Columnist – Supervisor Friend

County Facts and Budget Highlights

County Facts and Budget Highlights

By Zach Friend The Board of Supervisors recently completed our budget hearings and as part of the hearings we received reports from departments about their goals for the coming year based on Board priorities. I wanted to give you an overview of some of those goals for the coming fiscal year and also provide some […]



County Receives $21M Grant to Help Vulnerable Groups

County Receives $21M Grant to Help Vulnerable Groups

By Zach Friend Santa Cruz County’s Health Services Agency (HSA) received a nearly $21 million grant from the Whole Person Care Pilot grant program from the state. The grant program funds locally based initiatives that coordinate physical health, behavioral health, and social services for vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries who are high users of multiple health care […]



Previewing the 2017-18 County Budget

Previewing the 2017-18 County Budget

By Zach Friend County budget hearings begin on Monday, June 19 and last a little over a week, with night hearings in both Santa Cruz and Watsonville over that time. The Board of Supervisors is reviewing the $717 million budget, which constitutes an approximately 5.5 percent reduction in expenditures from last year, during these hearings. In […]



Helping Child Victims of Crime Through a New Approach

Helping Child Victims of Crime Through a New Approach

By Zach Friend In the last year a significant step was taken to protect our most vulnerable victims of crime: children. The Board of Supervisors supported the District Attorney Jeff Rosell’s efforts to create a Multi-Disciplinary Interview Team, or MDIT, and recently these efforts have culminated in a new home for this team in mid-county. […]



County Climate Action Strategy

County Climate Action Strategy

By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor 2nd District The Board of Supervisors adopted the Climate Action Strategy in 2013 to set goals and targets for the County in emissions reduction. It included a coordination of efforts between departments and annual reports to the Commission on the Environment and the Board of Supervisors – all […]



Understanding the New State Transportation Funding Bill

Understanding the New State Transportation Funding Bill

By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor 2nd District Recent storm events have caused approximately $100 million in local road damage on our unincorporated public roads. While the Board of Supervisors has declared multiple disasters and will receive state and federal funds to help repair much of the damage, there is still a local match that […]



Storm Damage: Valencia and More Seeing Repairs

Storm Damage: Valencia and More Seeing Repairs

By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor 2nd District The County recently topped $70 million in storm damage to public roads and infrastructure just in the unincorporated area. This number is expected to increase as there are still a number of sites that have reported damage but full engineering and cost estimates haven’t been completed […]



Storm Damage … And Our Next Steps

Storm Damage … And Our Next Steps

By Zach Friend The most recent storms have pushed damages in the County to over $30 million in damage to our local roads and infrastructure, causing some of the most significant challenges in recent memory. The Board of Supervisors declared a third emergency in as many months and has submitted requests to the state and […]



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