Columnist – Supervisor Friend

Commenting on Commercial Cultivation of Cannabis

Commenting on Commercial Cultivation of Cannabis

By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District Over the last four years the Board of Supervisors has been working on policies around the dispensing and cultivation of medical cannabis. Creating a framework for medicinal sales (through local dispensaries) was the first thing addressed by ordinance a few years ago. While there have been updates to […]

County Changing Accessory Dwelling Unit Rules

County Changing Accessory Dwelling Unit Rules

By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District There is no question it is very difficult to afford housing in our county. One has to earn over $70,000 to afford the rent of a two-bedroom apartment locally and our median home prices are hovering around $850,000. While there are a number of factors that lead to […]

Winter Storm Damage Update

Winter Storm Damage Update

By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District Even though it’s been about six months since the last of the major winter storms, the County is working through the long-term impacts of the damage. Ultimately, 320 sites were damaged (including roads, parks, sanitation issues and the levee) causing over $129 million in damage. Public Works has […]

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 […]

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