County of Santa Cruz

2022 Employee Recognition Awards Winners

Land Use & Regulatory

Sean Mathis

Sean Mathis is a supervisor in the Department of Community Development and Infrastructure’s Sanitation Operations group. During a vendor demonstration of a camera system to assist with manhole inspections, Sean noticed the images produced by the camera system were not clear due to the light coming into the manhole. Sean took the initiative to design a cover to go over the manholes during inspections that would block out sunlight and which included rechargeable lights mounted on the bottom of the cover to light up the inside of the manhole. It also included a center hole cut in the cover that allowed a pole with a Go-Pro camera with a fish-eye lens attached to it, to be lowered into the manhole to record videos and images of the inside of the manholes.

The cost to fabricate Sean’s prototype is significantly less expensive than the system from an outside vendor, and the images are substantially clearer. Because of Sean’s proactive and creative problem solving, staff will be able to make better informed decisions on which manholes to prioritize for rehabilitation, repair, or replacement.

Tatiana Brennan

Tatiana Brennan

Tatiana is a Senior Administrative Analyst for the Office of Response Recovery, and Resilience. Last year, Tatiana managed the program for the development of the County’s 2022 Climate Action and Adaption Plan (CAAP). The CAAP includes the most current data on climate impacts in unincorporated Santa Cruz County that inform a strategic framework with actionable to steps towards reducing the causes of global warming, adapting our communities to climate hazards and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of those most vulnerable to climate change.

The design and development of the 2022 CAAP used an accelerated 11-month time frame and a collaborative process incorporating different levels of County Staff into the development of the CAAP strategies and objectives that used a new equity framework to ensure that the County consider and address the disparate impacts from Climate change on our vulnerable and underserved residents. Thanks to Tatiana’s dedication, expertise, clear communication and project vision, the 2022 CAAP was delivered on-time and will help guide our County towards the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by state law.

Santa Cruz County Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP)

Mosquito and Vector Control Team

Amanda Poulsen, Stephen Bowling, Steven Driscoll, Michael Pini, Nader Sidhom, Ray Travers, Emma McDonough

Left to right: Ray Travers, Michael Pini, Stephen Bowling, Emma McDonough, Steven Driscoll, Nader Sidhom, and Amanda Poulsen

The Mosquito and Vector Control Division protects the public from pests capable of transmitting disease or creating a nuisance. In early October 2022, the Division received a service request to control aggressive biting mosquitos in Watsonville, which prompted them to set up surveillance of the area as well as set traps. Shortly after it was confirmed that the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti, which can transmit dengue, Zika, and yellow fever, had been found in one of those traps. The team acted quickly and formulated an action plan to determine the extent of the infestation and to work with community members in the small neighborhood in Watsonville where the mosquito was found.

The team went above and beyond in outreaching to the affected neighborhood by knocking on doors, working on weekends to ensure engagement with all residents, and being inclusive by having a translator and information in Spanish. Thanks to the team’s quick actions and thorough efforts, they were able to contain the infestation and prevent further spread to other parts of the County.

2/14/23 Presentation and update on the invasive Aedes mosquitoes found in Santa Cruz County in October 2022