The County of Santa Clara
California

Report
70249

Held from April 15, 2014 (Item No. 19): Approve a Restaurant Placarding/Scoring Program, consisting of posting color-coded - Green (Pass), Yellow (Conditional Pass), or Red (Fail/Closed) - placards at restaurants and posting detailed inspection results on the Department of Environmental Health website with numerical values relating to all violations that will result in a cumulative online score. (Department of Agriculture and Environmental Management)

Information

Department:Department of Environmental Health (Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency)Sponsors:
Category:Report

Attachments

  1. Restaraunt Placarding Ordinance Opposition (April 11)
  2. Restaurant Grading Placarding Program presentation BOS 4-15-14 AB version2 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. Speaker Cards for Item No. 23

Body

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS

There is no impact to the General Fund as a result of this action. All revenues and expenditures in the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), Consumer Protection Division (CPD), are accounted for under Budget Unit 261. The Consumer Protection Division Programs are fee supported through permitting, registration, and inspections established by fee resolution.

 

DEH will use its current operating budget to fund all set-up costs, including development of the program, initial training of staff and operators, and interim staffing costs for new staff, who are needed to support the grading and placarding program

 

Since the full cost of the placarding and scoring program is not fully known, DEH will review the program after its initial year and, if needed, make recommendations to the Board in the FY16 budget. Program implementation and staff costs are not expected to exceed the annual increase of $100 per facility, which was found to be acceptable by the stakeholders working group.  Because implementation of the placarding and scoring program is not anticipated until the fall of 2014, DEH is prepared to defray the cost associated with development and implementation of the program for the remainder of the current fiscal year and all of FY15.

 

DEH is a Special Revenue Fund Department and finances its public purpose by charging permit and service fees, in addition to receiving revenue from grants and contracts with other governmental jurisdictions. 

 

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

The Board of Supervisors directed the Department of Environmental Health to provide the public with clear information regarding the health and safety of the food in restaurants throughout the county.  DEH incorporated input from the Board into the Department’s existing work plan for upgrading data collection and public access.

 

At the March 12, 2013 Board of Supervisors meeting, DEH presented the work plan that was already underway to make restaurant inspection data more understandable to the public and streamline the transfer of data from inspections performed in the field to the Department’s website. DEH has been posting restaurant inspection report information on its website since 2001, and had been in the planning phase of a work plan to deploy significant changes to the content and the presentation of information on the DEH website.  The changes have been a component of a planned upgrade from a paper-based reporting system to a computerized inspection system using laptops or tablets for the Consumer Protection Division field staff.

 

From this Board meeting, the Department was directed to initiate a feasibility study of a grading and/or placarding program and determine if a program would meet the needs of the business community and residents.

 

Pursuant to this direction, the Department convened a stakeholder group and engaged in a process to evaluate and develop a grading and placarding proposal.  The Department presented its proposal and programmatic options at the October 8, 2013 Board of Supervisors meeting.

 

At this Board meeting, the Board expressed its preference for a Restaurant Grading/Placarding System comprised of two components: 1) Color-coded placards (Green-Pass, Yellow-Conditional Pass, or Red-Fail/Closed) at restaurants in full public view and, 2) a numerical score tallied from all documented violations posted online with copies of current and past facility inspection reports.

 

Color-coded Placards

The placard color will reflect the number of “Major” violations (i.e., those violations that have a direct connection to foodborne illness).  Restaurants are permitted to have no more than one “Major” violation identified during the inspection, in order to receive a Green-Pass Placard.  Two or more “Major” violations will result in a “Yellow-Conditional Pass” placard.  As part of statewide inspection standards, the restaurant is required to correct all “Major” violations at the time of the inspection, or they will be closed by DEH until corrections of “Major” violations have been made.  DEH will continue with the requirement of mandatory immediate correction of “Major” violationsAny restaurant closed by DEH will be issued a “Red-Failed” closure sign, which will remain until corrections of all “Major” violations are made.

 

DEH will re-inspect a closed food facility within three business days (Monday-Friday), once notified of violations being corrected.  Currently, DEH responds to requests for re-inspection the same day or the next business day.  Every effort will be made to maintain this inspection frequency.   

 

Scoring System

In addition, DEH has developed a scoring system that will reflect the overall compliance of a facility by assigning point values to all violations noted during an inspection.  Because of the public health hazard, “Major” violations will be assigned a higher point value (8 points), while less critical food handling violations would receive a value of 3 and violations of good retail practices 2 points.  The points will be deducted from a base score of 100 and will be posted online along with copies of past inspection reports for public access.

 

Program Resource Requirements

The proposed placarding program will closely resemble the programs in place in other jurisdictions; therefore, DEH communicated with the Counties of Sacramento and San Diego to identify the additional resources required for inspections, as well as program oversight. DEH has determined that successful implementation would require a dedicated Senior Environmental Health Specialist for development and oversight of staff and operator training specific to placarding, additional oversight of inspection standardization, implementation of a placarding appeals process, outreach to the public, and implementation of the Award of Excellence Program.  An additional average inspection time of six minutes per inspection for 17,000 estimated inspections per year will require an additional Environmental Health Specialist.

 

Implementation Activities To-Date

The DEH Information Technology Unit has been working closely with County Information Systems Department to coordinate the new computerized inspection system with the DEH website, as part of the work plan’s implementation. Since June 2013, DEH has purchased 49 laptops and upgraded the Department’s database in order to support the computerized field inspections.  This technology improvement would allow direct electronic access to inspection reports by the public through its website. The ability to provide electronic inspection reports and data to the public is the corner stone for the Restaurant Placard and Scoring Project.  This electronic inspection system will allow the Department to transition to the determination of Placard colors and automate the online restaurant Scoring System.

 

DEH has already begun internal preparation for the placarding/scoring program (data management improvements, developing educational materials and staff training) and will begin posting placard results and providing online scores for public viewing in the Fall of 2014.

 

CHILD IMPACT

The recommended action will have no/neutral impact on children or youth.

 

SENIOR IMPACT

The recommended action will have a positive impact on seniors by providing an easily viewable summary of the most recent restaurant inspection report in a prominent location at the restaurant.

 

SUSTAINABILITY IMPLICATIONS

The recommended action will have no/neutral sustainability implications.

 

BACKGROUND

The County of Santa Clara DEH is responsible for food safety regulatory oversight of all retail food service in Santa Clara County.  While placarding and scoring of food facilities is authorized by the California Health and Safety Code, it is not required, and although this County previously considered such a system, the County has not yet adopted placarding and scoring system.

 

Since the County last considered grading or placarding in September 2000, nearly a dozen counties have initiated grading and placarding systems for food establishments.  Two Bay Area counties have a grading and placarding program in place (Alameda and Sacramento), while six more jurisdictions (City of Berkeley, and the Counties of Contra Costa, Yolo, Marin, San Mateo and Sonoma) are developing programs.

 

At its March 12, 2013 meeting, the Board of Supervisors directed DEH to evaluate the feasibility of a restaurant grading and/or placarding system for Santa Clara County. DEH established a stakeholder advisory group and held a series of meetings evaluating both other existing programs and the needs/desires of this community in order to develop a recommended approach for Santa Clara County.

 

As follow-up to the Board directive relating to the feasibility of placarding/scoring, DEH has thus far taken the following major actions:

·        March 29, 2013: An invitation was mailed to more than 80 contacts representing food retailers associations, Chambers of Commerce, City representatives, County Public Health Department, Board members, as well as independently-owned food service businesses.  The invitation provided a brief description of the feasibility study, and invited interested parties to participate in a “kick-off” meeting to discuss the scope of the project and to identify additional stakeholders.

·        April 15, 2013: At the initial scoping (kick-off) meeting, goals and objectives of the feasibility study were discussed, as well as steps moving forward. From among the 22 attendees, 12 volunteers were eager to serve as part of an advisory group for the feasibility study. Participants offered numerous concrete ideas for obtaining diverse input from additional contacts.

·        May 15-17, 2013: DEH discussed the restaurant placarding feasibility study on Vietnamese and Chinese language radio stations.

·        May 24, 2013: Multilingual mailer (English, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Spanish) was sent to approximately 9,000 businesses announcing the Feasibility Study and soliciting participation by food facility operators.

·        On May 23, 2013, June 17, 2013 and July 30, 2013, DEH held meetings with the placarding/scoring advisory group.  Meeting discussions have focused on ideal placarding programs, potential and perceived problems with placarding programs, a review of several types of programs, and an independent analysis by stakeholders of various presented programs.

·        September 3, 2013: The Advisory Group reviewed the final two proposals, and addressed issues and concerns brought up by stakeholders. At this meeting, the Advisory Group selected a restaurant grading/placarding system closely modeled on Sacramento County’s Green-Yellow-Red grading system.  The Sacramento County model emphasizes critical risk factors of food-borne illness, poses a lower cost to businesses, and is easy for the public to understand. Minor violations that do not pose an imminent health hazard will be addressed using the Department’s existing protocols.

·        September 23, 2013: A multilingual flyer mailed to over 7,000 businesses outlined a workshop schedule for food facility operators. This invitation described the restaurant placarding/scoring project goals and encouraged food facility operators to attend and provide input before the restaurant grading/placarding proposal was brought to the Board of Supervisors. A press release with background information and all meeting dates was sent to major media outlets.

·        October 2013: DEH conducted 17 workshops for food facility operators (8 English, 3 Spanish, 2 Chinese, 2 Korean, and 2 Vietnamese) to review the proposed Green-Yellow-Red placarding program and online scoring element.

·        October 28-30, 2013: Three public meetings were conducted at various County locations to provide an opportunity to familiarize consumers about the proposed Green/Yellow/Red placarding program and online scoring element, and to seek additional input from consumers.

·        During October 2013, media outlets were contacted by DEH staff who conducted interviews in English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese.  Newspaper articles, as well as television and radio news reports, announced the placarding proposal, County-held workshops, and where restaurant operators and the public could find more information.

 

DEH reported progress to the Housing, Land Use, Environment and Transportation (HLUET) Committee twice during this process, at its May 16, 2013 and August 15, 2013 meetings.  After reviewing multiple placarding models and identifying concerns that needed to be addressed, the Stakeholders Group recommended that the County consider a model mirroring Sacramento County’s placarding program.

 

On October 8, 2013, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the Advisory Group and staff recommendations and provided direction to include online numerical scores as part of the County’s placarding/scoring program.

 

The Green-Yellow-Red grading system is easily understood by food operators and the public and utilizes clear, objective rating criteria. Food facilities are graded based on major violations related to food-borne illness.  Detailed information on all violations, including previous inspections and online scores to facilitate comparison of businesses, will be available on the DEH website.

 

CONSEQUENCES OF NEGATIVE ACTION

The proposed Restaurant Placarding/Scoring Program would not be approved, and DEH would not recover costs associated with providing services associated with the Restaurant Grading/Placarding Program. 

 

Meeting History

Apr 15, 2014 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Held at request of Administration.

RESULT:HELD [UNANIMOUS]Next: 4/29/2014 9:00 AM
MOVER:Dave Cortese, Vice President
SECONDER:Ken Yeager, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian
Apr 29, 2014 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting

Considered concurrently with Item Nos. 24 and 25.

Two individuals expressed concern that the numeric scores could be misleading to consumers relating to current operations. One person expressed support for the placarding program.

At the request of Supervisor Chavez, the Board directed Administration to provide a status report relating to the Restaurant Placarding/Scoring Program to the Board of Supervisors through the Finance and Government Operations Committee in April 2015.

RESULT:APPROVED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:S. Joseph Simitian, Supervisor
SECONDER:Cindy Chavez, Supervisor
AYES:Mike Wasserman, Cindy Chavez, Dave Cortese, Ken Yeager, S. Joseph Simitian

Transcript

Apr 29, 2014 9:00 AMBoard of SupervisorsRegular Meeting

 

11:19 AMChapter 3 of the provisional 11 which will basically require the placarding in a restaurant. Previously the board directed the [speaker not understood] investigate the feasibility of implementing a placarding system. So, the department developed a stakeholders group which met numerous times. They investigated and studied various types of placarding programs throughout california and lot the nation. We held 17 meetings with our regulated community and various locations and we held them in various languages. On October 8, the board directed eeh to develop a program and also include [speaker not understood] -- excuse me, a [speaker not understood] system. Remember, the placarding system will go on the wall in a restaurant. It will be based on major violation. Those are known by cdc and fda for [speaker not understood] illnesses. An example would be employee hygiene practices, improper food temperatureses, improper cooking temperature and contamination of food or equipment at a restaurant. This is an example of a placard, and I apologize, it is green, yellow and red. I think it's just the monitor that shows it a little different color. In addition to the placard that would go on the restaurant, the board would like us to include an online scoring system based on all the violations that a department finds at the restaurant. We developed a scoring system, 8 points with major 3 points what we call moderate violations, 2 points for minor violations. We'll look at what the moderate violations. It is a little less severe than major. We have instances, a good example would be at restaurants where they have multiple refrigeration units and maybe one of them isn't quite at temperature. That would be a moderate violation.
11:21 AMWe clearly don't have that problem today in this chamber. We have meat locker conditions for everybody.
And minor violations would be simple things like walls, the ceiling problems, things that aren't typically associated with food-borne illnesses. The department took all of its data that it had for 2013 and made a distribution of the scoring system showing what it would look like. And as you can see, about 53% of our businesses would fall between the 90 and 100%, 30% 12% and 89, [speaker not understood] and so on. This is an example of what we're working with isb on, which would show the public the information on the website. It would show current and past inspection reports. It would show actual placard color and have a score of all the violations on the facility. The department has made major changes to its technology in an effort to become more efficient and provide the public with additional details regarding our inspections. We brought a new data management software system that allows us to do field-based inspections. We purchased 49 computers for the entire department. Currently all of our restaurant inspections, in fact, all of our inspections in the department are currently done using laptops and, as I mentioned earlier, working with isb on website where we can put this information up for the public to see. With the board's approval today, the department will immediately start training staff on the placarding scoring system, develop online posting of placard scores and [speaker not understood] reports working closely with isb, develop how to get a green training for business, much like the comment we got on the placarding program, this will be done throughout the county and various languages to help our businesses and will provide educational outreach material to all of our businesses because not all of them can attend the training classes. And we plan on initiating the placarding and scoring program sometime in the fall. With that, amy and I will take any questions that you May have.
11:23 AMThank you. I appreciate that. And board members, with your agreement for consent, we'll hear from the public first. Thank you. Please come up, javier gonzalez. Ross signorino and kevin mcclellan.
11:24 AM> good morning, supervisors, president wasserman. My name is javier gonzalez [speaker not understood]. [speaker not understood] this process has' been undergoing for sometime. That said, we have some concerns with the actions the board took in October to create a hybrid model that is comprised of a couple placarding models which was the staff's recommendation via the stakeholder group. And the board's direction to include a merit skiier online. This could lead to consumer confusion when you have a program that can be misleading. You can end up having two restaurants each with three placardses and two different numeric scores. One can be 90, for example, the other one can be in the 80s. It can be confusing when you have two different merit scoresctionthv. We're hoping that this board takes into consideration that confusion. We want to make it clear and transparent to the consumers. I think the public will have access to the actual report and which violations the facilities have received. So, I think that is [speaker not understood]. Thank you for your time.
11:25 AMThank you. Mr. Signorino?
> thank you, president and board members. Some years back, board member simitian brought this up before he went to sacramento and again, rightfully so. This is nothing new in the country. The state I came from, the show me state, missouri, had this. [speaker not understood]. They're still there and the people enjoy, the people like it because they feel more secure when they can go into the particular institutions and be able to feel safe and healthy. If this had been in force some years back, san leandro or san lorenzo, one of the restaurants, dennies, one person died from it and 13 others were infected with hepatitis. So, this would be -- this would have saved that if this person had had a blood test and it would have been -- this is a safety issue and it should be considered and thank you very much.
11:26 AMThank you. good morning, Mr. Mcclellan.
> good morning, Mr. President, board members. My name is kevin mcclellan and I am here today representing the cupertino and [speaker not understood] chamber of commerce. We feel this work is very important. We do continue to support the improvement of our health inspections and the [speaker not understood] issue. We hope to see some great improvement in regards to its impact on food borne illness. We also support consumers having a greater access and understanding of those reports and that information. Placarding issue there is an issue around the online scoring that could be misleading to consumer. If a consumer were to believe that a green 92 restaurant is better or more safe 234 anyway than a green 88, we would be misleading them. I would be more than happy to give an example if the board would give me a few more moments.
11:27 AMThank you. supervisor simitian, would you be interested in entertaining an example?
Briefly.
Briefly.
> i'll take a second. so you have a restaurant that had a major violation and they handled that incorrectly, they receive a 2. You have another restaurant b that has several minor violations, mostly of which were on the day of the inspection and have not occurred u. So, that restaurant now in operation is operating closer to the 100% mark even though the online score is at an 88, let's say. [speaker not understood] and they are at a 2. So, for a consumer to think that the 92 restaurant is somehow better and operating safer than the 88 is misleading.
11:28 AMThank you very much. that concludes the public speaker portion. Return to supervisor simitian for comments or perhaps a motion.
Thank you, Mr. President, members. I think most member know what I characterize is a legacy issue for me. Digging down into our files, I found a copy of the September 20th, 2000 san jose mercury news article that says, online eatery ratings ghetto kayed. Get okayed. Here we are in the year 2014 and I hope online eatery ratings are about to get an okay this second time and we can move forward. Mr. Signorino mentioned and I thought it was an important comment, this is a public health issue, not simply a question of trying to provide more information. Although that is an important part of the [speaker not understood]. The cdc represents one in six americans or 48 million people get sick as a result of food-borne illness. 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Many of those, of course, are outside of food service establishments which is why it is an important public health malter that we talk about proper food handling at the home and other venues as well. But the problem is not only bad, it's getting worse. Just this last week we had a report from the cdc salmonella infections increased % over the course of the last year, that other food-borne bacteria illnesses rose by as much as 32%. There is a public health [speaker not understood] here. Which is why we have a body of state law and a group of folk of environmental health inspectors making sure there are [speaker not understood] in each of these institutionseses in santa clara county. I think it is important to revisit what the two primary goals of this effort were all those years ago, all these years later and in other communities that have already taken similar steps. And they are in my judgment essentially flaws. Goal number 1 is to give consumers the information they need to make informed choices. And with all due respect to a couple of the speakers, if i've got a choice between going to a place that scores 98% or 62%, i'm going to go to the place with 98%, all other things being equal. That being said, I think equally important, if not more important is giving folks some incentive to do a better job on food safety. And right now the system we've got essentially rewards people who do just barely enough to get by their inspection and treats them precisely the same as the folks who are doing an outstanding job. I think as you saw the numbers from the staff, most folks are doing a darn good job. The majority of the folks we're talking about our environmental health inspecter said are in the 90 to 100 range. They ought to get credit for that. There ought to be information people have access to so they can make informed choiceses. Most importantly, it's information that ought to be there because that will in effect reward the folk who are providing outstanding public health and safety considerations in their venues and i'm not sure the staff mentioned it, but it' in the report. There is, in fact, as a result of working with business folks who are part of these 17 different meetings and who were the dominant participants in the stakeholder group, there is in fact an excellence award for though who are doing great if we not only got a nod and a smile, but actually got something we can hold up and say, we're doing a great job and we deserve to be recognized. That's part of the program. That was I thought an interesting suggestion as well. I do want to just raise a couple points, because I know all of us got a letter from the chamber. Let's go to these things quickly. I think it couldn't be more straightforward. You know, I proposed 14 years ago a letter grade placarding system which is used in other counties in california, a, b, c, d, f. Folks in the industry didn't like it and, in fact, when the stakeholder groups convened, my understanding from the staff and i'll look to them to confirm this, is that the red, yellow, green came about as a result of conversations with the stakeholders who said, you know what, this is a simple system for people. If you're red, you're closed. If you're green, you're doing okay. And if you're yellow, people get to know that you've had some significant problems in the recent past and they might want to because for a moment. That was the system that was used, as I understand it, in sacramento county and in alameda county, the local businesses particularly the folks who were chains said, you know what, if the same system from county to county, that will not only be easier for consumers, but more to the point, it will be easier for us, the small business people to implement a consistent program across countywide. So, I think it's pretty straightforward. Green is good, red, you're closed, and yellow, hey, there is something here I might want to take a look at. I think any of us who ever went to high school turned in a term paper or we turned in a test and it came back with a number from 0 to 100 at the top, and I don't think we have any problem figuring out that a 98 is better than a 62. And I think, again, staff was very responsive to the business community in terms of the business community's concern that only things that were truly health and safety concerns be highly penalized. So, that's why we've got 8 points as opposed to 2 points at the other end of the spectrum. I would point out that everything you're going to point out at the 2 point or 3 point level is under state law a violation of the health and safety code which is why you're going to penalize it at all. So, in terms of the system itself, I think you come up with a, i'll call it a blended system for lack of a better term, one that will have consumers walking in the door to get a quick and easy assessment, one that will allow folks to take time to go online to see what the score is, and perhaps most importantly one that gives people some incentive to do better so that just barely good enough doesn't become the desired standard, the very best you can do will always be acknowledged and rewarded and I think that is the way it should be. I want to let the market work. But it's true, market theorists understand, the market only works when there is real information out there that's transparent and available to consumers. That's how you let the market work. There was some reference, Mr. President, in the letter we all received to the fees. I think it's important to take a moment and point out, my understanding the last time the fees were increased was 2-1/2 years ago.
11:35 AMThat's correct.
And there is no plan to assess a fee in connection with any of this during the remainder of fiscal '14. Is that correct?
That's correct.
And there is no plan to assess a fee for any of this in fiscal '15. Is that correct?
That's correct.
So, the first time we're even going to consider the possibility of a fee is after we've actually figured out what this costs to do and we can consider it in the year 2016. Is that the plan?
That's the plan.
So, most of the business people I know think that they can go four years without any kind of increase in their fees. They're doing okay. And a reminder to the folks who September sent the letter who weren't clear on this particular piece of the process, the fee can't go up more than the actual cost of providing the service. And that's not just this piece of the service, but the whole bundle of services after they're assessed. Some of which I expect will be dramatically easier once we're fully automated. That's okay. And then I think, Mr. President, i'm going to let it go there unless there are questions from colleagues. As you can tell, this has been an interest of mine for a long time. I have worked closely with staff at every level. I want to thank [speaker not understood] and Mr. Brown who have been nothing but diligent in answering questions from my office, letting us offer our observations about the process. They both arrived after this conversation started. I'm not sure about the good news and bad news for them, but they both stepped right in.
11:36 AMGood news.
I think we got to a very good thing, which is if you're a consumer, you can walk through the door and know what it is you're walking into. If you want to go online, you can do some comparison shopping. And if you're a business person doing a hell of a job and deserve to be recognized, you will be recognized. And if you're somebody who has been sloughing off and doing the bare minimum, I think [speaker not understood]. I think that's a great program and i'm going to offer a motion to approve the first of these three item and each of the subsequent items when the time comes.
11:37 AMThank you. so, we have a motion for approval. The screens are up. Supervisor chavez, your light is on.
Thank you. I just wanted to acknowledge one thing with you. That was the diligent outreach you did. And I was very concerned about us making sure that mom and pops got a conversation and at least some feedback and input. And I know it's very difficult to reach out to people because they're working. It's a mom and pop. To come to meetings is very challenging. I wanted to say thank you. I appreciated very much that in the plan you had more outreach that you were going to be doing. I just think that's so critical around education. I wanted to also acknowledge kevin and the chambers and javier and thank you for coming and participating in the process. I know often when we come up with a great idea, coming into it is painful, sometimes at best. You all stuck with it and I appreciate that. One request, however, a question, and this might be either for supervisor simitian or for the staff, is given that it is going to be a new program, and given that the last time we had a new program it didn't actually happen until 2014, i'm wondering what is the feedback loop to the board? I'm specifically interested understanding the smaller business he how this process looks a year after implementation. Was there a plan to bring it back [speaker not understood] or back to the full board ?
11:38 AMSupervisor chavez, we would be happy to do either of those things. We think it would be very fruitful to come back in a year and report back as to how the program is going at that time.
11:39 AMThat would be great. is that okay?
If we have a seconder, yes.
We do have a seconder. I think it not only is it okay, I think it's a great idea. Bring it becky: through og mark: c, a report through fgoc, finance and government operation committee. To that point I don't think staff had a chance to mention that. When they start to roll the program out, in order to sort of keep the cost to a minimum, if not they're going to go out to every one of these. How many thousands of folks did you --
Over 8,000.
Over 8,000 folks. rather, as they have the regularly scheduled section, then they will start to issue the binders and the numerical scores will start to go up. So, it will actually take sometime before the program is close to fully implemented. I think a year is probably a pretty good time to go back. That was a yes, a long-winded yes.
11:40 AMThank you.
That's okay. that's a good yes. I also wanted to thank staff for your outreach and thank all the agencies, the chambers, the organizations representing the restaurants, the restaurants themselves, all of your outreach to come up with this. I think what's kind of fun about this is we can say this is another example of santa clara county going green. And I think a few people are [speaker not understood]. I think people are simply going to look for green placards and going with confidence.