Ovitt Outlook Banner Image
San Bernardino County Logo

Discover IE: Southern California's Inland Experience

County Board Shifts Some Responsibilities to the CAO's Office

Be Aware of Africanized Honey Bees


Send an email to Gary Ovitt: SupervisorOvitt@sbcounty.gov

Click Here to Subscribe to
Ovitt Outlook

To unsubscribe to the
Ovitt Outlook, please email SupervisorOvitt@sbcounty.gov
with the subject:
Unsubscribe Newsletter


Main Office:
385 N Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92415
909-387-4866


Chino Hills District Office:
14010 City Center Drive
Chino Hills, CA 91709
909-465-1895


Staff Members:
Larry Enriquez,
Chief of Staff

Joy Chadwick,
Deputy Chief of Staff

Brian Johsz,
District Director

Annette Taylor,
Executive Secretary

Naseem U. Farooqi,
Analyst

Burt Southard,
Media Relations

Roman Nava,
Small Business Liason

Grace Hagman,
Field Representative

Jeanna Pomierski,
Field Representative
September 2010

Discover IE: Southern California's Inland Experience


Click the following link to view Supervisor Ovitt's Video:
http://www.sbcounty.gov/bosd4/multimedia/ViewVideo.aspx?vid=182

Tourism in the Inland Empire will be getting a significant boost from the work of the Inland Empire (IE) Destination Council. The Council is comprised of the County of San Bernardino as the founding partner, along with founding members: the Auto Club Speedway, Bass Pro Shops, Big Bear Lake Resorts Association, Citizens Business Bank Arena, LA/Ontario International Airport, Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, Ontario Convention Center & Visitors Bureau, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino, Snow Valley, and Victoria Gardens. Working together, the Council members will seek to position the Inland Empire as a top tourism destination as well as increase its reputation as a getaway location of choice.

Research, conducted by the County of San Bernardino, confirms that total direct spending on tourism in the County equated to $3.7 billion in 2007. Research also confirmed that the tourism industry created 44,000 jobs in the County which translated to $28 million in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenue to the cities and county.

The Council will support the industry through proactive marketing and branding to further encourage job growth and greater economic opportunity. This region has so much to offer. We have deserts and mountains, high adrenaline sports and recreation, regional history and native landmarks as well as a great mix of exciting destinations such as the Auto Club Speedway and Citizens Business Bank Arena. The Inland Empire is the perfect Southern California choice for the weekend adventurer, family and friends as well as those just looking for a convenient and affordable entertainment alternative. We want more people to discover it.

On August 27, the IE Destination Council introduced the new Discover IE website at www.DiscoverIE.com. The IE Destination Council plans to put together giveaways and programs designed to promote the IE as a great Southern California getaway.

The IE Destination Council promotes the destination advantages of the Inland Empire, Southern California's perfect inland experience. The region's proximity to Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties makes it a convenient, affordable and preferred choice for a one-day, overnight or multi-day adventure. Exploring the Inland Empire is the perfect answer for "what should we do this weekend?" That's because of its mountains, deserts, lakes and rivers; high-profile and nationally-acclaimed destinations; historic landmarks; marquee events; and a convenient Southern California location.

For what to do this weekend, go to www.DiscoverIE.com.

County Board Shifts Some Responsibilities to the CAO's Office

San Bernardino County Government is going through a process of reorganization. A plan was proposed by County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Greg Devereaux and approved by the Board of Supervisors recently. County Administrative Officer Greg Devereaux has earned the trust of the Board that he developed as a successful city manager in Ontario and Fontana.

The Board of Supervisors, at the CAO's request, agreed to shift some of its staff and the director of land-use services into the CAO's office to form two new units, one focusing on special projects for the board and the other focusing on intergovernmental relations. In addition, the board agreed to transfer the five-member staff of the Office of Legislative Affairs office to report to the CAO directly.

It is a shifting of duties that is logical and coherent. The board still retains the power over all its obligations and duties. The new positions will assist the board in performing its functions. It also provides a greater level of support that lends to better policymaking and better implementation. It further provides consistency in terms of the kind of staff work that will be shared with all Board offices.

Most importantly, it will end a long-standing practice of myriad county agencies, including the Board of Supervisors, operating independently. The new government structure makes it easier to implement a sound vision plan that the county can move forward with. Devereaux wanted more people working and reporting directly to him as we develop a county vision, and target objectives and specific projects we're committed to accomplishing.

The CAOs new staff includes Land Use Services Director Dena Smith, who now serves the dual function of deputy administrative officer for the board projects unit. Bob Page, former chief of staff for Supervisor Josie Gonzales, and Mary O'Toole, former deputy chief of staff for Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, will serve on the unit with Smith.

The intergovernmental relations unit will include Mark Kirk, my former chief of staff, and Michael Delgado, an analyst in my office, and John Richardson, a former field representative for Mitzelfelt.

They will serve as the repository of specialized knowledge for the county, sitting on the boards of various governmental agencies including San Bernardino Associated Governments, the Air quality Management District and Southern California Association of Governments. In the past, that specialized knowledge was housed in individual board offices and not one centralized county office. That function will now be performed for all board members by the CAO's Intergovernmental Affairs Unit.

Local newspapers have talked a lot about the transfer of power from the Board to the CAO. They miss the point. The purpose of the changes allows for the streamlining of operations. It targets responsibility for different projects and different organizations within the county. It reduces unnecessary replication and duplication. We will have a much more comprehensive institutional knowledge base and memory by the creation of those two units that will extend beyond individual supervisors. It's going to be more efficient and an easier chain of command for county employees. Ultimately, it equates to more effective management and administration of county policy.

The consolidation of staff was also aimed at helping close the county's $89.4 million budget gap. The Board of Supervisors approved the county's 2010-11 budget on June 28. It eliminates 529 positions, 85 of which were filled.

With the new units up and running, the COA also plans to have mission statements drafted for all county entities, detailing how they are structured, how they function and what their chain of command is. All of those relationships need clarity, and there's nowhere currently where you can go to find that. Nowhere is it written down how departments work. The new approach to governance in San Bernardino County eschews solid management practices and complements how other counties function.

Be Aware of Africanized Honey Bees

Africanized honey bees (AHB) are potential public health and safety problems. The San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Program recommend you educate yourself and your family about AHB safety.

Africanized Honey Bees, also called "killer bees", arrived in California and became established in 1994. Although its "killer bee" reputation is highly exaggerated, their presence has resulted in an increase in stings to individuals and animals since their arrival.

Africanized Honey Bees and European Honey Bees (EHB) look and behave similarly. They protect their hives, sting in defense, can only sting once, and produce wax and honey. Both types of bees play an important role in pollinating flowers.

Here are facts to remember about AHB. AHB are less predictable and more defensible than EHB. They can sense a threat from animals or people more than 50-feet from the hive. They are sensitive to vibrations from power equipment at more than 100-feet from the hive. AHB are more likely to become agitated and will defend a greater area around their nest. They respond much faster and in greater numbers to threats. AHB will pursue an intruder up to 1/4 mile.

General precautions should always be taken. Be alert when participating in outdoor sports and activities. Look and listen for indications of bee activity. Use care when entering sheds or outbuildings where bees may nest. Examine work areas before using lawn mowers, weed whackers or other power equipment. Examine areas before tying up or penning pets or livestock. Do not disturb a hive or swarm. Contact a pest control company or your local Vector Control office if you observe a hive or swarm. Teach children to be cautious and respectful of bees.

Bee proof your home. Maintain screens in good condition on your windows. Inspect outside walls and eaves of the home and seal openings larger than 1/8" in size. Seal areas around chimneys and where plumbing enters walls. Install fine screens with 1/8" hardware cloth over tops of rain spouts, vents, and openings in water meter/utility boxes.

If you are stung, quickly move to a safe area. Pull or scrape the stinger from skin as soon as possible (the first minute is crucial). Wash the sting area with soap and water. Apply an ice pack for a few minutes to relieve the swelling and seek medical attention if you have labored breathing or if you are stung numerous times.

For more information contact San Bernardino County Mosquito and Vector Control at 909-388-4600 or visit their website at www.sbcounty.gov/dehs.