County code enforcement is a mess. Cases are badly backlogged, databases are out of date and the department receives so little revenue that it drains the county’s general fund.
Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will discuss some fixes to the department-wide problems, to make the office “swift, fair and effective.”
Part of the issue comes from layoffs after the economic recession six years ago, the county says. But that’s being fixed with a plan to hire more staff, modernize tracking software and come up with a more efficient way to prioritize code violation cases.
Over the past decade, the department’s building division has logged 2,036 cases and resolved just 731. That leaves 1,305 unresolved. Staff blames a “woefully insufficient” database.
- Former Agnews Developmental Center ward Howard Dully was 12 when a doctor poked an icepick through his eyelids and scrambled his frontal lobe. The Santa Clara County resident, now in his 60s, was one of only a few children and one of about 2,500 patients between the 1940s and ‘60s to undergo a lobotomy at the hands of a psychiatrist named Walter Freeman. Dully survived, but always felt a part of himself was missing. Still, he managed to build a life for himself, becoming a bus driver, earning a college degree, marrying the love of his life and writing a book. My Lobotomy (2007) details his experience as one of a few functioning survivors of a barbaric surgery. Supervisors will take a moment when they meet to commend Dully’s bravery in telling his story.
- The Lions Club wants your old eyeglasses to give to the needy.
- Uvas Reservoir County Park will expand to include 358 more acres that’s home to red-tail hawks, checkerspot butterflies and oak trees. The $1 million to pay for the land comes from an open-space trust.
- Pretty soon all new public and commercial buildings in unincorporated parts of the county will have to install water bottle-filling stations.
- Supervisors want to keep tabs on the amount of overhead the county pays for university grants. In some cases, the county was paying nearly a third of the amount in service-related costs without vetting whether that’s a reasonable share or not.
- Supervisors will take a moment to remember Aldyth Parle, a former Santa Clara councilwoman who died this month in a car crash.
- The state will pay nearly $1 million for the county to hire a consultant for the Social Services Agency to oversee a new database project.
- Local runaway youth and homeless shelters will get a piece of a $1 million state grant.
- Though we got a bit of rain this past month, the drought is still pretty dire and county residents still need to cut water consumption by 20 percent.
- Supervisors will review a five-year re-entry plan, which lays out a blueprint for how to integrate ex-inmates back into the community.
- The county created a work group to oversee its civil detainer policy, a local rule that exempts law enforcement from turning over undocumented criminals to federal immigration officials.
- Those quarterly reports on supervisors’ county charge cards are in. The show Mike Wasserman spent about $900 at Staples. No other supervisors were listed, either because they don’t have a P-card or didn’t use it this quarter.
WHAT: Board of Supervisors meets
WHEN: 9am Tuesday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 408.299.5001