Above and Beyond

VENTURA, Calif. – Two County programs were recognized by the Board of Supervisors for going "Above and Beyond" in their service to the public. The Graywater Reuse Education Program from the Resource Management Agency and the Area Agency on Aging's Housing Plus Program were singled out for recognition.

The graywater reuse program was developed as a result of the state's ongoing drought. Later, a rainwater catchment program was added. Chris Stephens, RMA Director, said the program was spearheaded by Dave Hansen from the Building and Safety Department.

"On his own time – evenings and weekends – Dave constructed displays that he and his team took out on the road to community groups to get the word out on what people could do to conserve water," said Stephens. "They attended more than 30 events and instructed about 2,000 people on how to build a simple system that would capture graywater from their homes, or rainwater, to use for irrigating their yards."

Hansen also provided communication leadership, working with all 10 cities in the county to ensure that homeowners had standardized information on how to build the systems regardless of where they lived in the county.

Monique Nowlin, the Deputy Director of the Ventura County Area Agency on Aging introduced the Board members to the Housing Plus Program. The program is a partnership between the VCAAA and the San Buenaventura Housing Authority. It puts a social worker on site to work with tenants so they can age in place, a key goal of the agency.

Denise Noguera is the county's social worker at the facility and some of the services she provides are home visits, resource referrals, telephone support, counseling and crisis support.

"We originally committed to serving 30 clients per month," said Nowlin. "But now, through our successful collaboration with the housing authority, we're serving 50 clients a month. We're making a difference, one life at a time."

According to Paul Stamper, the County's Continuous Process Improvement Manager, making a difference is what service excellence is all about.

"We want to champion programs like these," said Stamper. "Employees like Dave and Denise take public service to a whole new level. Their efforts, and the efforts of many more county employees, make Ventura County a better placed to live. Some, like Dave, have a positive impact on our environment. People like Denise do work that improves the lives of our residents. Others are keeping our county and communities safer, healthier or more fiscally sound. 'Above and Beyond' isn't just a recognition at the County, it's a mindset."
The "Above and Beyond" presentation series was initiated in 2011 by County Executive Officer Mike Powers to provide an opportunity for the Board of Supervisors to publicly recognize individuals and programs where strong personal commitment has made a significant impact on the community.

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