SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—Today, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors voted unanimously 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 $223 million revenue shortfall as outlined in the County Executive’s Fiscal Year 2011 Recommended Budget.
In addition, one of Smith’s top priorities has 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 that will result from Health Reform.
Smith 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 be expanded 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 that 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, Dr. Smith 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 also played a key role in the creation of 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 expansion of the library system.
Smith served for four years as Councilmember for the City of Martinez, where he addressed transportation, downtown revitalization, land use, and reorganization of administrative structures.
Smith earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, 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. He is married to Cynthia Ashbrook, M.D., and has four children Joshua, 32, Kellie, 28, Genevieve, 14 and Nicole, 11. He also has a two year old grandson named William.
“There are many challenges ahead,” said Smith. “However, I am confident that with the programs we are putting in place, the policy direction from the Board, and input from employees and community partners, we will be able to address them successfully. Santa Clara County will be the model county in the nation.”
Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119
Posted: May 25, 2010