MADERA COUNTY – At the regular Board meeting on Oct. 24, Madera County staff provided a quarterly progress report to the Board of Supervisors concerning operational priorities as identified at the annual management workshop in April.
The six priorities, which are in line with the newly adopted mission Creating a Countywide Culture of Excellence through Dedicated Public Service are Intergovernmental Relations, Public Safety, Water Resources, Road Maintenance, Marketing, and Tree Mortality.
Below are the updates provided to the Board by County Staff —
A first-of-a-kind joint meeting was held Sept. 30 between the County and cities of Madera and Chowchilla. The goal was to identify common areas of interest and collaboration opportunities to best serve the people of Madera County. Common interests included homelessness, centralized dispatch, regional economic development, and water allocation. The purpose of the coalition is to speak with one voice to the public and to state and federal representatives. As a result, a cooperative agreement between the three entities will be brought before each governing body for approval by year end. The joint meeting concluded with a golf tournament where a $300 donation was made to the Shunammite Place in the name of the Intergovernmental Coalition.
In addition to fire mitigation efforts this summer, County Fire is focusing on purchasing much-needed fire equipment, including an engine and two water tenders, and analyzing options for future fire station sites. The sheriff’s office has created a cadet program, is conducting Emergency Medical Service training, equipping patrol vehicles with electronic defibrillators and outfitting deputies with naloxone antidote. Special recognition was given to deputies who patrolled Bass Lake this summer because visitor totals doubled and no injury incidents were reported.
A comprehensive long-term water management plan is underway as well as funding requests to assist with well monitoring programs mandated by the state Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The Department of Water and Natural Resources remains engaged with local water agencies to identify projects and water supply opportunities throughout the county.
The goal of the Road Maintenance team is to develop a comprehensive county road maintenance plan that includes an evaluation and prioritization policy that will determine the scope and ongoing sequence of road maintenance projects. This will provide future benefits as funding becomes available.
With a focus on community outreach and engagement, a new concept was recommended to the board; the creation of a Public Information Team. The goal is to transform the Madera County image through marketing, branding, community outreach, and public relations. The team will improve how the county communicates and interacts with the public by increasing transparency. This team approach to public information sharing utilizes diverse skills, resources and networks and includes financial savings that would not be seen if a traditional Public Information Office approach was taken.
A Tree Mortality Leadership Committee (TMLC), comprised of local leadership and community partners, has been fighting for public land owner’s resources, working with state and federal agencies to maximize opportunities and communicating on-the-ground concerns while working across boundaries to maximize limited resources. Collectively, all TMLC members have secured millions of dollars and cut thousands of trees however, this is minor in comparison to the gravity of the issue.
The Board reaffirms their commitment to receiving quarterly updates from staff and tracking progress of the six priorities.
“The goal at the 2018 management workshop will be to develop a long-term strategic plan to best meet county priorities,” said County Administrative Officer Eric Fleming.