|In November 2015, the Board approved the Yolo County 2016-2019 Strategic Plan and Priority Focus Areas. The Strategic Plan includes four primary goals, Thriving Residents, Safe Communities, Sustainable Environment, and Flourishing Agriculture, which are supported by principles of Operational Excellence. Within each broad Strategic Plan Goal are a number of Priority Focus Areas (See Attachment A).
Working groups were established for each of the Priority Focus Areas and have been underway in implementing action plans (See Attachment B). While the efforts of these working groups are ongoing, updates and accomplishments regarding the Priority Focus Areas for FY 16/17 are provided below. Some of the focus areas will be featured at the October 3, 2017 Board Strategic Planning Session and, for that reason, have a brief description. The Priority Focus Areas that will be highlighted in October include: best practices benefiting children, service delivery and critical infrastructure needs in the unincorporated community, implementation of a sustainable parks system model, countywide waste reduction strategies, and alignment of workforce development with agricultural and food system employer needs.
Implement Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
In January of 2017, the 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan Annual Report was published which summarizes the activities of the CHIP workgroups over the last year (See Attachment C). Most notably was the implementation of the online dashboard for displaying data, holding four quarterly meetings and some great strides in adding targets to both program level data tracking as well as community health outcomes. At the end of the first year of implementation, HHSA's Community Health Branch surveyed our workgroup partners to ask whether their participation had impacted their work and many felt that the CHIP’s goals had helped them to align their work. Specifically one participant said, the CHIP was “helping us all to identify our strengths and weaknesses so we can focus our energy more appropriately” and another said “I am collecting more meaningful data and making it available to partners.”
After the January meeting, the Community Health Branch began to brainstorm which partners were missing from the workgroups and several new partners and measures were added to the three workgroups. Additionally, they worked with an MPH student from UC Davis beginning in March to help update the online dashboard to make it more community friendly. By including better measure descriptions and conformity around its appearance, the Community Health Branch is hoping for a more health literate, accessible online presence. Lastly, in April the branch held a dynamic joint workgroup meeting in which each workgroup shared about the different awareness months happening in May (National Bike Month, Older Americans Month, Mental Health Awareness/Maternal Mental Health Awareness) in the spirit of collective impact.
Develop and implement strategies to reduce homelessness
In FY 16/17, staff made significant progress towards the Yolo County Board of Supervisors’ priority of developing and implementing strategies to reduce homelessness. Staff has focused their efforts on three specific strategies, as described below.
Grow funding for homeless services
- Staff developed a comprehensive list of homeless funding opportunities, which was publicly posted and made available as a tool for local service providers. Additionally, staff submitted and was awarded two homeless/housing focused funding proposals, including Proposition 47 ($6M over 3 years) and Bringing Families Home ($225,000 over 2 years).
Develop a robust Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and coordinated entry system
- In the past year staff has placed significant emphasis on improving the capacity of the local HMIS to collect useful data on the performance of the homeless system. Staff worked closely with local service providers to develop a policies and procedures manual that provides guidance on use of the local HMIS, including setting standards for privacy, security and data quality issues.
- Staff has also focused on putting the infrastructure in place for implementation of a local coordinated entry system, which will be required by the federal government effective January 23, 2018. Staff worked with local providers to pilot use of the Vulnerability Index and Service Prioritization and Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) as the universal screening tool for the local coordinated entry system. In the first of implementing the VI-SPDAT, local providers far surpassed the initial goal of conducting 200 assessments. With an assessment tool in place, staff turned their attention towards facilitating workgroups to develop a proposed structure and process for coordinated entry. These discussions will continue in the upcoming year, with a final product expected to be ready for implementation in January of 2018.
Establish a full continuum of housing and services for the homeless using Housing First best Practices
Expand best practices in programs benefiting children
- Staff worked with local providers to implement or expand, and then routinely monitor, several new programs serving people experiencing homelessness (including Bridge to Health and Housing, CalWORKs Housing Support Program, Extended Hope, I SEE YOU Artist Outreach and Davis New Pathways). Staff also worked closely with the Criminal Justice Continuum of Care Subcommittees, to ensure that the needs of people experiencing homelessness were well represented in local efforts to divert people out of the criminal justice system.
The focus area on expanding best practices in programs benefiting children continues to rely on the following three strategies to achieve success: (1) strengthen Child Welfare Services; (2) ensure a continuum of services; and (3) investment in upstream efforts. Efforts thus far have included creation of a standing Board Subcommittee to support the strengthening of Child Welfare Services as well as a shift in focus to children in poverty in the continuum of services. Further details regarding this Priority Focus Area will be provided at the Board Strategic Planning Session in October.
Develop coordinated continuum of care ranging from prevention through intensive services
In 2017 the Criminal Justice Continuum of Care (CJCC) Work Group began conducting a detailed analysis of the Yolo County criminal justice system utilizing six subcommittees made up of a diverse group of stakeholders. The purpose of the subcommittees is to strategically identify and implement solutions for adults at each intercept across the criminal justice continuum using a diverse group of experts. Thus far the subcommittees have determined baseline definitions and begun identifying gaps/needs. Following the gaps analysis, the subcommittees will identify solutions and a prioritized work plan by March of 2018. This work is being conducted in accordance with the CJCC goals to improve service provision, increase information sharing and coordination, and the directive of the Stepping Up Initiative to safely reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails.
In addition, a subcommittee has been formed solely to review and improve data sharing across the criminal justice continuum. To date this group has obtained $33,992 from the Local Innovation Subaccount to assist in their study, conducted research with Sacramento on their criminal justice data sharing, and gathered information on the data needs of stakeholders in the continuum.
Implement proactive, coordinated code enforcement effort
Code enforcement efforts are currently focused on cannabis cultivation. Additionally, non-cannabis code violations are being addressed through site inspections of medical cannabis cultivation applicants. Once the cannabis code enforcement program is fully operational, code enforcement activity will further expand.
Ensure robust disaster emergency management program
Yolo County Office of Emergency Services (OES) has been working hard to ensure a robust disaster emergency management program by continuing its Joint Emergency Management Services agreement work with all four cities, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and Yolo County Housing. The continued focus to standardize and cross-train staff in Emergency Management processes and procedures was continued this year with an intensive 4-day training involving over 200 persons. Staff participated from all of the member agencies to learn and practice their jobs during an emergency situation (watch the summary video here: https://youtu.be/YjW6nyt8cyw).
Work on several large projects continued which will strengthen the tools available to all staff involved in Emergency Management including (but not limited to):
Finally, Response to real world events has commenced throughout the year and included fires, water system failures, power outages, earthquake monitoring, hazardous materials spills, pro cycling events and community events. Check out the OES website to view copies of our annual reports for all of the specifics (typically released every year in the fall).
- Comprehensive flood response plans: Plans were completed for the areas along the Sacramento River and work to move the planning efforts inland along our local creeks and waterways has commenced.
- The Geo-spatial Information System (GIS) has been used to build new response tools: The Community Event Builder was demo tested for UCD Picnic Day and the City of Woodland’s “The Great Fire of 1892” event. New damage assessment applications, Mitigation applications and daily dashboards are currently being tested by multiple responders throughout the County.
- Installation of a new Resource Management System is well underway: IRIS will allow responders to maintain resource listings and deploy assets to various responses throughout the County.
Identify and address service delivery and critical infrastructure needs in unincorporated communities
The focus area to improve service delivery and critical infrastructure for unincorporated communities seeks to accomplish this through substantial increases in County Service Area administration, road maintenance, broadband service and flood protection. In FY16/17 substantial progress was made in many of these areas.
During the year the County Administrator’s Office partnered with Yolo County Housing to conduct outreach to rural communities to identify infrastructure needs and develop a subsequent funding plan. The identified needs will be brought back to the communities in August and the multi-year plan will be discussed at the October 3rd session. Rural Initiatives funding will be requested at Adopted Budget in September to assist in funding some of the identified needs. Additionally, a pilot project to bring broadband service to Knights Landing is currently in the construction process and is to be completed before the end of 2017. Further details regarding this Priority Focus Area will be provided at the Board Strategic Planning Session in October.
Ensure water reliability
The focus area for water reliability seeks to implement the Groundwater Sustainability Act (GSA) of 2014 resulting in comprehensive adaptive management of the region’s water supply. During FY 16/17 substantial progress was made, as detailed below:
Identify and implement sustainable parks system model
- Basin boundary modifications have been completed, however, further modification is expected in the southeastern portion of the County to “pull in” reclamation districts that planned to join the North Delta GSA. (July-Sept 2017)
- The Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency has been created, effective June 19, 2017.
- Subsidence monitoring, needed as a data input into the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (expected completion – 2019/20), was completed in the summer of 2016. The report is available upon request, but does not identify any areas of concern that were not already known.
- Water balance calculations have been undertaken for several of the entities participating in the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency. These calculations are being done by the Stockholm Institute for the Environment and are being funded by a grant from the USDA. No general fund dollars are being used in the initial water balance calculations.
A comprehensive parks study was completed and approved by the Board of Supervisors in June 2016. Efforts are currently underway through General Services to implement the recommendations identified in the study. Further details regarding this Priority Focus Area will be provided at the Board Strategic Planning Session in October.
Identify countywide waste reduction strategies
The County, through the Integrated Waste Management Division of the Community Services Department, has sought to increase waste reduction though five strategies. These strategies include the organics program, pharmaceutical recovery for proper disposal, increased collection of hazardous materials for proper disposal, increased collection of recyclables, and expansion of reuse facilities. Further details regarding this Priority Focus Area will be provided at the Board Strategic Planning Session in October.
Update and implement Climate Action Plan
Since last October the primary goal in the focus area has been to target the formation of the Community Choice Energy (CCE) program in Yolo County. CCE program implementation would bring Yolo County greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction to approximately 40%, as targeted in the Climate Action Plan. The CCE has been formed as Valley Clean Energy Alliance (VCEA) and the Board of Directors had its first meeting in December of 2016. Since then vendor services contract RFPs have been issued for energy and technical services, call center, and Marketing and Outreach. A formal CEO recruitment has been underway. In June, the City of Woodland joined the City of Davis and Yolo County in the VCEA efforts and approved inclusion in the CCE. There are now 6 members on the Board of Directors, 2 members from Yolo County, 2 members from the City of Davis, and 2 members from the City of Woodland. The current time table for launch includes an April 2018 active service date.
Ag land preservation
On June 6, 2017 staff presented the findings of an evaluation of Yolo County’s agricultural land preservation efforts as compared to other agriculturally centered counties in California. In the comparative analysis five other counties were studied regarding their agricultural land preservation policies: San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin. These counties were chosen due to recommendations by various sources during early stages of research, as these counties were known to be largely agricultural and have a stated commitment to preserving agricultural land.
The agricultural land preservation policies, programs, and strategies were researched for each of the selected counties and then compared to Yolo County. It was found that of the selected counties, only Sonoma had a more robust policy toolkit to preserve agricultural lands, as Sonoma County had a designated revenue stream for their County Agriculture and Open Space District. This dedicated revenue stream allows the district to pursue projects designed to preserve open space and agricultural lands, create management plans, create innovative projects on preserved land, and create connections between various stakeholders and community members towards further open space and agricultural development. Yolo County could similarly seek a designated source of revenue for the Agricultural Economic Development Fund. The fund has already been established and has a list of projects to pursue, but currently lacks the funding to move forward.
Facilitate connections between growers and buyers
This Priority Focus Area seeks to connect growers and buyers through events that facilitate connections and by increasing farmers’ access to regional institutional buyers. Several accomplishments have occurred during FY16/17.
Develop strategies, including a concierge approach, to nurture new ag/ag tech businesses
- Farm to School Program finished an additional $99,000 grant with five Yolo County school districts giving money and access to farms via personalized forager services. As a result, three school districts started using a local distributor who buys a large percentage of product from local farms.
- Farm to School Program also held two 2-day Food Safety Certification trainings that helped 28 new farms gain food safety certification; making them eligible to do more business with trading partners who require food safety certificates.
- Farmbudsman Program held two ‘Farmer/Buyer Connection Days’ hosting farmers and institutional buyers to stimulate business.
- Worked with the Yolo Food Bank by providing lists of procurement opportunities to purchase produce from Yolo County farmers.
- Structured new contract with California Alliance of Family Farms (CAFF) to provide forager and procurement services reaching out to Yolo County farmers and setting up new sales.
The Priority Focus Area seeks to develop strategies to nurture new agricultural and agricultural tech businesses. Initial work went into identifying and evaluating the needs of the agricultural businesses. Kristy Levings is currently serving as the Yolo County Ag Concierge (previously filled by farmbudsman). Surveys were conducted of the agriculture stakeholders with an overwhelming response of needing more advisors and labor contractors. The Yolo County Library has expanded their resources to include additional information on entrepreneurship. Future training will be planned and offered at the Library regarding the process of agricultural technology businesses. Additionally, the Development Review Committee (DRC) was resurrected. This allows applicants the ability to have key staff from multiple divisions and agencies at the same place to answer questions and guide the applications through the process. Customer services practices also were refined with the updating of brochures, clear signage, and the addition of a customer service box to gather feedback.
Align workforce development efforts with ag and food system employer needs
This Priority Focus Area seeks to align workforce development with agricultural and food system employer needs. Several accomplishments have occurred during FY16/17 including the recipient of SlingShot entrepreneurship funding by two organizations in Yolo County for agricultural business as well as efforts at connecting workers with culinary and hospitality training. Further details regarding this Priority Focus Area will be provided at the Board Strategic Planning Session in October.