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2012 Employee Recognition Awards - General Government

GOLD - Shared by Mauricio Pacheco and Steve Belick

Working at the General Services Department's warehouse facility, Steve and Mauricio are responsible for distributing commonly used materials and supplies to County departments, as well as storing approximately 10,000 boxes of records from County departments and responding to departmental requests for retrieval and review of records. Partnering with the Sheriff's Office, Steve and Mauricio also work with inmates from the County's minimum security facilities who are able to gain valuable job skills while completing their sentences. Steve and Mauricio always treat inmates with kindness and respect and take the time to share life skills that can help inmates when they are released from custody. In addition to their regular assignments, Steve and Mauricio have taken on additional work associated with delivery and pick-up of more than 70 food collection barrels at 30 different locations throughout County facilities to support the County's participation in the annual Holiday Food Drive. With every task they perform and every request for assistance that comes their way, Steve and Mauricio demonstrate their commitment to extraordinary customer service.


SILVER - Shared by the Members of the General Services Department's Energy Efficiency Upgrade Team

Left to Right:
John Singleton
Anthony Loero
Carol Johnson
Mark Martinez
William Kersten

Not Pictured:
Mike Phillips

The County of Santa Cruz submitted a successful request for funds from the California Energy Commission's Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block program to implement energy efficiency upgrades at five County facilities and was awarded $746,000. Carol, Anthony, William, John, Mark, and Mike were the primary group responsible for implementation of building upgrades made possible through these funds. As a result of their work, the County has been able to vastly improve the core HVAC structure at five different County facilities. By improving HVAC infrastructure through the installation of variable speed drive technology on motors and air handling units, advanced system controls, and new HVAC motors, staff now has greater control of HVAC operations and has realized reductions in energy costs. With projected electricity cost savings of $37,000 per year and annual natural gas reductions yielding roughly $42,000, over the course of 20 years the County expects to experience over $1.5 million in utility cost savings. These important projects will provide a lasting benefit both for building infrastructure as well as for workers and visitors to the County's various facilities.


BRONZE - Shared by the members of the Property Tax System Implementation Team

Back Row, Left to Right:
Paresh Patel
MaryLou Cross
Paula Pelot
Nicole Saldavia
Dennis Thomas

Middle Row, Left to Right:
Nada Algharib
Marianne Ellis
Regina Rodriguez
Michelle Garcia
Minerva Torres
Tibi McCann

Front Row, Left to Right:
Judy Pappas
Cheryl Windsor
Nelly Decker

Not Pictured:
Mark Buxbaum
Claudia Cunha
Stacey Lake
Cheryl McGinley
Gary Prochazka
Belinda Thomas
David Zweig

Property taxes are a primary revenue source for local government, including the County general fund, cities, schools, fire districts and other special districts. Approximately $400 million in property taxes are assessed, billed, collected, and distributed annually through the property tax system. Faced with a 30 year old property tax system that resided on an outdated mainframe computer system which could no longer be supported, County staff in the Assessor's Office, Treasurer Tax-Collector's Office, Auditor-Controller's Office, and Information Services Department took on the task of developing a software system that could meet the demands of the County's complex tax system. Members of the team began the arduous project in early 2008 and the project culminated in 2012 when the system went live with the preparation and mailing of the fiscal year 2012-13 property tax bills from the new system. Throughout the entirety of the process, each member of the team understood the importance of property taxes to property owners and to local governments and recognized that success was the only option. Team members are to be commended for the talent, knowledge, hard work, dedication, resourcefulness, and tenacity they demonstrated throughout every phase of development of this extremely successful new system.