Category Archives: Benicia City Council

Benicia City Council adopts mandatory face mask order


By Pat Toth-Smith, Benicia resident, June 17, 2020

Benicia city council did the right thing last night after much discussion and overwhelming support came from many callers and letters.

Congratulations to all who worked hard on getting this passed!  Benicia is now a safe place to shop and be !!!!!! 🍾🎉🙌🎊❤️❤️

Thank you council member Steve Young and Mayor Elizabeth Patterson for taking the lead, doing the right and hard thing for our citizens early.  And thank you city staff and police chief Upson for your work on this.  Thank you council member, Tom Campbell for coming around quickly during the meeting to vote  for it, you got the ball rolling.  And lastly, thank you to council members Largaespada and Strawbridge for also doing the right thing in the end for us citizens even if you maybe didn’t agree with all of it.

Proud to be a Benician …

Thank you all.  Pat

NOTE: The draft resolution (minus amendments) can be downloaded here: A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BENICIA REQUIRING THE USE OF FACE COVERINGS IN INDOOR AND ENCLOSED PUBLIC SPACES.  We will post the final draft and an analysis of the amendments when it becomes available.

Benicia City Council considers mandatory face mask order – staff recommends approval

The following business item is on the Benicia City Council agenda for Tuesday, June 16, 2020.  Below you will find instructions for sending your comment to staff and council members.


At the May 26, 2020 City Council study session, the City Council deliberated the merits of mandating the wearing of face coverings in Benicia. Council directed staff to collect data on COVID-19 infections and prepare a resolution requiring the public to wear face coverings indoors and in enclosed public spaces in Benicia. Staff has returned to Council with the requested data and resolution.

Move to adopt a resolution (Attachment 1) requiring the wearing of face coverings in indoor and enclosed public spaces in Benicia.

COVID-19 Data from Bay Area Counties – click for larger view, or download PDF version.



(from a Benicia Happenings post by Jennifer Hanley)

**They’ll be voting on the mask mandate, so send in your comments and explain why it is so important!!

-View live broadcast Ch 27, Tuesday, 6/16 at 7:00pm
-Watch Online at
-Re-broadcasts on Ch 27: Thurs & Tues following the meeting, 8:30am

(copy the below email group and paste into “To:” field of email),,, ,,,,,

You may choose to identify yourself, or remain anonymous. Briefly state which issue you will be speaking to. Limit submission to 750 words, or about 5 minutes reading length for clerk. ** Emails received PRIOR to 3pm on the meeting day will be distributed to council members, read privately, and recorded. Emails received AFTER 3pm & BEFORE 7pm on the meeting day will be collected by the clerk and read out loud during the council meeting broadcast.


Call in via Zoom: (669) 900-9128
Follow prompts, Meeting ID: 826 4906 6719 — Password: 440887
You will be placed in a virtual waiting room/queue. You will be prompted by the city clerk when it is your turn to share your comments. You will only have five minutes to speak (hard stop, no exceptions). Once complete, you will be muted to the council.

Comments may be submitted by letter via the postal service. Standard postage will apply.
MAIL TO: City Clerk, Lisa Wolfe, 250 E L. Street, Benicia, CA 94510
Mailed comments must be received by end of business day on the day of the meeting and a copy will be distributed to each attendee.

For questions re: agenda, how to connect, submissions, contact:
City Clerk, Lisa Wolfe
250 E. L. Street, Benicia, CA 94510 or (707) 746-4200
Business office hours 8am – 5pm.

View Current/Scheduled Meeting Agendas:

Guide to Council Meetings & Public Comment:

Previous Council Meeting Agendas & Minutes:

[Other City Officials that may Attend}
Lisa Wolfe – City Clerk
Lori Tinfow – City Manager
Alan Shear – Asst City Manager
Ben Stock – City Attorney – Economic Dev, Mario Giuliani – Police Chief Erik Upson – Fire Chief, Josh Chadwick – Parks & Community, Mike Dotson

Benicia Mayor and City Council: “We are saddened and angered…and we stand against systemic racism”

Statement from your Mayor & City Council

City of Benicia Announcements, Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6:10 PM

We are saddened and angered by the killing of George Floyd and we stand with everyone in our community and across the nation against systemic racism. Enough is enough. Our communities are demanding change that is deserved and past due. It’s time for us to listen and take action to support our black, indigenous and people of color communities. We need to be clear in our expectations of our local, State and national leaders. And we won’t stop there. We must examine our actions and policies that impact all people of color and make meaningful changes.

We encourage and support the peaceful protests taking place in our City and are proud of our youth’s leadership in reaching out to so many people from all walks of life to come together with such heart and passion. Let this be the turning point our society must make so that everyone in our community can lead a life of dignity and promise.

Let us work together to make real progress, to learn from the experiences of others, to listen with empathy to new voices—voices unheard for too long—and to examine our own views and protest peacefully for this change. We know the answer is not violence. Let us come out of this time stronger and better.

Benicia Chief of Police Erik Upson “I’m very proud of the culture we have built in this department and the humanistic approach we take that focuses on the community. I know there is more we can do, and I look forward to making changes that will strengthen our relationship with those we serve.”

The death of George Floyd is appalling and unacceptable, and we condemn the actions of those four police officers in Minneapolis. Chief of Police Erik Upson said, “I’m very proud of the culture we have built in this department and the humanistic approach we take that focuses on the community. I know there is more we can do, and I look forward to making changes that will strengthen our relationship with those we serve.”

We are confident in Chief Upson’s leadership and the Benicia Police Department’s training and practice of de-escalation, and community policing as well as his sincere desire to listen to the community and continue to advance the Department towards its vision.

We are committed, as leaders in Benicia, to better outcomes for our black community here and across our country. We honor peaceful protest and recognize the need for immediate and lasting social change. We hear you, we see you, we stand with you. By working together, Benicia will be a community where everyone is valued and respected.

Don’t want to wear a mask? (update: DON’T) Come to Benicia!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: See Benicia City Council adopts mandatory face mask order, June 17, 2020

Want to open your business to customers without masks?  Good thing your store is here in Benicia!

By Roger Straw, May 28, 2020

As COVID-19 deaths topped 100,000 in the US, and on the same day that our sister city Vallejo ratified an emergency order requiring the mandatory wearing of face coverings in enclosed public spaces, Benicia’s City Council, after 4 ½ hours of contemplation,  decided to leave it up to you.

Gee, that’s nice.

Well, hold on a minute – the City RECOMMENDS that masks be worn in enclosed spaces.  And officially, we abide by the Solano County guidelines, that STRONGLY recommend face coverings.

But for now there’s no order, no mandate, no requirement – wear one or don’t!  And if the store you want to shop at requires face coverings, sniff around – you can probably get by without a mask at some other store here in good ol’ business-friendly Benicia.

Business owners can decide for themselves whether to require masks.

Oh but not so fast, business owners: Prepare to be “educated” into requiring masks in your facility.  As Vice Mayor Christina Strawbridge said at the Council meeting: “I believe the City’s attempt to educate rather than legislate will be the best solution.”

Um, what’s wrong with educate AND legislate??  Seems a good way to get more compliance.

As for me, for now I think I’ll shop in Vallejo.

Here’s the Benicia City Council on May 26, hearing from a bazillion residents begging for a mandatory face covering order and deciding to do, well, basically nothing.  (Warning – 4 ½ hours long!)