2012 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence Winners

Congratualtions to our winners!

CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award

City of Perris

Program Title: Enchanted Heights Public Outreach Program

The community of Enchanted Heights straddles the western boundary of the City of Perris with half of its 446 residences within Perris and half in Riverside County. For many years, this community was plagued with failing septic tanks due to an increase in population which was not envisioned when the neighborhood was developed in the 1970s. Compounding the problem was the shallow bedrock underlying the area that prevented the systems from working properly. Jurisdictional issues between the City of Perris, Riverside County and the Eastern Municipal Water District (EMWD), as well as the sheer cost of the project, served to create impediments to the construction of a much-needed sewer system. In 2010, after heavy winter rains resulted in raw sewage flowing down the streets, City officials pledged to find a conclusive way to address the problem. The City, working as partners with Riverside County and EMWD, was able to secure a $10 million grant from the California Department of Public Health to construct a mainline sewer, and $5 million from the State Water Resources Control Board for the onsite work and connection fees. Because of the language and cultural barriers facing the largely immigrant Latino community of Enchanted Heights, the City of Perris forged an innovative, and ultimately successful, public education and participation program. The public outreach component of this project has been repeatedly cited as an exemplary example of outreach to disadvantaged communities.

Contact: Ron Carr, Assistant City Manager

Phone:  (951) 943-6100 or email: rcarr@cityofperris.org


Community Services and Economic Development

Cities of Pleasant Hill & Walnut Creek

Program Title: Community Service Day

City leaders in Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek independently recognized the increased need for volunteer efforts to help worthwhile causes in their cities. The challenge was to find a way to harness the power of human energy and put it to work for as many community opportunities as possible. The solution was a city sponsored, community-wide Community Service Day. In one day, thousands of volunteers donate tens of thousands of volunteer hours for a variety of worthwhile community causes. As an added benefit, Community Service Day has increased civic pride, has proven that people want to get involved and give back to their community – and that, together, the power of human energy is unbeatable.

Contact: Martin Nelis, Public Information Officer

Phone:  (925) 671-5229 or email: mnelis@ci.pleasant-hill.ca.us


Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, & Community Involvement

City of Santa Clarita

Program Title: Neighborhood Services Team and Outreach Program

The City of Santa Clarita created a civic engagement program designed to build community trust, enhance public safety, increase resident involvement, and bridge cultural divides with City staff, law enforcement and local service agencies. The Neighborhood Services Team and Outreach Program encourages residents of East Newhall to work with the City to address important issues like crime, gangs, graffiti, blight, and other issues through the creation of neighborhood specific services.

Contact:  Ken Pulskamp, City Manager

Phone: (661) 259-4905 or email: hleuning@santa-clarita.com


Health & Wellness Programs   

City of Lancaster

Program Title: Lancaster's Holistic Approach to Healthy Neighborhoods

In addressing the problem of disadvantage and health inequality in targeted unhealthy, socio-economically challenged neighborhoods, the City of Lancaster developed a multi-pronged approach to link residents with much needed social and economic support services and resources: (1) rehabilitate vacant homes and (2) partner with area medical facilities and organizations to provide community hubs—Wellness Homes, Community Homes and Community Gardens—with free health services, wellness information and educational classes. This program illustrates that despite recent economic conditions, with community-wide support networks it is possible for disadvantaged neighborhoods to thrive and promote the health and overall well-being of their residents.                     

Contact: Joe Cabral, Communications Manager

Phone: (661) 723-6053 or email: jcabral@cityoflancasterca.org


Housing Programs & Innovations

City of Fontana       

Program Title: Fontana Affordable Senior Housing

The City of Fontana has renewed and revitalized its once dilapidated, crime-ridden downtown area, transforming it with the addition of four affordable senior housing complexes designed in the same Spanish Mission-style envisioned by the City’s founder in 1913. The City identified a vital need for affordable senior housing and purposely chose to place the developments in the downtown area due to the close proximity to existing medical facilities and transportation services (Metrolink Rail Facility and OmniTrans Bus Lines), as well as the opportunity for downtown revitalization. From 2003 to 2010 four complexes were built -- the Village, Fountains, Gardens, and Plaza. They serve as attractive “book ends” to the revitalized core of the City. The Lewis Library and Technology Center (opened 2008) and Fontana Community Senior Center (opened 2010) are also within blocks of the senior housing. The beautification of the area has brought not only residents, but also businesses and patrons from outside of the area back to the heart of Downtown Fontana. The City of Fontana now has a sense of community and pride due in large part to its thriving downtown.      

Contact: Brent Mickey, Housing Manager

Phone: (909) 350-6657 or email: acolbrunn@fontana.org


Internal Administration

City of San Carlos

Program Title: A Different Approach to the Budget: Cutting Costs & Adding Service

The City of San Carlos resolved a $3.5 Million structural General Fund budget deficit and increased services to the public over an 18 month period. This was done in the areas of Police, Fire, Parks Maintenance & Recreation Services through a mix of Shared Services, Contract Services and Becoming a Recreation Service Provider in partnership with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, City of Redwood City and the City of Half Moon Bay.

Contact: Brian Moura, Assistant City Manager

Phone: (650) 802-4210 or email: bmoura@cityofsancarlos.org  

League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations

City of Riverside

Program Title: City of Riverside/SmartRiverside

Riverside’s high technology businesses, city leaders, community organizations, universities, government agencies, high tech suppliers, and venture capitalists have joined together as SmartRiverside to help create one of the Country’s leading digital cities, economic development hot spots, regions for job growth, and attractive places to live, work and enjoy. SmartRiverside has become the City’s platform for technology innovation and economic development. Through SmartRiverside the City is providing free internet service citywide, bridging the digital divide by providing all low income families with free PCs and free technology training, and attracting/retaining graduates and high tech businesses in record numbers. SmartRiverside has already provided 5500 free PCs and plans on giving away 11,000 by 2015. Its members are collaborating on global business opportunities, incubating start-ups, commercializing ideas and inventions and providing mentoring and funding to new businesses. The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York think tank that evaluates hundreds of communities worldwide each year, has recognized Riverside for the last two years in a row as one of the Top 7 most intelligent communities in the world. The ICF sites innovation, a growing knowledge workforce and pervasive broadband connectivity as key reasons and they have begun discussions with SmartRiverside to make their Digital Inclusion Center a worldwide center of excellence.

Contact: Steve Reneker, CIO/Executive Director

Phone:  (951) 826-5109 or email: fspeer@riversideca.gov


Planning & Environmental Quality

City of Cathedral City

Program Title: Cathedral City Energy Action Plan

Through the use of innovative energy and cost saving measures, the City of Cathedral City has reduced greenhouse gases in the air stream, achieved a 16.1 percent energy savings at municipal facilities and an 11.2 percent energy savings throughout the community. Energy-related projects include solar photovoltaic systems, revamped HVAC units, lighting upgrades and countless other initiatives. Amidst a tough economic climate, the City received financial assistance from federal and state agencies, Southern California Edison and the Honeywell Corporation to complete the projects, which have and will continue to save the City well over $120,000 in yearly energy costs.          

Contact: Deanna Pressgrove, Environmental Conservation Manager

Phone: (760) 770-0369 or email: dpressgrove@cathedralcity.gov


Public Safety

City of San Mateo

Program Title: "Be Ready, Be Safe, Be Involved!" Campaign

San Mateo is known for its vibrant neighborhoods and strong neighborhood groups and homeowners associations which help connect our community.  The City of San Mateo has a tradition of partnering with neighborhood associations to ensure community safety and preparedness and maintain a high quality of life.  There are over 25 neighborhood and homeowners associations throughout San Mateo along with an umbrella organization called the San Mateo United Homeowners Association which provides a forum for these associations to come together and share information and discuss common issues.  The City’s partnership with these associations includes helping our communities prepare for and respond to emergencies through the Neighborhood Watch program operated by the Police Department and the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and Get Ready programs operated by the Fire Department.      

Contact: Matt Bronson, Assistant City Manager

Phone: (650) 522-7000 or email: mbronson@cityofsanmateo.org


Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation

City of Redlands

Program Title: Redlands311

Redlands311 is a smartphone app that allows the public to identify infrastructure issues (potholes, graffiti, water leaks) directly to City staff. The app allows users to attach media (picture, video, sound), to an issue, and have it geocoded to a point in the City’s GIS.

Contact: David Hexem, Chief Information Officer

Phone: (909) 335-4705 or email: dhexem@cityofredlands.org


Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government

City of Redlands

Program Title: Redlands Emergency Services Academy (RESA)

The Redlands Emergency Services Academy (RESA) is an outstanding program to encourage, train, and mentor youth in the community who have an interest in Public Safety, and desire to gain real world experience from professionals who are expert in their respective fields.       

Contact: Carl Baker, Public Information Officer

Phone: (909) 798-7633 or email: dhexem@cityofredlands.org

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