2019 Budget Responses to Public Questions
During the 2019 supplemental budget process questions in the following topic areas were raised by commissioners or members of the public. Please see questions and responses below.
The 2018 Property Tax and Budget hearing ("Truth in Taxation") was held on Nov. 26, 2018. Ramsey County streamed the meeting via Facebook Live. Watch the video.
What is the Sheriff’s Office’s plan to implement body-worn cameras by 2020?
A: The Sheriff’s Office is planning for implementation by January 1, 2020. They are testing the products of several vendors and carefully studying their options for data storage and management, which are expensive and based on frequently-changing technology.
Will the stored data be public or private?
The data will be private, per Chapter 13 of Minnesota Statutes.
Note: Sheriff Serier provided a full update on the plan to implement body-worn cameras at a board discussion on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
Ramseycounty.us was designed for accessibility and is 508 compliant. When the site design was created prior to relaunching it in December 2015, Ramsey County retained specialty vendors to perform a complete review of the site for accessibility and usability. This is a benefit of taking a ‘digital-first’ approach to communications - native content on ramseycounty.us is intrinsically accessible. This is not so for all PDF documents hosted on ramseycounty.us (particularly older documents), but staff have been actively moving away from only providing information in PDF format. One strategy is extracting critical content from PDFs and representing it as native content on web pages (examples include Ramsey County's Strategic Plan and Popular Annual Financial Report). When information is posted in PDFs, our strategy is to also also provide the critical information as native content on web pages or through our Open Data Portal. Information in the Open Data Portal (such as our budget and Performance Measures) are accessible through vendor Socrata’a platform that is 508 and W3C compliant.
Communications staff have also been trained in creating accessible PDFs and are applying that training first to major publications that will be posted on ramseycounty.us going forward.
Additionally, captioning capability for streamed and archived video of meetings conducted in the Chambers of Saint Paul City Hall - Ramsey County Courthouse is being explored and evaluated in conjunction with the City of Saint Paul.
Community and Economic Development
What do you mean by community development projects?
Community development projects are those that are not categorized as housing or services. Community Development projects in the recent past have included leasehold improvements for New Trax, sidewalk construction on Larpenteur, parking lot improvements at White Bear Food Shelf and infrastructure at Gladstone.
Total number of acres redeveloped in the county? What about TCAAP? Is the 2040 number cumulative?
This measure is an annual count, rather than a cumulative count. It measures the amount of brownfield acres redeveloped annually through CED programs. The hundreds of acres at Rice Creek Commons that will be redeveloped over the next 10-15 years will dominate redevelopment efforts, but by 2040, it will have been completed. In the future we can measure brownfield acreage cumulatively to gain a better understanding of the size and scope of brownfields within the county.
How does the 4R program fit into the CED performance measures?
CED is actively working with Property Tax, Records and Election Services (PTRES) on a coordinated implementation workplan. Implementation of the strategic expansion of the 4R program, discussed with the County Board in a November 2015 board workshop, is mostly implemented but certain aspects are being reevaluated and performance measures for roles assigned to EGCI were not available for the 2019 Supplemental Budget. However, CED does the track the number of suburban tax-forfeited properties that receive CBDG funding. This figure fluctuates based off of the number of available suburban tax-forfeitures and the need for developer subsidy.
How will local communities and city governments be involved in the Economic Development planning process?
All the municipalities in Ramsey County will be invited to be part of Ramsey County's economic development strategic planning process. There has been past engagement at the staff level and we will incorporate that engagement in the process as well as provide more opportunities for strategic engagement in the plan. We will also ensure that community groups and residents are part of the process as well. Once we have our Economic Development Director hired, we will start on this process.
When we are developing policy and plans, at what point are we engaging with our residents—before, during, or after?
A: We engage as early as possible. We are developing a Community Engagement Guide that will help us make those determinations—when we should reach out, depending on whether we’re informing people, asking them for guidance, etc. Additionally, we are developing a new Request for Board Action (RBA) format that will include an analysis on Equity Review and Community Impact, which will help us decide when and with whom to engage.
When will the new RBA format, with the Equity Review and Community Impact section, be implemented?
A: We are working with the County Clerk to implement the new RBAs no later than January 2019.
Why are we projected to include an Equity Review and Community Impact analysis in only 75 percent of all RBAs in 2040?
At this time, some RBAs appear not to have any discernable impact to analyze.
How does Policy & Planning determine with which partners and on what projects it will work, balancing demands and ensuring we have the right data?
The Strategic Team works together to make these determinations, think strategically, and avoid mixed messaging.
What is being done to counter the effect of the citizenship question on census participation rates?
Ramsey County has partnered with the City of Saint Paul to launch a joint Complete Count Committee, which held its first meeting on October 23, 2018. This committee consists of community members and representatives of local governments and will work to raise awareness about the importance of participating in the Census and the security of Census data. We will engage in extensive community outreach and engagement to encourage all our residents to participate.
Additionally, Minnesota—along with 17 other states, 10 cities, four counties, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors—is party to a lawsuit led by the State of New York against the US Department of Commerce to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census questionnaire. The case is scheduled to be heard in Manhattan federal court on November 5, 2018.
Are School Resource Officers in all school districts?
A: We do have School Resource Officers (SROs) in all school districts. There are currently seven full-time SROs assigned through the school year. We are in the process of adding an eighth SRO to work at Lionsgate on an occasional basis.
How will get to 100 percent Library card adoption? Is there a plan in place?
Ramsey County Library is focused on three key strategies to increase Library card registration. They include:
- ConnectEd partnerships with school districts, whereby class rosters in designated grades are registered with library accounts (with a parental opt-out option and a one-time fine forgiveness to clear blocked records). Ramsey County Library has registered 8,000 student cards through this program. With additional effort and resources, we intend to register all students in schools in our service area with a public library card. This is an important tactic to address educational disparities by driving equitable access to educational materials and homework help.
- Ramsey County Library has a long history of registering new Kindergarten students with a library card. Each year, children's librarians conduct extensive classroom outreach and host a high profile card distribution event. Last year, Ramsey County registered nearly 1,600 new library cards to Kindergarten students.
- Ramsey County Library promotes new library card registration at all PopUp Library events, an effort that we launched in summer, 2016.
Ramsey County Library is always looking for new ways to remove barriers to registration. We are investigating ways to simplify online registration to enable immediate account creation and access to e-materials.
What are the outreach and engagement strategies for Section 3 registration?
The Section 3 program requires that recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, provide training, employment, contracting and other economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons, especially recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons. Section 3 applies to construction contracts of more than $100,000. Ramsey County CED does not directly contract for construction activities and rarely issues awards for construction to grantees that exceed that amount.
However, CED recognizes that this does present an opportunity to for local low- and moderate-income tradespersons and vendors and states in agreements that contractors are encouraged to consider Section 3 eligible hires/purchases. With the new consolidated approach initiated by Ramsey County, Section 3 workers and businesses can receive certification that is applicable across the region for 3 years. Certified workers and businesses receive notice of CDBG/HOME and other contracts; contractors can find workers and training opportunities are posted as well.
Section 3 information is available on the county website as well as http://tcsection3.org Participating jurisdictions reach out to a variety of constituent groups as well. Organizations that work with immigrants and new Americans and with disadvantaged youth, such as YouthBuild, have been notified of the registry and Construction Connect, operated by Ramsey County Workforce Solutions provides additional outreach as well as training. Although CED does not directly contract, we are entering discussions with procurement that will enhance data collection.
This figure includes all registrants and CED is responsible for tracking registrants from suburban Ramsey County. There are two primary ways that potential Section 3 tradespeople and businesses can register: online at tcsection3.org or they can download the forms and forward them to CED and we will add the information to the online regional registry.
How will we be using the Citizen Advisory Councils moving forward as part of our community engagement work?
The CAC and its committees continue to be a part of the Health and Wellness Administrative Division’s, and Social Services and Financial Assistance Departments’ community engagement work. At present, we are putting an emphasis on connecting the committees’ work to the county’s goals--both to support the county and to assure the relevance of the CAC’s efforts.
For this first time in several years, an annual meeting was held. All committee members were invited to the September 24 event. The CAC Board Member liaison, and county staff leadership participated. A key goal is to identify ways the CAC can help the county achieve its strategic priorities and legislative goals. In addition to assisting the county, it is hoped that a closer connection to current county priorities will increase interest and participation by the community in the CAC.
Additionally, we have other statutory Advisory Committees in Community Corrections and Public Health. We continue to work to assure that the representation on all these community advisory committees reflect the diversity of the people of Ramsey County.
How can we better coordinate participation by county staff and elected officials at community engagement events, so we know who will be attending?
A: To help improve coordination, Communications will re-promote our community outreach kit to our departments via Ramsey News and RamseyNet. We will also provide a refresher at the Senior Management Team meetings to ensure that department heads are encouraging their staffs to check in with the kit organizers to check the schedule before attending events independently. A dedicated staff member in Communications is currently coordinating the scheduling of the kit.
Customer Experience Survey
Will we be doing online/electronic Customer Experience Surveys in the future?
A: Yes. While the Customer Experience Team is still developing plans for future surveys, we expect to provide an online response option.
Do you aim for a target number of participants in the Customer Experience Surveys?
A: There is no target number, but we will conduct the surveys a couple of times every year.
How are we working to protect the private data of individuals? Could you please provide an update on data privacy protection efforts?
A: We propose a closed executive session after the first of the year on security updates by our CIO and Communications Director who serve on the county's Data Board. As part of this session, staff will provide an update and Q&A on data privacy protection efforts.
Deep-End Services for Juveniles
What is District Court doing to enhance deep-end services for juveniles, especially alternatives to out-of-home placement? How do the judges perceive this work?
A: These services are an important part of judges’ work. Out-of-home placements have dropped significantly; the district court is working to ensure programmatic alternatives are available. The county is closely monitoring its expenses for the parents’ attorneys in CHIPS cases, and may need to request more money for this in the future.
With efforts like the 0-3 Initiative and Pritzker Initiative, how can we work with families early on to prevent problems later?
A: It is important for upstream work to be guided by data, so we can direct the right resources to the right families and children. The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office is currently in conversation with the community about sharing that data and what it is needed for.
Do we include voter registration information with our property tax notices?
A: Property tax notices typically go out after elections. We are looking at the possibility of including voter registration information in other major mailings, though. The Modernization Program will help us identify these kinds of opportunities to increase efficient communications.
How does Text-to-911 work?
What explains the 30-second increase in response times noted on page 135, A2 of the Emergency Communications Center’s (EEC’s) performance measures?
A: This is due to multiple factors. Saint Paul has seen an increase in calls and when a squad is unable to respond immediately, the response time increases. Also, 2017 was a difficult year for ECC staffing levels and we had many employees in training. Staffing levels have since improved and we are much closer to full staffing.
Does ECC analyze the causes/reasons for 911 calls to help develop preventative safety measures, such as wellness checks in cooperation with Public Health?
A: While ECC does not do such analysis, the EEC’s CAD system is the first point in a chain of data. When responders respond, they collect additional data that can be used to analyze the causes of calls.
Emergency Management Resources
Given that EMHS is almost entirely funded by grants, what is the status of federal funding for EMHS?
A: Nationwide, federal funding numbers are dropping. EMHS may need to come to the board for resources at some point in the future if the department wants to maintain resources.
What are the greatest disaster threats to Minnesota?
A: The most plausible worst-case scenarios in Minnesota include a major train accident involving oil or other hazardous materials leak; tornadoes; power failure due to ice storm; and a complex coordinated terrorist attack.
The two percent reduction in energy feels like status quo, when is the big push going to happen? Solar?
Ramsey County’s Strategic Energy Plan sets the goal of achieving an energy use reduction of 25 percent below 2008 levels by December 31, 2020; 30 percent below 2008 levels by December 31, 2025; and 80 percent below 2008 levels by 2050. With the achievements made to date in reducing consumption and a minimum oft two percent reduction in future years these goals will be achieved. If more can be done sooner, with the resources available, the goals will be achieved earlier. The stated 2 precent per year target assumes limited capital resources and distributing investments over a longer period. County staff is intending to develop a policy related to renewable energy and solar. These initiatives do not reduce consumption. We need to ensure that funds needed to continue work on reducing consumption are not compromised as we explore the potential for or invest in renewable energy.
Given that court facilities are still a county responsibility, will the District Court need additional resources for court security?
The Chief Judge has said he was not aware of any effort to make such a request.
Health and Wellness
How many county evaluation projects would it be possible for the Community Evaluation Board to review?
A group of evaluation staff and supervisors from Community Corrections, HWAD, and Public Health met for the first time September 12 to address these types of questions. In the initial planning meeting, we discussed two broad topics – structure of the board and types of projects to bring to the board. We do not know at this time how many projects it would be possible to review as we are still looking at the structure, including things like membership and meeting structure/frequency. We are exploring two different structures, one that builds on the work of the Race Equity Action Teams being implemented by Public Health for the entire service team and one that involves a potential community partner already doing this type of work.
The number of projects also depends on the number and type of requests we receive from program areas. Evaluation units take on a variety of types of evaluations. Many are not “traditional” evaluation involving a program with a start and end date, which lends itself to community review and input. Often evaluation staff are helping managers and directors make business decisions, such as staffing levels for a call center, using data. These “business analytics” type projects may not be the best fit for a board like this. Evaluators also develop and implement performance measures, which would likely benefit from community input but do not follow the same development timelines as traditional evaluation. We will report back to the Board on completed evaluations throughout the year.
How do we choose and determine projects they review vs. those they don’t review?
We are also developing criteria for the types of projects this board would review. Ideally, those criteria would be developed in partnership with the board itself. A common complaint from community is that they are brought in once ideas are developed, rather than being involved with the development of the idea itself. We hope to avoid making that mistake by engaging this group in decisions about types of projects to bring to it. That said, we are looking at four potential touch points that would be flexible enough to work with the wide variety of evaluation projects undertaken in different areas and the various ways we receive requests from program areas. The touch points are: goals of a program, evaluation design and question development, initial finding or data review, and final recommendations.
What’s the connection to lack of mental health services (for chemical dependency, etc.) as barriers for individuals experiencing homelessness? How are we working to address this?
Many homeless individuals we serve also have chemical health and mental health issues which attributes to them not being able to secure or maintain housing because their mental illness interferes with their ability to manage a household and care for themselves. Additional mental and chemical health services would allow these vulnerable individuals to live independently in the community or in some cases shelters can specialize in seeing people with MA or CD issues.
How are we are addressing this?
The Department has two projects that are connecting homeless single adults, with mental and chemical health issues, to appropriate housing and resources. The Redirecting Users from Shelter to Housing (RUSH) and Outside In Project.
Referencing page 279, regarding the percent of people exiting single shelters who return to shelter within six months. Is it possible to have this number be even lower than what is targeted for 2040?
We can certainly take a look at lower the target, but we wanted to be realistic given the current housing market.
We need to have a board workshop on affordable housing. How are we partnering with Ramsey County municipalities and others on this issue?
The Board held a Housing Workshop on Tuesday, October 2, 2018. We partnered with Heading Home Ramsey on the workshop. The morning session included an update on internal county efforts to address homelessness and the afternoon session was an update from Heading Home Ramsey Partners.
Do we know the percent of veterans in Ramsey County that we are serving through our Veterans Services office?
We do not know the percent of veterans in Ramsey County that Ramsey County Veterans Services (RCVS) is currently serving. VA provides an annual estimate of the number of veterans in every state/county across the nation based on aggregate data that includes census information and numbers of veterans currently receiving VA benefits. The current estimate for Ramsey County is 24,155. This estimated number does not include all dependents, surviving spouses and advocates that are currently being served by RCVS. There are currently 32,642 veteran records in the RCVS database. This database was established in 2011 and approximately 13,000 historical paper records were converted to this system at the time it was implemented. Additional records created since implementation could help inform numbers served since that time but provide only a partial picture. In 2017 RCVS assessed and/or interviewed 2396 veterans and their families. In 2017 RCVS responded to 9,657 phone contacts coming in to our main office phone.
Are affiliated organizations working on this issue or is this something we need to spearhead?
Many of our affiliated and partner organizations are working on issues related to integrated health and justice (e.g. St. Paul Police mental health unit). Much of this work benefit from overall, high-level coordination which is part of the goal of the planned Leadership Committee which will be convened by the end of 2018 and consist of affiliated organizations and community partners.
Will we be including this as part of our legislative needs? What policy changes will we want to request?
There are several statewide groups and initiatives that are working on legislative proposals which could be included in our legislative platform – e.g. changes to competency and commitment statutes; increased funding for community-based or regional treatment options.
Regarding the difficulty of attracting and retaining Correctional Health Staff (especially registered nurses), how are we making unions and other organizations aware of employment opportunities at our facilities?
We are working with local educational institutions to raise awareness of career opportunities in correctional health. Position postings are also shared with temporary, contract staff who may be interested in full-time, permanent positions.
How can we make our job opportunities more attractive? Are we also considering internship opportunities?
We are currently conducting a salary review as a part of an overall analysis of correctional health in county facilities. Began an internship program with local University of Northwestern in 2018.
Regarding Sexual Offense Services (SOS), can we get an evaluator assigned to this to determine why we aren’t meeting certain benchmarks?
Public Health leadership is researching getting an HWAD appointed evaluator to this work.
Regarding lead assessments in homes we need to keep this issue front and center as it directly impacts early childhood outcomes. How do we continue to reach out to communities about this issue?
Environmental Health is moving forward with an enhanced lead and healthy homes program that will:
- Engage communities in neighborhoods with concentrated financial poverty to work together to assist residents with reducing risks related to lead and housing;
- Invest in neighborhoods with concentrated financial poverty by providing funding for window replacement in HUD-eligible owner/occupied and rental housing;
- Provide a lower-cost option for reducing the onset of asthma by providing healthy homes equipment, supplies and training to eligible families; and
- Develop workforce training and development by creating local job opportunities to carry out window replacement services.
In doing this work, Environmental Health will continue to expand partnerships with community organizations in targeted neighborhoods, local community housing and development agencies, local workforce development entities, City of Saint Paul Planning & Economic Development, school nurses, and community clinics. To that end Environmental Health is hiring a health educator trained in community engagement to work with a variety of partners to increase the number of referrals. By working more closely with community organizations in targeted neighborhoods, local community housing and development agencies, school nurses, community clinics as well as hospitals and clinics, the person in this position will be able to ensure that more children are tested for lead, that homes that need lead hazard control can be identified, and that more children with severe asthma can be enrolled in the healthy homes program.
Related to Active Living, how are we engaging our seniors? This isn’t reflected in our performance measures but could be a good workshop topic for the future.
SHIP has funded several initiatives to engage and support our seniors:
- We funded a senior-focused exercise classes within the North Dale Rec Center and Hallie Q. Brown Center
- We have had ongoing support within Saint Paul Public Housing focused on seniors, including:
- Balance classes that include assessments by physical therapy students and nurses
- Inclusive walking groups
- Improving roadway crossings at several dangerous locations with AARP
- Continuing to work with Active Living Ramsey Communities Bike and Ped Plan
- Continuing to work with St. Paul Pedestrian Plan
- Implementing SRTS strategies that has an 8-80 lens
- Continuing to review Ramsey County Municipality’s Comprehensive Plans to make sure active living and healthy aging are integrated
Regarding the 2040 target for percent of children involved with Child Protection who achieve permanency within 12 months. Can you provide a narrative to support this target number?
While we strive to have all children involved with Child Protection achieve permanency within 12 months, we recognize that child safety is the overall goal and for some children permanency may take longer due to complex family situations. Social Services is working to safely decrease the number of children removed from their homes and to provide services and supports earlier that may prevent out-of-home placement. The 2040 target reflects this. The children included in the measure in 2040 will likely have more complex needs and more complicated family situations than today because those who are able to have their safety needs met earlier will no longer be in this measure. The children included will be those for whom preventative and early intervention strategies were not effective. This is a realistic target based on the expectation that the children included will be different than those in it today.
How are we doing in terms of tracking the children of incarcerated parents? For the future, how can we highlight this in our performance measures? We need to know who has kids while incarcerated. We need to understand the impact of incarceration on children.
- Approximately 75 percent of women that are incarcerated are primary/sole caregivers.
- While a primary caregiver is incarcerated, the children that remain in the community typically have more medical and mental health issues, they struggle to attend and perform in school, and they struggle with the stigma associated with having a parent behind bars.
- Due to these effects that incarceration has on the child, RCCF offers the female inmates face-to-face visits with their children to help lessen the impact of the separation on both the child and mother.
- RCCF also offers the women a Parenting Program and counseling for primary caregivers. These opportunities are meant to support/educate the inmates as mothers, but also help them manage the stress and anxiety that goes along with being separated from their children.
- In addition, a county leadership team, “Serving Children of Incarcerated Parents” is also meeting to discuss strategies to address concerns in this area.
- We are also tracking the number of children in child protection whose parent are incarcerated.
What is the exact “bed surcharge” amount per bed at Lake Owasso Residence?
The daily surcharge per bed is $10/81. This adds up to $235,455.96 per year for Lake Owasso.
Is it a fee that doesn’t come back into the system but instead goes into the general fund?
This fee does go back into the system through our reimbursed day rate, so the State (DHS) is paying us to pay them. It is a pass through for the State/DHS. However, we are charged the daily surcharge no matter if the bed is occupied, so if the bed is unoccupied we cannot bill for it and are not reimbursed.
Is Ramsey County looking at any particularly interesting ideas for apps that we could use in the future?
A: While we cannot predict what kinds of apps will be coming out in the future, we would be interested in those that are located-based and linked to data sets.
What is Emergency Management and Homeland Security (EMHS) doing to enhance cybersecurity?
A: EMHS is working with Information Services on cybersecurity issues. EMHS also coordinates the Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) for Ramsey County.
More data on juvenile corrections (diversion, charging, and impact on communities) in the performance measures would be good.
A: The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office has the data but has lacked the capacity to pull it together and make it available. However, it will be making a presentation to the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Committee soon.
Follow-up: The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office presented data from the Juvenile Division to the JDAI-DMC Committee on September 13, 2018.
How is the shortage of space for bodies affecting us?
A: The demand for mandated and requested autopsies is exhausting our resources, forcing the Medical Examiner to choose when/which autopsies could or should be performed (though they are always performed in cases of non-natural or overdose deaths).
Why do families sometimes request autopsies?
A: Families often desire more information when a loved one dies. If the Medical Examiner does not have the capacity to perform a requested autopsy, we may refer a family to a private service.
What are the costs and benefits of doing autopsies in-house?
A: There are no costs to taxpayers. In the work the Medical Examiner does for contracting referral counties, we are fully recovering our costs. If capacity becomes an issue, we can reopen and update the study completed on this issue two years ago.
Please provide more information on Medical Examiner costs going forward.
A: The county will begin discussions about the potential budget impact of a fifth pathologist well in advance of the 2020/21 budget preparation. With regard to non-jurisdictional referral cases, the analysis the county completed two years ago showed that such cases actually reduced the levy by $500,000. We will review updated data as part of the next budget cycle.
Is the Medical Examiner including careers in forensics in the county’s Career Pathways work?
A: The Medical Examiner is in the initial stages of preparing for this and will deploy it next year.
Please discuss Not Another Overdose at greater length.
A: All sworn officers carry Narcan, which can reverse the effects of overdose, and all department personnel have been trained in the use of Narcan and first aid for overdoses. We have recently received a grant to help us purchase Narcan for all of patrol and the narcotics unit, which should enable us to have supplies for the next 18 months.
When will the Resilient Communities report on mapping social vulnerabilities be available?
A: If the EMHS project is matched with University of Minnesota students, it would take at least a year to gather and analyze the data. The report would then be released by spring 2020.
Parks and Recreation
Could you further explain early childhood development tests at the Tamarack nature preschool and how it could connect to the county’s YCC/0-3 efforts?
The Tamarack Nature Center is the host site for a nature preschool that is operated in partnership with the White Bear Lake Area School District. The White Bear Lake Area School district conducts childhood development tests at the beginning and conclusion of each academic year for children attending the preschool. These tests are designed to measure a child’s social and emotional development. The Youth Continuum of Care (YCC) initiative within Ramsey County is tracking all youth related programs that are a part of the county’s work. The nature preschool childhood development tests are one metric that may be tracked through the YCC.
How is “defining areas of concentrated financial poverty” actually reducing poverty? How have we determined the targets in our performance measures?
A: We are working to reduce poverty with several initiatives in the areas of economic development, workforce development, opportunity zones, and the Resilient Communities Project. However, it is also important to have good data about the areas where we should focus our efforts
With Ramsey County having one of the highest probation revocation rates in the state, how might we reduce probation revocations?
A: Although Community Corrections is best positioned to answer this, the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office suggests we consider implementing something similar to the State of Hawaii’s HOPE model of swift, certain, and fair consequences of shorter duration for probationers.
Follow-up: The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office provided a follow-up email to the Board of Commissioners, dated August 27, 2018, with an overview of the model, how it works, and a road map and tools for implementation in other jurisdictions. Additionally, Corrections leadership reports that they will meet with the County Attorney and his staff in October to discuss various options for achieving better outcomes for clients who are most at risk for probation violations and revocations. This work will require collaboration from all justice system partners, and a coordinated and shared effort is essential.
A. How are we mentoring small and diverse businesses in the procurement process, beyond simply informing them of the process?
A: Ramsey County just held its highly successful 2018 Procurement Fair, which included for the first time a morning of facilitated small-group discussions with vendors and potential vendors, eliciting their feedback on what they need to be successful in doing business with Ramsey County. The fair also included a “reverse vendor fair” in the afternoon, where many of our departments had tables and were present to talk with fair participants. We have received many thanks and compliments on the fair from participants, including some saying it was the best procurement fair they had ever attended. Some participants also said they thought Ramsey County genuinely wants to listen to and work with the business community.
How are we identifying and contracting with minority-owned small business enterprises?
A: We have made great progress in compiling data on Ramsey County’s contracting with minority-owned CERT SBEs. This data helps us see where were at and where we need to improve. Our 2017 Procurement Reports present this data, as well as more general data about contracting with CERT-certified Small Business Enterprises (CERT SBEs). These reports can be found here. Additionally, the Open Data Portal now provides continually updated data on SBE CERT contracting across the county.
Is it possible for the Sheriff’s Office to expand its Certified Small Business Enterprise (CERT SBE) vendor relationships more quickly than projected in its performance measures?
A: The Sheriff’s Office does not have that many contacts with vendors to begin with, so the potential for growth is limited. However, it is working to expand its relationships with small businesses as much as possible.
Why was 32% chosen for the CERT SBE goal in Property Management?
A. Policy & Planning is currently researching how other agencies approach contracting goals. The county board can expect further discussion on countywide contracting goals for capital projects.
How are we going to track the strategy: “Utilize the county’s All Ability Transportation Network policy to accommodate multi-modal transportation user’s needs?”
Public Works currently identifies and tracks this as a performance measure through our Opportunity Goal - Invest between 15-20% of total construction dollars towards multimodal features of the transportation system. Along with this investment, Public Works also annually identifies the miles of sidewalk/trail and bike lanes incorporated into projects. In addition, Public Works will be making changes to its identification and selection of projects to be included into the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) based on the guidance in the All Abilities Transportation Network Policy.
What is the gig economy?
A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent contractors for short term engagements.
How does the MFIP Graduation Rate compare to the graduation rate of other young parents?
In 2017, the statewide graduation rate was 83 percent, the Saint Paul Public Schools rate was 79.9 percent and the graduation rate for the teen MFIP program was 77 percent. Nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50 percent of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by age 22.