June 2021 to December 2022 due to revised State grant timelines.


·         Objective 148: The organic waste diversion program has been delayed from June 2021 to December 2021 due to delays siting and developing a County compost facility. (Public Works)


·         Objective 150: Preliminary design for three Rail Trail segments is delayed from June 2021 to June 2022 due to Regional Transportation Commission funding timelines. (Public Works)


·         Objective 151: A signal priority project along Soquel Avenue/Drive is delayed from June 2021 to June 2022 due to a delay in site selection by Santa Cruz METRO. (Public Works)


·         Objective 153: Utilization of the Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center (MDIC) was lower than expected and relies on local law enforcement agencies for referrals. Greater outreach and education on the benefits of the MDIC are underway. (District Attorney)


·         Objective 154: Discovery software procurement is delayed from June 2020 to December 2020 due to minor procurement delays. (District Attorney)


·         Objective 156: The implementation of a new gang prevention and outreach program is delayed from December 2019 to December 2020 due to a new planning process within the Criminal Justice Council. (District Attorney)


New Linked Objectives


Two objectives completed in December 2019 resulted in the creation of new, linked objectives to continue and deepen the work of departments through the end of the current operational planning period.


·         Objective 179: Personnel completed Objective 54, a PRIMO! project to establish targets and identify and address inefficiencies in job recruitments. The new linked objective is:

o       By June 2020, Personnel will reduce the time it takes to establish an eligibility list to hire an employee by 20% from the 2019 average of 68 days.


·         Objective 180: Health Services completed Objective 176, Syringe Services Program (SSP) analysis and changes, including the creation of an SSP Advisory Commission, access to treatment, and reducing litter and communicable disease. The new linked objective is:

o       By June 2021, Health Services will create baseline measures and establish target increases for SSP participants that are referred to clinical services, including Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment.


The County Administrative Office (CAO) continues to work closely with departments on reporting and measurement. All departments reported promptly and transparently for the December 2019 update, and we thank them for their continued support and enthusiasm for this initiative.


The next update of the operational plan is due in June 2020. During budget hearings, departments will devote a significant portion of their time before the Board reporting on the progress they have had and challenges they have faced in meeting their objectives. The CAO will also propose a plan for the 2021-23 Operational Plan that will include greater integration with the budget and additional opportunities for Board direction.


Strategic Plan Element:

6.D (Operational Excellence: Continuous Improvement) - 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

Jan 14, 2020 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

1) ACCEPTED AND FILED biannual progress report on the Santa Cruz County Operational Plan for Fiscal Years 2019-21; and

2) DIRECTED the County Administrative Office to return in June 2020 with the second biannual progress report

MOVER:John Leopold, First District Supervisor
SECONDER:Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson