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May 21, 2010 > Board to take up extension of County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith's contract to 2013

Board to take up extension of County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith's contract to 2013

By Gwen Mitchell and Laurel Anderson

On May 14, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors announced it intends to extend the contract of County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D., to June 30, 2013. Smith's initial one-year contract was set to expire in August. As County Executive, Smith oversees a $4 billion budget, which includes all services, operations, capital improvements and reserves and more than 15,000 employees. The $2.2 billion General Fund budget reflects discretionary and many mandated public services.

"Jeff has brought bold, innovative leadership to the County," said Supervisor Ken Yeager, President of the Board of Supervisors. "He has worked closely with the Board to refocus the organization on its core mission and to lead the staff through a new budget formulation process to streamline costs while preserving services."

Smith took the helm as County Executive in September 2009. He brought a message of mission-driven commitment to excellence and customer service, drawing heavily on successes from private industry. Smith invited broad participation from staff and community partners in examining budget priorities and finding solutions to address a $223M revenue shortfall as outlined in the County Executive's Fiscal Year 2011 Recommended Budget.

One of Smith's top priorities has also been to analyze the finances and operations of Valley Medical Center. His goal is to ensure that the hospital is in a position to address the changes Health Reform will bring.

He also has established a new Center of Leadership and Transformation, beginning with training of mid-level managers who play critical roles in overseeing day-to-day operations. The training will expand to encompass a core group of executive managers and all staff as well. The goal of this "think tank" experience is to use action learning tools so employees can examine not only how they perform their specific responsibilities but how to help transform County operations as a whole.

"Outstanding organizations are those that can foresee challenges and adapt and transform to tackle them," said Smith. "The Center for Leadership and Transformation will equip employees with the tools and processes to lead change and transformation across all divisions and encourage adaptability at every level of organization."

For more than 29 years, Dr. Smith has been involved in public service. Prior to joining Santa Clara County, he served as Executive Director of the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center and Health Centers, where he was responsible for the leadership, operations and management of the county general acute care hospital, outpatient clinics and detention health services for county jail facilities and the juvenile hall.

From 1992 to 1996, Smith served on the Board of Supervisors in Contra Costa County. There he authored the Better Government Ordinance - a local open government plan, the original Industrial Safety Ordinance - allowing local regulation of heavy industry, and promoted program-based budgeting. He also emphasized the importance of the Children's and Families budget for Contra Costa County.

Smith was also key creating the Crockett Community Foundation, a local philanthropic program funded by the creation of a cogeneration plant in the area. He also created the County Arts Commission and dealt with affordable housing issues, consolidation of fire districts and the library system's expansion.

He served as a City of Martinez councilman and addressed transportation, downtown revitalization, land use and reorganization of administrative structures.

Smith earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, UC Berkeley and has been a member of the California State Bar since 1989. In 1980, he graduated from the University of Southern California, School of Medicine, Los Angeles, as a Medical Doctor and has been certified by the American Board of Family Medicine since 1985. His undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree in Biology was earned in 1976 at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

The Board will consider his contract extension on May 25.

"There are many challenges ahead," said Smith. "However, I'm confident the programs we're putting in place, the policy direction from the Board and input from employees and community partners, will enable us to address them successfully. Santa Clara County will be the model county in the nation."

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