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YuCount Newsletter JUNE 2019


Post Date:06/03/2019 4:30 PM

Greetings! Welcome to summer! In June we experience the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. It represents the start of summer here. Early dawns. Long days. Late sunsets. Short nights. The sun at its height each day, as it crosses the sky. Meanwhile, south of the equator, winter begins.

Here in Yuma County, we have been blessed by a very mild May; we’ll see what June holds. This is a great time to catch up on any work you may have been procrastinating about, so you can take vacation later in the summer without thinking about work!  There will not be a PTO/Vacation Buyback this fall, based on the need for other budget priorities (like raises!) in the next fiscal year. Speaking of summer, don’t forget to contact HR to get your Pool Pass for you and your family for the City’s swimming pools. This is one of many benefits to employees through our Wellness Program.

Another positive note in Wellness – Our Health Department was recognized with a statewide award and $10,000! The Health Department was named “County of the Year” during the “Get Fit. Don’t Quit Spotlight Awards 2019” at a ceremony in Phoenix on May 16. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) and fitness icon Jake Steinfeld of Body by Jake made the presentation to Health Director Diana Gomez recognizing the department’s “Body Walk” interactive program and the countywide physical activity campaign, Be Active Yuma County! The $10,000 award will go toward supporting further health initiatives in Yuma County. Congratulation to the Health Department team!

Here’s an update on the Budget - On May 13-14 the Board of Supervisors held Budget Sessions with all Departments and Agencies regarding the Recommended Budget. The meetings went very smoothly. The State also adopted its budget in May, so we now know the impact of costs to Yuma County that we will have to pay. The biggest increase was a whopping $1,001,386 in additional Yuma County payments for AHCCCS and ALTCS (the State’s Medicaid and long term care programs that all counties are required to pay).

On June 3 the Board will discuss any changes to the budget based on department requests and State requirements. These changes go into the Tentative Budget, which will lead to a public hearing and adoption of the final budget on July 1.

As mentioned last month, I am pleased to announce that the Board has included raises for all employees in the Budget, for the fifth year in a row. Specifically for FY 2019-20, employees will receive a 2% increase to base pay on July 1, AND another 1% increase on their anniversary date (if they have been an employee for at least 12 months and are not on a performance improvement plan).  The City of Yuma has announced large increases in their public safety salaries for police officer ranks. In order to remain competitive, the Budget includes a 6.8% increase for Deputies and a 3% increase for Senior Deputies, and another 1% on their anniversary date (with the same criteria as all other employees).  The Board is considering other increases and I will report on the decision in the July YuCount. Stay tuned!

The final adoption of the budget and the tax rates will take place on July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year. Salary increases mentioned above will be implemented and effective the first pay period of the new fiscal year.

Have a great day, week and month! I appreciate your work every day to make life better for our Yuma County residents and visitors.

Susan K. Thorpe
Yuma County Administrator

Blue Cross Blue Shield has nominated the Body Walk Program for a spotlight award.  Body Walk has been part of Yuma County Health District for over a decade and it still booked solid during the year for all of our third graders in Yuma County to view. 

Take a look at the video to see what other award was given to the Body Walk Program.

Yuma County Emergency Management sponsored two days of Community Cyber Security Essential Training. The training was an intense introduction to participants on cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

You can check out future trainings at management.
Kids at Hope Organization (KAH) teamed up with Arizona State University to sponsor the Youth  Development Master of Institute by presenting a virtual KAH pledge.   
Click on the video to check out what the training was about.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is responsible for the preparation and the monitoring of the annual Yuma County Budget. 

Strategic Planning-Making decisions and updating the long-term financial plan for Yuma County.
Quarterly Reports-Reports are put together for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), Construction in Progress and the Financial General Fund.
Training-Training is done for Budget Preparation Materials, Budget Amendments and Oracle Reports.

To find out more about OMB department visit our website at www.yumacountyaz./OMB

Final b-day1 page_Page_1
Riddle:  A man rode into a town with his horse on the 25th of June. He stayed in the town for 3 weeks, then left on June.
How is this possible?

May Riddle:  There are two monkeys on a tree and one jumps off.  Why does the other monkey jump too?

Answer:  Monkey see monkey do.

Here are some reminders as Fiscal Year 2019 ends and Fiscal Year 2020 begins.

Any comp time earned through June 1st must be used by June 15th, or it will be paid out on the June 21st check. Exceptions must have been approved by the Human Resources Director.

Payroll deductions for most new benefits will begin on your June 6th paycheck, since we collect most benefits a month in advance. These deductions are:
• Health Insurance
• Dental Insurance
• Vision Insurance
• Colonial Insurance
• Life Insurance (Remember your rate may increase even if you did not increase coverage if you moved into a new age bracket!)

The following Payroll deductions will not change to the new rates until your July 19th check, since they are not collected a month in advance:
• FSA (Health and Dependent Day Care Flexible Savings Accounts)
• HSA (Health Savings Accounts)
• Pet Insurance
• Aflac Insurance
• Info Armor Identity Protection Insurance

The Arizona State Retirement Plan has new rates for fiscal year 2020. These will begin on your July 19th paycheck.
• ASRS: Retirement increasing from 11.64% to 11.94% (Pretax)
• LTD (long term disability) is increasing from .16% to .17%
(Both of these are matched equally by Yuma County)

The July 5th payday is for the third pay period ending in June, so none of the deductions listed above will be taken unless you are on a catch-up schedule. Enjoy your “no-deduction” payday!

Please remember to check your benefits and your pay stubs to make sure that the expected benefit elections were entered. Incorrect elections need to be reported to Benefits right away, since there are strict laws regarding when employees are allowed to change benefit coverage during the plan year. For information on valid qualifying events which would allow you to change coverage outside of Open Enrollment, please contact the Benefits Division of Human Resources.

***Your department enters and approves your time…not the Payroll office. If you
     notice an error on your time, please contact your supervisor or timekeeper first.
***Yuma County currently has approximately 1,322 active employees.
***Less than 1% of County employees (9 employees) still get a paper check instead of
     direct deposit.

2 Health District Awards- ck with the guys.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) encourages Public Housing Agencies throughout the country to partner with local agencies to provide a direct service during the STRONG FAMILIES event.  This initiative provides an opportunity to connect fathers, mothers, and children in the community we serve to Education, Health and Economic Empowerment resources.  For the third consecutive year, the Yuma County Housing Department has participated in HUD’s National Strong Families Initiative by hosting the event to celebrate fatherhood and family.
Yuma County Housing Department hosted this year’s event on May 15, 2019, from 10AM-12PM at the Community Building in Somerton, AZ.  We had over 109 participating fathers, mothers and children and 25 representatives from local agencies such as Arizona Western College-Massage Therapy, Regional Border Health, Sunset Community Health Center, Academy Mortgage, The Realty Agency, Andare Salon, Chicanos Por la Causa, Western Arizona Council of  Governments-Head Start (WACOG), Yuma Cancer Center, Yuma County Somerton Library, and Portable, Practical Educational Preparation (PPEP) .  Our participants enjoyed a direct service from these local agencies and a FREE massage, FREE haircut, FREE Gift and lots of raffles.
2019 Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run
Officer Rafael Garcia volunteered to take over as the Torch Run Coordinator for the Juvenile Court.
Thank you Officer Garcia!

On Thursday, May 23, Aztec High School held their Spring 2019 Graduation at the Yuma County Main Library. It was a well-attended event in which 18 Aztec Warriors, graduated with 16 of them actually walking the line.

The guest speaker for the graduation was Arizona Western College Vice President for Learning Services, Dr. Linda Elliott-Nelson. She spoke to the students about how each person has a power inside them and it was up to the student to identify their power and decide how best to use it. She was accompanied at the podium by student Alexis Aguliar who graduated with the highest GPA seen at Aztec for many years, 3.5!  Alexis thanked the Aztec Staff for helping her graduate a year early and for helping her take classes at AWC concurrent with her Aztec classes.

Another special part of the ceremony was the awarding of a special diploma to Mark Olin, a Social Studies teacher at Aztec who is retiring after 18 years of teaching. Mr. Olin was a favorite of the students and impacted many lives during his time as a Warrior.

Representing the County were County Administrator Susan Thorpe, and from the Board of Supervisors Lynn Pancrazi.  We wish many successes for all the graduates in their future endeavors.

une 1st – July 13th

How to Participate

KIDS-Read 5 books and you’ll receive a prize bag and an entry into the drawing for a grand prize. For every additional 5 books you read, you’ll receive an extra entry towards winning a grand prize, and a gift card to Walmart or Barnes & Noble!

TEENS- Read 8 books or complete a combination of reading books and attending library programs. Turn in two completed logs for a prize and an entry into the end of summer raffle. Complete additional logs for multiple chances to win!

ADULTS- Read 5 books and be entered into the drawing for a $25 gift card. Complete additional logs for multiple chances to win!


Elia Juarez, Teen Services Manager (Yuma County Main Library), has been chosen as the Yuma County Library District’s Employee of the Month for June 2019.

This award is to recognize an employee that inspires us with their effort and attitude. Elia received a mounted certificate, a nameplate in the book of her choice, an Employee of the Month pin, and her photo will be hung at the Yuma County Main Library during the month of June.

County Attorney
Clarisa Quinteros- Legal Secretary III
Dallin Marcy – Attorney III

Facilities Management
Erik Navarrete Pacheco – Fire and Security Technician II

Public Fiduciary
Marcela Valenzuela – Public Fiduciary Office Specialist II

Public Works
Roberto Gutierrez – Traffic Signal Technician
County Attorney
Emmanuel Villegas-Admin. Assistant

Development Services
David Wostenberg-Civil Engineer

Michael Padilla-ITS Security Analyst

Valerie Weber-Branch Librarian
Ramon Gutierrez-Custodian
Charles R. Carmen-Custodian

Public Works
Nicholas Bedoya-Public Works Laborer (U/F E.Q.)
David W. Callis-Public Works Equipment Operator

Superior Court
Sarah Crowl-Judicial Assistant
Maria Beltran-Law Library Manager
ADOLFO LOPEZ-PUBLIC WORKS-Requests Toolbox Talks to deliver to co-workers on a regular basis (monthly or as needed), He keeps the focus on safety in his work area with his co-workers, by adding fire extinguishers to areas within his shop.

LOUIE RIVERA-PUBLIC WORKS-As one of the Project Leads for the Yuma Road District, he enforces safety at job sites.  When he needs to alter an approach or request an additional control to his work plan, he listens and follows through as needed.  Louie keeps track of the progress of new employees on his crews to be sure safety training and equipment training is accomplished in a timely manner so these employees can perform safely.

County Administrator, Susan Thorpe, announced Adolfo Lopez as the winner of the Safety Excellence Award.

Ms. Thorpe also reported that special circumstances arose during this quarter and presented Valerie Molina and Cyrinda Williams with a newly created Yuma County Lifesaving Award.

VALERIE MOLINA-COUNTY ADMINISTRATION-Valerie became a part of a medical scenario that required quick action.  She knew that performing CPR would give this person a greater chance of survival.  I would qualify that as being exceptionally aware of her surroundings and having an appreciation for the life of another human being.  Without CPR, the victim may have perished. 

CYRINDA WILLIAMS-PUBLIC FIDUCIARY-Ms. Williams' Heimlich maneuver actions showed awareness to an imminent emergency that could have turned fatal.  She was quick to respond in the emergency. 
On July 27, 1981, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors accepted a resolution presented by the Town of San Luis, Arizona and signed by Mayor Josephina C. Rodriquez. The resolution declared the interest and intent to enter into an agreement with Yuma County to acquire the existing park known as “Friendship Park”. The resolution stated the residents of San Luis supported the acquisition of the County Park known as “Friendship Park” and the Town Council recognized that certain conditions and agreements between the Yuma County Board of Supervisors and the Arizona Outdoor Recreation Commission had to be honored. In addition, the resolution requested that the Mayor of San Luis be authorized to execute the necessary documents to transfer the title of the property from the Yuma County Board of Supervisors to the Town of San Luis. The Board directed the County Manager to proceed with negotiations with the Town of San Luis. Board members were: R. Pete Woodard (Chairman), Caryl L. Stanley, J. R. Sanders, Ray Moore, and Robert W. Kennerly.

Submitted by
Ginger Hamilton,
County Administration
Copyright © 2019 Yuma County, Arizona, All rights reserved.

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