2016 Employee Recognition Awards - General Government

GOLD - Shared by members of the Elections Team 2016, Elections Department

Martin Peaden

Not Pictured:
Tricia Webber
John Beck

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The Elections Team 2016 really went the extra mile this past year to make sure our voters were well served. This was a historic election year, and this team did a phenomenal job managing both the Presidential Primary and Presidential General Elections. In the Presidential General Election, staff managed a record number of vote-by-mail requests, with over 82,000 people voting by mail, and over 49,000 people voting at the polls. Numerous improvements were made to the elections process this year to improve the voter experience, including Board approval to pay the postage on the vote-by-mail ballots, and the installation of five new drive up drop boxes for 24-hour ballot drop off. With very slim margins in some of our County races, including one contest separated by just three votes, Elections team staff worked diligently to ensure all audits were made to certify the votes that were cast. With 132,165 ballots total, including over 2,000 overseas military ballots, the Elections Team spent many long hours ensuring accuracy with our County voting process, and it is obvious that they care deeply about what they do.


SILVER - TIED between Shauna Soldate, General Services - Purchasing, Luis Meza, County Counsel, and members of the Animal Services Team

Shauna Soldate, General Services- Purchasing

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Shauna made a substantial contribution to the Office of Emergency Services by way of development of a new County OES website this year. When our County Emergency Services Manager, Rosemary Anderson, mentioned that the OES website had not been updated in many years, Shauna volunteered to take on the large task of helping with improvements. As a result of Shauna’s hard work and technical skill, the Office of Emergency Services now has a current County-branded website. This new OES site provides up to date information on emergency preparedness, prevention, and links to County resources. Shauna has even gone as far as to add some additional creativity with an OES “Feature of the Month.” Shauna is always willing to go the extra mile for co-workers and customers alike, and her commitment and dedication to this project should be commended.

Luis Meza, County Counsel

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In May 2016, County Counsel was faced with the task of transitioning to a new process requiring paperless filing and only had a few months to complete the transition, as their deadline for this transition was August as required by the Superior Court. The changes to this system required the office to adapt to an entirely new way of doing things, and Luis came to the rescue. Luis led the way in learning how this new system worked, and helped everyone in the office come up to speed before the deadline. He became the “point person” for the office when questions or problems arose, and his expertise led to a seamless transition. As a result of Luis’ great ability to learn and implement this new system, there was very minimal anxiety related to the court’s changes, and he should be commended for his leadership on this project.

Shared by members of the Animal Services Team, Animal Services
Left to Right:
Todd Stosuy, Patricia Setliff, Jen Walker (with Wobbles and Pokey)

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The Animal Services Team of Jen Walker, Patricia Setliff, and Todd Stosuy exemplify the Santa Cruz County community’s commitment to animal welfare. Their dedication and long hours protect animals from abuse and imminent danger, mobilize community resources to rehabilitate animals and prepare them for adoption, and spread the joy that animals provide through organization of events for our local pet population. Of particular note was the team’s response to the Soberanes Fire and the Red Rover Responder program, as well as the daily heroism of providing a safe haven for frightened animals, and the creation of community events such as Parks and Rex II at the Simpkins Swim Center. The Animal Services Team deserves recognition for their commitment and dedication, and it is fitting to honor them today for their hard work.


BRONZE - Shared by members of the ISD Dream Team, Information Services Department

Back Row, Left to Right:
Michael Tate
Maitreya Maziarz
Archer Koch

Front Row, Left to Right:
William Chang
Tom Melkonian
Eric Howe

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The Information Services Department Dream Team oversaw the move and installation of technology infrastructure at the new Santa Cruz County Emergency Operations Center in late 2015. Their support and implementation has been essential to the development of cohesive communication across County Fire, local law enforcement agencies and community liaisons. The solid infrastructure built by this Dream Team has been the key to seamless functionality for incident activations, County emergency preparedness trainings, and opportunities for organizational interface throughout the County. The result of this team’s dedication and commitment to this project shows a County that stands strong and stands together, and for that, we commend the ISD Dream Team today for the work they’ve done on the new Emergency Operations Center.