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Episode 2: Give me the basics – what does the County actually do?

Episode 2: Give me the basics – what does the County actually do?

(Click play button below to listen to Episode 2 – 17:07 minutes)

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Summary of Episode 2

The first question most people ask me when I tell them I am running for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is “what does the County do?”  Now that I’ve given a little background about myself and my reasons for running in Episode 1 this episode is a basic conversation about what the County government does.

The County has many roles in our region.  One major role is in the social safety net and the region’s health. This includes:

  • Public Health (e.g. Hepatitis A, Flu Outbreak),
  • Mental Health (e.g. homeless support, youth support, psychiatric care),
  • Community Health (e.g. disease prevention, public safety), and
  • Social Health (e.g. early childhood development, senior care & support, etc.).

One of the largest parts of the County’s budget is in Health & Human Services – almost $2 Billion.  To put this number in perspective, in 2015 the City of San Diego’s entire budget was $2.6 Billion.

The County is organized kind of like a company. It is led by a Chief Executive, called a Chief Administrative Officer (her name is Helen Robbins-Meier), five business groups that function like divisions of a company, and a five member Board of Directors, called the Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors sets the direction for the County’s $5.8 Billion budget to impact everything from homelessness to land use (where you can and can’t build), mental health and social services, child and senior welfare, and a range of public safety and criminal justice issues.  It is a very big job that is well-served to have leaders with technical knowledge and experience in the key areas of the government.

The purpose of this episode is to give listeners a quick overview to understand what areas the County operates in and how it does the people’s business.  I will talk more about specific substantive areas in later episodes. Thanks for listening!