What we do
The County of San Luis Obispo’s Administrative Office acts as the executive office of County government, connecting the public with the County through citizen outreach and support. It also provides high-quality staff support to maximize Board and department effectiveness through implementation of Board policy.
With a focus on sound financial planning, the Administrative Office prepares the County’s annual budget, regularly reviewing it throughout the year. It also administers capital planning, responds to requests for information, resolves citizen complaints, and solves high-level problems throughout the organization.
In short, the Administrative Office assists the Board of Supervisors in managing, directing and coordinating the operation of all departments, while also creating a high-performance, results-oriented County organization.
What we did in 2014
Last year was a busy one for the Administrative Office. The department led the charge on various projects and programs throughout the County and facilitated coordination between County departments and outside agencies to ensure the policies of the Board of Supervisors were being implemented.
Aside from the specialized task of balancing the County’s budget each year, the Administrative Office staff administered financial support to various local nonprofits, led the County’s efforts to respond to the drought, dissolved the General Services Agency by creating four new departments in its place, coordinated the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, managed the implementation of 2011 Public Safety Realignment Plan, and helped develop the 50Now program to help eliminate homelessness in San Luis Obispo County.
“The Administrative Office team members are often the unsung heroes of very important programs and projects that make San Luis Obispo County the safe, healthy, livable, prosperous and well-governed community we all know and love,” said Assistant County Administrative Officer Guy Savage. “Our team works closely with the public, the Board of Supervisors, and County departments to ensure that Board policy is effectively implemented at every level.”
Assisting Nonprofit Agencies
The County Administrative Office oversees several grant programs that assist non-profit agencies and organizations by administering financial support for essential services not provided by the County. In 2014, the Administrative Office oversaw and administered $1.6 million in grant funding for such programs. Approximately $1.08 million was provided in health and human services grants for programs that feed the hungry, provide dental services to the homeless and children, give clothes to children and teens, manage drug and alcohol counseling services at high schools, combat obesity, and support domestic violence counseling. Grants of approximately $400,000 were also provided to programs that provide services to the elderly, conserve resources, and support the arts and tourism. In addition, the Board of Supervisors’ district community project program provided grants, in the amount of approximately $130,000 for more than 125 local programs and events, such as non-profit fundraisers, tourist generating events, eyesight testing, arts and music programs for children, safe and sober graduation celebrations and funding for advisory board or committees.
Responding to the Drought
San Luis Obispo County faced the worst drought on record in 2014, which led the Administrative Office to assemble a Drought Task Force to coordinate drought monitoring, impact assessments, responses to emergency health and safety, and public communication and outreach. In March 2014, at the recommendation of the Drought Task Force, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed a local drought emergency in San Luis Obispo County. With the Administrative Office in the lead, the task force provided monthly updates on the drought conditions and organized the County’s first Water Summit in October 2014. The summit included presentations on the County’s overall response to the drought at the local level. The task force’s monthly updates and 2014 Water Summit reports can be found on the Drought Conditions and Water Conservation web page. Read more about the status of the County’s efforts to address local water issues.
Implementing the Public Safety Realignment Plan
For the past three years, the County Administrative Office has helped implement the Public Safety Realignment Act (AB 109), which transferred responsibility for certain lower-level offenders from the state to counties in 2011. A member of the Administrative Office team works with the Community Corrections Partnership (CCP), which assesses ongoing program approaches, identifies implementation challenges, and develops recommendations to support the County’s realignment efforts. In 2014, the Administrative Office bridged the gap between departments, agencies and the Board of Supervisors, playing a management consultant role to ensure that the plan was effectively implemented. Read more about the status of the County’s Public Safety Realignment Plan.
Applying the Affordable Care Act
The County Administrative Office assembled the team in 2014 to establish a process for enrolling County Jail inmates in Medi-Cal, after many of them had become eligible when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded Medi-Cal eligibility requirements in January 2014. This new process gives newly eligible inmates access to expanded mental health and substance use disorder treatment as well as medical services they need upon release, which could potentially reduce re-offenses.
Meanwhile, the ACA’s expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility to indigent residents dramatically decreased the County’s costs to provide indigent health care. Recognizing the savings counties would realize, the state passed AB 85 to redirect state health realignment funds the County had used in part to cover a portion of indigent medical care costs. The Administrative Office worked with the SLO County Health Agency, representatives of the California State Association of Counties, and other counties to fully understand the impacts of AB 85. The Administrative Office worked with the Health Agency to evaluate different options and each option’s impact on the County. The team then recommend the most favorable option to the Board of Supervisors. Read more about the County’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The County Administrative Office plays a key role in local efforts to address homelessness and significant progress was made this year. In 2014, the County Administrative Office led an effort to develop a contract with a local agency to serve chronically homeless individuals prioritized for housing using a vulnerability index assessment tool. The Administrative Office collaborated with the Department of Social Services, Health Agency, Planning and Building Department, the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, and the Homeless Services Oversight Council to develop the contract. Then, in August 2014, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the three-year $1.9 million contract with Transitions- Mental Health Association to create a new program called 50Now, which aims to house 50 of the most vulnerable homeless persons in the County. Read more about the County’s efforts to address homelessness this year.