Santa Cruz City Government

Public Safety Update: Downtown Accountability Program

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The assets that make Santa Cruz such a wonderful place to visit, from its beaches and greenbelt to its welcoming culture, walkable neighborhoods and temperate climate, bring more than just visitors to our City.

Unlike many communities of 50,000, our City swells in population every day, as students, staff and faculty travel to UC Santa Cruz and tourists visit the Boardwalk and beaches. Our civic pride, natural and cultural assets, hometown talent and name recognition match the assets of many large metropolitan areas. Our public safety issues parallel those of an urban metropolis as well.

Unlike some large metropolitan areas, which have jurisdictional authority over police, prosecutors, health services, courts and the county jail, we are in a more challenging position in Surf City, with overlapping jurisdictions and funding sources for different parts of our social service and criminal justice systems.

Our City’s Public Safety Task Force (who wrapped up their tenure in December 2013) was well aware of these factors impacting our City’s crime rate.

Using a data-driven approach to analyze the impact of criminal behavior, the Task Force spent much of 2013 taking a long, honest look at drug abuse and drug-related crime, the degradation of public spaces and increased calls for emergency service. It leveraged expert testimony from partner agencies, non-profits and community organizations and ensured that a variety of community voices were heard during deliberations.

What we learned out of that effort was that ameliorating public safety issues will require the full commitment of the City, County and Superior Court as well as social service nonprofits and engaged citizens.

Throughout 2014 (and the coming years), the City has committed to working toward solutions in three thematic areas: prevention, enforcement and collaborative accountability for improving our area’s quality of life.

When it comes to prevention, we are redoubling our efforts in community policing, environmental improvements like increased lighting along the San Lorenzo River Walkway and outreach to at-risk youth as well as collaborating closely with neighborhood groups, concerned citizens and social service providers to prevent crime before it happens.

But not all crimes are preventable, so we will also prioritize strategic enforcement activities, with elevated attention on serial offenders. This is particularly important as the County contends with prison realignment (AB 109) that since 2011 has shifted state prisoners down to the local level.

Our Main County jail exceeds its capacity every day. Few lower level offenders face jail time, and probation officer caseloads have expanded exponentially. These conditions have helped to create a cycle of recidivism for hundreds of individuals in the County.

In the last few weeks you may have read about our collaboration with the Courts, non-profit service providers, County Health and the District Attorney to pilot a program which takes an integrated case-management approach to addressing habitual offenders in Downtown Santa Cruz. The geographic focus reflects our commitment to economic vitality and the number of frequent offenders in the downtown area who have regular contact with the Santa Cruz Police Department. The program team will work out of a downtown office, with a goal of making the program visible and effective and expanding to other areas if successful. 

This program was conceived as a direct outcome of the Task Force’s dedicated efforts and our commitment to joining together to tackle our most intransigent social problems. I’m hopeful that it will result in a better quality of life for all people who call Santa Cruz home.

Watch this space for more updates on this and other collaborations with the County and Courts on public safety. It’s an issue that is central to our efforts to make Santa Cruz a great place to live, work and play. It will take a lot of effort and flexibility, but we have the will to make the changes needed to enhance safety and security in our City.

Best,

Martin Bernal

Navigating the 2014 Drought

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Ever blessed with both brevity and wit, Mark Twain once said, “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.”

Many people who call the Central Coast home extol the virtues of its climate, from the long summers extending into October to the short winter rains, Santa Cruz County is just simply gorgeous most of the time. But in 2013, this temperate beauty came at a price, precipitation.

According to NOAA, we have experienced 36% of our average annual rainfall this “water year,” (a water year starts on October 1 and ends on September 30) with normally diluvial months like November and December boasting less than an inch of rain each.

Even as we jogged and walked through an abnormally sunny winter, and taunted our friends and relatives suffering through the “polar vortex” back east, the specter of a massive drought was never far away from what was being discussed.

This time last year, which was also abnormally dry, we had 36 inches of rain to our credit, while this year we can only claim 27.

The problem is not local, it has spread across the entire Western United States.

imageWestern Utah, northern Nevada, and central California are all suffering. Snowpack remains under 70 percent of normal from northeast Oregon to north-central New Mexico on average and California’s Sierra Nevada as well as the southern Cascades and the higher elevations of Arizona and New Mexico can claim less than 50% of average annual snowpack here in the spring of 2014.

Small-scale water supply systems, including Santa Cruz’s Lompico Water District are struggling to keep water flowing out of taps at the same time as urban aquifers, like those that supply Los Angeles are struggling to keep pace with demand. In fact, the four large reservoirs on the periphery of the southern half of the San Joaquin Valley held 35 to 50 percent of their normal reserves for the start of the year.

Unlike Los Angeles, we are one of the few cities in California that relies entirely on locally sourced water. The San Lorenzo River, our primary water source is at its lowest level since the U.S. Geological Survey started taking readings 77 years ago.

All of this is to say that it is undeniable that we are in a serious situation, and its time for each of us to be aware of our impact on the local water supply. Our City Council has reacted by declaring a “Stage 3” Water Shortage Emergency in late February, in an attempt to reduce system-wide water use by 25%.

What this means for most rate payers is that there is now enforced water rationing for single family and multi-family residential accounts. In May, your bill from SCMU will come with a “water allotment.” All of us who work for the City and the Water Department will be urging ratepayers closely track how they are using our most precious spared resource. We’ve set up a special drought page at cityofsantacruz.com/drought and we hope that you’ll bookmark it and keep up to date on how we’re all weathering this weather.

We also are taking steps to re-look at our long-term Water Supply options. At their February 11 meeting, City Council appointed 14 citizens representing local businesses, water-related non-profit organizations, residents and non-resident customers to the Water Supply Advisory Committee. The committee’s charge will be learn more about supply, demand and future threats, and analyze potential solutions to deliver a safe, adequate, reliable and environmentally sustainable water supply, and to develop strategy recommendations for City Council consideration. We will keep you posted as that process gets underway later this spring.

Take care and thank you for being water aware.

Best,

Martin Bernal

New Features in City Parks

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You’re never far from nature in Santa Cruz, and much of it is under the care of the Parks and Recreation Department. Whether you’re walking down West Cliff Drive, crossing the Trestle Bridge or taking in a ball game at DeLaveaga, you’ve been in a City Park. 

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Frequent park goers may have noticed a host of new features in our local parks, like the mile markers on West Cliff, exercise equipment along the leveenew playground in Beach Flats Park and the new dog park in Lower Ocean.

The man behind many of these changes is Parks Superintendent Mauro Garcia.

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Along with his team of maintenance workers, rangers and supervisors Mauro has been beautifying the City one little piece at a time since he moved here from San Diego in 2011. “Like many transplants one of the main things that drew me here was Santa Cruz’s climate and culture of outdoor recreation. Residents and visitors alike share a love of engaging with the outdoors around us.”

In addition to Santa Cruz’s more traditional outdoor offerings, Mauro’s crew is responsible for taking care of the San Lorenzo River levee, Wharf, golf course, downtown corridor, and the many green medians, pocket parks, beaches and sports facilities in Surf City. 

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Parks staff also work closely with neighborhood groups and nonprofit organizations to tackle big challenges.

“Leveraging volunteer enthusiasm allows us to successfully complete innovative projects we wouldn’t otherwise have the funding to implement.” Garcia says. “In recent years Police and Parks staff have increased their presence in the Pogonip due to illegal activities. So the idea of building a multi-use trail in collaboration with Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz County was a way to positively activate the space for recreational use and address security concerns simultaneously. The Emma McCrary Trail was built this spring with the help of 300 volunteers and Drew Perkins, a Cal Poly graduate student and trail expert hired by the City to lead the effort. The trail is now getting a ton of use!”

Plans for the coming year include stepping up trail work in Moore Creek, DeLaveaga and Pogonip, and providing support to the long awaited Arana Gulch bike path project which just got underway this past week.

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Construction is almost complete on the new Lower Ocean Street Neighborhood Park, funded by a $1.8 million state grant. And, using the McCrary trail as a model, Garcia and his staff are also now looking at a trail through the Jesse Street marsh.

“We work to promote positive use of our open spaces,” Garcia says, “We’re so happy to be able to share this space, and these trails, with our friends and neighbors.” 

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PaddlePalooza

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When paddlers headed out on the San Lorenzo River Saturday in canoes, kayaks and on stand-up paddle boards, they weren’t thinking about making history. But make modern history they did, in the first-ever San Lorenzo River Paddle Tour, co-hosted by the Coastal Watershed Council and the City of Santa Cruz, which approved a one-day permit to allow boats on the river.

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The San Lorenzo River has been a generous resource, attracting settlements for literally thousands of years. At one time the river played a prominent role in community entertainment and recreation, serving as a popular picnic spot, neighborhood swimming hole and backdrop for what was considered in the 1890’s to be the “social event of the season,” the Venetian Water Carnival. 

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Today, the San Lorenzo serves both as the City’s main source of drinking water and as a flood-control channel. As its use shifted, the river’s role as a key recreational amenity faded into the background. In an effort to reactivate use, a community-driven Master Plan was created in the early 2000’s…but then the economy tanked and the river took a backseat to more pressing community needs.

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So – what’s next for the San Lorenzo River? Those who participated in the River Paddle Tour were pretty fired-up, and anxious to spread the word about the beauty and wonder of their experience! Additionally, the Water Department is equally excited about providing opportunities for residents to get a closer look at our local water system and watershed.  Finally, the City Council and staff intend to discuss options to enhance river access in the coming months. 

Photos (top to bottom): 1) Paddlers photo courtesy of Sierra Ryan 2) Ohlone settled along the banks of the San Lorenzo, close-up of the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum mural. 3) Venetian Water Carnival photo collection of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries 4) Paddlepalooza photo courtesy of Santa Cruz Water Department. Visit the Santa Cruz Public Libraries online Local History Gallery to see more fabulous historic photos of the river. 

Getting to Know the Parks and Recreation Director

Dannettee Shoemaker started working for the City of Santa Cruz in 1968 as a recreation aide, teaching drama and music for $1.00 an hour. Thirty four years later and after serving in almost every conceivable role within the Department, Dannettee took the helm as Parks and Recreation Department Director.   

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This year she’s added a title, serving as interim Administrative Services Department Director while continuing to lead Parks and Recreation. We caught up with Dannettee in one of her few spare moments.

Now that you’ve spent a few years with the City, is there anything you would go back and tell that new City employee entering her first job back in 1968?  

I have an opportunity to welcome new staff prior to the beginning of our annual summer programs and I always encourage them to have fun. I believe if the staff enjoys their work, program participants will pick up on their commitment and enthusiasm. I also remind staff that they have a great deal of responsibility; parents are entrusting their children to them! They may be the only City Employee that many of our parents come in contact with. They are the face of the City.

Is there one work accomplishment you are most proud of?

Assisting the Parks and Recreation Department and community through the recent economic downturn and preserving the majority of our programs and facilities. We had some very challenging times and I am so proud of our staff for pulling together. I am also very appreciative to our community for stepping up and saving some very valuable programs that were headed for the chopping block.  

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What’s the hardest part of your job?

Finding a balance to meet the needs and expectations of our diverse community while supporting staff. 

Can you elaborate?

As staff we are the point of contact for citizens, community organizations, commissioners, council members and the media. We engage with many passionate people with often divergent interests. We are not the policy makers, but we are charged with implementation. With close to 2000 acres of parkland, year-round recreational programming, unique facilities like the wharf, golf course and river levee, there’s always a great deal to do with our limited resources. But underlying all of that is our commitment to serving the public and responding to ideas and concerns.  

Addressing public safety concerns in and around our facilities continues to be a priority.  We are working with various City and County Departments, community organizations, and volunteers to assure that our citizens have safe, clean public facilities. 

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Tell us about your family.

My husband of 40 plus years, Bob, and I have one son Chris who lives in Aptos with his wife Molly and two children Ella (7) and Luke (4).  My parents, sister and brother live in Santa Cruz as do the majority of my husband’s family. I love spending time outdoors with my family.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I love to walk, cook, garden and read.  I play a mean game of Bocce Ball.  I also enjoy trout fishing with my husband and traveling with friends. AND, after 40 years of working for the City of Santa Cruz, I still look forward to coming to work. 

Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
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Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
Zoom
Info
Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
Zoom
Info
Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
Zoom
Info
Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
Zoom
Info
Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
Zoom
Info
Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf
The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners. 
More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.
Zoom
Info

Behind the Scenes @ the Santa Cruz Wharf

The Santa Cruz Wharf was built in 1914 to serve deep-water ships. Today, on the eve of its centennial, it’s a destination for sea lions, pelicans, otters, families, kayakers, shoppers and  diners.

More than 4,500 pilings form the wharf’s foundation. Each piling extends 50 feet above and 20 feet below the seafloor. The structure has been carefully maintained for 99 years and has stood strong through earthquakes, fires and storms. Learn more about the wharf and centennial celebrations here.

Getting to Know the Chief of Police

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There are few jobs as iconic as that of police chief. The head of one of the City’s largest departments, and responsible for not only the health and safety of almost 100 sworn officers, but also the City’s sense of safety and well-being, the Police chief heads a department that fields more than 100,000 calls for service a year while maintaining an aggressive training schedule, an emergency response team and an investigations division.

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Santa Cruz’s chief, Kevin Vogel, has lived in town and worked with the Santa Cruz Police for 26 years. A graduate of Lynbrook HS in San Jose Chief Vogel started in patrol and rose through the ranks, eventually assuming the top job in 2010. 

For this first in a series of City staff profiles we sat down with Chief Vogel to learn about the man behind the badge.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is working with the men and women of the Santa Cruz Police Department and providing opportunities for my staff to develop and advance within the organization. I enjoy watching younger officers advance in their careers, and get to know the community that they serve.

I enjoy hiring new police officers and providing them with the same opportunity that was provided to me. I would like people to remember me as someone who provided those opportunities.

What’s the hardest part of your job?

The hardest part of my job has been leading the Department through the days, weeks and months that have followed the tragic and unexpected loss of two of our officers, Loran “Butch” Baker and Elizabeth Butler, last winter. I did not do this alone. The Department pulled together in ways that are indescribable in words. We all helped each other through this tragic event.

Is there one work accomplishment you are most proud of?

I’m most proud of the reputation the Santa Cruz Police Department has established in the law enforcement community. The SCPD has the reputation of being an agency that is on the cutting edge of technological advancements in police work thanks to our efforts to build a mobile app, bring so much of our work online using new tools to share our successes and challenges, and implement a predictive policing program.

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Tell us about your family.

My wife Bev and I have two daughters Alison and Erika, and two grandchildren Emma and Tanner. My Mom and Dad still live in the house I grew up in in Saratoga and my brother, his wife, our nieces and a nephew all live in San Jose.  My kids and grandkids thankfully all live closer, here in Santa Cruz County.

Favorite song or favorite kind of music?

I tend to gravitate to the music that was popular when I was growing up. The music I listen to depends on my mood.  I have a huge collection of music with many different genres, from country to classic rock so I never have a shortage of choices.

What are your favorite local spots?

I enjoy going Downtown. Kianti’s is one of my favorite places to have dinner.  I also like Zoccoli’s for lunch. I just saw Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Santa Cruz) in the Festival Glen at UCSC last week and really enjoyed it. I enjoy the Greek Festival, parades downtown and Warriors games.

Anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I love animals. We have a lhasa apso dog named Millie and a tabby cat named Theodore (nickname: Tito). 

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My wife and I also love to travel. We have been to Europe several times and we particularly like Italy and Greece. We also love Maui.

Photo credit (top): Tarmo Hannula / Register Pajaronian 

Library Art meets the Church Street Fair

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The corner of Church and Center streets has come alive this week, with a new public art installation by local printmaker Bridget Henry, wheat-pasted onto the outside of the Public Library. 

Bridget’s installation is timed to welcome the 51st annual Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music to the Civic and will serve as a backdrop to the annual Church Street Fair, where the street outside the library will be blocked off for pedestrians and taken over by activities for kids and a stage for local musicians. 

Like most public art in Santa Cruz, this project is a collaboration between many groups coming together to make our town more beautiful. In this case, Santa Cruz City Arts and Santa Cruz Public Libraries joined forces with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History and design firm Studio Holladay, as well as more than 100 community participants, to bring Bridget’s artwork into the street-scape.

Arts and culture are not only an intrinsic part of our community’s identity, they are also a strong economic engine. The most recent economic impact study of nonprofit arts and culture in Santa Cruz County calculated $32 million in economic activity annually. Events like the Cabrillo Festival, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and the Symphony draw visitors from around the world and contribute $2.86 million in local and state tax revenue.

It’s going to be a busy weekend in Downtown Santa Cruz! Hope to see you there.

Locally Grown Economic Development

Economic development can mean different things to different cities, and each community’s approach to this issue must be tailored to the resources and wishes of its citizens.

In Santa Cruz we face some economic challenges, but are blessed with an incredible amount of raw materials with which to work. Not only do we have the Pacific Ocean and some of the best surf breaks and beaches in California, but we have a major university, UCSC and a number of healthy clusters of businesses, including organic foods, technology, arts, tourism, and outdoor sports companies. For a little town of 60,000 we have a brand known worldwide. No matter where I travel, whenever I tell people where I’m from, they know Santa Cruz; and they know it’s an amazing place.

While many communities focus on business “attraction” efforts that result in large public subsidies for manufacturers to locate in a jurisdiction, we know that those kinds of activities aren’t generally in sync with our community’s character. Every once in a while a special opportunity comes along that is also a good cultural fit, like the Santa Cruz Warriors.  The City did provide financial support for the Warriors to join our community, however the deal was structured in such a way as to capture nearly all of our public investment back over the coming years. The Santa Cruz Warriors completed their successful inaugural season this spring, making the NBA Development League finals and selling out nearly all of their home games.  

There are other ways a City can help foster a great business climate. While it may not be immediately apparent, improving our road conditions, as we’ve done along Ocean Street, Riverside Avenue and Beach Street; or addressing traffic congestion at River/Highway 9 has a very real impact on the bottom lines of our local merchants. That’s why our coming year’s budget includes more than $2 million in additional infrastructure spending.

Most of our economic development efforts have focused on targeted programs to help out specific sectors, like our new hotel facade improvement project, which stakes a public investment into hotel renovation to incentive owner investments of more than $300,000 into property upgrades, or our downtown parking program, which waives parking fees for new businesses to set up shop downtown.

We’ve also invested in a trolley to help forge deeper connections between the beach and downtown during the summer tourist season, worked on creating better access to broadband internet and continue to improve wayfinding mechanisms so that visitors can find their way around. Our public art and anti-graffiti programs are proven cost-effective tools for eliminating blight and supporting the creation of successful places that reflect and support local culture.

We know that one of the best things a City can do when trying to grow the tax base is to support small and first-time entrepreneurs. That’s where the majority of new jobs are created in the economy. In fact, according to the SBA, 552,600 small businesses are created in the United States each year. Small businesses account for 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, 49.2 percent of private-sector employment and 42.9 percent of private-sector payrolls. 

That is why we built OpenCounter with a team of Code for America fellows in 2012. It’s a software program that gives entrepreneurs a simple interface to discover the permits, fees and regulations that will come into play when they try to set up shop in Santa Cruz.

OpenCounter has been embraced by the business community, and since May 15th, the City of Santa Cruz has seen more than 200 people create accounts and 25 entrepreneurs formally submit applications through the system. This is almost double the volume that we anticipated when we launched the site in December 2012.

 Last week we learned that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation selected OpenCounter as one of eight winners of the Knight News Challenge. The Knight Foundation believes that this tool should be available in more communities than just Santa Cruz and further developed to scale and adapt to other permitting schemas nationwide.

OpenCounter and our other programs are just the beginning. In the coming years, under the leadership of our Economic Development Director Bonnie Lipscomb, we’ll continue to focus on making it easier to start up and scale a business in Surf City, and supporting efforts that keep our town vibrant and economically strong.

 

Best,

Martin

 

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Remembering Our Officers

Five months ago, a madman tried to tear apart our community.  He failed. 

While we’re still recovering from the loss of two police officers, Detective Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler, Santa Cruz has pulled together to support our police, their families and our shared commitment to public safety in the months since their passing.

They haven’t been easy months, but the pain of the tragedy has been eased by the outpouring of support that the City and its Police Department received in the aftermath of the shooting. 

Our darkest day had more than its fair share of heroism, not only from the officers and deputies who ended the violence on Doyle Drive, but by our Fire Department staff who pulled bystanders to safety and American Medical Response, who was on scene rendering aid even before the scene was secured. A block down Branciforte, Joe’s Pizza and Subs was shut down to serve as an incident command post, but employees stayed on to feed and comfort first responders. 

As resources poured in via mutual aid to contain and secure the scene, dispatchers at the 911 Center worked hard to make sure that regular calls for service were closed out and Santa Cruz County stayed safe.  Officers from UCSC, Capitola, Scotts Valley and Watsonville worked long hours that night, and many nights afterwards while the Sheriff’s office, following standard protocol, took over the incident, and the following investigation. 

In the days after the shooting, our officer’s memorial was coordinated thanks to hard work of their colleagues in San Jose, the staff at Santa Cruz Memorial and the management and technicians at the HP Arena. Their procession was accompanied by thousands of uniformed officers and greeted by thousands more along the route. And in the days after the attack, the Sherriff’s Office and the Highway Patrol patrolled our streets while our officers grieved for their fallen comrades. 

Others stepped up in the ways that they could, whether it was placing flowers or lighting a candle at the memorial outside the Police Station, signing cards or simply waving to police officers. Some spent time baking and delivering cinnamon rolls to for the morning watch, as Kelly’s bakery did for months after the tragedy, or donating to the scholarship fund set up in the officer’s names. That fund has swelled to more than $300,000 in donations, a truly amazing figure.

The City is honoring this outpouring of support this coming Tuesday, the 25th at 7:00 pm in our City Council Chambers.

In what will surely be an emotional event, we’ll share commendations and offer keys to the City to some of those who volunteered their time, their services or their money to helping us recover from the loss of these two officers. If you’d like to attend, the event is open to the pubic.

We’ll never forget the sacrifice that these two officers made, and we’ll never break our commitment to their families, or their brothers and sisters on the force to honoring their loss.

Best, 

Martín Bernal

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