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LEMON GROVE CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ANALYSIS Agenda Item No. 2 Agenda Date: January 15, 2008 ____________________________________________________________________________ Subject: 2-1-1 San Diego Report and Funding Opportunity Staff Contact: Graham Mitchell, City Manager Recommendation: Receive a report from 2-1-1 San Diego and consider a funding commitment to the program. Environmental Review: This item is not subject to CEQA review. Discussion: On December 6, 2005, the City Council adopted a resolution of support for 2-1-1 San Diego. Since that time, the organization has grown in its number of employees, volunteers, and in the role it plays in Lemon Grove and the County. At a recent Executive Committee meeting for the League of California Cities, a report was given from 2-1-1 San Diego regarding its efforts during the fires in late 2007. The presentation prompted the consideration to have John Ohanian, Chief Executive Officer of 2-1-1 San Diego, provide an update to the City Council regarding the organization’s progress and the assistance it provided during the fires. Staff also wishes to present three ideas for Council consideration in an effort to seek direction related to the City’s involvement in 2-1-1 San Diego. Staff recognizes the value of 2-1-1 to City residents and staff. Staff receives many inquiries from residents and non-residents that require significant time to find an answer (i.e., “where is the nearest alcohol recovery center,” “do you know of a dentist that speaks Somali,” “do the Chargers have a lost and found”). With 2-1-1 instituted, staff can now refer the caller to a much more capable service provider in supplying certain types of information. Staff also recognizes the role that 2-1-1 can play during a regional or local disaster. 2-1-1 can serve as a single source of information when City Hall is closed or when the demand for information is greater than the number of staff to answer phones. Given staff’s observations, it recommends three opportunities for City involvement with 2-1-1: 1) The City budget an annual contribution to the 2-1-1 program; 2) The City create a relationship with 2-1-1 to be an information source in the event of a localized emergency; and 3) The City train a pool of employees to serve as 2-1-1 volunteers during regional emergencies. Financial Participation Given the role 2-1-1 plays in our region and community, staff recommends that the City provide 2-1-1 with an annual financial contribution. This action follows the lead of several other cities in the County. Staff recommends that beginning in FY 08-09, the City provide a contribution of between 25 and 50 cents per resident annually—$6,500 to $13,000. Information Partner Staff recommends that the Council direct staff to develop a protocol by which the City will share information with 2-1-1 when the City requires assistance in reporting localized emergencies. This protocol will not require Council approval. However, direction will help staff prioritize time commitments. Regional Emergency Volunteers During the 2007 fires, 2-1-1 staff and volunteers were not able to fully meet the call demands because of the immense number of calls. Hence, it relied on other volunteers from the community and public agencies to assist those seeking information. During a regional emergency, that does not have a direct impact on the City (such as the 2003 and 2007 fires), staff recommends that a pool of employees become trained by 2-1-1 to answer calls during these peak call periods. Ideally, volunteer staff can operate from City Hall, alleviating space limitations at 2-1-1 offices and keeping staff close by in the event they are needed for City operations. These employees would be assigned to answer calls as part of the City’s EOC action plan. Public Information: No public information element is recommended for this item. Fiscal Impact: No impact this fiscal year. Attachments: None.
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