Article & Photos By Daniel Borsuk
Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors quickly approved on a 4-0 vote a Joint Exercise Powers Agreement on Tuesday in order to become a member of the forthcoming new statewide public assistance case management system called the CalSAWS Consortium.
There was neither public comment nor statements from supervisors on this pricey project.
“This is the first step in the consolidation of three automated welfare systems into one,” Contra Costa County Employment and Human Services Director Kathy Gallagher told the Contra Costa Herald after supervisors took their action.
Gallagher said the new automated welfare system requiring approval from California’s 58 County Boards of Supervisors will go into effect on June 28, 2019.
Basically, the new system will permit welfare recipients to use technology, i.e., social media. “It’ll be updated and will be more useful for our customers or users, who use social media,” said Gallagher.
In Contra Costa County there are about 200,000 welfare recipients who could potentially access the new CalSAWS system, said Gallagher.
The Employment and Human Resources Chief said the annual cost to the county for using the CalSAWS system will likely exceed the current price tag of $5.5 million. It is expected the inaugural cost to the county to plug in and use CALSAWS will run about $5.8 million a year.
Andersen Lauds Discovery Bay’s Request for Automated License Plate Reader Cameras
While District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis continues to recuperate from heart surgery, District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen of San Ramon went to bat for her in supporting Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston’s item request of $331,000 for the acquisition and installation of Automated License Plate Reader cameras in the Discovery Bay area.
The agenda item was initially a consent item until Andersen requested that it be pulled for public review and action by the supervisors.
“I have seen how Automated License Plate Reader cameras have effectively reduced crime in Danville,” Andersen said in support of the anti-crime technology.
It not only helps in the detection of stolen vehicles, but also as an investigative tool for persons and property crimes, missing persons, runaways and other crimes or circumstances where vehicles are used by suspects or persons of interest.
Supervisors voted 4-0 in approving Sheriff-Coroner Livingston’s request to have automated license plate reader cameras installed at strategic locations in Discovery Bay. This would provide “virtually 100 percent coverage of the entrances and egress of the Discovery Bay area and would prove to be an invaluable tool for law enforcement,” Livingston wrote in a background statement to the supervisors dated March 19.
Sheriff-Coroner Livingston noted that the Discovery Bay P-6 Citizen Advisory Committee “thought ALPR to be an appropriate tool for identifying suspect vehicles coming and going in their town. With its location along Hwy 4 and other country roads, criminals can easily escape from Discovery Bay in a matter of minutes after committing their crimes.”
Some of the consent items Supervisors approved included:
Public Records Act Revision
Supervisors changed the administrative bulletin concerning public access to county records under the Public Records Act. At the recommendation of County Administrator David Twa, the bulletin has been revised to “describe the increasing array of media on which public records may be found, such as flash drives, cell phones, and tablets. Similarly, recognizing the shift of most records being held in the electronic format, the updated administrative bulletin discusses format in which a record should be produced and the charge, if any, for the record in a certain format.”
Apply for California Preservation Program and State Library Assessment Program
Supervisors approved Contra Costa County Librarian Melinda Cervantes’ request to apply for and to accept a Collection Preservation Assessment Project award from the California Preservation Program and California State Library to provide services for the purpose of planning proper care of the local history collection, which consists of more than 3,050 items pertaining to the history of the county, its cities and localities.
Cervantes informed supervisors in a recommendation that the collection consists of “3,050 items pertaining to the history of the county and its cities and localities. “
The county librarian wrote, “The collection is an invaluable and unique research resource. Many of the items are rare and irreplaceable. Although there is controlled access to the material, most of the materials, due to age and fragile condition, need more extensive preservation, “wrote Cervantes in a memo to the supervisors.
The artifacts are currently housed in the Pleasant Hill Library.