Columnist – Supervisor Friend

Addressing Local Homeless Issues

Addressing Local Homeless Issues

By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District Homelessness, including those living in insecure or inadequate shelter options, is a significant problem in our community. While much of the visible issue is concentrated in the cities of Santa Cruz and Watsonville it is an issue that impacts the entire county. According to the most recent Santa […]

Preparing for Winter Rains

Preparing for Winter Rains

By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District As we head into the rainy season it’s always good to do some advance preparations for your home or business. Last year’s wet winter caused over $129 million in damage to public roads and facilities in the unincorporated county. Even though great strides have been made to repair […]

Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan

Santa Cruz County Strategic Plan

By Zach Friend, County Supervisor 2nd District There is no question that the Santa Cruz County of today is different than it was 30 years ago and we know that some elements will be different 30 years from now than they are today. How do we invest in the current and future needs of the […]

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 […]

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