For Immediate ReleaseMay 19, 2015
Elections, Health and Human Services also recognized by Board at ‘Innys’
San Rafael, CA – The Marin County Board of Supervisors has honored achievements in County employee creativity and teamwork, handing top honors to the Marin County Sheriff’s Office for its jail kitchen bakery program.
Winners of the County of Marin’s 2015 Innovation Recognition Awards – the lnnys – were presented trophies and received hearty ovations during the Board’s May 19 meeting. The Elections Department was honored as runner-up for its Fair Political Practices Commission Filings and Online Public Disclosure program, and honorable mention went to the Department of Health and Human Services for a community picnic called the Fruit and Veggie Fest.
The County was buying about 38,000 loaves of bread annually, worth about $47,000 – or $1.24 per loaf – for Marin County Jail inmates and youths at Marin County Juvenile Hall. With the culmination of a three-year plan, the Sheriff’s food service staff opened a bakery inside the jail’s kitchen in November 2013 and staffed it with inmates. The cost per loaf has gone from $1.24 to 30 cents. Equipment purchases and remodeling costs for the bakery totaled $129,000, and it’s expected to take less than three years to generate its return on investment. As of March 2015, four inmate kitchen workers have received certification as bakers and food handlers, preparing them to enter the workforce upon release from incarceration.
The Elections Department is responsible for receiving, retaining and making available for public viewing campaign finance reports and statements of economic interests of candidates, committees, elected officials, designated County employees, special districts, school districts, and other agencies. More than 1,000 reports were completed, printed, delivered and filed on paper that required original signatures each year. New legislation went into effect in 2013 allowing paperless reports and statements, so the department investigated, engaged and implemented a successful software solution that saved staff time and taxpayer money, reduces errors, and makes the process easier for public.
Health and Human Services’ Fruit and Veggie Fest was seen as an innovative approach to address concerns about childhood obesity, a public health problem that disproportionately impacts low-income neighborhoods in Marin. The picnic, held for the fifth consecutive year on May 16, is a successful partnership between the County, community agencies, and neighborhood retailers.
Modeled after the California State Association of Counties' Challenge Awards, the County's lnny awards program is intended to recognize innovative efforts already in place and build momentum toward additional and bolder innovation ahead.
“Embracing and encouraging innovation is a focused strategy here as the County tries to keep pace with a rapidly changing environment,” Assistant County Administrator Daniel Eilerman said. “All entries provided examples of employees or departments willing to look at long-standing problems in new and different ways to achieve better results.”
Applications from five departments were received during the nomination period, and each department was commended by the Board for its innovative efforts. Eilerman said the impressive nominations made for a spirited discussion and evaluation among the judges, which included graduates of the Spring 2012 Dominican Leadership Academy who participated in a capstone project on “creating a culture of innovation” within the County government. Judges looked for projects that were inventive, replicable, and represented new and effective ways of providing services to Marin residents or across County departments.
“Choosing winners continues to be a challenging and inspiring exercise,” Eilerman said.
For more about the Inny Awards, see the staff report.
Daniel EilermanAssistant County AdministratorCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7364Email: Daniel EilermanCounty Administrator website