How does your county compare to counties in the rest of California, or the nation, in terms of the economic recovery?”
That question is answered in an interesting and comprehensive analysis released today by the National Association of Counties (NACo) that examines the performance of all 3,069 county economies. The report is titled “County Tracker 2013: On the Path to Recovery.” NACo’s conclusion: As our county economies go, so goes the nation’s economy.
I spent my childhood in the Central San Joaquin Valley where summers are hot. Not quite California desert hot, but it wasn’t unusual to have days-long stretches of 100-plus degree temperatures. Luckily, my parents had a pool and we did not hesitate to use it. In fact, we spent most of our summer days in swimsuits and, occasionally, sunscreen. My dad also spent a good amount of time maintaining that pool, dripping liquids into a plastic doodad to test the chemicals in the pool water. Then he swished in some chlorine, maybe, and brushed and skimmed. It was slightly interesting, but time-consuming, and remember, very hot out. I don’t know that he ever thought he had any other option, he just did it.
Riverside County covers more than 7,000 square miles, and includes some of the most sparsely populated landscape in the state. Keeping a county that big clean isn’t always easy, but Riverside County has a long-running jail inmate work program to pick up trash and maintain the landfills. It helps keep the roadsides clean and the inmates get some much-needed activity. But a few years ago, Riverside County, like many in the state and across the country, found itself in a very tight budget situation. Money for minor construction and other small projects at the landfills had to be redirected to other priorities — and many of those projects were languishing. That’s when county leaders realized they might just have an untapped asset. What if you could expand the inmate program to include some of these other activities, as well as the typical trash clean up?
Imagine a stack of paper 40 stories high. That’s how much paper the San Diego County juvenile justice system was using each year related to court cases. Enter the Justice Electronic Library System (JELS), a collaborative effort of the county’s juvenile justice agencies, technology office and its outsourcing provider Hewlett Packard. The end result is a state-of-the-art system that saves money, time and resources while improving the juvenile justice system.
At their regular board meeting earlier this month, members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors jokingly suggested that they would rather go to jail than return a portion of their Secure Rural Schools funding to the federal government because of sequestration. According to news reports, Board Chairman Terry Swofford asked the Plumas sheriff if [...]