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2019 Employee Recognition Awards - Land Use

Mark Strudley, Public Works Department

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Mark, the County’s Flood Control Division Manager, led the way to successfully resolving a 53-year-old problem that involved addressing flooding issues along the Pajaro River. The project to rebuild the Pajoro River levees had been stalled in the feasibility stage with the Army Corps of Engineers for many years. Mark was able to work with the Army Corp and legislative offices to get the project out of the feasibility stage, to change state mechanisms related to funding, and to form a Joint Powers Authority to assist with local funding and oversight of the project. Additionally, Mark’s work freed up access to $100 million in funding for this important project. As a result of Mark’s diligence, the plan to re-build the Pajaro River levees to increase the level of protection from a 10-year storm to a 100-year storm can now become reality.
Tim Goncharoff, Public Works Department

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Tim’s achievements in the field of recycling and solid waste are commendable. He has authored various environmental protection laws and ordinances that have been copied by local and state agencies, including Drug and Sharps EPR laws, the straw ban, and the first law of its kind to omit small disposable toiletries in hotels and motels. Most recently, Tim proposed and developed the 25-cent fee on single use disposable cups. Additionally, the Country’s the Zero Waste Plan, also authored by Tim, received an award in 2019 from the California State Association of Counties. Tim’s efforts help to protect our natural resources, and support change to positively impact our climate.
Tied between: Members of the Near-Term Housing Amendments Team, and Members of the Special Events Team

Members of the Near-Term Housing Amendments Team, left to right: Natisha Williams, Annie Murphy, Daisy Allen, Suzanne Ise
Not pictured: Stephanie Hansen
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In response to the ongoing housing crisis and in partnership with our Board and the Housing Advisory Commission, this Planning Department team worked to develop a package of code amendments that could create a regulatory path for generating new housing units in innovative ways. Some of these code changes include revised Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations, farmworker housing solutions for our agricultural workers, housing allowed on public facilities land in certain situations, and the creation of a Permanent Room Housing Combining Zone district to allow converted older motel units to continue to serve as housing. These regulatory changes are a significant step toward helping to combat our county’s housing crisis.

Members of the Special Events Team, left to right: Mary Chavez, Kathy DeWild, Margaret Ingraham, Annie Morris, Jessica Beebe
Not pictured: Jennifer Mead
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The Special Events Team went above and beyond this year to bring outstanding recreational opportunities to our community. In 2016, County Parks provided 8 special events for the public’s enjoyment. In comparison, Parks Department finished 2019 with 58 publicly promoted special events. These included 40 different activities, 11 outdoor movies and 7 large community events with exercise classes, pop up playgrounds, bird watching and pop up farmer’s markets.