County Executive Officer Mike Powers delivers the State of the County report at the Ventura County Taxpayers Association.
County Executive Officer Mike Powers presented his State of the County report to a sold out crowd of about 300 at the Ventura County Taxpayers Association summer luncheon on August 1st. The title of the presentation was “Connecting our Region to Collectively Strengthen our Community.” The event, co-sponsored by the Conejo Valley, Ventura, Oxnard and Camarillo Chambers of Commerce, brought together the east, central and western areas of the County.
Powers discussed the County, city and community response and recovery efforts to the Thomas Fire, the Borderline shooting, and the Hill and Woolsey fires. He stressed the cooperative relationships between County, state, federal government, the cities of Ventura and Thousand Oaks, and community organizations and businesses that facilitated debris removal, assistance programs and permitting.
“What we have seen this year is when we focus priorities and work together collectively, great things can happen,” said Powers. “We’ve seen it in our disaster recovery efforts. We’ve seen it with our new economic and energy initiatives, and we’ve seen it with our growing response to the homeless crisis. Public, community and private partnerships work. Look what we can get done. Let’s highlight areas where we can apply this collective effort going forward.”
He also mentioned how organizations such as the Ventura County Community Foundation worked collaboratively with local government and many others to aid victims by working as a trusted clearinghouse for donations.
Economic vitality was a key focus of the presentation. Powers noted the force multiplier effect of new connections formed as a result of the County’s Economic Vitality Strategic Plan actions; citing the new strides made in housing vouchers for the disabled through connecting the housing authorities across the cities. He also shared the new business opportunities being generated through the innovation collaborative formed by the Economic Development Collaborative, Port of Hueneme, U. S. Navy and the Went brothers from Matter Labs, further emphasizing the power of public-private partnerships. Powers highlighted the startup culture in the region spotlighting the venture capital firm BioPartners who are bringing $300 million in BioTech startup funding. He reflected the importance of fostering the startup culture in the County. He highlighted the county’s 9th place ranking in a recent study of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem as a reflection of the good work of the chambers, education system, cities as well as the County and that the County is a strong supporter of the Startup Weekend program with the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce. The Startup Weekend program facilitates new startup businesses in the areas of Information Technology, Health Care and Agriculture and provides funding and startup office space at the County’s Camarillo Airport.
The hour-long presentation also touched on the County’s highest possible long-term credit rating; health care; multiple efforts to improve financial operations at VCMC, libraries; public safety; social services; agriculture; pensions; and the upcoming census, adding that eight of ten cities in the County are at high risk for an under-count and that each person not counted in the census results in a loss of $2,000 annually in federal funding for things like education, roads, health care and more.