April Is National County Government Month
Do you know where the term sheriff comes from? Do you know who inspects restaurants and ensures gas pumps are accurate? Why do we call a political subdivision of the state a county?
These are things residents can learn during National County Government Month, which began today. The County of Sutter is participating in this national celebration of all things county in a variety of ways, including posting a story a day about county history and services on its website and Facebook page, and hosting a high school speech contest where students have three minutes to make a presentation to County Supervisors on a topic of their choice.
"Programs and services provided at the local level are some of the most essential services necessary, especially for public safety," said Board Chairman Ron Sullenger. "Our hope is that residents learn more about what counties do, and why, and how to engage their local government."
According to the National Association of Counties, county resources are the core building blocks for healthy, vibrant and safe communities. Nationwide, counties invest more than $100 billion each year in transportation, broadband services, water systems and public facilities. Counties run most of our nation’s local jails and court houses, own the largest share of America’s road miles and operate more than 900 public hospitals and countless parks, libraries, firehouses and 911 call centers. County transportation and infrastructure are vital to boosting economic competitiveness, moving our food efficiently and maintaining a strong national defense.
The initial Sutter County Facebook posting for National County Government Month on April 1 discussed the history of the word county. In old England, the country was divided into regions called shires (the term sheriff is derived from the word shire-reeve, or shire official), but after France invaded England in the 11th century, the French term county replaced the English word shire. The first county in America was at James City, Virginia in 1634. Sutter County was one of the original 27 California counties, founded on February 18, 1850.
Future postings will explain programs and services provided by various departments, including who is responsible for inspecting hundreds of food facilities and gasoline pumps.
Sutter County plans some events in April, culminating with the high school speech contest on Wednesday, April 29, at 6 p.m. at the Hall of Records, 466 Second Street, Yuba City. The speech contest is modeled on the three minutes members of the public are allowed to address the Board of Supervisors on matters not on the regular agenda. All high schools in Sutter County have been invited to participate.
Other events include:
April 7, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., a Kids Health and Activity Fair sponsored by Sutter County Public Health at the Sutter County Library, 750 Forbes Ave., Yuba City.
April 9, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., a Bicycle Rodeo sponsored by Sutter County Public Health where children learn the rules of the road and bicycle safety skills, Richland Housing Center, Garden Highway, Yuba City.
Sutter County Public Health will participate in a forum on vaping, or e-cigarettes, at 6 p.m. on April 15, at the Veteran’s Center, 1425 Veteran’s Memorial Circle, Yuba City. Also participating will be Yuba City police, the California Highway Patrol, the Yuba City Fire Department, and Yuba City Unified School District.
April 21, 11 a.m., the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office is conducting a luncheon for the Victim Witness Program at Ettl Hall behind the Community Memorial Museum on Butte House Road.
Text of first Facebook posting for National County Government Month
April is National County Government Month, a time to learn about counties and what they do. In England, counties used to be called shires, a mechanism for maintaining royal power in places distant from the throne. (The term sheriff is derived from “shire-reeve,” a local official). Following the invasion of England by France in the 11th century, the term shire was changed to county, after a French term meaning ruled by a “count” or “viscount.” The county custom crossed the Atlantic with the colonists, who formed the first county in America at James City, Virginia, in 1634. Sutter County was one of the original 27 counties in California, founded on February 18, 1850. Today, there are 3,007 counties, 64 parishes, 19 organized boroughs, 11 census areas, 41 independent cities, and the District of Columbia for a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents in the United States