May 25, 2021- Leonard Hernandez, CEO, County of San Bernardino- via Zoom

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Virtual Meeting via ZOOM


Present:  Ruthy Argumedo, Megan Barajas, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Lydia Chelle, Ken Coate, Sandra Cuellar, Jennifer Cusack, Michelle Decker, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lena Kent, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Mike Layne, Bill Lemann, P.T. McEwen, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, Tomas Morales, Dan Murphy, Vikki Ostermann,  Bansree Parikh, Steve PonTell, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Phil Southard, Sol The, Eric Ustation, Lupe Valdez, Pete Van Helden, Reggie Webb, Ray Wolfe, Marisa Yeager and Frank Zabaleta.

Guests:  Kelly Kesler and Todd Warden.

Announcements:  1) The group was reminded that on June 3rd Inland Action will have an in-person outdoor gathering.   The entire membership is invited, and reception hours have been extended to 7:00 pm.  2) Next week will be a Member only meeting (no guests).  The meeting will be a round table discussion with a panel of our members to discuss congestion and logistics.  Mike Burrows will serve as moderator.  3)  Very soon a questionnaire will be sent out to each member/alternate to complete.   We hope to have a timely response from the membership to assist us on our State advocacy on June 8, 2021.  Appreciation was expressed to Darcy McNaboe who has volunteered to put together an Inland Action matrix.

Motion by T. Rice/Second by L. Goodwin/Passed: Minutes from May 18, 2021

Motion by T. Rice/Second by K. Scott/Passed: Megan Barajas will serve as the primary representative for the Hospital Association of Southern California.

Thomas Rice gave an overview of the San Bernardino City Council’s proposed moratorium on new warehouses.  The action before the San Bernardino City Council meeting held on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, was to consider whether or not to direct staff to bring back an ordinance to put the moratorium in place.  The Council voted 5-2 in favor of a draft moratorium which is expected to be on their Agenda for their June 2nd meeting.  Moratoriums are a special land use mechanism which requires a 4/5th majority of a governing body (6 votes from the City Council will be needed to pass).

Steve PonTell introduced Leonard Hernandez, CEO, County of San Bernardino.

Leonard Hernandez began his career in San Bernardino County and gained experience at the City of Riverside as the Director of Libraries before returning to San Bernardino County.  He served as the County Chief Operating Officer beginning in 2016.  In October 2020 he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to serve as the county’s Chief Executive Officer.

He has coordinated the County’s multi-departmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under the leadership of the Board of Supervisors the County’s COVID Task Force has led the State in its response to the pandemic and service to the public.  He indicated that the County team has built a culture of innovation, efficiency, and public service, and his overarching goal is to expand and nurture that culture within each worksite, within every service they provide, and with every County employee.

Organizationally the County must have strategic alignment, both internally and with other sectors such as business, education, housing and with our cities, on how to better address issues.  This alignment will affect the changes we desire and know are possible.  Over the last ten years the County has had great leadership that has brought this needed alignment, but lacked funding.   Now resources from both Federal and State governments are available to the County.  It is an opportunity to take what we all have worked on and have done together to the next level.

Key pillars to establish in the County are:

  1. Values- The County must be an organization that values its people & stakeholders. Interaction and engagement are critical to compete and for efficient problem solving and understanding.
  2. Innovation- The pandemic forced us to work in new ways and create teams/partnerships. While appreciating and learning from the past we must get people to continue to think differently so we can create new ways to go forward, to innovate to bring in new business, pipelines for employment, change the reputation and brand of our County, and build on the positive momentum.  We have to identify San Bernardino as the next great place in So. Cal.
  3. Service-We are caretakers and should inspire cooperation and facilitation. Convene conversations and relay on those with insight.
  4. Vision-The County’s framework, now ten years old, establishes a vision where we work in a collaborative way. An example of the vision is the Boards solution-oriented decision to create the Equity Element Group to promote and increase equity in San Bernardino County.

The County is making internal changes to be poised to seize federal and State funding opportunities that address homelessness.  Recognizing a dedicated resource is needed, the County will have an Assistant Executive Officer to develop a strategic plan for homelessness and work with a new group called Community Revitalization.  The team and partners will explore and tackle our homelessness situation in addition to addressing help for those who are on the precipice.

Since the risk has diminished the public is less inclined to get the vaccine. The County now has herd immunity for those 65 plus but more education and collaboration of spheres of influence will make a difference.   Across the board, Americans are more suspect of information that comes from “government sources” so trusted communicators are key.  They have had success at their vaccine sites located near high schools as it was the schools that promoted vaccinations.  The County is open to ideas and ready to partner.

The COVID Compliance Business Program saw a good amount of success but now, rather than getting resources, the County needs to be a convener of the dialog on how to recover.  Many may feel isolated and not know how to go about re-starting their businesses.  The recovery process can be helped by business leaders.  These leaders care about a strong local economy which leads to a strong regional economy and builds on itself.  Regional dialogues can lead to international dialogues about what our County has to offer such as available land and a job pool.

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:57 a.m.