Home Contra Costa County Supervisor Gioia Provides List of Accomplishments in Outgoing Board Chair Comments

Supervisor Gioia Provides List of Accomplishments in Outgoing Board Chair Comments

by ECT

The following comments were made by outgoing Chair of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor John Gioia during their annual board re-organizational meeting.

Supervisor Gioia thanked his staff while stating the improvements made to the county and how residents have benefited during his time as chair:


I want to start by thanking my colleagues for allowing me to serve as Chair this past year.   I also want to thank my office staff and all the county staff, especially the County Administrator’s Office, for helping me be as effective as possible in my role as Chair.   And I want to thank our County commissioners and advisory board members who give their time generously as volunteers. I strongly believe that our successes are a team effort and I’m glad and honored to be associated with so many dedicated and hard working public servants.

Looking back at 2015, I’m really proud of our achievements as a team.   We accomplished a lot to improve the quality of life in our County. I strongly believe that our successes demonstrate that government, especially county government, can be a positive source for good.

Critics often say that government can’t play an effective role in improving lives and community, or even that it gets in the way.   Many also don’t fully understand and appreciate the vital work of county government and how it can positively impact so many lives.  I’m proud to briefly highlight some of our accomplishments from last year that clearly demonstrate the relevance and importance of our work.

We improved the health of Contra Costa residents in several ways.   More County residents than ever are now covered by health insurance because of our successful local Medi-Cal expansion effort under the Affordable Care Act. Nearly one-fifth of County residents (that’s nearly 200,000 people) are enrolled in our Contra Costa Health Plan and a majority of them are being cared for in our own hospital and clinics.

We expanded health and dental care for youth by partnering with Kennedy High in Richmond to open a community health clinic at the school. We now have over 40 school-based health centers serving young people throughout the County.

We helped families affected by mental illness and approved a plan to implement Laura’s Law to provide assisted outpatient treatment to those with serious mental illness, and further integrated the County’s mental health, substance abuse and homeless services.

We continue to save lives of County residents who suffer heart attacks.  Last year, the American Heart Association nationally recognized our Emergency Medical Services Agency for its work in optimizing the care of heart-attack patients during transport to the hospital, and in emergency rooms.

We improved everyone’s public health by partnering with local hospitals and community clinics to provide healthcare to undocumented adults and families. I’m especially proud of this Board’s leadership on this issue, which makes sure our most vulnerable have access to healthcare.

We improved public safety by approving an innovative public-private partnership between our Consolidated Fire District and AMR to provide high quality emergency ambulance service to the majority of County residents. This new arrangement will speed ambulance response time, reduce service duplication, and enable us to access new federal funding.   It’s a win-win-win.

We helped low-income families become more self-sufficient by expanding pre-school opportunities for children and making assistance to buy healthy foods available in three days rather than 30 days, to those with immediate food needs.

We improved public safety for Contra Costa families and crime victims by opening two Family Justice Centers, one in Concord and a permanent new site in Richmond. These one-stop centers provide an array of vital services to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse.

We improved community safety by expanding services to formerly incarcerated individuals to help them get stable housing and employment, which reduce the likelihood of criminal recidivism.   We helped open a one-stop Reentry Success Center in Richmond and created housing opportunities in Central and East County.

We are also making our County a more sustainable place to live with measures that also help residents save money.

We made it easier for residents of unincorporated areas to finance energy and water conservation improvements by establishing a Property Assessed Clean Energy (or PACE) program.

We’re hiring a new County Sustainability Coordinator to help lead our sustainability initiatives and pursue new funding to expand those efforts.

We approved a Climate Action Plan identifying how the County will achieve its greenhouse gas reduction targets while supporting public health, energy efficiency, water conservation, and air quality goals. These efforts will result in lower energy bills and enhance our quality of life.

We are also exploring whether to pursue Community Choice Energy to enable us to receive more of our electricity from renewables like wind and solar.

We also honored our Veterans by helping, through our County Veterans Service Office, nearly 6,000 veterans access $24 million in well-deserved and life-changing benefits.

And we did all these things, and more, in a fiscally prudent way!

We protected the taxpayer and the County’s fiscal health by approving a structurally balanced budget of over $3 billion while exercising strong financial management that earned us the highest (let me repeat that….) the highest possible credit rating – AAA.   This rating enabled the County to restructure debt, saving taxpayers four and a half million dollars.

How many public agencies can say they positively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives while exercising the highest level of fiscal management?

We demonstrated our appreciation for the hard work of our County employees.   Recovering from several years of financial challenge, we approached our recent labor negotiations recognizing that our employees made sacrifices during those lean years, and that we have a responsibility to make prudent fiscal decisions for the County’s long-term financial health.   We concluded several labor negotiations providing well-deserved wage increases and reducing health care costs for most of our employees.

I’m proud of what our County family has done together for our residents. Everyone who works for Contra Costa County should feel proud too! We’re all part of making it happen. Our successes demonstrate the positive role of government in improving the lives of families and making our communities a better place to live.

As always, I want to thank the residents of West County for giving me the opportunity to represent them on this Board for the past 17 years.     I consider it an honor and a privilege to hold this position of public trust.

Finally, I want to ask my hard working District One staff to stand up so I can introduce the ones that are here.   They are truly dedicated to the residents of West County and they support and help me everyday.   My Chief of Staff Sonia Bustamante, and District Representatives James Lyons and Robert Rogers.     And those that are not here – Kate Rauch, Joan Carpenter and Cynthia Patton.

I look forward to continuing to work with all of my colleagues this year as we continue to make Contra Costa a better place to live for all our residents, throughout the County.

Prepared statement provided by Supervisor John Gioia

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