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County employees win awards
updated: Dec 17, 2009, 10:18 AM

Source: Santa Barbara County

Six County Projects Also Win Honors at Annual Conference for Counties

The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department recently received two top statewide awards for excellence during the 115th annual California State Association of Counties (CSAC) conference.

CSAC's top award, its prestigious "Circle of Service" award, was presented to County Public Works Director Scott McGolpin and the entire Santa Barbara County Public Works Department staff, for their efforts earlier this year to preserve local gasoline sales tax, while County Surveyor Michael Emmons was selected by his peers to receive the first-ever "Surveyor of the Year" award from the County Engineers Association of California (CEAC).

The Circle of Service award is presented by CSAC in recognition of outstanding effort that goes "above and beyond the norm" to help counties and the public they serve, according to Gary Wyatt, the 2008-2009 CSAC President. The award was given to McGolpin during a special presentation at the annual CSAC conference held in November.

McGolpin and the Public Works Department staff were recognized for "their creative ways of educating the public, Board of Supervisors members, and city officials about the devastating effects of the proposed Highway User Tax Account (HUTA) cuts, including outreach to local media, and bumper stickers on all county public works vehicles," CSAC Executive Director noted. It is the first time in the history of the award that it has been presented to an entire department.

"HUTA is a vital funding source for local transportation maintenance operations—if taken away by the State, it will cause devastating, long-term impacts to our local road system," McGolpin said. "Receiving this award shows the importance of working together with local officials throughout California and remaining vigilant in the future to ensure that this funding is not taken away by the State."

Also for the first time in history, the County Engineers Association of California (CEAC) bestowed a new award, "County Surveyor of the Year," to Michael Emmons, the Public Works Department's Division Deputy Director who also serves as the chief County Surveyor.

The award was created to recognize the vital role that the County Surveyor has in counties throughout California. The inaugural "Surveyor of the Year Award" was presented by CEAC President Peter Rei to Emmons, Santa Barbara County's Surveyor for the past 12 years.

Emmons is a state-licensed Registered Land Surveyor responsible for carefully maintaining and certifying all records of property boundaries in the County. He was recognized for his dedication to the profession, but also for his innovative use of technology to give the public 24-hour access to boundary data, including satellite-based information, the Internet and the County's website.

"If neighbors are having a property boundary dispute, Mr. Emmons is the man who helps settle the matter," McGolpin said.

Emmons said he "was very pleased" about winning the award, but, more importantly, the award will help the public to better understand the important role that surveyors have. "There's now recognition on a statewide level that surveyor is vital to Public Works and the engineering community," he added.

Six Additional Awards from CSAC for County Projects

In addition, several Santa Barbara County departments received a total of six honorable mentions for recognition through the CSAC Challenge Award program for efforts in a variety of projects and programs, including:

County Government Television Station Channel 20 and the Public Information Office for Public Service Announcements produced to help remind residents to prepare emergency kits and evacuation plans for their pets or livestock.

General Services Department for leading the public-private partnership that led to the restoration of the beautiful, historic Lompoc Veterans Building.

The Parks Department and County Executive Office for the public awareness campaign and inspection protocols developed to help prevent an infestation of Quagga mussels into Cachuma Lake.

General Services Department for the creation of lactation stations in county buildings for nursing mothers.

Public Information Office for producing and installing a unique, high-def movie showing the best of Santa Barbara County in the County's window display inside the State Capitol building at Sacramento.

The County Redevelopment Agency and Public Works Department for the roadway and landscaping work on Pardall Road that has helped to improve and revitalize a key area of the Isla Vista community.


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