2015 ... Bring it On!

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2015 … Bring it on!

Last year was challenging: but thanks to all of your efforts it was also an excellent year. 

We faced countless risks and uncertainties yet managed well through each of them: implementation of the affordable care act, stabilizing the AB109 public safety realignment impact, protecting our region from the May fires and opening our Waterfront Park to name just a few. It was your energy, resilience and commitment that made it happen.

But — there is no more time to look back in the glow of what we accomplished last year. As I sat there watching some stunning football on New Year’s Day, I was focusing on what we have ahead.

The economy has picked up a bit and so have the expectations of our customers and our partners. Requests for enhanced services are heard everywhere and we need to step up to the call. 

We have the implementation of Laura’s Law coming before the Board at the end of January. The opportunities for flexibility and innovation in child welfare afforded by the Title IV-E Waiver must get rolling to have a significant impact on our foster care system. We have a jump start on the impacts of the passage of Prop 47, but there’s much to be done in reshaping sentencing and detention services. Sustainability opportunities keep knocking. Environmental necessities must be embraced. And several key capital projects are picking up steam. Every department has a long list of exciting opportunities ahead.

Nothing will stop us from doing great things this year. But there is an elephant in the room — or rather, in the budget — that we cannot ignore. You know; the one that the Union Tribune keeps writing about. Yes, we do have retirement debt. Lots of it. But I refuse to let that deter us from focusing on the great things we have ahead. I think about retirement debt every day and I am actively engaged in disciplined fiscal management to ensure we meet our obligations to fully fund the system without impacting services.

Public pension doesn’t define us or paralyze us. The services we provide our residents are what we’re about. It’s important that we read the sobering articles and listen to the public outcry about pensions. They are reminders to us all that we must remain prudent in our responsibilities as public servants and stewards of taxpayers’ money. But it’s equally important that we do not get mired in the negative and instead surge to new heights in providing our residents excellent government services.

To do this I pledge to do the following, and ask that you do so as well: 

  • Be better in my work — think more creatively, efficiently and get the details right.

  • Be better with our customers — in how I prepare, how I communicate and how I add value to their quality of life.

  • Be better with you, my teammates — in how I support you, how I communicate with you and how I care about you as people.

  • Be better in my community — in how I give of my time and effort to make San Diego the best region in the State.

  • Be better in my commitment to service — it’s not about me, it’s about the people we serve and maintaining a healthy organizational culture that has an inspiring and shared mission at its core.

I am the only one who can control my attitude and how I approach work. The same is said for you. We’re terrific. And I’m so grateful to each of you. But can we be better? Of course we can!

Join me in committing to being better every day. Give more to our customers. Learn more. Smile more. Laugh more. Embrace newer technology. Be more positive. Be more energized. Be more respectful. Be more aware. Be more connected. Be more everything!

Thank you for your loyalty to our residents and the great work you do. We have a great year ahead!

2015… we’re ready. Bring it on!