• volunteering in santa cruz
    June 2019

    Volunteering in Santa Cruz County: County Scoop June 2019

    Volunteering in Santa Cruz County: County Scoop June 2019 By County Supervisor Zach Friend Recently, the Board of Supervisors recognized some of the remarkable volunteers in our county. Volunteers that dedicate thousands of hours to our local animal shelter, helping with forensics and vacation checks at the Sheriff’s Office, restoring native landscapes at our parks, working with disadvantaged youth and more.   We all know volunteering is good for our community and great for the people who receive help. Researchers have been discovering that regular volunteering – as little as two hours a week – is great for the person volunteering as well. Youth who volunteer are more likely to…

  • Live Oak Cradle to Career Initiative
    May 2019

    The Live Oak Cradle To Career Initiative Supports Families: County Scoop May 2019

    The Live Oak Cradle To Career Initiative Supports Families By John Leopold, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Live Oak is home to multi-million dollar homes but also pockets of real poverty just a few blocks away.  At Live Oak Elementary, 85% of the children are on free or reduced lunch, and Shoreline Middle School has over 100 kids that have lived at more than two homes over the past year. To address these challenges the Live Oak Cradle to Career Initiative was formed by parents, educators, health, and social service leaders working together to ensure that all children can reach their full potential. We do this through responsive programming, policy change, community engagement and leadership development.  After assembling the…

  • census santa cruz county
    April 2019

    The Census: Being Counted Matters

    The Census: Being Counted Matters By Zach Friend, County Supervisor Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. The next count will occur in a year and will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. Here in our county, we are doing a lot to ensure everyone is counted. Why does it matter? An accurate count of our state’s population is essential. The data collected by the Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local governments. This means…

  • smartphones santa cruz
    February 2019

    Reporting Issues to the County From your Smartphone

    Reporting Issues to the County From your Smartphone: County Scoop February 2019 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor With the recent rains, roadway issues (including potholes) are starting to pop back up. Additionally, non-emergency tree trimming needs, sign damage and more become more common.Did you know that many of these issues, and more, can be reported directly from your smartphone through the County’s free Citizen Connect mobile app? Available for download on iTunes and Google Play (or right from the county’s website – santacruzcounty.us), the app connects residents to their government through smart phones and other mobile devices, allowing you to report issues and receive updates on the status of these…

  • santa cruz county libraries
    January 2019

    Improvements to our Libraries: County Scoop January 2019

    Improvements to our Libraries: County Scoop January 2019 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor Libraries are a great place for families. From the children’s activities and books to the digital options – families often make our local libraries a regular stop. But many of our local libraries are outdated. Now, for the first time in decades, significant upgrades and improvements are planned for libraries throughout the county. Let’s look at how we got here, what’s planned and how you can get involved in the process. How Did We Get Here? In 2013, the Santa Cruz Public Libraries engaged in a comprehensive facilities master planning process to assess the needs at each of…

  • November 2018

    Housing, Roads, Parks: Ballot Issues will Affect Local Families: County Scoop November 2018

    Housing, Roads, Parks: Ballot Issues will Affect Local Families: County Scoop November 2018 By Zach Friend The November ballot will have a number of measures at the state and local level. Some of these measures will have elements that have a strong family focus. The most notable in the County are a bond measure for affordable housing and a sales tax for the unincorporated area that provides funding for parks among other priorities. Statewide, Proposition 6 is receiving the most attention. It’s a proposed repeal of SB 1 – adopted by the legislature to address the backlog of deferred road maintenance by increasing the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.…

  • September 2018

    Finishing Leo’s Haven: County Scoop September 2018

    Finishing Leo’s Haven: County Scoop September 2018 By Zach Friend On June 20, the Board of Supervisors was taking testimony on the proposed County budget when two children walked up to the microphone. One was 8-year-old Oliver Potts, who often uses a wheelchair to get around. The other was Cleo Roberts, age 10. They came to talk about LEO’s Haven, a proposed playground in the Mid-County area. “LEO’s Haven will be an inclusive playground, where kids like me can play with their friends,” said Oliver, smiling as he spoke. “All kids need to play!” It was Cleo’s turn. “Everyone wants the same thing, to be accepted for who they are…

  • Caring 4 Kids Survivors Healing Center
    August 2018

    How County Services are Funded

    How County Services are Funded So That’s Where My Tax Money Goes By Zach Friend, County Supervisor The county budget can often be com- plex and I hope this provides you with a helpful overview. However, if you have any questions. I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to call at 454-2200 The Board of Supervisors recently approved a $777 million budget. With a budget of this size it’s common to be asked why additional funds aren’t readily available for local parks, children’s cultural programs or even children’s health and welfare programs. These are fair questions. One of the best ways to understand how the county budget is…