County of San Diego
Awards & Recognition
Fiscal Year 2007-2008
During Fiscal Year 2007-08, the County of San Diego again received numerous awards
and recognition from local, state and national organizations, as well as by a variety of
industry, civic and professional organizations, for excellence and innovation. Three of
the more high-profile awards are described below, with a comprehensive list of all other
recognition following, listed by County business group.
SD County Wins Taxpayers Association’s Grand Golden Watchdog Award
On May 29, the County received the San Diego Taxpayers Association’s Golden
Watchdog Award for its AlertSanDiego mass notification system. The Watchdog
Award program honors agencies that exemplify efficient use of tax-dollars.
Capable of reaching 1.1 million households in San Diego within three hours, the internet-
based AlertSanDiego program uses email, text and phone messages to circulate
emergency information countywide. After a one-time cost of $230,000 and an estimated
annual cost of $4,000, the County no longer carries the overhead expenses of servers,
phones, and maintenance. During the 2007 firestorms, San Diego County used its newly
implemented AlertSanDiego program to circulate emergency information to 500,000
San Diego County Leads Nation in NACo Recognition for 4th Year
San Diego County received 39 Achievement Awards from the National Association of
Counties (NACo) in June - more than any other U.S. county for the fourth year in a row.
Other counties that participated in this annual program included Los Angeles County,
which won 23 Achievement Awards, and Maricopa County, which won 17 awards.
Each year, NACo reviews county programs across the country and recognizes those
that are particularly innovative. The San Diego County programs recognized this year
span all five County business groups and include such diverse programs as Records
Management: Revamped and Revised; Healthy Home/Healthy Garden; Miracle Field
and Child Support’s Cell Phone Interface Project.
Several programs that addressed challenges presented by the 2007 wildfires were also
recognized, including the Assessor’s Relief for Fire Victims; Firestorm 2007 Rapid
Community Response, Rebuilding Workshops and Erosion Control; the Farm & Home
Advisor’s Wildfire Zone and the County’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
(Complete list of winning programs attached)
CSAC Recognizes Innovative Youth & Intergenerational Programs
The California State Association of Counties (CSAC) recognized two San Diego County
Health and Human Services programs with Merit Awards in August 2007. The programs,
Tutor Connection and Intergenerational Games, were selected from over 260 entries.
The CSAC awards program recognizes programs that demonstrate leadership,
innovation, collaboration and successful results and that can be used as models by other
Community Services Group DGS Fleet Management Did it Again!
For the third time in three years, San Diego County’s
Fleet Management division of General Services
placed in the top five in the 100 Best Fleets in North America competition sponsored by
Government Fleet Magazine. Placing fourth in this year’s competition, General Services’
Fleet Management has demonstrated the ability to sustain excellence.
The program is in its third year, and recognizes public fleet organizations that excel in a
variety of areas including: accountability, use of technology, collaboration, creativity,
celebration, competitive pricing, staff development and resource stewardship. In
addition, they evaluate organizations on having a high-trust culture, performance
recognition, doing the job right the first time and providing a quick and efficient
General Services Receives Award of Excellence for Facilities
The California Counties Facilities Services Association (CCFSA) chose the San Diego
County Department of General Services to receive their 2007 Award of Excellence. The
award is given annually to counties and cities that demonstrate dedication to facility
excellence through best practices, process innovation, staff development and
department automation. Out of the 58 CCFSA member counties and cities, only nine
were honored with this award at the quarterly meeting, held in February.
P&C Continues Winning Streak with 7th Achievement of Excellence Award
In 2007, the San Diego County Department of Purchasing and Contracting received its
seventh consecutive Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award from the
National Purchasing Institute.
The National Purchasing Institute established this program in 1995 to recognize
organizational excellence in public procurement. The award is earned by those
organizations who demonstrate excellence in innovation, professionalism, productivity,
e-procurement and leadership. The evaluation criteria changes annually to keep pace
with technology and innovative practices.
The award is sponsored by the National Purchasing Institute, the California Association
of Public Purchasing Officers, the Institute for Supply Management, the Florida
Association of Public Purchasing Officers, the National Institute of Governmental
Purchasing, the National Association of State Procurement Officials and the National
Association of Educational Buyers. Associate sponsors include the Airport Purchasing
Group, the Texas Purchasing Management Association, the Innovation Groups and U.S.
County Cited by Urban Land Institute for Smart Growth
The Urban Land Institute of San Diego/Tijuana (ULI) nominated the County Operations
Center (COC) Campus Redevelopment Project for a Smart Growth Award. The Project
consolidates departments and functions from nine locations into a new COC campus,
comprising six four-story, steel-frame buildings of approximately 150,000 square feet
each, a 20,000-square-foot conference center with food services, a new central plant
and two multi-level parking structures.
ULI defines smart growth as, “Development that is economically sound, environmentally
friendly and supportive of community livability.” ULI has more than 47,000 members
internationally and 855 in the San Diego region.
County Library Received 2008 NACo “Acts of Caring” Award
The County Library’s L.E.A.R.N./Laubach ESL Program is one of 18 programs selected
by the National Association of Counties (NACo) as a recipient of a 2008 Acts of Caring
Awards. Acts of Caring Awards recognize the top county volunteer programs in the
country. The award ceremony was held in April on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The program is a partnership between the Library’s adult literacy program, L.E.A.R.N.
(Libraries Empower All to Read Now), and the Laubach Literacy Council of San Diego
County. Through this partnership, volunteer tutors are trained to teach English as a
Second Language (ESL) to adult immigrants and non-English speakers in the County
Library branches. By the end of its first year, 25 volunteer tutors were teaching 76
students at 6 library branches. Classes have been added at the branches in Casa de
Oro, San Marcos and Encinitas.
Library Received National “Library of the Future” Award
The American Library Association (ALA) selected the Library’s Gateway/Al Bawaba
Project as the winner of the 2008 ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future
Award. This annual national award honors the library that has developed the most
innovative customer training program for information technology.
The Gateway Project was developed to allow Middle Eastern immigrants to utilize the
Library’s free computer classes in their native Arabic language. Arabic-speaking
instructors were trained to lead a series of eight-week long, free computer classes in
three library branches (El Cajon, Casa de Oro and Rancho San Diego). The project was
named “Gateway” (“Al Bawaba” in Arabic), as the public library is a gateway to learning,
literacy, education and enlightenment. The Gateway Project was funded through a
federal Library Services and Technology Act grant administered by the California State
Government Finance Officers Cite
Finance and General Government Group
County Budget & Finance
Documents for Excellence
The Government Finance Officers Association has recognized two key County finance
documents for excellence.
The County’s 2007-08/2008-09 Operational Plan has received the “Distinguished Budget
Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United
States and Canada (GFOA). The GFOA calls the award a significant achievement by
the County and said it “reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to
meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.” To earn the award, the
County had to satisfy a set of rigorous, nationally-recognized guidelines for effective
budget presentation and to demonstrate how well the Operational Plan serves as a
policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.
The County also received notice that the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial
Report (CAFR) for FY 06-07 was selected to receive a “Certificate of Achievement for
Excellence in Financial Reporting” from the GFOA. This achievement is the highest form
of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment
represents a significant accomplishment for the County.
County Wins 1st Place in the 2008 Digital Counties Survey
San Diego County was ranked number one in the Digital Counties Survey by the Center
for Digital Government. The Center for Digital Government recognizes counties using
information technology in increasingly innovative ways and improving service to their
The Survey is an annual study by the Center and the National Association of Counties
(NACo). Thousands of US counties were invited to participate and
the questions included more than 100 measurements and data points about online
service delivery, infrastructure, architecture and governance models.
DHR Director named Human Resources Professional of the Year
The San Diego Business Journal held their first annual event on June 18, recognizing
outstanding Human Resources Professionals in San Diego, as nominated by their
employees, employers and clients. Carlos Arauz, Director of the Department of Human
Relations was selected as the 2008 HR Professional of the Year honoree in the
The award is based on a number of measures including career success, community
involvement and contributions to the County’s growth and effectiveness. Some of the
County programs highlighted were Work Safe/Stay Healthy (WSSH), the Workforce
Academy of Youth (WAY) and the new Learning Management System (LMS).
County Counsel Attorneys Recognized
In April, nine County Counsel attorneys received Statewide Recognition Awards from the
County Counsels’ Association of California - the largest number of awardees from any of
the 58 counties.
Thomas Bunton, Senior Deputy County Counsel received the Outstanding Appellate
Practice Award which annually honors successful litigation of a court of appeal case that
is the most significant and beneficial to counties statewide. This award is given to only
one attorney in California each year. Tom earned the award for his successful litigation
of Fantasyland Video, Inc. v. County of San Diego in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Ninth Circuit affirmed San Diego County's comprehensive regulatory and licensing
ordinance governing adult businesses in a ruling that provides substantial benefits to
Additionally, William Johnson, Deborah McCarthy, Nate Northup and John Sansone
received Recognition Awards for their accomplishments that benefited counties and/or
the Association. Katharine Bird, David Brodie, Ellen Pilsecker and Paula Roach
received Amicus Brief Litigation Awards for significant assistance in the preparation of
amici curiae briefs to be filed on behalf of the California State Association of Counties
(CSAC) in courts of appeal and the California Supreme Court.
CTN Honored at Government Emmys
The County Television Network (CTN) swept the competition at the annual Star Awards
of the States of California & Nevada Chapter of the National Association of
Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SCAN NATOA). Presented at the Annual
Conference in Santa Monica, the Star Awards recognize excellence in government
CTN won the award for Overall Excellence in the large channel category, beating out the
City of Las Vegas and the City of Santa Monica – a perennial powerhouse. This honor
makes CTN the best government TV channel in California and Nevada for 2008.
CTN also picked up numerous first, second and third-place awards for a variety of
programs, including first place in the Training category for the County’s General
Management System video. In all, the County garnered more awards than any other
Emmy-Winning CTN Scores Six Awards
In June, 2008 the County Television Network (CTN) won six Emmys during the National
Academy of Arts and Sciences’ 34th Annual Pacific Southwest Emmy Awards. CTN,
competing against traditional and government stations from Santa Barbara to Las
Vegas, took home Emmys in the following categories:
• Visual and Performing Arts: Java Jams - The Wrong Trousers, Andy Tolley
• Program Feature Segment: The Muralist, Joe Solazzo
• Public/Current/Community Affairs: County Chronicles November 2007, Michael
• Advanced Media – Public/Current/Community Affairs: How To Manage Manure,
Suzanne Bartole Owen
• Documentary – Topical: Conflict, Unity and Love: The TKF Story, Kenneth
KenBow (CTN grant recipient)
• Advanced Media – Informational/Instructional: General Management System,
Michael Russo, Suzanne Bartole Owen
CTN provides a wide array of government and public interest programming 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. Cox subscribers can find CTN on Channel 19 in the north and
Channel 24 in the south. Time-Warner viewers in the city of San Diego can find CTN on
Digital Cable channel 124. For non-Digital Cable subscribers, CTN is now on Channel
24, but must share the channel with other government jurisdictions.
County Media Staff Win 14 Video Industry Awards
The Department of Media and Public Relations (DMPR), County Television Network
(CTN) was awarded 14 awards at the National Association of Telecommunications
Officers & Advisors (NATOA) conference, held earlier this month in Portland Oregon.
The highlight of the event was the receipt of an Honorable Mention in the category of
Large Staff Overall Excellence – ranking CTN as fourth or fifth nationwide for overall
excellence. In addition, awards received included four First Place awards, four Second
and Third Place awards and Honorable Mentions for four additional programs.
Programs awarded First Place honors include: “Count Me In: The Voting Process in San
Diego County” – Profile of a City/County Dept. (over $400k); “Sam the Cooking Guy” –
Innovative Program; “Don’t Fall for It” – Seniors; “Don’t Mess with Asbestos” – Public
CTN also received second and third place plaques for the following programs: “Down to
Earth” – Magazine Format Series (over $400K); “History Channel at a County Park” –
Ethnic Experience; “Feeling Fit Club” – Seniors; “Count Me In” – Election Coverage;
“Discovery Kits” – Profile of a City/County Dept. (over $400k).
County Annual Report Selected for Communicators Award
The County’s 2007 Annual Report received a Silver Communicator Award of Distinction
in the Government category from the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA) in
May. The report, which is produced annually for County residents by the Department of
Media & Public Relations, highlights major activities carried out each year and lets
residents know how the County is using their tax dollars. It is posted on the County
website at http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/cao/docs/annualreport.pdf.
With over 9,000 entries received this year from across the US and world, the
Communicator Award is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring
creative excellence for communications professionals. The IAVA, which sponsors and
judges the competition, is an invitation-only body of leading communication
Health and Human Services HHSA Receives 2007 Digital Government
On September 13, the Health and Human Services
Agency (HHSA) won a 2007 Digital Government Achievement Award for utilizing web
technology to manage outside service referrals. The Digital Government Achievement
Award is a national program that recognizes outstanding agency and department web
sites and applications that enhance information interactions, transactions and services.
The e-Referral system allows all outside agencies that refer clients to HHSA programs
(police, hospitals, etc.) to use a standardized, web-enabled referral process, eliminating
duplicative entries while ensuring secure, fast and efficient referrals in compliance with
This is a complete transformation from a non-standard, paper-based referral system to a
standard electronic based referral system. This improved the agency’s efficiency and
productivity in providing services to the client and businesses.
Mobile Remote Workforce Project Wins EHealthcare Leadership Award
With over 1,200 entries competing for this honor, San Diego County HHSA was picked
as one of only 15 agencies to receive an EHealthcare Leadership Award at the 11th
Annual Healthcare Internet Conference in November 2007.
The award recognizes leading healthcare organizations that use the Internet and
technology to help achieve business objectives and mission. The Mobile Remote
Workforce, which empowered public health nurses in the field to cut red tape, reduce
inefficiency and serve more clients, has received a number of health and technology
awards since its launch in 2006.
San Pasqual Academy Receives National Praise
In June of 2008, the San Pasqual Academy Neighbors (SPAN) intergenerational
mentoring program was officially honored as the recipient of the first Intergenerational
Shared Site Best Practices Award from Generations United and the MetLife Foundation.
Along with a certificate, the SPAN program received a $2,500 cash award and will be
highlighted in a report to be released at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.
The application was a joint venture between the SPAN Program, Aging and Independent
Services and Child Welfare Services. The SPAN program has 13 grandparents who
give their time and energy to the youth at the Academy. The grandparents impact the
lives of the youth by sharing their interests and expertise with the kids.
County Recognized as Public Health and EMS “Model Community”
Public Health Services received one of five national Model Community awards from the
Terrorism Injuries: Information, Dissemination and Exchange (TIIDE) program of the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award recognized the County’s
integration of Public Health and Emergency Medical Services, including the development
and institutionalizing of methods of collaboration and communication between traditional
and nontraditional partners to better protect the community in a mass casualty event.
The recognition was particularly meaningful because selections were made by the TIIDE
member agencies including the American Medical Association, American College of
Surgeons, American Trauma Society and the National Association of Emergency
Medical Services Physicians.
“Food for Thought” Senior Program Takes National Award
The County Library and Aging and Independence Services were jointly recognized for
their innovative “Food for Thought” program held at the Vista Branch Library. The 2007
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Aging Achievement Award, recognized
this County program which features an hour of physical activity coupled with a nutritious
lunch. The program targets seniors who might otherwise become socially isolated.
“Food for Thought” also received a NACo Achievement Award during the past year.
Legacy Corps Intergenerational Program Wins Award
The MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A)
selected Legacy Corps San Diego to receive the 2007 Older Volunteers Enrich
America’s Award of Excellence in Older Volunteer Program Management. Legacy Corp
matches seniors and at-risk youth they mentor, to clients and their caregivers, allowing a
much needed respite break for the caregiver.
The Legacy Corps received $2,500 to support the work of the program and shared its
best practices with other agencies at an N4A-hosted teleconference in December.
This important program also won a NACo Achievement Award during FY 2007-08.
San Pasqual Academy Neighbors (SPAN) Program Wins Intergenerational Award
Generations United and the MetLife Foundation selected San Pasqual Academy
Neighbors (SPAN) intergenerational mentoring program for their first Intergenerational
Shared Site Best Practices Award. In addition to receiving a $2,500 cash award, SPAN
was highlighted in a report by the National Press Club in Washington D.C.
The application was a joint venture between the SPAN Program, San Diego County
Aging and Independence Services (AIS) and San Diego County Child Welfare Services.
With this award, New Alternatives, in partnership with AIS, now has two recognized,
award winning intergenerational programs, Legacy Corps and SPAN. Both programs
connect seniors and youth through mentoring.
Generations United is a renowned nationwide organization that focuses on
intergenerational programs. Only three programs nationally received this honor.
HHSA Exec Receives Local Technology Award
Jerry Coleman, Group Information Technology Manager for the County’s Health and
Human Services Agency (HHSA) was a finalist for the Annual Technology Executives of
the Year award presented in April 2008 by the San Diego Business Journal and Cox
Business. Coleman was also featured in the April 28 issue of the San Diego Business
Aguirre Named “Mental Health Person of the Year”
The County’s Director of Mental Health Services, Alfredo Aguirre has been selected the
2008 “Mental Health Person of the Year” by a panel of representatives from the mental
health stakeholder community. This prestigious annual award was presented at the
22nd Annual Mental Health Recognition Dinner in May.
Among his many accomplishments, Aguirre was lauded for his efforts to implement
Mental Health Services Act (Prop. 63) programs, his state-level work with cultural
competency and suicide prevention, along with his accessibility and responsiveness to
the mental health community.
County’s HHSA East Region Staff Honored at Annual STARS Awards Ceremony
In April 2008, East Region HHSA employees were honored with three STARS awards at
the Annual STARS Breakfast and Community Forum, hosted by the San Diego County
Commission on Children, Youth and Families, First 5 San Diego, and the United Way.
The awards received were in the categories of Health Care, Education and Social
Laura Carter, East Region HealthLink Public Health Nurse serving at-risk families, was
recognized for her quality work, commitment and passion to improving the health and
protection of East County children and assisting women who have been involved in
domestic violence. Dennis Leggett, East Region Child Welfare Services (CWS)
Educational Liaison, was recognized for his collaborative work with East County schools
that helped smooth the way educationally for foster kids in East County.
Neighborhoods for Kids, the East Region CWS service delivery model, was awarded the
Social Services STARS Award. Neighborhoods for Kids partnered with East County
schools and other local stakeholders to ensure East County children are surrounded by
familiar people and places that encourage them to thrive.
Other individuals and organizations received awards in the areas of Behavioral Health,
Youth and Family Leadership, Law Enforcement and Domestic Violence Prevention.
County Recognized for Reducing Use of ER Resources by Chronic Alcoholics
The County’s Serial Inebriate Program (SIP) was selected to receive a state award in
June 2008 for reducing the use of public resources by chronic alcoholics. The award,
which was for Outstanding Achievements in the Alcohol and Drug field, was sponsored
by the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrator’s Association of California.
The County’s SIP program was established in 2000 by city police and county health staff
to help people in need receive treatment and save taxpayers money, by diverting clients
to appropriate treatment and medical care. Other SIP participant agencies include the
County’s EMS, San Diego City Attorney, County Sheriff, Public Defender office, Superior
Court, Scripps Mercy Hospital, UCSD Medical Center, the U.S. Department of HUD and
various community-based treatment providers and sober living environments.
Land Use and Environment Group Stormwater PSA wins 3 Emmy Awards
A regionally-funded public service
announcement (PSA) by the County and its
regional stormwater partners received three Emmys awarded by the National Academy
of Television Arts & Sciences - Pacific Southwest Chapter in June. The PSA titled, "Ants
in Your Plants?" was recognized in the categories of Direction of a Pre-Produced Spot,
Public Service Announcement and Cinematography.
The goal of “Ants in Your Pants?” is to raise awareness about not overusing pesticides
to kill ants because doing so can harm the environment, especially the water supply.
Spraying pesticides will only kill ants at the surface and not the whole colony.
The County assumed the lead for this work and entered into an agreement with the City
of San Diego, under their Think Blue Program, to hire American Dream Cinema, a
production company. Michele Stress provided the guideline and edited the PSA with
information from the Farm and Home Advisor.
ALERT Program Wins Operational Excellence Award
The County received an Operational Excellence Award for its Automatic Local
Evaluation in Real-Time (ALERT) program. The award, presented by the National
Hydrologic Warning Council, recognizes Public Works’ management of the storm
warning system and effort to work with Mexico in developing a similar system that allows
sharing real-time rain data and other climatological information used to create weather
The ALERT system is used nationally by various federal, state and local agencies. San
Diego County’s system is comprised of over 100 rain and stream gauges placed
throughout the County. The County’s ALERT system has been an important resource to
help the Office of Emergency Services determine when and where reverse 9-1-1 calls
should be made to warn residents when rainfall rates reach levels that could potentially
trigger debris flows (i.e. mudslides), following the October 2007 wildfires.
Rabies Detection Program Recognized For Excellence
The County’s Rabies Detection Program received accolades at the World Rabies Day
Conference sponsored by the Center for Disease Control. The unique partnership
between the San Diego County Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab and the County Public
Health Lab has resulted in the most comprehensive rabies monitoring and prevention
program in the state and serves as a model for other jurisdictions.
Rabies testing in the county is not limited to suspect animals that have bitten or exposed
a person but also encompasses potentially rabid pets and wildlife. More than 80% of
positive rabies cases had no reported human exposure. This proactive approach
increases our knowledge of the prevalence of rabies in the county and the risk to people
and other animals.
Cartographic Unit Recognized for Design Excellence
Department of Public Works (DPW) Cartographic Unit assisted the Farm and Home
Advisor program with the creation of a bilingual poster, "Stop Aquatic Invaders on Our
Coast!/Detenga el Transporte de Especies Invasoras Acuaticas en Nuestras Costas!"
This poster recently received awards from two organizations:
• Award of Excellence in the 2007 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence (One-
of-a-Kind Print Publications category). The nineteenth annual APEX Competition
was open to communicators in corporate, nonprofit and independent settings.
Nearly 5000 entries were received in a variety of categories.
• Award of Distinction in the 13th Annual Communicator Awards (Print Media
Outdoor/Environmental category). The Annual Communicator competition is an
international program, recognizing excellence in the communication field.
This poster was entered into these competitions by University of California Davis’
Cooperative Extension Sea Grant Program, and according to Ms. Leigh Johnson, Marine
Advisor, “I am confident that the excellence of the design work by Steve Jonas,
Cartographer, and his team at the County of San Diego’s Department of Public Works,
played a significant role in the poster's ability to win these recognitions.”
Parks & Recreation Receives Environmental Resources Document Award
The Department of Parks and Recreation’s Ramona Grasslands Preserve Area Specific
Management Directives (ASMDs) received the Outstanding Environmental Resources
Document award from the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) San Diego
Chapter. The award honors environmental documents which can serve as a resource
for a wide range of environmental professionals.
The goal of the Ramona Grasslands Preserve ASMDs is to balance preservation of the
natural biological and cultural resources in the Preserve, while aligning with the
management strategies of the North County Multiple Species Conservation Program. In
addition to preservation, the County is committed to providing passive recreation
opportunities within the Preserve that further the development of the Coast to Crest Trail.
Public Works Assn Honors Miracle Field as “Project of the Year”
The Department of Parks and Recreation received a "Project of the Year Award" from
the American Public Works Association (APWA) for the Miracle Field at San Dieguito
Park. The award was granted based on the exemplary collaborative effort that took
place between the County and the community, in order to make the Miracle Field a
reality. The field opened in May and is southern California’s first fully accessible
Park’s Recreation Program Manager Garner’s National Award
Jason Hemmens, Recreation Program Manager in the Department of Parks and
Recreation, was awarded the Outstanding Young Professional Award from the National
Recreation and Park Association’s Pacific Southwest Regional Council at the 2008
California and Pacific Southwest Recreation and Park Training Conference in Long
Beach in February, 2008. The award recognizes professionals, 35 years or younger,
who “have consistently given outstanding service to the park, recreation and
conservation movement” and “whose efforts will ensure that high quality leisure
opportunities and benefits will be provided to the community in the years ahead
Park & Recreation Facility, Staff Recognized with Multiple State-wide Honors
The Department of Parks and Recreation was honored with numerous awards at the
recently held 2008 California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) Conference held in
February. The Miracle Field, the first Southern California baseball field designed to
provide recreational opportunities for children with special needs, received the Award of
Excellence for Facility Design. The Field opened in May 2007 and is located in San
Parks Online Camping Reservation System Recognized
The San Diego County Parks & Recreation Department’s on-line camping reservation
system was recognized in May 2008 by the San Diego County Taxpayers’ Association
with an “It’s About Time” award, which showcases programs that SDCTA thinks more
people should know about.
The online reservation system, which has been in operation for 4 years, allows campers
to reserve campsites from the comfort of their home or office, any time of the day or
night. Reservations can be made up to a year in advance. The website also offers
photos and detailed descriptions of available campsites, online directional mapping and
secure payment options. While the program required an initial $50,000 investment, it
saves $3,000 per year in operating costs and utilizes an outside service provider, saving
$110,000 in server maintenance.
Camp Lockett Historic Park Plan Garners ASLA Award
The Camp Lockett Historic Park Concept Plan, which was created by the Department of
Parks and Recreation, was selected for a Merit Award by the San Diego Chapter of the
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). This plan is an outstanding
manuscript showing the potential for the significant historic park.
Camp Lockett is noteworthy for its direct and important associations with historic and
cultural patterns significant in American History. Many original buildings remain and
contribute to the historic feeling of the future park. Funding for the project was provided
by $150,000 of District 2 Community Project funds.
Goodan Ranch Center Continues to Garner Awards
County Parks and Recreation staff accepted the following awards for the County’s new
Goodan Ranch Center, which opened to the public in September of 2007. The $1.5
million dollar project was funded by County insurance proceeds from the Cedar Fire and
includes ranger facilities, an exhibit room, public restrooms and a meeting hall.
• SDG&E Sustainable Communities Champion - This award was designed to
encourage sustainable development. The program promotes green building design
practices in SDG&E’s service area and provides incentives for qualified projects that
greatly exceed the California Energy Efficiency Standards and obtain LEED®
certification. Goodan Ranch Center is 48.3% more energy efficient than is required
by Title 24 and is expected to obtain LEED® “Silver” and possibly “Gold” certification
• SANDEE (San Diego Excellence in Energy) Special Achievement in Energy by a
Government Agency - This award recognizes outstanding projects and activities that
have achieved significant energy savings and/or contributions toward the goals of the
San Diego Regional Energy Strategy 2030 through the implementation of energy
efficiency, energy conservation, renewable energy measures and CO2 reduction in
San Diego County. Building Materials used in Goodan Ranch Center contain high-
recycled content and the cement alone avoided an equivalent of 129 tons of CO2
The Goodan Ranch Center also received the California Parks & Recreation Society
(CPRS) Achievement Award for Facility Design and Planning. This award is presented
annually by peers for one regional park project that effectively integrates active public
involvement in the planning and design of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly
park facilities to satisfy the needs of the community.
Ramona Grasslands Preserve Award
The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) received the 2008 Outstanding
Environmental Resource Document award from the State Association of Environmental
Professionals (AEP) for the Ramona Grasslands Preserve Area Specific Management
Directives (ASMDs). The ASMDs document establishes biological, water quality and
cultural goals for an effective program to maintain and restore the grasslands.
In September 2007, DPR, along with its partners, won the local San Diego AEP Chapter
award in the same category. DPR anticipates opening the Ramona Grasslands
Preserve to the public for passive recreation, including multi-use trails, in summer 2009.
County Parks Program Recognized by Governor’s Council on Fitness
San Diego County’s Outdoor Adventure Program, which was developed and is operated
by the Department of Parks and Recreation, won a Bronze medal from the Governor’s
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Spotlight Award.
County Parks Staff Win Honors from State Parks & Recreation Society
San Diego County Parks and Recreation staff received several accolades at the 2008
awards and installation banquet for California Parks and Recreation Society District XII.
Specifically, Supervising Ranger Marla Barlow received an Award of Achievement for
Outstanding Performance and Parks staffer Sylvia Bugiel received a Citation of
Achievement for Outstanding Performance.
Woodside Detention Basin Garners Local Award
The Water Quality Basin at Woodside Avenue in Lakeside received the American Public
Works Association (APWA) Award for Environmental Project of the Year at the
September 13, 2007 San Diego chapter meeting.
This water quality basin, which was completed earlier this year, provides treatment to
urban runoff from the surrounding community. Flows from the basin discharge into Los
Coches Creek which in turn confluences with the San Diego River. The basin will help
prevent pollutants within the urban runoff from entering these downstream waterways.
Public Works to Receive Five Awards from ASCE
On May 17, 2008, the San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE) recognized the County’s Department of Public Works and their consultants for
Water Quality Basin at Woodside Avenue – Outstanding Project
This Lakeside project exemplifies the water quality benefits that can be obtained with
limited space in an urban environment. This is the third award given to this project. In
addition to providing water quality treatment, this basin reduced flood risks from small
storms by detaining stormwater runoff.
2007 Firestorm–Emergency Flood/Erosion Protection Project – Award of Excellence
This award is for efforts by the County to address potential erosion resulting from the
October 2007 wildfires. To protect homes and roads, Watershed Protection staff was
instrumental in assessing sites and implementing erosion control measures over 500
acres of charred land. The project was completed less than two months after the
October 2007 fires.
Wildcat Canyon Road Improvements – Award of Excellence
This project was designed to improve the operational safety of the road, provide safe
wildlife/equestrian under road crossings, relieve current traffic congestion issues and
minimize effects of potential increases in traffic volume. The project constructed turn
lanes at the intersection with Muth Valley Road, an equestrian tunnel and under-road
animal crossings. One challenge was to have two lanes open throughout construction,
while maintaining existing drainage. Wildcat Creek flows east to west through the
project area and had to be routed across the road using a 750-foot pipe. This project
was completed in November 2007.
State Route (SR) 54 & 94 Widening – Award of Excellence
This Rancho San Diego project widened portions of SR 54 & SR 94 from four lanes to
six lanes and included bike lanes in both directions. To provide the most effective
median treatments for the community, the County, through coordination with Caltrans,
the local community planning group, and the Water Conservation Garden Group,
developed a context sensitive landscape design consistent with xeriscape concepts. By
landscaping Jamacha Road medians utilizing xeriscaping and careful plant selection, an
appealing median landscaping model for the County was established that requires
minimal to no irrigation or maintenance. This project was completed in October 2007.
Central Avenue Flood Control Improvements – Award of Merit
This project provided 100-year flood protection for a neighborhood in Bonita. An
undersized natural channel and a triple box culvert with an awkward entry angle
contributed to a history of flooding along Central Avenue. With the help of a $3 million
FEMA grant, the County was able to construct one of the largest flood control facilities in
the unincorporated county. Residents were provided with a bi-weekly newsletter and
toll-free hotline to receive up-to-date information on contractor activities and the project
work schedule. The flood protection provided by this project removed 26 homes from
the 100-year flood inundation area, will result in fewer road closures and improved public
safety for residents and motorists. Construction was completed in January 2008.
County Planning Documents Recognized for Excellence
The San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use was recognized during
2007-2008 by the San Diego Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA),
when it received a 1st Place Planning Excellence for Best Practice Award for its
development of the County’s Guidelines for Determining Significance (Guidelines) and
Report Format & Content Requirements (Report Format).
The American Planning Association also selected the County’s Low Impact
Development Handbook for an “Honorable Mention.”
DPW’s “Healthy Garden-Healthy Home” Garners Award
The Department of Public Work’s (DPW) Watershed Protection Program and UC
Cooperative Extension’s “Healthy Garden-Healthy Home” program was awarded the
2007 Integrated Pest Management Innovator Award from the California Department of
The award ceremony honored California organizations that emphasize pest prevention
and favor least-hazardous pest control and allowed for organizations to share their
successful strategies with others. The “Healthy Garden-Healthy Home” program is an
element of the County’s outreach and education for the Project Clean Water Program.
The award-winning program is a partnership between DPW’s Watershed Protection
Program and the UC Cooperative Extension. Watershed Protection staff has been
working with the UC Cooperative Extension to increase awareness about the harmful
effects of pesticide pollution in receiving waters, encourage proper use and disposal of
pesticides among residential users and provide regionally consistent Integrated Pest
Management education that can lead to the adoption of positive behaviors.
Public Safety Group County Receives Emergency Management Accreditation
In September of 2007, the County Office of Emergency
Services (OES) received accreditation from the Emergency
Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) Commission – making San Diego County
the first state or local agency in California to receive EMAP accreditation and one of only
14 nationwide. The accreditation recognizes the region’s ability to prepare for and
respond to disasters.
The accreditation process requires agencies to have all elements of emergency
management in place and up to standard, including all 58 national emergency
management program standards. OES began the accreditation process in October
As part of the EMAP accreditation process, San Diego County was also recognized for
using Best Practices for our Public Awareness Campaign and Continuity of Operations
Plans. EMAP plans to feature these programs on its website and share them with other
agencies as examples of excellence in the field of public safety and emergency
Office of Emergency Services Receives Honor for Programs
In October, the Office of Emergency Services’ (OES) “Preparedness Starts with You
Campaign” won the International Association of Emergency Managers’ (IAEM) Partners
in Preparedness Award. The award honors programs that demonstrate innovative and
multi-participant involvement between local government and the community to enhance
Additionally, the “Preparedness Starts with You Campaign” received third place in
IAEM’s Public Awareness Award, which recognizes public awareness programs in local
OES Wins Award for WebEOC
In April, the Office of Emergency Services (OES) received the Catalyst Award, a
WebEOC Community Group award granted by the WebEOC User Advisory Council.
The award, given to agencies that demonstrate outstanding regional WebEOC
integration, sharing of data, or user group formation, was presented at the WebEOC
Users Conference in Boston.
WebEOC is a software program that OES utilizes to link local, state, federal, volunteer,
and private sources together, to help facilitate coordination and decision-making during
an emergency. WebEOC was heavily used with great success during the October 2007
Department of Child Support Receives Collaboration Award
In September of 2007, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) was awarded
the Child Support Directors Association of California (CSDA) “Positive Collaboration
Award.” The award was presented to DCSS Director Jeff Grissom at CSDA’s annual
conference and was one of only eight bestowed statewide. DCSS won the award for
their collaborative effort in working with the State, cell phone companies and the
National Cell Phone Workgroup in implementation of the pilot Cell Phone Project.
The Cell Phone Project, launched in July 2007, uses administrative subpoenas to obtain
the contact information of non-custodial parents from cellular phone providers.
PIOs Cite Child Support Newsletter for Excellence in Employee Communications
The DCSS employee newsletter, the SKOOP, received an award as the best internal
newsletter from the California Public Information Officers at their annual conference.
The SKOOP was re-designed from a standard page format into an online publication,
similar to SignOn San Diego. As a result, the quarterly publication attains an outstanding
readership rate of 75% to 80% of department staff.
The Public Information Officers Association includes public relations professionals from
city, county and government agencies from around the state.
Homeless Court Program & County Public Defender Win CPDA “Defender
Program of the Year” Award
The Board of Directors of the California Public Defenders Association awarded Steve
Binder and Steve Carroll, representing the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office,
with the coveted “Defender Program of the Year” Award for “providing national
leadership in the just resolution of legal issues for the homeless, encouraging countless
Public Defender Staff Recognized
Ana Espana, Supervising Attorney in the Public Defender’s Dependency Division, was
named an Inaugural Inductee in the University Of San Diego School Of Law, Center for
Public Interest Law, Children’s Advocacy Institute “Trailblazer in Child Welfare Law”.
Her photograph and bio will now hang in the student room at USD.
Attorney Jack Hochman was named Trial Attorney of the Year by the Criminal Defense
Bar Association for his work in People v. Rodney Jeffcoat.
Two Public Defender staff were recognized by the Board of Directors, Federal and
Appellate Defenders, on April 25 at the Annual Defenders Dinner. Deputy Public
Defender Gary Gibson received the E. Stanley Conant Award from the group for
exceptional and unselfish devotion to protecting the rights of the indigent accused. And
Deputy Public Defender Linda Brown was awarded the “Warhorse Award” for her long
history of outstanding trial work and zealous advocacy for the indigent in serious cases.
COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES (NACo)
2008 Achievement Awards
Program Group Dept.
1. Records Management: Revamped & Revised CSG P&C
2. Self-Sufficiency Through Education CSG HCD
3. Porous Pavement-Improving Stormwater Treatment CSG DGS
4. Specialty & Small Business Job Order Contracting Program CSG DGS
5. Service Contract Compliance & Audit Program CSG DGS
6. Substance Abuse Recovery Management System (SARMS) CSG HCD
7. Youth Services Exchange CSG LIB
8. Preschool Developmental Health Screening in Libraries CSG LIB
9. Workforce Academy for Youth FG3 DHR
10. Assessor Provides Relief to Wildfire Victims FG3 ARCC
11. TTC Depositing Method FG3 TTC
12. Mobile Audit Access Program FG3 ARCC
13. Deferred Compensation Quick Enroll Program FG3 TTC
14. Transitional Age Young Adult Clubhouse HHSA Bhvr Hlth
15. Problem Gambling Counselor Training HHSA Bhvr Hlth
16. Legacy Corps San Diego HHSA AIS
17. Web Referral for AIS HHSA AIS
18. Food For Thought HHSA/CSG AIS/Lib
19. Firestorm 2007 Rebuilding Workshops LUEG DPLU
20. Wildfire Zone LUEG FHA
21. Regulatory Planning's KIVA Workload Management System LUEG DPLU
22. Firestorm 2007 Rapid Community Response LUEG DPW
23. Firestorm 2007- Erosion Control Initiative LUEG DPW
24. Low Impact Development Handbook LUEG DPLU
25. Healthy Garden/Healthy Home LUEG FHA
26. Road Pavement Management System LUEG DPW
27. Property Profile Maps & Analysis Tool LUEG DLPU
28. Miracle Field LUEG DPR
29. Ramona Grasslands & Santa Maria Creek Restoration LUEG DPR
30. Enhancing the School Pedestrian Crossing Safety Program LUEG DPW
31. Vista G.R.E.A.T. Program PSG Sheriff
32. Camp Barratt Work Readiness Program PSG Prob
33. Prison Re-entry Program PSG Prob
34. Performance Based Contracting PSG Prob
35. Diversity Pipeline PSG DA
36. Continuity of Operations Program PSG OES
37. Child Support Employer Outreach PSG DCSS
38. Child Support Cell Phone Interface Project PSG DCSS
39. Public Assistance Fraud Diversion Program PSG PD