Members of the public who attended had a lot of questions, and Sheriff Hart and Supervisor Friend provided a great amount of detail on a wide ranging set of topics. The meeting lasted about an hour, and if you would like to hear the full extent of the comments from Jim Hart and Zach Friend, you can listen to the recording here:
Audio Recording of Jim Hart, Zach Friend
Summary of Topics Discussed
Sheriff Hart touched on a number of items:
- New Burglary suppression program: a deputy will come and walk around exterior of home, talk about weak points, beef up security
- New Elementary school program to talk about stranger danger and school safety
- Sheriff is doing clean up of homeless encampments in Aptos
- Reported that crime is down in Aptos in the past 45 days
- The department has 15 people studying at the police academy to increase deputies on the streets
- Establishing a new “Sobering Center” to handle those detained for public drunkenness with a $2.1 million federal grant
Supervisor Zach Friend updated the public on the following:
- County has re-funded County Parks Department to become a stand-alone department again
- Seacliff Village Park: they will break ground on that in two months
- McGregor Drive was completely repaved this year
- Seacliff Village Undergrounding of utility poles is going forward, it is budgeted for this spring
- New Broadband Policy will bring high-speed Internet to Aptos and Santa Cruz residents via fiber optic backbone “in the next 18 months”
- Mar Vista Pedestrian Overcrossing is still scheduled for construction in 2017, but the project does not yet have approval from CalTrans.
- Aptos Village Redevelopment is moving forward, and they are expecting Barry Swenson Builder (BSB) to apply for permits “soon” but have not yet given a date for that. BSB is creating a web site with information on the project for the public.
- Rancho del Mar Redevelopment: No news on this one, the county has not heard anything from the new owners of the shopping center.
- Santa Cruz Rail Trail: no news on this either, they are still waiting for the results of the Passenger Rail Study which the RTC plans to release in April. There is no word on what the passenger rail study might reveal as regards the feasibility of passenger rail service, however building out the trail segments will require private funding as there will be no public funds available for this any time soon.