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By Zack Scrivner
Kern County Supervisor 

Reflecting on 2017

From our Supervisor Zack Scrivner

 

Zack, Christina, Zachary, Robert, Jane and Jacqueline Scrivner.

Dear Friends, As your elected representative on the Kern County Board of Supervisors, I work to honestly and efficiently manage your tax dollars to provide the services you expect and deserve, and improve your neighborhood and quality of life.

In 2017, I was honored to serve as Chairman for the Kern County Board of Supervisors. This year presented many challenges, but the county has achieved success in many areas and continued our focus on achieving fiscal stability.

In managing the county budget in 2017, we saw a 50 percent reduction in the structural deficit and avoided having to use reserve funds to support operations. This is an especially impressive accomplishment considering the county did not cut staff to achieve the reduction. Kern County continues in year two of a four-year mitigation plan to resolve the structural deficit and achieve a sustainable future.

Some of that great success was delivered through the county's LaunchKern Initiative - a Lean Six Sigma program open to every county employee, and utilizing their first-hand knowledge to help us become better, faster, and stronger. Behavioral Health & Recovery Services saved Kern County nearly $24,000 in just 9 months by changing their fleet vehicle policy. The Treasurer/Tax Collector is saving Kern County nearly $120,000 with a redesign on their tax bill, making them easier to understand and resulting in fewer submission errors. Human Resources saved Kern County $27,000 by switching to an electronic benefit package selection.

Additionally, Planning and Natural Resources used Lean Six Sigma principles to streamline their Oil and Gas permitting process, taking the turn-around time from months to less than seven days. These incredible efficiency gains and cost-savings are positioning Kern County to be much stronger going forward.

In District 2, Kern County completed the East Kern Economic Diversification Study that aimed to identify the area's economic opportunities, address the challenges, attract new business, increase high-wage jobs and strengthen the area's tax base. The recommendations are being implemented now and will continue to strengthen the area and Kern County as a whole well into the future.

Furthering the goals of diversifying Kern County's tax base, in 2017 the county launched the AdvanceKern initiative in partnership with Kern Economic Development Corporation and with input from local business partners. The initiative is a forward-thinking tax incentive plan that encourages and rewards new and existing businesses that invest in our communities and pay our residents a sustainable wage.

Finally, a special accomplishment to honor the amazing employees of Kern County occurred at year's end. On December 19, Kern County reached an agreement with the local Service Employees International Union to provide employees with two $500 retention bonuses and four additional days off with their families. Kern County employees continue to provide exceptional services to residents every day. This agreement also brought employee overtime calculation into alignment with State and Federal standards, saving Kern County approximated $1.5 million annually.

Here's to a successful 2017, and hopes for a great 2018! From my family to yours, we wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2018!

– Warm regards,

Zack, Christina, Zachary, Robert,

Jane and Jacqueline Scrivner

 
 

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