Each of us stays so busy with the day-to-day demands of our own jobs that it can be hard to get a sense of how all our work adds up. And the County does such a vast variety of things, any one of us won’t be aware of much of what our colleagues are up to.
When you get a big picture look at a full year’s worth of accomplishments and services delivered, it’s pretty darn amazing.
You get that overview from our Annual Report. We just released our latest one, covering fiscal year 2017-18. It’s the story of what we – you, your co-workers, the County colleagues you’ve never met – have all done together. It would be impossible to cover everything, but think of the report as our highlight reel. In one sleek package, you get simple summaries of numerous programs, many of them crossing department lines, along with a heap of facts and figures.
Let me throw out just a few.
You look at those numbers, and you have to remember they happen one inspection, one application, one customer at a time. One day at a time. On a daily basis, by yourself, it may feel sometimes as though you’re not moving the needle much. I want everyone to see these totals and understand our contributions together, over time, have a huge impact.
The report emphasizes how much of what we do feeds into a few basic themes. For example, Breaking Barriers to Success runs through a list of innovative programs aimed at reducing obstacles to living a productive life in the community. A big part of that is keeping people from getting caught in the justice system, either by avoiding it in the first place or by helping those who have fallen into trouble get their lives back on track. That involves not just a variety of efforts from our public safety employees, but Parks programs as well that integrate Sheriff’s deputies and Probation officers. Child Support, Library and Aging & Independence Services have programs that tackle different types of barriers to success.
You’ll find the same sort of multipronged approach in the other stories: Helping Our Most Vulnerable, Housing Affordability, Protecting Our Natural Resources, Investing in Neighborhoods, and Technology & Customer Service.
Something else you’ll find sprinkled throughout the Annual Report is comments from the people we serve. They’re a sampling of the kinds of deeply appreciative comments we get all the time.
The nature of our work means we’re not always going to make everyone happy. If you watch the news, you’d think we never do. But the feedback we get tells a different story. Our customers are constantly telling us how pleased they are with our service. Even in situations where we can’t give them what they want, they recognize when we treat them respectfully and try to help.
In a few weeks we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving, a time we try to be mindful of all that we have to be grateful for. I want you to know that by and large, the people we serve do appreciate what you do for them.
And so do I. As I look in awe at this Annual Report, I know none of it just happened by itself. Every bit is the result of teams of you working hard to achieve these things. When I count my blessings, I will think of the dedication and energy of our entire County workforce. I offer you my deepest gratitude for your service and wish you all a warm Thanksgiving with your loved ones.
P.S. A special thank-you right now to everyone working on next week’s election. Registrar staff have been preparing tirelessly for months and will spend weeks making sure every vote is counted correctly. Additionally, there are those of you volunteering as poll workers or election night warriors, and anyone supporting them. Your efforts form the cornerstone of our democracy, and you have my sincere appreciation. Let’s have a great election!