Accomplishments

Department-Wide

Departmental Reorganization

Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Chief Elections Officer Mark Church reorganized the entire Department to streamline operations, maximize productivity and improve efficiencies

Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Chief Elections Officer Mark Church’s first priority in assuming office in January 2011 was a department-wide reorganization to meet the organization’s changing needs, streamline operations, maximize productivity, and improve efficiencies. The staff reorganization was accomplished with minimal changes to the existing staffing numbers and net county costs.

Ethics

Mark Church created and adopted policies to prohibit incompatible activities

In an effort to ensure that employees are held to the highest ethical standards, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder & Chief Elections Officer Mark Church implemented policies prohibiting incompatible activities, the use of county resources for private gain, and the performance of duties that are a conflict of interest with department employment.

Interactive Website Redesign

Under Mark Church’s leadership, a new website was created and redesigned with interactive features to better serve the public in scheduling appointments, downloading/submitting forms, and chatting online.

A new interactive website was developed and launched at Church’s direction to improve constituent service and communications. The website utilizes state-of-the-art architecture with enhanced search capabilities and interactive features allowing 24/7 access with mobile devices. The new website provides an expansive set of tools for the public to schedule appointments, download/submit forms and chat online.

Award-Winning Live Chat Service

To improve constituent service, Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer Mark Church implemented an award-winning LiveChat application. This application has successfully reduced the number of telephone calls and wait times and improved customer satisfaction. LiveChat service was recognized with the LiveHelpNow Challenge Award, which recognizes Outstanding Customer Service through the use of a LiveChat tool. In 2021, staff responded to approximately 9,900 LiveChat inquiries.

Award-Winning Cybersecurity

Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer Church strengthened Cybersecurity protocols department-wide to protect sensitive data and networks.

The innovative cybersecurity measures implemented by Church earned San Mateo County an Honorable Mention for 2021 from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for “Outstanding Innovations in Election Cybersecurity and Technology.”

According to the National Security Agency, the nation’s infrastructure is under cyber attack every second of every day.

Cyberattacks are the number one threat to governmental operations and are a major challenge for all election operations throughout the country.

The department and the Secretary of State’s office and Federal agencies have established an aggressive and robust cybersecurity program that has protected our election’s critical infrastructure.

The department’s system is protected by the county firewall, and we are members of the Department of Homeland Security’s EI-ISAC, which is the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and MS-ISAC, which is the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

These partnerships provide immediate and accurate updates on cyber incidents and mitigative measures that can be implemented to neutralize all forms of cyberattacks.

To further harden cyber defenses, under Church’s leadership the office became one of the first elections offices in the state to retain an independent cybersecurity consultant to conduct an extensive security audit and “trusted hack” of the voter registration system.

Tabletop exercises with the consultant were also conducted, simulating attacks on the department’s websites and procedures on how to manage misinformation on social media platforms.

Together, with the county’s Information Services Department, Church jointly established a Cyber Security Defense Team (CSDT) to provide emergency rapid responses to cyber threats.

With these efforts, voters and taxpayers in San Mateo County can be assured that their confidential data and the department’s elections systems are safe and secure.

Appraiser Services Division

Assessment Roll

Each year, 100% of the Property Assessment Roll, which is comprised of all tangible real and business property in the county, has been successfully completed on time. The timely closing of the Assessment Roll has always been a high priority for Assessor Church and is a major accomplishment given the size, complexity, and growth of the Roll. San Mateo County has the 8th largest Roll of all 58 counties and administers one of the most diverse and complex Rolls in the state. The 2021-22 Assessment Roll reached a record high of $266B

Assessor Property Assessment System (APAS)

Developing new Assessor Property Assessment System to improve operational efficiencies, maximize productivity and ensure accurate and timely closings of the Assessment Roll.

When Assessor Church assumed office, the Assessor’s Property Assessment System was an aging legacy system. The Assessor’s Property Assessment System (APAS) replaces the department’s 22-year-old legacy system, utilizing cutting-edge technology to assist staff in managing all aspects of the local combined roll.

The Assessor is at the forefront of the workflow of property tax assessments, assessment appeals, billing, collection and distribution of revenue. The Assessor System must efficiently interface with 20 municipal planning and building departments along with the County’s Planning and Building Department. APAS is 80% complete and will provide the public and the county’s 70 jurisdictions immediate and accurate access to the extensive Assessor’s parcel database.

Award-Winning Geographical Information System (GIS)

Assessor Mark Church implemented an international and national award-winning GIS web portal digitizing all Assessor parcel maps to pinpoint accuracy allowing increased public access to over 220,000 Assessor parcels and related data

Under Assessor Mark Church’s leadership, an award-winning Geographical Information System (GIS) Assessor Parcel Web Portal was developed. The portal received two prestigious awards: an international Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award for 2021; and the National Association of Counties Achievement Award for 2021.

The Assessor’s Geographical Information System (GIS) was a manual hand-drawn mapping system utilizing antiquated technology and in extremely poor condition. New GIS technology was deployed allowing the production of digital Assessors’ maps for the public with precise and reliable data.

The new GIS modernized the Assessor’s parcel layer, tax rate area and election precinct layers, significantly improving data retrieval, accuracy and staff productivity. This modernization eliminated all hand drafting of parcel maps, digitized all Context Coordinate Geometry (COGO) data, and streamlined technical workflows.

The project fully digitized and remapped all the County’s Assessor parcel maps (over 225,000 parcel maps) using deeds, legal descriptions and recorded maps to accuracy levels well beyond industry’s standards. It is the foundation for all municipal GIS Plans and paved the way for San Mateo County’s five-year GIS Plan, developing a dynamic and interactive web application for all County residents.

Award-Winning Assessor’s Building Plans Submission Portal

Church implemented a national award-winning electronic Building Plan Submission Portal significantly reducing our carbon footprint, improving operational efficiencies and saving taxpayers over $1,600,000 annually.

As a continuation of the department’s Green Initiative, Assessor Church implemented new and innovative technology, the Building Plans Submission Portal, to receive and review building permit plans electronically. The Portal received two prestigious awards: the National Association of Counties Achievement Award for 2021; and the STARS Green Award from San Mateo County for 2019-2020.

The Portal enables over 30 government agencies, who issue building permits, to submit digital copies of their approved building plans to the Assessor, significantly decreasing the amount of labor and time spent to transport and scan plans into a digital format. The elimination of 16,000 paper building plans per year saved the residents of our County over $1,600,000 annually. The elimination of staff travel time, car mileage costs and a reduction of our carbon footprint resulted an additional savings of taxpayers’ dollars.

Assessment Appeals – Preservation of Taxable Value

The Assessor’s Opinion of Value is defended against major corporations before the Assessment Appeals Board and the courts, resulting in the preservation of billions of dollars in assessed value.

Many of the county’s multibillion dollar corporations routinely file Assessment Appeals before the Assessment Appeals Board (AAB) in an effort to reduce their annual property tax liabilities.

The Assessor’s Assessment Appeals Team was formed to successfully defend the Assessor’s Opinion of Value. Property taxes are the largest source of revenue for schools, cities, special districts and the county, and it is critical that this source of revenue be defended to preserve the level of public services provided by these agencies.

“Decline in Value” Process Improvements

The Assessor’s Decline in Value program allows for a temporary reduction in the assessed value of a property when the current market value falls below the current assessed value. The program has provided millions of dollars of property tax relief to property owners.

An in-house approach was developed at Church’s direction which enabled appraisers to value these properties in a more efficient and fair manner. The outcome was a valuation model for Decline in Value properties that produced comparable sales with adjustments for variables between the comparables and property being reviewed. This new valuation model resulted in a 15% to 20% increase in the efficiency of the Decline in Value process.

The number of parcels participating in the program has been reduced from a high of 37,000 parcels in 2011 to 2,100 parcels in the program currently. This has resulted in billions of dollars in assessed value being restored to the assessment roll.

Assessor’s Annual Report

Assessor’s Annual Report initiated to improve transparency of Assessor’s operations

To improve transparency of the Assessor’s operations, Assessor Church initiated the Assessor’s Annual Report commencing FY 2013-14. The Assessor’s Annual Report provides a detailed overview of the Assessment Roll and the Property Tax Process. The report is filled with valuable information, statistics and charts for the public, elected officials and business leaders to use as a quick reference tool to obtain a better understanding of the assessment and property tax process.

Elections Division

Vote by Mail Ballots (VBM)

In 2011, the Registration & Elections Division conducted the first countywide all-mail election to fill the seat on the Board of Supervisors vacated by then Supervisor Church. That historic election saved taxpayers approximately $500,000. The savings resulted since no time, money or effort was spent to secure polling places, test hundreds of pieces of voting equipment, hire and train poll workers, deliver and secure voting equipment to hundreds of locations, and unpack and account for the materials after election day.

San Mateo County All-Mailed Ballot Election Pilot Program (AB 2028)

Chief Elections Officer Church provided critical testimony in support of AB 2028 before the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting and the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments. The bill, co-authored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin and Senator Jerry Hill, authorized San Mateo County to participate in an all Vote by Mail election pilot project to conduct the first countywide all-mail election on November 7, 2015. This historic election increased voter turnout, saved taxpayers approximately $500,000 and its success led to the historic passage of landmark legislation, SB 450 The California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA).

California Voter’s Choice Act (SB 450)

As a result of the success of the AB 2028 Pilot Program, San Mateo County has the distinction of being recognized as a leader in the state in elections and was chosen by the State Legislature to be one of the first counties to conduct All-Mailed Ballot/Vote Center elections under the California Voter’s Choice Act (VCA). The June 5, 2018 Statewide Direct Primary Election was the first election conducted under the VCA. A comprehensive Election Administration Plan, including a Voter Education and Outreach Plan, was prepared and approved by the Secretary of State.

New Dominion Democracy Suite Voting System

Fulfilling a campaign pledge four years earlier, Chief Elections Officer Mark Church embarked on an extensive Request for Information (RFI) process seeking the best voting equipment possible.

Recognizing that every successful election depends on the latest technology, Chief Elections Officer Church made the decision in 2019 to invest over $5 million to acquire the new state-of-the-art Dominion Voting System to replace the 13-year-old legacy voting system.

The new Dominion Voting System is fully certified, meets the requirements of the Voter’s Choice Act, uses only paper ballots and has a complete digital audit trail.

The Dominion Voting System has performed exceptionally well in every election it has been deployed. The Dominion Voting System has made voting easy, convenient and secure for the voting public and improved efficiencies for election staff.

The transparency of the entire election process was vastly improved with the new voting technology which allowed a constant review of the ballot throughout the election process. Election administrators and observers were able to see the exact chain of custody and location of all paper and digital ballots at all times.

Paper and digital ballots provide an extra measure of security by enabling the comparison of ballots to verify their accuracy. Even though there were several close races with razor thin margins in the November 2020 General Election, all candidates, proponents and opponents were satisfied with the results after reviewing the digital ballot and audit trail confirming the reported results.

The efficiency of the Dominion Voting System was particularly impressive during the 2020 Presidential Election, which was the largest and most complex election in the county’s history.

In the November Presidential Election, 378 Dominion Ballot Marking Tablets were deployed, on which voters made their voting selections, which were then printed on their individual ballot printer and deposited in the ballot box.

121 Mobile Ballot Printers were deployed at Vote Centers throughout the County, which allowed the printing of any one of the 399 different ballot styles (133 different ballot styles in three languages) at any Vote Center, enabling voters to vote anywhere in the County.

Over 440,000 ballots were flawlessly created with 399 ballot styles. The effectiveness of the new voting system resulted in no long lines or wait times on Election Day.

Tenex Electronic pollbooks

Chief Elections Officer Mark Church deployed new technology, 260 Tenex Electronic Pollbooks, commencing with the November 2019 Local Consolidated Election which enabled staff to immediately determine the voter registration status of all voters in real time. This new technology expedited the processing of voters at Vote Centers and

reduced wait times. It also determined wait times at each Vote Center, which were posted on our website in real time.

Remote Accessible Vote by Mail System (RAVBM)

Under Chief Elections Officer Church’s leadership, the first Remote Accessible Vote by Mail (RAVBM) System for visually impaired and disabled voters was implemented in the State of California. The new RAVBM system allows visually impaired and disabled voters to receive and mark an electronic ballot using screen-readable technology on their home computers. This allows disabled voters to participate in the electoral process privately and independently. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this service has now been expanded to all registered voters.

Accessible Sample Ballot

One of the state’s first accessible sample ballot systems for visually impaired voters was also implemented by Mark Church, allowing visually impaired voters to access their sample ballots from home.

Voting Accessibility Advisory Committee (VAAC)

In 2015, Chief Elections Officer Church established one of the first Voting Accessibility Advisory Committees in the State of California to evaluate ADA requirements at polling places and to provide advice on improving election services to persons with disabilities and the elderly.

Language Accessibility Advisory Committee (LAAC)

In 2018, Chief Elections Officer Church established the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee in San Mateo County to expand voting opportunities for voters in language minority communities.

Voter Education and Outreach Advisory Committee (VEOAC)

The County’s first Voter Education and Outreach Advisory Committee was established by Chief Elections Officer Church in 2018 to facilitate voter education and outreach activities using Community-Based Organizations and community representatives to serve all voters.

New North and South County Voting Centers

Under Chief Elections Officer Church’s leadership, two new 29-day Vote Centers were established to better serve voters in the North and South County.

Outreach, Social Media and Public Service Videos

One of Mark Church’s highest priorities as Chief Elections Officer has been to increase the Registration and Elections Division’s participation in community events and social media presence. The Division routinely produces educational videos and materials for voters and Elections personnel.

Go Green Program

Chief Elections Officer Church initiated the “Go Green” program, which provides Sample Ballots electronically to voters instead of a paper version in the mail. This optional program is convenient for voters, reduces our carbon footprint and saves taxpayers’ dollars.

Award-Winning Student Democracy Program

The Student Democracy Program recently won the prestigious national U.S. Election Assistance Commission Clearinghouse Award for Best Practice in Recruiting, Retaining, and Training Poll Workers for 2021.

The Student Democracy Program recruits, trains and hires local high school students to become student poll workers in Federal, State and Local elections. Chief Elections Officer Church has significantly allocated resources and staff to build and expend on this successful program. The program trains students to develop civic responsibility through public service and develop a dedication to our democratic principles and process.

Award-Winning Voter Education and Outreach

Under Chief Elections Officer Mark Church’s leadership, a comprehensive, award-winning Voter Education and Outreach Program was developed. The program received two prestigious awards: a national Clearinghouse Award from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for Outstanding Innovations in Elections for 2021; and the STARS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award from San Mateo County for 2020-2021.

The Voter Education and Outreach Program, through successful partnerships with Community-Based Organizations, provides a variety of services to communities of color, youth, seniors, low income and persons with disabilities. Those segments of the population historically have not registered to vote or voted at the same rates as the rest of the population. The program has resulted in significant increases in voter turnout for traditionally underrepresented populations.

For each election, multilingual election materials are distributed to ethnically diverse voters. Voters have never had so much exposure to election information and resources, directly from the Elections Office and from their trusted local organizations.

All of this is a factor in San Mateo County’s high voter registration rate of 88.59% – representing 440,000 registered voters out of 505,000 eligible voters. Chief Elections Officer Church has spent the last decade modernizing and expanding the election operations, contributing to an increase of 92,133 voters added to the Voter Registration Roll.

Real-time GPS tracked ballot boxes.

Under Chief Elections Officer Mark Church’s leadership, San Mateo County is the only county in the state to deploy a GPS tracking device on each ballot box, enabling it to track on a map the specific location of each ballot box in real time, thereby ensuring the security of the election.

One of the greatest challenges in maintaining Ballot Chain of Custody is the moment a ballot box leaves a Vote Center and begins its route back to headquarters.

Tracking the return of ballot boxes on Election Night historically has been a time consuming, inefficient effort, with 16 staff members calling over 100 staffers transporting ballot boxes for location updates. Calls were made until each ballot box was returned, often lasting past 3:00 am on Election Night.

Recognizing the importance of knowing the whereabouts of each ballot box throughout the election period, Chief Elections Officer Mark Church partnered with GPS vendor Samsara (based in the San Francisco Bay Area) to permanently install GPS trackers inside 180 ballot boxes.

The greatest innovation in this service is that it shows live, in real-time, the exact location of every single ballot box in the entire County, and its route back to Election headquarters. Having instant information as to the exact location and movements of all ballot boxes, allows Elections Officials, through continuous monitoring, to be assured that all ballot boxes are en route, or to follow up with drivers if they are on a non-preferred route.

In the 2020 Presidential General Election, and since then, it was quickly determined on Election Night that all ballot boxes were accounted for and en route to Election headquarters within two hours of the polls closing.

With this innovative approach to solve a major challenge, San Mateo County became the only county in the state to deploy a GPS tracking device on each ballot box.

As a result, Chief Elections Officer Mark Church was able to assure the public of the safety and security of the ballots and the integrity of the election.

Award-Winning “I Voted” Sticker

The U. S. Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) awarded the nation’s best “I Voted” sticker to the Registration and Elections Division for 2020.

The Division conducted a pilot program to include the “I Voted” sticker inside the Official Ballot package sent to all registered voters in the jurisdictions holding elections during the November 5, 2019 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election. Given the success of the pilot, the Elections Division included the “I Voted” sticker in the 2020 Official Ballot package mailed to all registered voters. The sticker continues to be available at all Vote Centers and included in all Official Ballot packages mailed to registered voters.

A digital “I Voted” sticker was also created that can be shared on voters’ social media pages and included in their online digital signatures. This allows voters to proudly let the world know that they are active voters and voted in the election.

Additionally, a separate digital sticker with a distinctive banner was developed, recognizing the number of consecutive years voters have been registered to vote in San Mateo County.

Award-Winning Wait Time Widget​

Awarded the San Mateo County “STARS Green Award” for the Wait Time Widget Tool for 2020-2021, enabling voters to find Vote Centers with the shortest wait times nearest to them, thus reducing the carbon footprint.

One of the greatest challenges in every major election are the potential long lines that occur at our busiest Vote Centers, especially on Election Day.

In an effort to reduce long lines and wait times at Vote Centers, Chief Elections Officer Church acquired new technology which enabled the number of voters at a Vote Center to be determined at any point in time.

This data was transferred into a widget format on the Elections website, so voters could now track the number of voters and wait times at each Vote Center and find the Vote Center with the shortest wait time nearest to them.

The Wait Time Widget Tool (Widget Tool) improved the voter experience and the efficiency of staffing resources and reduced the carbon footprint by eliminating the need of voters to visit multiple locations, thereby earning it the STARS Award.

Mobile Vote Center

In an ongoing effort to make voting easy, convenient and accessible, Chief Elections Officer Church initiated the first Mobile Vote Center in the Bay Area to bring voting to the people.

The Mobile Vote Center was stationed at the Serramonte Shopping Center, Half Moon Bay Airport, Cow Palace, Pescadero High School and Hillsdale Mall.

About 1,500 voters used the Mobile Vote Center over the 25-day period it travelled throughout the county during the November 2020 Presidential General Election.

Ongoing Review of Registration and Elections Division Procedures

Chief Elections Officer Mark Church has implemented a continuous improvement process of the Registration and Elections Division’s policies and procedures. Many of these procedures have been amended or modified to improve the level of operations. In light of the many challenges facing Elections Administrators, including limited staffing and resources, the complexities of the ever-changing environment of election laws and regulations, and constantly evolving technologies, an ongoing process of procedural review is essential for the efficient administration of the elections process.

Conducted 34 Elections

Under Chief Elections Officer Church’s leadership, the Registration and Elections Division has successfully conducted 34 elections over the last 11 years. The 34 elections conducted include: three Presidential Primary Elections, three Presidential General Elections, two Gubernatorial Primary Election, two Gubernatorial General Election, five Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election (UDEL), and nineteen special elections, including the 2021 Gubernatorial Recall Election. At the end of his current term, Church will have presided over 36 elections. Division. Phase I (July 2008 to day forward) is ongoing. The Social Security Truncation Program was initiated to protect against identity theft by redacting social security numbers from records, retroactively and prospectively, prior to disclosing them to the public.

Clerk-Recorder Division

Implemented Qmatic Digital Scheduling and Time Management System

The Qmatic Digital Scheduling and Time Management System enhances the customer experience by reducing wait times and improving staff productivity and service levels through the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

Due to the heavy volume of traffic in the Clerk-Recorder Division, a scheduling and time management system was implemented which increased employee efficiencies and improved the customer experience.

As a result of the system, people are assigned a number, on a first come first serve basis, and directed to the appropriate counter and staff person. This has improved the customer experience and employee productivity.

Public Portal Homepage

County Clerk-Recorder Church implemented user-friendly features on the public records portal, to make it easier for the public to access and retrieve documents in the Clerk-Recorder Division. The public can now submit online requests for records, which saves staff time and reduces our carbon footprint.

Electronic Recording of Documents

Under County Clerk-Recorder Church’s leadership, the electronic recording of documents has grown exponentially in the Clerk-Recorder Division. In FY 2010-11, the number of electronic documents recorded was 679, and today, this number grew to over 40,000 per year. e-Recording is a more efficient and convenient method of recording and has resulted in cost-savings and faster recordings.

e-SECURE System for Title Document Submission

County Clerk-Recorder Church greatly expanded the Go Green strategic plan goals by adding five new vendors for submission of electronic documents instead of paper documents. The e-SECURE System enables documents to be submitted electronically and eliminates the need of manual scanning, thereby allowing immediate access of documents by the public.

Virtual Marriage Services

Under County Clerk-Recorder Church’s leadership, San Mateo County was one of the first offices in the state during the pandemic to provide virtual marriage services, including the issuance of marriage licenses and the performance of wedding ceremonies. There were over 2,200 online marriage licenses issued and ceremonies performed, and those services continue today.

Electronic Document Management System Upgrades

At Church’s direction, the Department’s document management system, FileNet, was expanded and upgraded to include welfare exemption documents and all APN photos to improve efficiency and productivity. These upgrades improved the speed and reliability of the system. In addition, workflow data between the Appraisal and Recorder staff is more secure, and the new system provides maintenance and support levels that were not available in the prior version.

Social Security Number Truncation Program

Phases II (1997 to 2008) and III (1980 to 1996) of the Social Security Number Truncation Program were initiated and completed in the Clerk-Recorder Division. Phase I (July 2008 to day forward) is ongoing. The Social Security Truncation Program was initiated to protect against identity theft by redacting social security numbers from records, retroactively and prospectively, prior to disclosing them to the public.

Technology Software Enhancements

To improve accessibility of important documents by constituents, Church implemented numerous technology software enhancements in the delivery of Clerk-Recorder services.

Those include LandDocs (faster search retrieval and printing of land records directly by customers); VitalDocs (providing data search capabilities for vital records to the public through public terminals); Cornerstone (improved cashiering services); and FileNet (upgraded database to facilitate searches for Fictitious Business Name statements, Coroner’s Reports and Exemptions).

Historical Preservation and Digitization of Historical Records Project

As the County Clerk Recorder, Mark Church initiated one of the most important and significant historical preservation initiatives in the history of San Mateo County.

The County’s historical collection is comprised of 10,367 bound paper volumes in their original bindings, along with 22,788 original parcel, sub-division and survey maps dating back prior to the formation of the County, from 1850 to 1910.

The initial phase of the Historical Preservation Project is the first step of a multi-year project, which allocates $3M for the purchase and installation of a fire and water-proof cabinet system to protect the existing records.

Historic preservation of our land records contributes to our unique identity and character. We are richer culturally for having a connection with our past, and it is an essential investment for future generations.

Information Technology

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)

Recognizing the importance of implementing industry best practices to achieve continuity of operations and the protection of essential data, Assessor Church initiated a Continuity of Operations Plan to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of a disaster.

The Plan provides a guide to for continuing essential functions, delegations of authority, orders of succession, identifies alternative facilities, lines of communication, and human capital management.

Phase 1 of the Continuity of Operations Plan has been finalized, identifying the identification of alternative work sites to restore essential services in each division of the Department.

Disaster Recovery and Data Replication

Improvements to the department’s information technology data storage infrastructure have been implemented, dramatically increasing the speed, reliability and capacity of the department’s data and storage files. The replacement of the existing servers resulted in an increase in storage and backup capabilities. With the expanded data storage, the Department now fully replicates its data in two locations to support recovery and operations.

Virtual Server Implementation (Replacement of Legacy Servers)

In a continuing effort to ensure the department stays ahead of the technology curve, a strategic decision to place the department’s file and data storage in a Virtual Memory (VM) Environment which reduced the number of existing servers from twenty (20) to four (4). VM-Ware servers were added to complement the transition to a new SQL Server and to create a more robust VM environment. The reduction in the number of servers resulted in significant operational efficiencies and cost savings due to lower equipment and maintenance costs and less electricity needed to power and cool the 20 servers. Also, the Virtual Environment made available office space that was previously required to store the 20 servers.

Electronic Document Management System Upgrades

The Department’s document management system, FileNet, was expanded and upgraded by Assessor Church to include welfare exemption documents and all APN photos to improve efficiency and productivity. These upgrades improved the speed and reliability of the system. In addition, workflow data between the Appraisal and Recorder staff is more secure, and the new system provides maintenance and support levels that were not available in the prior version.

PC and Software Upgrades

To ensure employees are provided with the latest tools and technology, 65 new PCs were rolled out to replace aging computers and migrate all of the machines to an MS Windows 7 or Windows 10 and MS Office 2016 environment. As with all newer technology, the new computers are faster, more economical to run and significantly increase staff efficiency.

SharePoint Roll Out

Document libraries were developed for all major Department technology projects (e.g. APAS, COOP, Website Development, GIS, etc.) to execute file sharing and collaborative editing.

Government to Government Document Process (G2G)

At Church’s direction the Department now accepts Government to Government (G2G) document process for the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and Department of Child Support Services (DCSS).

Virtual Offices

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in an effort to address transportation challenges, the use of virtual offices was expanded to support greater workforce flexibility.