Posted by Julie Haff on Apr 18, 2018
Today's speaker was Carlos Palacios, Santa Cruz County Chief Administrative Officer.  Fifth District Supervisor Bruce McPherson was here to introduce Mr Palacios.
 
Bruce McPherson
 
Carlos Palacios
 
The Group
 
Minutes of Rotary Club of SLV
Apr 18, 2018
 
Members in attendance: Ken, Judy, Joe, Don, Janet, Julie, Mary, Joe, Cameron, Mike, Charlie, Karen, Don, Ralph, Carol, Bob, Jessica, Francezka, Scott, Sue, and Laurie.  Guests: Jim Mosher, Nancy Gerdt, Cindy Frobish, Cindy Sekkel, Justin Acton, Sheila Delaney, Bruce McPherson.
 
President Karen opened the meeting with the flag salute, introductions and the Thought for the Day. Sign-up start today for helping at the Redwood Mountain Fair. We have six scholarships applications for the two Rotary scholarships- stay after next week’s meeting to help with the selection.
 
Announcements:  Covered Bridge to protest gun violence on April 20 at 8:00 - 2:30. May 12 painting at Quail Hollow; June 23 Luxury Mountain Home Tour; Lacy J Dalton Apr 28; visit Interact on Tuesday’s at noon at SLVHS;
 
Guest speaker: Carlos Palacios, County Administrative Officer (CAO) of Santa Cruz County, with an introduction by Bruce McPherson
Carlos was the former city manager of Watsonville. He is an inclusive leader and is working to develop at strategic plan for the county. Carlos is a dedicated leader and encourages staff to be more involved in planning. Former Watsonville Rotarian and a member of the Board for the SC Community Foundation
 
Some of the departments of the County have strategic plans but the County does not. As Carlos started in his new role as CAO, he told the County Supervisors he would develop a county strategic plan. A strategic plan is a way to prioritize spending and helps involve the community in planning for the future.
2200 people responded to an online poll and the county held focus groups throughout the county. At the end of this planning process, there will be a multi- year strategic plan, a 2-year operations plan and a two-year budget.
 
Before the 1989 earthquake, there were 5,000 teamsters’ jobs in Watsonville in the food processing industry. In the 80s they started to lose those jobs to overseas and then the earthquake hit. Unemployment went from 11% to 36% and 30% of Watsonville housing was lost. The commercial core (downtown shopping) was also lost in the earthquake. One of the things Carlos did as City Manager was to develop a strategic plan to create jobs and economic development. The next thing they did was to develop an operations plan. They met with businesses to find out why they weren’t operating in Watsonville and they heard they didn’t feel the employee pool was well qualified. At that time, only 50% of the residents had a high school diploma (compared to 92% in Santa Cruz). Under the plan, the City worked with Cabrillo to build a Cabrillo College satellite campus in Watsonville to help with educational opportunities. The city also helped PVUSD build a third high school to help with the overcrowding. In the end, PV graduation rates increased and the City helped. Businesses moved to Watsonville and the City continues to grow their community.
 
Carlos took his work in the City and used it as a model in his new role in the County. From the surveys and focus groups, housing is identified as the number one issue in Santa Cruz County; transportation and water came in at number two and three.  The county is finalizing the strategic plan. There are new federal dollars coming in that will help support the plan. The County will also look at additional revenue measures.
 
Currently there is progress being made in water and measure D passed to help with roads and transportation. Housing continues to be an issue though there are some ideas being developed. Carlos left time for the questions and answers.
 
Detective: not today!
 
Drawing: Two weeks in a row—Karen’s number was pulled—but she liked the Ace of Clubs!
 
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30a.m.
 
Minutes respectfully submitted by J. Haff