Tuesday, October 14, 2008

International Day for Disaster Reduction - Presentation Now Available

Some may have noticed this blog pretty quiet over the past week.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors had the opportunity to participate in multiple forums, including International Day for Disaster Reduction with representatives from the World Bank, United Nations, NGOs, universities, and industry.

The presentation that Andrew Levy delivered is available on the World Bank website.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of this collaboration with you and the audience found this workshop very useful according to feedback we received.

We could now leverage this spirit of collaboration and goodwill which emerged between participating organizations as a result of this workshop. We have discussed the need for stronger collaboration to take this agenda forward, in addition to highlighting a number of best practices, specific solutions and lessons learned." (World Bank).



19 comments:

Fairfax said...

Fairfax County continues to develop excellent leaders! What a great story!

Anonymous said...

I'll second that!!!!!!!!!! With all the budget cuts in your backyard and everyone's backyard across the United States of America, I am glad that even if Citizen Corps staff positions get cut that I believe you will continue with your drive and energy and enthusiasm for the core values of these programs. You Rock!

Fairfax CERT said...

It is a shame you are no longer the chair of the Citizen Corps. Every one of the programs that include volunteers is about to be cut. Without your leadership it will just be a thing of the past.

The government workers should be proud of their progress and the money they spend with little to show except for some employees and wasted tax dollars.

Now when they are out of jobs, who gets the last laugh. The people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is a shame the government forgets who they work for! The people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fairfax said...

The problem is far worse. They are talking of closing fire stations, cutting people at police stations. I would not be so quick to say the last laugh is on the people, those employees are people who live here.

They should have stricter accountability for employees. Here are your expectations for the year and tie performance to salary.

Does it make sense to cut those positions or make sense to cut positions like a media person/information officer in OEM, when the county has a department to handle that. Time to streamline the government at the county level. Ask this question, when was the last time you saw a press release from OEM? Cut that job before cutting people in the police stations.

Common sense.

Anonymous said...

It's government not common sense.

Take all the job descriptions and post them on the web. Let the people decide what positions should be on the list for volunteer layoffs.

Keep the fire stations open. Life depends on it.

Andrew said...

There is validity to some of these comments.

The question that none of you addressed is "Can the volunteer programs continue without funding?"

We have always been supporters of "Neighbors Helping Neighbors".

Funding should not be the main factor when deciding to downsize volunteer programs.

With the economy and increased cutbacks, there will be an increased "dependence" (for a lack of a better word) on volunteers.

Many of which are very eager to lend a helping hand.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think the goverment workers care if Citizen Corp or CERT gets shut down, they will find some other busy work.

citizen corp rep said...

Volunteer Fairfax should earn their money. You want to keep your money, then earn it and take over the management of volunteer programs from OEM. You specialize in Volunteering it is in your name.

You had a day of volunteering last year. It include a big emergency volunteer event. What has OEM done on that scale? Dont think too hard.

OEM has done nothing that Joe The Plumber Citizen even heard about. But the taxpayer dollars continues to flow......... down the drain. Time to hire an experienced plumber to fix it.

fairfax cert said...

Not sure it matters. If you look at breakdown from FX Fire budget cuts, looks like CERT is getting cut, just like police programs.

Anonymous said...

It makes sense for Volunteer Fairfax to take over the volunteering programs currently overseen by OEM. It is my understanding that in an emergency, Volunteer Fairfax currently places untrained people from 'off the street' who would like to volunteer.

It would make sense for Volunteer Fairfax to create the trained volunteer structure used in emergencies. This way, there is one contact agency that will have an exact understanding of where untrained personnel should be placed within the framework. This should make the whole operation run more efficiently at a time when quick response is of the essence.

Anonymous said...

A good idea. Absolutely.

But do not be blind sighted by Volunteer Fairfax.

Just look at their board.

http://www.volunteerfairfax.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=79

The board position in charge of emergency management was cut.

Obviously not a priority for Volunteer Fairfax either!

Probably not much future for them as an organization.

Anonymous said...

I have a question.....
What exactly does Volunteer Fairfax DO? I've been involved with volunteering in the county for over two years now. I have heard a barrage of statements on what this organization is supposed to do; yet I've never actually seen them "do" anything.
Except suck scarce funding from every resource they can get to listen to them. I have heard Volunteer Fairfax is supposed to "manage" spontaneous volunteers for other organizations (like MRC, I've heard). Yet, in multiple exercises with MRC I've never seen volunteer fairfax at ANY of them. It is pointless to even consider continuing funding a volunteer organization that has no real benefit to the community.
With regards to the OEM PIO-keep her. Promote her, even.Talk about bang for the buck! She is an employee just like the rest of us in our everyday jobs- she does a great job, IMHO. In my volunteer "experience", if I have a question, she answers it. If I have a request, she fulfills it. If our organization needs support, she gives it. Her efforts have always been 100% from what I've seen; in terms of cost versus benefit; she is a bargain! If only more county employees were as efficient and useful......If only the rest of my taxpayer dollars were spent as wisely as on her salary.
If the county government does decide to cut funding for volunteer programs like Citizen Corps,fine! Then allow those same programs to file paperwork to perhaps become 501C3 non profit organizations.
People will volunteer, regardless of budgdets, or politics, or whatever..So have the organizations manage themselves and their own budgets-and work for the citizens, work for what is good and right and admirable in the act of helping others.
And that's why we all volunteer, right?

Anonymous said...

Promote her? She answers your questions great. I bet my salary you are one of the few volunteers who know about what is going on. You are one out of 1.7 million people who live here. Ask anyone if they even know anything about what is done, you get zilch. Why fund something that only 200 people about. You can do the percentage of math to see how much dollars that is per household impacted. That is a great use of money. Go promote her. Obviously you dont live in Fairfax or have a clue and do not see the waste of money. Take all the money that was spent on the programs and give each house a weather radio. Whatever happened to all those radios that OEM purchased with your tax dollars years ago? Are they still sitting in storage? My neighbors never got any of them. Did yours? My church or school did not get it either. Please do not tell me this is not about the government workers looking good in front of their bosses. It is time that the volunteers stood up and took over the programs. Great idea you have and a huge savings to taxpayers. With the 501c3 can we get your PIO to volunteer her time to set it up.

taxpayer said...

Make sure the government workers look professional and dont go showing off their tattoos at public events. I was at an OEM table where YOUR great PIO was and she kept complaining about her new boss. Lets see her tell that to her boss to her face and not to people walking by a table to have to hear it. Give her a raise for that. She dont like her job, quit! Many people are without jobs. Not a message I want to hear or am image I want to see. This is not different from me not wanting to see Joe the plumbers butt. It all smells like .............. to me.

Andrew said...

Your comments raised some good concerns.

We will pass them on to the appropriate government representatives.

citizen corps rep said...

Face it! OEM is hiding grant money from Volunteer Fairfax. The games between the two organizations continue. Grant money is only available to programs run by the government and not non-profits. Shame on you!

Andrew said...

Postings regarding the local Citizen Corps Council are getting too personal which is not the intent of this blog.

The focus of this blog is about "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" providing the community with information on disaster awareness and preparedness, not the negative direction some of these comments have taken.

Therefore, negative postings targeting individual people will not be posted on this blog. These comments should be sent directly to those individuals or organizations who are being addressed.

While anonymous postings appear anonymous, many of these entries have been tracked based on personal emails received from other individuals.

Anonymous said...

That sounds reasonable, but then why do you continue to keep the negative comments targeted at one person in particular? We all use blogspot and we all know comments can be deleted at any time. I worry that by you keeping these negative comments up, you allow these people to discredit you.

Andrew said...

While it appears we can delete individual discussion topics, it is not clear on how to delete individual comments.

There does not appear to be an option for this. Based on a posting a few months ago, we had reached out to the help desk. If you can please provide directions on how to do this, we would be more than willing to remove these recent comments.

We will be looking into our processes for community participation. An immediate change is to remove the mailto feature of this blog. We received inappropriate emails using this feature.