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Jack Duran, District 1 Update

District 1 Update November 2015
Jack Duran, Supervisor District 1

County Changes for the better

For a large organization to succeed, it must adapt to change. Placer County, one of those large organizations, is in the midst of some significant changes. While these changes may not affect the everyday lives of residents, they do speak to our ongoing mission to improve how we function. We’re streamlining operations, modernizing how we do business, improving our ability to provide services and taking steps to ensure that residents are receiving what they're owed. 

One of the changes we recently made was to combine the Department of Public Works with Facility Services. Public Works paves roads and plows snow from the second most busiest roadways in the state, trailing only Caltrans. More than 100 bridges are the responsibility of Public Works, which manages all of our roadway and bridge construction projects. Public transit also falls under Public Works' responsibilities, as does maintaining all county vehicles. Facility Services manages and maintains all our buildings, whether office, library, halls or recreation, and many parks and outdoor amenities throughout the county. All capital improvements for county buildings, whether new construction or remodeling, are the responsibility of Facility Services.   

Since we have maintenance and construction workers in both departments and we buy construction materials for both departments, it just makes sense that these two similar departments be merged into one, reducing redundancies and achieving an economy of scale. We’ve put these like operations under one roof, so to speak.  This change resulted in a $600,000 savings in labor costs, in addition to creating other efficiencies, chief among them a singular organizational structure to better serve constituents.

We've also created a new human resources department. Previously, the Personnel Department and several other separate offices handled all employee matters. Human Resources will now manage all personnel activities, and support the Civil Service Commission, Risk Management, leave management, labor relations, safety and Organizational Development, which coordinates employee training. We are also installing a modern employee evaluation system that does away with the report card model of the past and replaces it with a system that enables staff adjustments throughout the year. We want to quickly adapt to workplace and workflow changes. We owe it to our taxpaying public to ensure our employees are doing their jobs well, efficiently and at the lowest cost.    

The human resources changes have also occurred, in part, to better position the county in the competition for skilled and high quality employees. We need to be seen as an attractive employer. By streamlining our hiring process and putting all these functions under one department, it will be easier for us to attract competent and experienced staff. 

But getting good people to work for Placer County is only half the personnel battle; we also need to keep them. Providing opportunities for employee development and advancement are key factors in staff retention. It's a symbiotic relationship; if we facilitate employee growth, the organization is improved by having better trained and more capable staff. The new Human Resources Department will give us a leg up on these many important functions. 

Finally, Placer County has also developed a new county logo that will eventually grace almost all county communications.  The new logo was developed entirely by County Staff at minimal cost to taxpayers.  We want everyone to know about all the constituent services we provide. By creating a single identity, we will establish who we are and from that will flow all the positive attributes and opportunities that exist within our borders.  Here is the new logo: 

New Placer County Logo

These organizational and business changes will enable the county to be more responsive to the needs of the public. 

It is an honor to serve as your representative on the Placer County Board of Supervisors. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact me by telephone, 916-787-8950 or by email, jduran@placer.ca.gov.

 

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