Each year, the California State Association of Counties holds a statewide competition (the Challenge Awards) to recognize the innovative and creative spirit of California county governments in finding new and effective ways to provide programs and services to their residents. This year, the County was honored to receive two prestigious Challenge Awards and three Merit Awards.

On Tuesday, December 7, 2010, at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting, Paul McIntosh, the Executive Director of CSAC, presented the County with two Challenge Awards to the Sheriff’s Department for Operation Medicine Cabinet and Recycle-a-Bicycle programs. CSAC also awarded three Merit Awards to the County Executive Office/Office of Emergency Services, General Services, and Planning and Development.

Awards were bestowed as follows:

2010 Challenge Awards

• “Operation Medicine Cabinet” was formed in response to rising prescription and over the counter medication abuse, pollution, and safety issues. The Sheriff’s Department formed partnerships with Public Works and neighboring cities to provide a safe and convenient way to dispose of household and other unwanted medications.

• The “Recycle-a-Bicycle” program provides refurbished abandoned bicycles to children in the community. The bikes are distributed through cooperating non-profit agencies after being refurbished by County Jail inmates.

Merit Awards

• “Radio Ready” is an Emergency Commercial Radio System. The County Office of Emergency Services worked with philanthropic groups and local commercial radio stations to purchase satellite phones for fail-safe communications with the EOC during emergencies.

• “EOC in a Box-Innovation is King”: During emergencies, County General Services- Information Technology delivered mobile ingenuity and reliability with its low-cost, low maintenance, life-saving solution known as “EOC in a Box.”

• “2010 Census Multimedia Communications Campaign”: The County Planning and Development Department developed a regional 2010 Census Multi-Media Communications Campaign targeting Hard-to-Count populations with English/Spanish Census outreach and information.

These programs were recognized for effectiveness and efficiency in program delivery and for the program’s ability to be recreated by other counties to achieve similar results.


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