Category Archives: Solano County Board of Supervisors

Solano County urged to take action on regional park plan

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, September 15, 2019
Rockville Trails Preserve is a 1,500-acre preserve and hiking area owned and operated by the Solano Land Trust. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Regional park supporters urge Solano supervisors to move forward

FAIRFIELD — The Solano County Board of Supervisors this week was pressed about when it will move forward on a proposed regional park and open space district.

Amy Hartman, Solano County representative for Greenbelt Alliance, wanted to know when the county expected to put the proposed countywide district on a ballot for voter consideration.

“We have a couple of asks. First, we want to know when the (administrative) and financial plan is going to be released to the public.” Hartman told the board on Tuesday. Supervisor Jim Spering was absent.

“We know the county has been working on it for quite a while and we would just love to see that document and be able to talk to folks around the county about what is going to be in the admin and finance plan,” Hartman said.

The concept is to integrate the county’s existing park system with other properties, such as those owned by the Solano Land Trust, to be able to increase public access to those areas.

In a letter to the board, Greenbelt Alliance and a number of other groups and individuals, including Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson and Michael Alvarez, a member of the Solano County Parks Commission, suggested the measures go before the voters next year.

“We ask that two separate ballot measures are placed on countywide ballots – one for the creation of the district and another for a funding measure of the district,” the letter states.

The letter was signed by two members of the Solano Open Space Citizens Advisory Group, the Progressive Democrats of Benicia, Solano Sierra Club, Solano County Orderly Growth Committee and the Solano County Policy Action Team of the Bay Area Chapter of the Climate Reality Project.

“Our ask is that these ballot measures are put to the ballot in separate elections – ideally, the formation of the district would be on the March 2020 ballot, and the district’s funding measure would be on the November 2020 ballot or a subsequent election,” the letter states. “. . . As groups with large membership and extensive outreach capabilities, we are ready and willing to support the campaign effort that will be required to successfully pass measures to create and fund the district.”

There were not a lot of specifics in board Chairwoman Erin Hannigan’s reply, but she noted that the board’s subcommittee working on the issue, which also includes Supervisor John Vasquez, is scheduled to meet Sept. 30.

Bill Emlen, director of the Department of Resource Management, said his staff could have the plans in front of the board in October.

“Even if we can get the park established, even without a finance plan, there is a lot of money (out there),” Hartman told the board, referring specifically to Proposition 68 bond funds.

State Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, carried the special legislation that allows the county to introduce the park district by resolution for voter approval. It won Senate and Assembly support in May 2017.

There has been little discussion at the board level since, and even less about how the district would be funded.

Two funding ideas have been floated publicly. The first is to ask voters to support an ongoing funding mechanism for the park district. The other is to use existing county park funds to support the district in the early stages.

The supervisors, in January 2016, appropriated $75,000 for a consultant to assist county staff with various initiatives related to forming the district, including public outreach.

A 2015 consultant’s report stated that while the public supports the idea of a regional parks system, it does not support additional funding measures to pay for it.

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    LETTER SERIES: Marilyn Bardet – Mike Ioakimedes for Solano County Supervisor

    [Editor: Benicians are expressing themselves in letters to the editor of our local print newspaper, the Benicia Herald. But the Herald doesn’t publish letters in its online editions – and many Benician’s don’t subscribe. We are posting certain letters here for wider distribution. – RS]

    A vote for Mike Ioakimedes for Solano County Supervisor

    By Marilyn Bardet
    October 25, 2016
    Marilyn Bardet
    Marilyn Bardet

    As a Benicia resident since 1986, and with long experience engaged with planning issues in our city, I’m voting for Mike Ioakimedes for county supervisor. I’ve always appreciated Mike’s encouragement of public dialogue, not only for sake of hashing out contentious issues, but for results: toward resolute, evidence-based decision-making that has helped shape our community for the better.

    mike_ioakimedes_solanocountysupervisor
    Mike Ioakimedes

    Mike’s earnest, quiet diplomacy — much needed in a time of hardening ideological entrenchment — serves principled action.

    On Benicia’s city council, Mike addressed a large-scale business park development proposal for the Seeno property, making clear that, as originally presented, it would violate mandates of AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, since the plan not only did not reduce “vehicle miles traveled” that contribute to increases in GHG, but also ignored a 243% projected increase in traffic on East 2nd St, thus to further compromise air quality and public health, especially for children at Semple elementary, located along East 2nd, in close proximity to I-780 and the refinery.

    Recently, Mike opposed Valero’s Crude By Rail Project citing the city’s land use authority to protect public health and safety.

    For similar reasons, he’s concerned that the cement plant proposed in Vallejo would significantly increase daily truck traffic and impact air quality.

    Mike’s advocacy for applying sustainability criteria when evaluating development plans is especially crucial for the county in light of future unprecedented costs of climate disruption — the hard reality our children will inherit.

    Mike believes we can change the way we do business and move away from fossil fuel dependence, for example, by improving public transit options.

    Through his experience in city government, his openness to the change we need and his commitment to the kind of decision-making we deserve, Mike will guide the county in ways that make economic, social and environmental sense for our whole region. Please join me and vote for Mike!

    Marilyn Bardet
    Member, ex officio, Benicia Community Sustainability Commission

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      LETTER SERIES: Kari Birdseye – Monica Brown for Solano County Supervisor

      [Editor: Benicians are expressing themselves in letters to the editor of our local print newspaper, the Benicia Herald. But the Herald doesn’t publish letters in its online editions – and many Benician’s don’t subscribe. We are posting certain letters here for wider distribution. – RS]

      Vote for Monica Brown

      By Kari Birdseye
      October 27, 2016
      Kari Birdseye
      Kari Birdseye

      I am supporting Monica Brown for Supervisor.

      Monica Brown spent 39 years as a classroom teacher, 30 years here in Solano County. If elected, Monica Brown will not accept a salary but will instead donate the salary to support local public schools and families.

      monica-brown-229
      Monica Brown

      Monica Brown will also work to eliminate longevity pay for the Supervisors. The Supervisors do not need more money for their time in office. They are rewarded every time the voters re-elect them.

      As a Benicia Planning Commissioner who voted against the Crude-By-Rail project, I was thrilled with Monica Brown for being the first candidate for Supervisor to oppose the project.

      I am also impressed with Monica Brown for being the only candidate for Supervisor opposed to the proposed waterfront cement factory in Vallejo. Monica Brown is and always will be a strong advocate for a clean environment.

      On Tuesday, Nov. 8 — or earlier by mail — please vote for Monica Brown for Supervisor.

      Kari Birdseye, Benicia

       

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        LETTER SERIES: Alexis Davenport – Monica Brown for Solano County Supervisor

        [Editor: Benicians are expressing themselves in letters to the editor of our local print newspaper, the Benicia Herald. But the Herald doesn’t publish letters in its online editions – and many Benician’s don’t subscribe. We are posting certain letters here for wider distribution. – RS]

        Vote for Monica Brown for Solano County Supervisor

        By Alexis Davenport
        October 20, 2016

        I am voting for retired teacher Monica Brown for Supervisor, and I encourage everyone to do the same. Brown dedicated her life to her students and her community. As a teacher for 39 years, she helped to create bright futures for decades of students and families.

        Brown’s commitment to serving others continues as she has promised to donate her $97,000 a year Supervisor salary to support local public schools and families. Brown will also work to eliminate longevity pay. The longer the Supervisors serve, the more money they receive. Brown believes that being elected by the voters is more than enough reward.

        Brown was the first candidate for Supervisor to oppose the dangerous crude-by-rail project and is the only candidate opposing the proposed toxic cement factory in Vallejo.

        Whether supporting our children, making sure our tax dollars are spent wisely or fighting for our environment, Brown is the right candidate.  Please vote for Monica Brown for Supervisor on Tuesday, Nov. 8 or earlier by mail.

        Alexis Davenport
        Benicia
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