County of Santa Cruz

Employee Recognition Awards Winners - 2021

Land Use & Regulatory

CZU Recovery Geologic Team

Jessica DeGrassi and Jeff Nolan

Jeff Nolan
(Not Pictured: Jessica deGrassi)
In the aftermath of the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, the Recovery Geologic Team performed site assessments of every property that lost a structure, working long hours assessing threats of debris flow and other geologic concerns. In the months since the initial assessment, this team has worked with outside consultants to refine the debris flow mapping, conducted more focused geologic assessments, and responded to the Board’s directions to revise code process to facilitate rebuilding in the burn area, and did all of this on top of their normal workloads. As part of the CZU Recovery Geologic Team, Jeff Nolan and Jessica deGrassi, have gone above and beyond all expectations in doing everything that they can to help community members who lost their homes get to a place where they can safely rebuild.

Planning Department Appointment Scheduler Team

Aimen Al-Refai, Nada Algharib, Evan Ditmars, Elizabeth Hayward, Annette Olson, Jocelyn Drake, Yan Zhang

Annette Olson, Evan Ditmars, Jocelyn Drake, Aimen Al-Refai, Elizabeth Hayward
(Not Pictured: Nada Algharib, Yan Zhang)
Prior to the pandemic, the Planning Department always had a queue of people waiting in the lobby for appointments to discuss various building, zoning, and planning topics, but once the pandemic hit, that model of customer service was no longer feasible. The Appointment Scheduler Team and the Information Services Department teamed up to address this issue, and through combining the original counter management system with a new Appointment Scheduler program, the public were able to go online and schedule appointments for in-person or phone meetings. This new system has been a huge success for the Planning Department during an especially critical time for our community when so many people are trying to move forward with rebuilding their homes following the CZU Lightning Complex fire.

South County Service Center Acquisition Team

Kimberly Finley, Douglas DuBois, Nicole Steel

Douglas DuBois, Nicole Steel, Kimberly Finley
Immediately following the approval of the Long-Range Facilities Plan, the Department of Public Works formed the South County Service Center Acquisition team, which quickly got to work researching potential locations to consolidate the leases in South County into one large County-owned campus. After the initial property site search, the team identified the property located at 500 Westridge Drive in Watsonville and began the acquisition process and was able to complete the work required on time and on budget. The consolidation of public services at the 500 Westridge campus reflects the County’s commitment to the health, safety, and the well-being of our South County residents and we are grateful for the hard work and dedication of the Acquisition Team for helping to make this a reality.