Category Archives: Duane Kromm

Duane Kromm: The Flannery saga keeps getting stranger . . .

Canva image by BenIndy. OK to reuse.
Duane Kromm. | Jason Henry / WSJ.

By Duane Kromm, May 7, 2024

The Flannery saga keeps getting stranger. Solano Together was invited to participate with California Forever at an event in early May.  Both sides were given time to present, take part in a Q&A, and finally make a brief closing pitch.

We said, of course, we always want to explain why our Solano Together coalition is working to preserve farmland and open space, protect Travis Air Force Base from encroachment, avoid creating gridlock on our highways, and make sure we have enough water for our farms and cities.

We were quite surprised when the California Forever folks pulled out of the presentation at the last minute.  They only wanted to participate if they alone would be making a presentation.

Sadly, this is becoming their norm.  In the past two weeks we have taken two journalists on tours of the area; from Jepson Prairie preserve, through the proposed “New Community” land, and into Montezuma Hills.  Both sets of journalists reported to us that California Forever would not even talk to them, much less spend time showing them the land, watching Travis missions fly overhead, or trying to explain why the gridlock they would create on Highway 12 would not be harmful to Travis’ mission.

Why would somebody who wants to win an election be so afraid of talking to journalists and taking part in town hall style meetings?  I guess when you have billions of dollars you think you can control all of the messaging about their project.

Solano Together is eager to meet with any group who would like us to present our message or take part in a dialogue or debate with California Forever.  Please call or email me,, 707-580-7321, or connect through our website, if you would like us to meet with you.

A postscript.  Go out to Jepson Prairie now, it is spectacular.  Weekends are best with the naturalists from UC Davis.

Jepson Prairie Preserve. |


>> More stories on California Forever here on the BenIndy


Host Your Own Party To Support Solano Together

Solano Together is expanding its grassroots effort by asking people across the region to host small gatherings in their homes and communities to provide up-to-date information and expand its impact.

Hosting house parties is a great opportunity to get involved and contribute to Solano Together’s mission to fight this development proposal and help build an alternative vision for a sustainable and equitable future for the region.

If you’re interested in hosting a house party or just learning more, click the image above or visit the Solano Together website to get more information on next steps.

Duane Kromm: “Please think long and hard about how you respond to Flannery’s pitches”

[Note from the BenIndy: Former Solano County Board Supervisor Duane Kromm has been incredibly active in the fight to rip the glossy veil off Flannery Associates aka California Forever’s slick renders and lofty claims.  He’s been featured in several articles about the project and recently introduced an incredibly informative panel at the College of Exploration featuring California Forever CEO Jan Sramek and State Senator Bill Dodd – an early and as of yet rare chance for the public to participate in this huge discussion (which we hope to cover in more detail soon). Below, please find an opinion he shared with the Northern Solano Democratic Club (NSDC) in their November 2023 newsletter. Read more about NSDC below Mr. Kromm’s op-ed.]

Duane Kromm. | Jason Henry / WSJ.

By Duane Kromm, November 2023

My guess is everybody has heard about Flannery Associates, LLC (aka California Forever) by now. This is a secretive organization funded by a handful of rich Silicon Valley tech and venture capital tycoons. They have purchased over 50,000 acres of Southeastern Solano County, which is about 10% of Solano’s land mass.

They started buying in 2018, farm by farm by farm. Nobody knew who these guys were until the New York Times blew their cover with an August 2023 story about the billionaires hiding behind their Delaware registered LLC, where ownership can be masked. The NYT’s story made it clear that these are investors looking for a high rate of return. “If the plans materialize anywhere close to what is being contemplated, this should be a spectacular investment,” per Michael Moritz billionaire venture capitalist, lead investor in Flannery.

Please look at the Solano County Orderly Growth Committee’s website for a good map of the land owned by Flannery:

Not only has Flannery consumed most of the Montezuma Hills and Jepson Prairies areas of Solano County, they have also sued farmers who have dared to refuse to sell to them. Having spent over $800,000,000 (yes that is 800 million dollars) buying land, they now look to recover $560,000,000 by suing multi-generational farm families.

Flannery’s stated goal is to build a new city, or cities, somewhere in the Montezuma Hills area. There are reports that these cities could eventually have a population of 400,000. Flannery has not shared any specifics about their goals. Nobody in the community has any clue about roads, water, infrastructure, schools, public safety, and the impacts on our agricultural economy.

Solano County has been a leader in California regarding development and protection of farmland and open space. Starting with an initiative in 1984, our voters have consistently supported the concept of city centered growth. The motto is “What is Urban Shall be Municipal” For more information on what our voters have supported, look at the 2008 ballot measure.

Solano County, in our seven cities, has added housing at a faster rate than the rest of the Bay Area, or the State. We have also protected our farmlands and open spaces to help our, mostly thriving, agricultural economy. I say mostly because agriculture is an always changing marketplace with foreign competition, climate change, and investment needs, all of which present relentless challenges.

Please think long and hard about how you respond to Flannery’s pitches. As Senator Bill Dodd noted; this feels like Professor Harold Hill in the Music Man trying to sell 76 trombones.

This opinion from Mr. Kromm was reposted with permission from the Northern Solano Democratic Club, a fantastic Dem club based in  Northern Solano. If you’d like to read NSDC’s full newsletter, click here. It’s chock-full of exciting news and ideas from this amazing group, which has been operating in Solano for more than 70 years! To learn more about NSDC more generally, click here to be redirected to the NSDC website.

Other articles featuring Duane Kromm on Flannery/California Forever: