Ovitt Oulook
In This Issue...  
July 2007
Economic Development

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Our youth play a critical role in the future economic growth of San Bernardino County. We need to invest more time and resources in educating and preparing them for the highly skilled jobs offered by our region’s growing industries. In order for our young people to succeed and thrive, it is critical that they be prepared. As important, they need to understand that proficiency in basic curriculum subjects such as science, math and English are key to to being successful in the workplace.

San Bernardino County faces serious challenges with youth and our schools. A recent study by the Southern California Association of Governments found the county’s high school drop out rate has risen to 20%. Our students now leave school at a higher rate than the national average. Too much spare time and the lack of employment opportunities is a recipe for community problems including criminal activity.

In order to produce a highly skilled workforce we have to impress upon our public school kids that education is functional to job centered goals. By providing mentors to create the nexus between an academic curriculum and job skill requirements makes the educational experience “real world”.

In San Bernardino County, we are making that connection between work and education in a number of ways. The County Economic Development Agency (EDA) is holding a number of job fairs throughout the County. The first, which I co-sponsored with EDA, was held at Chaffey High School in Ontario. Over 650 students attended, 2,500 job applications were distributed and over 30 employers attended. Not only were real jobs filled, but information and counseling about jobs and employment were shared with the attendees.

Another organization active in youth employment in San Bernardino County is the Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The WIB allocates funds to help young people most at risk of getting involved in gangs. Funds are used to help further educate, train and enhance specific skills needed to enter the workforce. Besides providing information about career options, WIB focuses on industries that are growing in the county, how best to train youth to seize existing and future opportunities and expand their earning potential to achieve a better quality of life.

The Alliance for Education, a partnership between County Schools and the private sector, is another important coalition of business, labor, government, community and education groups. The Alliance works with schools and provides training to teachers and counselors as to the importance of tying academics to workplace opportunities.

The most important thing we can do to ensure a prosperous and safe community is to educate our youth so they can appreciate the expanding range of opportunities and services available to them in San Bernardino County. As a life long educator, I encourage individuals and groups to collaborate, develop programs and work with existing organizations to give our youth the tools, resources, and the understanding of what work is in order to be successful now and in the future.
 

 
Celebrating America's Independence

The Fourth of July is a celebration of freedom, democracy and independence. It is a day to exhibit our steadfast patriotism and honor our country.

On July 4, 1776, the founders of our nation declared themselves independent from England’s tyranny so they could live free. They no longer wanted to live under an oppressive government that left them over taxed and under represented. Instead, they wanted a nation in which the will of the people was paramount. Their live-free-or-die philosophy turned 13 colonies into the United States of America. Today and every day, thousands of people leave their homeland to come to “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Becoming a free country didn’t come easy. The founders risked their lives to achieve independence and the freedoms they fought for in the American Revolution are the same freedoms being defended today in the War on Terror.

I celebrate this Independence Day with gratitude to our brave men and women who continue to protect our country. I hope you will join me in thanking our troops for defending us and protecting freedom throughout the world. It is because of the strong resolve of American soldiers that other nations now enjoy many of the same freedoms as we do.

On this Fourth of July, I am reminded of how truly diverse and dynamic the United States is and continues to be. Each year on July Fourth, Americans celebrate our independence and freedom with barbeques, picnics, parades and family gatherings.

In the words of our Second President John Adams, the celebration of the Independence Day holiday should be the “ great anniversary holiday. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, …… It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

We have a proud history of reaching out to others. Not always perfectly or consistently, but as a nation, more to feel good about than to regret. As the words state on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuge of your teeming shore. Send these the homeless, tempest tossed, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

This day is about so much more than enjoying time with family and friends at parades and picnics. Above all else, it is a time to celebrate the ideals that make our nation the envy of the entire world – a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

As we celebrate America’s birthday, it is my wish that Old Glory continues to fly proudly at home and throughout the world as a beacon of freedom and hope far into the future.
 

 

Air Quality

Late last month, California Air Resources Board members moved cautiously toward implementing the nation’s toughest clean-air standards by adopting measures that would eventually require cars and trucks to use alternative fuels such as ethanol and bio-diesel, restrict the use of some automobile air-conditioning refrigerants and force landfills to capture methane gas formed by rotting garbage.

The new low-carbon fuel standard, the control of do-it-yourself automotive refrigerants and use of more sophisticated landfill technology are mandated by last years wide-ranging AB 32 (California Global Warming Solutions Act).

Besides the three greenhouse gas rules passed last month, the state board is required to adopt 32 other measures designed to protect the climate by the start of 2010. Basically, these are the first steps in realizing the goals of AB 32 – to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

Tailpipe exhaust causes more than 40% of greenhouse emissions. California relies on petroleum-based fuels for 96% of its transportation fuel needs.

In June, both business and environmental groups raised concerns about strategies used to address climate change. The cautious approach to last month’s meeting was met with relief by a coalition of business groups. They have concerns about the availability of replacement fuels and whether the technology exists or will exist to make the required changes. Environmentalists expressed disappointment that CARB moved too slowly and was too tentative in their decisions. The CARB Board asked its staff to come back in six months with an analysis of concerns raised by the business and environmental groups.

As a member of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Air Quality Management District (AQMD), the other “two legs” of the air quality standards “stool”, I am concerned we are not moving fast enough to address the critically important air quality problem. I am concerned that we need to “marry” technology with changes that we will have to make on fuels composition that currently doesn’t exist. However, we can’t afford to wait until the last minute. At stake , especially in regards to particulate matter 2.5, the pollutant emmited by diesel exhaust, is the health of many Southern California residents. We are required to present an air quality enhancement to the federal government for their approval sooner rather than later. It’s much better that we make the desired changes ourselves rather than leaving it up to the federal government to do it for us or to us.
 
 
County 2007/08 Budget

To state the obvious, government is driven by the budget train. Everything we do is an effect of that reality. It is not a one shot deal, but is constantly being revised, updated and reviewed.

The County of San Bernardino’s 2007-08 budget covers the period from July1, 2007 – June 30, 2008. The budget consists of the general fund, restricted financing funds, capital project funds, special revenue funds and enterprise funds. The total budget, for that time period, is $3.4 billion dollars. Each County department is responsible for operating within their budget and they are held accountable for doing so.

The $3.4 billion dollars is an increase of 3.06% or $94.5 million dollars over last year’s budget. I am particularly pleased that the County Law and Justice Group budget increased by $40 million dollars. That includes the Sheriff-Coroner, Probation, District Attorney and Public Defender. The added funding will be used to maintain current programs and increase staffing. I am also pleased that we were able to increase funding for economic development.

The County has adopted a formal budget financing policy and a reserve and contingency policy. The County has a long conservative approach to budgeting making sure that we have adequate reserves. Some reserves are for specific purposes, such as to meet future known obligations or to build a reserve for capital projects. The general reserves are funds held to protect the County from unforeseen increases in expenditures or reductions in revenues, or other extraordinary events which would harm the fiscal health of the County.

In March of this year the Board approved the county’s initial financing plan. The budget was adopted at the Board meeting on June 26, 2007. The process was a work in progress from March until June 26 of this year and will be revisited from time to time to scrutinize and review the fiscal health of the County.
 

 
June Events
I held a Montclair Community Forum with help from representatives of the District Attorney, Montclair Police Department. County Assessor’s office and city officials including Mayor Paul Eaton. Some of the issues discussed included identity theft, elder abuse and property taxes. Over 80 residents attended the Forum.

I hosted, along with Chino City Council members and Mayor Pro Tem of Chino Hills, Curt Hagman, a senior citizens barbeque at the Chino Senior Citizens Center. Over 225 seniors enjoyed food, bingo and lots of prizes. Special thanks goes out to local merchants who generously provided prizes for the attendees. The barbeque has been held for the past nine years and increases in popularity every year.

In sponsorship, along with the County Economic Development Agency, I held a Youth Job Fair at Chaffey High School in Ontario. Over 650 students attended, 2,500 job applications were handed out and over 30 employers were there to help and counsel the attendees. It was a smashing success and will be repeated.

 
 
STAFF SPOTLIGHT
Curtis Compton
San Bernardino County
Department of Economic Development
Business Resource Representative

Curtis has worked with and been a member of the small business community for a number of years. That is where he learned the importance of customer service and managing small companies.

In 1996, Curtis came to work for the County of San Bernardino as an Elgibility Worker where he worked with needy families. Soon after, he became an employment Service Specialist helping people find jobs and helping perspective employees polish up their job hunting skills.

Currently, Curtis works for the County Department of Economic Development as a Business Resource Representative where he provides resource services in the areas of business attraction, expansion and retention. He is an active member of the Alliance for Education, California Employer’s Advisory Council and the Southern California Edison Ontario Energy Partnership.

On weekends, Curtis enjoys cycling throughout Southern California. He and his wife Rachel have been married for 20 years.

Curtis may be contacted at the County of San Bernardino’s West-End Business Resource Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

 
Economic Development

Celebrating America's Independence

Air Quality

County 2007/08 Budget

June Events

Staff Spotlight

County Logo

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

Chino District Office:
13160 7th Street
Chino, CA 91710 
(909) 465-1895

Staff Members:
Mark Kirk, Chief of Staff
Josh Candeleria, Deputy Chief of Staff
Anthony Riley, District Director
Roman Nava, Senior Field Rep
Grace Hagman, Community Outreach Specialist/ Field Rep
Naseem Farooqi, Constituent Services Repep
Burt Southard, Special Projects Coordinator
Joy Chadwick, Executive Analyst
Christy Ray, Executive Secretary
Annette Taylor, Executive Secretary