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San Bernardino County Business Network

Fiscal Reorganization Will Create Savings And Efficiency

Board Appoints Ontario City Manager Gregory C. Devereaux As County Administrative Officer (CAO)

2010 Community Clean Up Events

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Main Office:
385 N Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415

Chino Hills District Office:
14010 City Center Drive
Chino Hills, CA 91709

Staff Members:
Mark Kirk,
Chief of Staff

Joy Chadwick,
Deputy Chief of Staff

Brian Johsz,
District Director

Annette Taylor,
Executive Secretary

Michael Delgado,
Executive Analyst

Naseem U. Farooqi,

Burt Southard,
Media Relations

Roman Nava,
Small Business Liason

Grace Hagman,
Field Representative

Jeanna Pomierski,
District Secretary
February 2010

San Bernardino County Business Network

Click the following link to view Supervisor Ovitt's Video:

Small businesses are the engine of our economy. According to a recent study conducted by California State University, Sacramento, small businesses make up 99.2 percent of the business community in California. In San Bernardino County there are more than 60,000 small businesses, and each entrepreneur understands the challenges behind launching and maintaining their business. In fact, approximately 80 percent of all small businesses fail within the first five years, according to the United States Small Business Administration.

Many small businesses are established by people who venture out on their own after mastering their profession while employed at another company. These business owners are often more adept in their profession than in the technique of running a successful business. As a result, many lack the tools, knowledge and resources required to run a successful business. In addition to providing a product or service, business owners must deal with operational issues such as payroll, taxes, human resources, employment laws, insurance, technology and corporate law, among others.

Mishandling these areas can undermine an otherwise fantastic business venture. To avoid the pitfalls, entrepreneurs find that they must become experts in each of these fields through study or consultation with an expert - or delegate someone to handle these functions. Often, both of these options are too expensive for a new business to handle.

In San Bernardino County, it is the highest priority of the Board of Supervisors to support businesses and invest in programs that will create an environment where they can thrive and bring good-paying jobs to the region.

Our county’s Workforce Investment Board recently partnered with the California Employers Association to provide human resource services at no cost to county businesses. This program, the San Bernardino County Business Network, will give more than 60,000 businesses in our county unlimited access to a human resource hotline for questions and advice on labor laws during business hours.

Our goal is to reduce unemployment, help businesses maintain stability and build knowledge of employer and employee rights. By helping employers understand their options, we can help them avoid costly mistakes that could cause further job losses.

A series of workshops will also be available to teach employers about employee relations issues such as alternatives to layoffs, utilizing workshare unemployment funds to keep employees, and how to notify employees of reduced work hours and job cuts.

California Employers Association's workshops educate employers and keep them out of trouble with California's labor and employment laws. Topics will include: 2010 labor law updates; wage and hour laws; California leave laws; employee handbooks; attracting, hiring and developing employees; and document, discipline and discharge.

In this economy many small business owners are operating lean to navigate the recession. The county is doing everything it can to help small businesses remain stable and continue to employ our residents. We will continue to look for more tools.

Fiscal Reorganization Will Create Savings and Efficiency

The county will immediately save more than $500,000 a year and could eventually realize more than $1 million in annual savings thanks to action taken recently by the Board of Supervisors to reorganize the county’s fiscal departments.

Besides the cost savings, which are vital as the county enters into a difficult budget year, the reorganization will combine similar functions under the same roof, improving customer service and eliminating cumbersome bureaucracies.

Seizing upon an opportunity created by the recent retirement of the elected Treasurer-Tax Collector, the board voted unanimously to move the functions of that office to the elected Auditor/Controller and Sheriff-Coroner. The board also moved to shift the Recorder and County Clerk functions from the Auditor/Controller to the Assessor. The action creates the new offices of Auditor-Controller/Treasurer/Tax Collector, Sheriff-Coroner-Public Administrator, and Assessor-Recorder-County Clerk.

The timing for the reorganization was perfect because of the vacancy in the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s office – the county could eliminate the position without removing an office-holder.

Immediate cost savings include elimination of the Treasurer-Tax Collector position at an annual cost of $270,218 in salary and benefits, a Departmental Information Systems Administrator Position at an annual cost of $196,191 in salary and benefits, and the $200,000 cost of conducting a Treasurer-Tax Collector election every four years. The county is confident that many more savings can be identified once the reorganization occurs and duties and functions are evaluated.

In addition to the savings, the reorganization will achieve taxpayer-friendly efficiencies. Cash management will be consolidated under a single department, and tax collecting and central collections would occur under the same roof as accounts payable and receivable.

Recording would be done where parcel numbers are kept, eliminating the need to transfer data between departments. And document recording would eventually be available at Assessor field offices throughout the county. Recording is now available only in San Bernardino.

The reorganization follows a growing trend among California counties. Twenty-four of the state’s 58 counties have combined Assessor-Recorders, and at least 10 counties have combined Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collectors, including Sacramento, Fresno, and Santa Clara.

Board Appoints Ontario City Manager Gregory C. Devereaux As County Administrative Officer (CAO)

The Board of Supervisors on January 7, unanimously appointed Ontario City Manager Gregory C. Devereaux to serve as County Administrative Officer (CAO) effective February 13. The board also approved a contract with Mr. Devereaux designed to ensure stability in the county’s top non-elected post and in the execution of many long-term projects.

Supervisors cited Mr. Devereaux’s many successes during his 12 years as Ontario city manager as their primary reason for approaching him to take the county’s helm. Specifically, board members cited his emphasis on economic development and his ability to create a vision for a community and lead plans to fruition.

Greg Devereaux’s leadership has been instrumental in positioning Ontario as the economic engine of the Inland Empire. His visionary approach and ability to effectively collaborate with his workforce has led Ontario to be one of the most consumer-friendly cities in our area.

During Devereaux’s tenure as city manager, Ontario has seen the development of Citizens Business Bank Arena, the New Model Colony, the Ontario Convention Center, the construction of new public facilities, and the expansion of Ontario International Airport. He has effectively managed a workforce of more than 1,100 employees with an annual budget of more than $450 million.

Greg retains the respect of his employees, colleagues, and the public employee unions that serve the residents of Ontario.

The CAO administers and coordinates the operations of the county in accordance with the policies established by the Board of Supervisors. The CAO also directs county operations through agency and department administrators, advises and assists the Board of Supervisors in long-range planning and development, and analyzes and recommends the county budget.

I and the rest of the board are looking forward to working closely with Mr. Devereaux to navigate the county through the current economic crisis, foster unity between board offices and county departments, and develop and implement a vision for the county.

Greg has an excellent track record of working effectively with elected representatives in creating and implementing goals, which is vital to an organization as large and diverse as the County of San Bernardino. At no time are these qualities more important than during a fiscal crisis. Economic development is at the top of the board’s agenda, and we believe Greg is someone who can move us forward in that direction.

I’m grateful that someone who has nothing left to prove would take on this challenge.

Mr. Devereaux has been in state and local government for more than 30 years, serving in various capacities. From 1993 to August 1997 he was the city manager of Fontana. During his tenure there he stabilized the city's finances and built its reserves, funded previously unfunded liabilities, and reduced city expenditures.

Mr. Devereaux became city manager of Ontario in September 1997. Since coming to Ontario, he has embarked on an aggressive program to grow the city's economy and restructure the city's staff to better serve its residents and the business community. The city's fiscal condition has improved markedly. Each of his years in Ontario has resulted in substantial surpluses allowing the city to build reserves, fund previously unfunded liabilities, and embark on the most aggressive investment in community facilities in the city's history. His expertise in redevelopment will be a big asset.

We find ourselves facing an unprecedented time. We have witnessed the housing and financial markets crumble and the state raid our coffers. Demand for services has increased while revenue continues to remain anemic. Greg has been at the helm during times when Ontario experienced extraordinary growth as well as the current economic downturn.

He has a proven track record of navigating the city during downward cycles and anticipating the changing needs of the private sector and his constituents. For example, in 2009, the city found itself facing a $13.8 million shortfall. However, the city was able to mitigate the shortfall and continue to provide essential services.

Even in a sluggish economy, Mr. Devereaux was instrumental in bringing development to Ontario, including Citizen’s Bank Arena and the Piemonte project. He has been successful in managing the investment of several public facilities including the rehabilitation of city hall, experience that will help the county as it moves forward and plans the expansion or relocation of the County Government Center.

I believe its Greg’s talent, skill, and expertise that make him qualified for the job, but his personal character that sets him above the rest. He is an individual of impeccable character. His demeanor in public is consistent with who he is in private.

2010 Community Clean Up Events

For a number of years, I have partnered with the San Bernardino County Office of Code Enforcement and Solid Waste Management Division to host community clean ups throughout the 4th District. We will continue in 2010. We will be providing trash and tire collection containers for the FREE removal of accumulated trash. I encourage you to bring your trash and tires to the designated containers at one of the locations listed below. This program is limited to the residents of the unincorporated County area. We cannot accept commercial or industrial waste from businesses. If you have oversized or hard to handle loads, you may be diverted directly to the landfill. Please remember to safely secure and properly cover your loads prior to traveling to the event. Tires must be removed from rims and the maximum size is 11"x25.5".

February 27 - Doris Dickson Elementary 3930 Pamela Drive, Chino
May 1 - Howard Elementary 4650 W. Howard St., Montclair
July 24 - Lyle Briggs Fundamental School 11880 Roswell Ave., Chino
October 30 - Lyle Briggs Fundamental School 11880 Roswell Ave., Chino

For more information, please contact my district office at (909) 465-1895.