• August 2021

    South County

    Expanding Services to South County by zach friend, County Supervisor One of the most significant actions the County took during our recent budget cycle was to authorize the purchase of a new South County Service Center. This purchase will create a second County government building that would provide mid and south county residents equal access to County services – including services for children – in a way that hasn’t been seen before. The building purchase, and subsequent location of many County services in a centralized south county location, will be the largest investment in service delivery for the south county in multiple generations. Where is it located?The new South County…

  • June 2021

    Expanding Broadband in Santa Cruz County

    Expanding Broadband in Santa Cruz County by zach friend, county supervisor It is estimated that as many as 1 in 3 California households lack broadband access with a disproportionate number of those households consisting of seniors, those with low-incomes and adults self-identifying as having a disability The pandemic highlighted the critical need for access to affordable, high-speed internet. For students participating in remote learning, parents attempting to work remotely and our families needing to access tele-health, high-speed internet is an essential resource. Yet, many households in our community, and throughout the state, either have limited bandwidth to meet their needs or are priced out of options. The County has taken…

  • February 2021

    Vaccine Timeline

    Understanding Vaccine Timeline and Questions By zach friend, county supervisor TUES | FEB | 2Supervisor Zach Friend hosts a COVID -19 Tele-Town Hall,  6-7 pm Supervisor Zach Friend will host a tele-town hall on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, from 6-7 pm with Dr. David Ghilarducci, EMS Medical Director and Deputy Health Officer for the County of Santa Cruz. Dr. Ghilarducci is a board-certified EMS Medical Director with extensive public safety and front line experience. Dr. Ghilarducci was previously a Fire Captain and Acting Battalion Chief with the Santa Clara County Fire Department and after transitioning to medicine served as president of the Emergency Medical Director’s Association of California, EMS Medical…

  • December 2020

    Should the Aptos and Central Fire Districts Merge

    Should the Aptos and Central Fire Districts Merge? It could save $3 million by 2026 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor Recently, the Santa Cruz Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) voted unanimously to approve the consolidation of the Central and Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection Districts. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the consolidation. Why is LAFCO involved in the consolidation? LAFCOs have broad authority under the state Cortese-Knox-Hertzberg Act in regards to boundary changes for cities and special districts (like the Central and Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection Districts). Specifically, under this authority LAFCO can deny or approve, with or without conditions, a wide range of…

  • October 2020

    Preparing for Fire Season

    Preparing for Fire Season BY zach friend Given the recent devastation in our county it’s important to review some of ways you can prepare and protect your home and business from wildfire. One of the first things is to ensure that you have a home emergency and evacuation action plan – and practice it with your family. Cal Fire has a program called Ready, Set, Go! to help you create your own action plan. Here are some key elements: Get Ready Create a family disaster plan that includes meeting locations and communication plans – including how to evacuate large animals. Create an emergency supply kit (more info on that below)…

  • September 2020

    COVID Update

    COVID Program Updates By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, District 2 As we continue to face health and economic challenges related to COVID-19 many in our community are looking into programs and services to provide assistance. While our community overall is faring better than many portions of the state and country, we’ve seen a significant increase in cases in the last month and also continued high levels of unemployment (or for those that are employed – reductions in hours and pay). Here are updates on some programs and information that might be of interest during this time. Rental Assistance Program Created The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to provide…

  • May 2020

    Santa Cruz County COVID-19 Update

    Santa Cruz County COVID-19 Updates BY ZACH FRIEND, COUNTY SUPERVISOR Many in our community have been severely impacted by both the health and economic conditions caused by the virus. With community members losing their jobs, businesses seeing declining revenue and tenants and renters unable to pay rent, we know it is also difficult to meet your basic needs – and many have been contacting me with questions on ways to get assistance. We want to help. What resources are available to you? How does the shelter-in-place order apply to a number of sectors? Here are answers to some of the most common questions that have been coming into my office…

  • leo's haven santa cruz
    January 2020

    Upgrades Coming to Local Parks: County Scoop January 2020

    Upgrades Coming to Local Parks County Scoop: January 2020 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor Many parks in the mid and south county haven’t been fully updated in quite some time. Over time, equipment has become safer, more interactive and also more inclusive – ensuring that children of all abilities have the ability to play in our parks. Over the last few years we’ve begun to upgrade many local parks and new plans are in the works. Here is an overview of some of the recent upgrades as well as what’s planned for parks in the mid and south county. LEO’s Haven at Chanticleer Park Phase one of the County’s first…

  • santa cruz affordable housing
    February 2020

    Making it Easier to Build Accessory Dwelling Units: County Scoop February 2020

    Making it Easier to Build Accessory Dwelling Units County Scoop: February 2020 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor, District 2 Throughout California there are discussions about how to address the significant affordable housing crisis. Recent studies on home affordability have shown that in coastal communities like ours less than a quarter of people earn enough income to be able to purchase a home and many can’t afford rising rents. Grandparents watch as their kids and grandkids move away as they are unable to deal with the cost of living.  There is no question that housing costs in Santa Cruz County are one of the biggest challenges facing our residents – especially…