For six years, in my principal role as chief executive officer of Salt Lake County, my commitment has been to operate an open, efficient, ethical and fiscally responsible government that serves citizens from all our communities.
Internally, we've worked to improve communication across agencies, and cultivate an attitude of customer focus. We've created the Employees' University to give employees the tools they need to serve the public better.
And we've assembled a county team called the Bureaucracy Busters to improve cross-departmental problem solving, and make processes easier for residents and employees alike.
They championed a change in state law regarding hourly limits for seasonal employees. In the past when this yearly limit was reached, we had to re-hire and re-train new temporary employees. The legislatively-approved change has resulted in savings for the county of approximately $82,000 in costs of hiring and training new employees.
That's a nice start, but we still have a ways to go.
Our employees already have a strong desire and commitment to serve citizens, and we are always working to figure out how we can do it better.
I want every citizen to know that we care about public service and have a workforce of dedicated county employees who have a particular love and passion for customer service. Right now we are asking our employees to help create a county-wide customer service standard. We will then provide training for employees at all levels to focus on internal and external customer service.
I have a vision of what Salt Lake County will be in the future, as do you, but the talents and expertise of those around us are essential to all of us fully realizing and expanding on that vision. So our team of Salt Lake County employees, leaders, volunteers and elected officials must work together, as one county government, to provide a government that truly serves all those within its reach
Salt Lake County government is diverse in its programs and functions, but unified by one trait: improving lives. And the fact is, when we help citizens improve their lives, they in turn help us, as one county government, to improve Salt Lake County.
This year is the year the baby boom generation begins to turn 65 years old. There are some 75 million boomers. We're told this generation, always the center of attention, will be a challenge for federal, state and local government services. But I see opportunity. Baby boomers will become the next generation of drivers for "Meals on Wheels," the next set of mentors in the "Foster Grandparent" program and they will stock Salt Lake County with a volunteer base that will be educated, motivated and focused.
I see an opportunity.