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YuCount Community Newsletter SEPTEMBER 2017

Post Date:09/06/2017 9:15 AM
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QUARTERLY SAFETY AWARD WINNER
Each quarter, Yuma County employees are eligible to be nominated as the Safety Excellence Award Winner. This quarter’s recipient is Candy Wheeler-Ruby, the Public Fiduciary.

As the head of her office, Candy realizes the potential threat of violence from clients and/or their family members. She conducted a security risk assessment of her area, installed security cameras, and developed security procedures along with training of her staff.  She invited the Sheriff's Office to teach staff self-defense and installed security measures to protect employees while driving vehicles for client transport.

It is Candy's can-do attitude that has trained and empowered her staff to be prepared.  Congratulations Candy and thank you for your hard work and dedication!
 
YUMA COUNTY VOLUNTEERS
Each year, your County Government sets time aside to recognize the dedication of our employees making a difference working for you; but recently, we took the time to recognize another important component, those who dedicate their valuable time for free!

Recently, your County Government celebrated the many volunteers who dedicate their time to the many boards and commissions within our organization.

As volunteers, they have chosen to undertake a service, or duty, which in the long run makes a big difference in our lives.  These volunteers come from many different walks of life, which is part of the formula for great board or committee.

Russell McCloud, Vice-Chairman, Yuma County Board of Supervisors, explained, "Things work better in the county, because of the work that they do.  Our community works better because of the things that they do.  They deserve to be recognized".

As for the volunteers, it is a passion for giving back to the community or just feeling a part of the community that makes volunteering special and sometimes so special they will do it for long periods of time.

Bobbi Firebush, 16 Year Merit Award Board Veteran, explained, "I have a very strong belief that people within the community need to give back to the community.  It is a very small role that I play, but as Diane Umphress just recently said,  a few minutes ago, I never realized the degree of awesomeness that we have of people working for the county. They are very often times the unsung heroes.  It is nice to have their supervisors nominate them and it is very nice to see what they do. It is nice to give credit where it is due".    

If you are interested in volunteering in your County Government, you can check us out at yumacountyaz.gov . Once there, go to our Human Resources page and drill to employment.  There you will find the tab for volunteer opportunities.

 
MOSQUITOES
We are all ready for cooler temperatures in the southwest, but it seems the heat is lingering on and that is good news for mosquitoes that thrive in this environment. Our vector control experts have some information to help you fight the bite.
 
Richard Cuming, Vector Control Specialist, explained how you can be your own Aedes Aegypti mosquito hero by following a few simple rules.  He stated, “Keep in mind the tip and toss water method at all times since the Aedes Aegypti only needs about a cap full of water to breed. The Aedes eject their eggs right at the water line on the side of the container.  As the water is used or evaporated, the eggs dry out and those eggs can stay dry for up to a year.   Even though you don't think you have any mosquitoes in your back yard, a monsoon season, or your water sprinklers, can fill those containers back up with water.  Then the Aedes Aegypti can start breeding in those containers.

To prevent this from happening, take a few minutes every week to go throughout your yard and get rid of everything that can hold water.  Check containers such as buckets, planters, water buckets, and the plates underneath your potted plants.  Pet bowls are really big mosquito breeders.

To keep the Aedes out of your house, make sure you have screens in all your windows.  Use air conditioning as much as possible.  Make sure you don't have water vases with standing water in them, like flower vases or lucky bamboo. Make sure the plates underneath the potted plants inside are not holding water more than a couple of days. If they are, wash the plates out.  We have seen the Aedes in back bathrooms, sinks and toilets that people don't use regularly.  Go out there once or twice a week and flush the toilet and make sure that it has water in it.  No Aedes Aegypti have been found inside of pools because it is a container breeder, but there are other mosquitoes such as Culex species in the area that love un-kept swimming pools.  Keep your pool chlorinated and working properly and you won't have that problem.  If you notice a green pool in your neighborhood, please do not hesitate to give us a call. Environmental Health will go out and talk with the home owner and work with them to get it treated, drained and back in operation.

Vector Control is aggressively trapping for Aedes Aegypti throughout our community. When we do find the Aedes Aegypti we go door to door and distribute informational pamphlets. These pamphlets let the homeowner know what they need to do to keep themselves safe when they go through their yards”.

For further information regarding mosquitoes, call  Yuma County Health Departmentat (928) 317-4584.

 
PAVING YUMA COUNTY ROADS
Over the last few months, our Public Works Department has been focusing on gravel roads.  That does not mean that we have stopped the other areas of maintenance.

Crews are doing overlay work in the county to help extend the life of local roads.  Once done, they will chip seal the roads which will add skid resistance and extends the life of the roads.

Joshua Scott, Public Works Director explained, "Street overlays need to take place before October.  That is when the chip sealing will start.  Currently we are about a quarter of the way through the twenty-six miles of overlays.  We will continue working through this month and all of next month in preparation for the chip seal this October."

For more information about the current road maintenance, please call the Public Works Department, or just point your browser to yumacountyaz.gov/roadwork .


 

VIRTUAL BUILDINGS
Virtual Reality is being used more these days in lots of applications and soon, a program developed by your county government will hopefully bring virtual buildings and eventually business growth to Yuma County.

The new program is going to be used to make things easier for land owners with 2-acre parcels to design buildings for manufacturing and industrial uses.  The process would also defer any permitting fees until the building is complete. 

Paul Melcher, Deputy County Administrator, explained, "For Yuma County, in particular, we wanted to take that concept from the city, adapt it to the county use and be able to have that available for developers for a tool as well."

TheYuma County Development Services Department is currently working on a plan to get this information to area land owners and businesses that can benefit.  This fall the virtual building program will be available.

 


CYBER SECURITY TIP OF THE MONTH 
Each month, the Yuma County IT Security Division will provide a monthly Cyber Security Tip. This month we will be focusing on mobile phones and devices. As we discussed last month, using strong passwords allows us to create an additional layer of security especially when it comes to safeguarding information and protecting our privacy both at work and home.
 
Mobile phones and devices have become a common staple in today's world. Many people these days use their mobile devices for work, entertainment, and everyday life. But what happens if the device is lost or stolen? Would cyber criminals be able to log in and collect data? Who would you notify? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves when setting up accounts and storing information on mobile phones and devices. Listed below are a few quick reminders and recommendations.

•Use strong passwords on all of your mobile and portable devices. Never use passwords that are easy to guess, generic or the same for all accounts.
•Never install untrusted or unknown applications on your devices.
•Never store any sensitive work data on any mobile device unless it has been encrypted.
•If possible, configure your devices to "auto erase" once multiple login failures have occurred.
•Take advantage of any remote device tracking suites provided by mobile phone and device manufacturers.
•If your work mobile phone or device is ever lost or stolen, notify your IT Department immediately.

Remember...CYBER SECURITY STARTS WITH YOU
 
For more information and resources on cyber security, please visit the IT Security Division page under the Information Technology Services Department page athttp://www.yumacountyaz.gov/ITS or contact your IT Department.
 

YOUTH EMPOWERMENT SUPPORT (Y.E.S.)     
The first round of the Youth Empowerment Support (Y.E.S) Program of 2017 is currently in progress! This Life Skills Program prepares individuals and families with constructive education tools, along with proactive and sustainable skills necessary to build self-confidence, improve family relations, prevent relapse and build resiliency. We currently have 11 participants which include those referred from the Hope Assessment Center, Diversion, and Probation.

This program is a six-session expedition.  The first two weeks, we met with youth and their parent/guardian. The family sessions teach positive interaction, communication, and effective discipline.  For example, how to build meaningful conversations through communication, noticing and complimenting the good, and how to effectively ignore negative behavior.

In the remaining four sessions, the youth continue to build pro-social skills, decision-making, and problem-solving skills and learn how to build resiliency. Each session equips the youth with proper tools and understanding of life in society.
Parent and Youth Communication Activity: This activity requires both parties to concentrate and listen, which is key to communication. As a team, they sat with their backs to each other. One person describes the drawing while the other listens and draws it without looking. After, we had a discussion as to what was easy and/or difficult and how it relates to some of the assumptions we have.
Road Map to the Future Activity: Cards were passed out and the youth were asked to place them in order according to the order they would like to achieve their goals. Cards included trade school/college, living with parents, rent/buy home, travel, relationship, and no kids/kids. After, they shared with the class the different paths each would to take to reach their success!
Pro-Social Activity: Old Fashioned Brownies was the result of the group successfully completing this Pro-social activity. We learned the importance of reading, following directions, how to divide into fourths, what it means to have a recipe, and most importantly how to work effectively as a team.







 
CONGRATULATIONS TIM HARDY!
Congratulations to our Director Tim Hardy who has been elected as President Elect of the American Probation and Parole Association, a national position. Tim will serve in this capacity for
two years, President for two years and, finally, two years as a past President, in an advisory role. Hence, he will be serving six (6) years. Tim was sworn in at the conclusion of the APPA Conference in New York City in August.

Tim has served as regional representative for APPA, is the Director of Juvenile Court, and is an inexorable Kid at Hope!

We are proud of Tim’s many accomplishments, dedication and commitment to giving all children an opportunity to be successful, no exceptions!

 
*Left is Frances Murrietta (Somerton Branch Manager) and Right is Erika Bustamante (LAI Teen Spanish Outreach – Somerton Branch Library)

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH-SEPTEMBER 2017 
 
Erika Bustamante, LAI Teen Spanish Outreach (Somerton), has been chosen as the Yuma County Library District’s Employee of the Month for September 2017. This award is to recognize an employee that inspires us with their effort and attitude. Erika received a mounted certificate, a name plate in the book of her choice, an Employee of the Month pin, and her photo will be hung in the Somerton Library during the month of September.
Congratulations Erika!



SEPTEMBER LIBRARY EVENTS

 



MARATHON RUN SCHEDULE
Dare to dream big…Registrations are now open for the Yuma Territorial Marathon and Half Marathon.  Take part in the next upcoming run that will be held on January 27, 2018.  Get your “Finisher” medal out of all the awards you receive in your life. The Marathon Finisher medal will be the one you want to keep around your neck forever. Last year, we had a total of 23 county employees participate from various departments who started and crossed the finish line.

Upcoming Runs hosted by the City of Yuma Parks and Recreation – Registrations will be posted soon.

October 7,  Zombie Run (untimed, no 10k) –West Wetlands
November 11, Turkey Trot -Gateway Park
December 16, Reindeer Roundup -West Wetlands Park
January 6,  New Year’s Resolutions -West Wetlands Park
February 10, Great Yuma Road Race – Start at 16th Street end in Gateway Park
March 3, March On City Finals - West Wetlands Park

 


SUPERVISOR REYES RECEIVES THE ARTHUR CROZIER PARTNERS IN HOUSING AWARD
During the Arizona Department of Housing’s annual conference on August 25, 2017, Marco A. “Tony” Reyes, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, was awarded the Arthur Crozier Partners in Housing Award.  Every year, the Arizona Department of Housing gives out awards in various categories such as Innovative Supportive Housing Program, Exemplary Rural Multifamily Project, Elected Official, etc. This year, the conference was held at the Scottsdale Fairmont Princess.  During the Brian Mickelsen Housing Hero Awards ceremony, Supervisor Reyes was presented with the Arthur Crozier Partners in Housing Award for his lifetime achievements.  This award celebrates the single action of a lifetime of successes of individuals committed to improving the lives of families and the health of communities through the recognition that decent, affordable housing is basic to our social fabric.
 
Supervisor Reyes has been a public servant for more than thirty (30) years.  His public service started with the City of San Luis Council where he served as Vice-Mayor for one (1) year and Mayor for twelve (12) years.  Supervisor Reyes was elected as a County Supervisor for District 4 in 1998.  While serving as an elected official, Supervisor Reyes advocated for decent affordable housing for low-income families and many other projects that would improve the health and livability for residents in his district and overall Yuma County. 
 
During his time with the Yuma County Board of Supervisors, he has actively participated and advocated for affordable decent housing within Yuma County.  As a result, Yuma County built an internal housing team comprised of Building Officials, HUD Housing Department staff, and Administration Grants staff to work on the owner occupied housing rehabilitation (OOHR) program.  The County’s OOHR program is focused on building code requirements as well as health and safety.  It is a much more comprehensive program and provides a holistic approach to rebuilding neighborhoods.
 
Tony Reyes is also the founder and Executive Director of Comite De Bienestar, a nonprofit corporation in the City of San Luis.  Since 1977, Comite De Bienestar has worked to empower Mexican-Americans and new immigrants in overcoming the many barriers they face, including very low wages, little access to conventional financing for housing and limited political representation.  As Executive Director of Comite, he has worked closely with the United States Department of Agriculture and the State Land Department for many years to develop hundreds of affordable homes in the City of San Luis.
 

In 1935, the 12th Legislature of the State of Arizona passed House Bill No. 129 giving the Highway Commission authority to take over such secondary roads that would be deemed inter-county and of benefit to the State.

On April 27, 1935, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution wherein the County Road from San Luis (on the Mexican border) through Gadsden to Sixteenth Street then east on Sixteenth Street to Avenue B, thence north on Avenue B to Eighth Street, then east to Fourth Avenue on Highway 80, then south on Highway 80 to Tenth Street and Tenth Street east through the underpass to Dome Bridge, then north to Quartzsite, Bouse, Midway and Planet on the Bill Williams, connecting with the Mohave Road leading to Kingman, and from Kingman to the Boulder Dam would be the logical road for a western secondary state road. 

Logically, this route would present wonderful opportunities to tourists of the potential mineral values, agriculture, and stock raising that would induce capital to invest, adding that much taxable wealth to the state. The Federal Government was in the process of making Boulder Dam Lake a recreational resort and with the secondary road as outlined, the state would harvest vast revenues generated from the tourists through the gasoline tax, and sales tax subsequently redirecting those funds that were, at that time, going to California via Needles, Rice, Blythe, and west to Indio.

The Board earnestly requested the State Highway Commission to take over the road as outlined as a secondary state highway and inter-county state route. Board members were: M. N. Foreman (Chairman), Samuel de Corse, and George Hagley.

Submitted by:
Ginger Hamilton
Yuma County Administration

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