Internationally known for our fine wines, award-winning restaurants and world-class resorts, we are also home to 130,000 residents who share a strong sense of community and a legacy of preserving and protecting our rich agricultural heritage. As an organization, we are dedicated to improving the lives of our citizens and supporting the best of our community’s values: Integrity, Accountability and Service.
We hope you will find your visit to our Web site helpful and encourage you to further explore our Vision, Mission and Guiding Principles, Core Values and the many programs and services that we provide to our residents.
Counties in California play a key role in the tapestry of governments that provide services to our residents. As the only countywide general purpose local government, we are in a unique position to facilitate and coordinate joint efforts with cities, school districts and special districts to address critical issues of regional concern. In addition, counties are specifically charged by the State with providing services to those most at risk: children, the elderly, the poor, those with health problems and those involved in the criminal justice system.
Counties have dual responsibilities. We provide “municipal” services (like land use planning or law enforcement) to the unincorporated area of the county (the area that is not in cities). We also provide certain “countywide” services to county residents regardless of where they live. These services generally focus on the most disadvantaged members of the community (like welfare-to-work programs and health care), on criminals after they have been arrested (like prosecution, probation and jail) or on core civic services (like elections, document recording and property tax assessment and collection).
Because of their nature, many County services are not readily visible to the general public. Nevertheless, we take pride in the fact that what we do truly makes a difference in people’s lives.
* The County does not provide or fund these services directly, but provides oversight and permitting authority.