Click HERE to download the full 2021 Annual Report PDF document
Click HERE to preview the document on the Solano County ISSUU channel
Dear Residents -
On behalf of the Solano County Board of Supervisors and County staff, we are pleased to present our 2021 annual report. We are committed to providing residents with programs and services that promote resiliency, self-sufficiency and local control, in addition to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of those who live, learn, work and play in Solano County.
In January, in anticipation of the first COVID-19 vaccines being made publicly available, Solano Public Health hosted a virtual townhall meeting to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and distribution process. The townhall included a Q&A with the Public Health Officer and information regarding vaccine efficacy, health, safety and eligibility. A few weeks later, Public Health, in collaboration with community healthcare partners, hosted the first of many COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics for eligible Solano County residents.
In May, County officials launched the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a federally funded housing assistance program for residents to help keep them in their homes during the ongoing pandemic. As of July 31, the County had received more than 3,000 applications for the $13.3 million in federal dollars – demonstrating the programs popularity among Solano County residents.
In September, the Board approved the issuance of new Certificate of Participation bonds to fund energy conservation and generation projects on County campuses. Standard & Poor’s upgraded the County’s credit rating and pension bonds, giving us the ability to price future bonds at lower interest rates.
In October, the Board, in cooperation with the Department of Health and Social Services (H&SS), Mental Health division and the Department of General Services, broke ground on a new mental health and residential treatment facilities, located at the H&SS Beck Avenue campus in Fairfield. The new facility will treat adults experiencing mental illness and help those at risk of facing housing insecurity. We anticipate a grand opening in October 2022.
Recovery efforts from the 2020 LNU Fire continue with debris removal and rebuilding permits. We also made progress on Solano360, the redevelopment of the Solano County fairgrounds, conducted the Redistricting process, finalized the Regional Housing Needs Assessment and honored centenarians virtually due to ongoing COVID concerns. As we end year 2021, we invite you to explore our annual report at the County’s website where you will find many more accomplishments. We thank our employees, community partners, the seven cities and Travis Air Force Base, for the programs and services they provide, and for making Solano County a wonderful place to live, learn, work and play.
John M. Vasquez, District 4 Supervisor and Chair of the Board
Birgitta E. Corsello, Solano County Administrator
Solano County is committed to the improvement of health and wellness of all those who live, learn, work and play in our community
GROUNDBREAKING: NEW MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY
On October 5, the Board of Supervisors, in coordination with the Department of Health and Social Services, broke ground on a new mental health residential treatment facility located on the County’s Health and Social Service campus in Fairfield. Solano County is one of 10 California counties to receive grant funding from the state to construct a mental health diversion and adult board and care facility. Once complete, the facility can host up to 32 adults experiencing mental illness, including those at risk of facing housing insecurity. Construction is expected to be complete by October 2022.
NEW WEB-APP CONNECTS PEOPLE TO MENTAL / EMOTIONAL HEALTH SERVICES
On November 1, Solano County, in coordination with Touro University, launched SolanoConnex, a new web-based app designed to help improve access to mental and emotional health services to everyone in Solano County. The web-app lists more than 100 mental and emotional health services available in Solano County, can be accessed on any computer, tablet and smartphone, and is completely free to use. Navigators are available to help guide users through services based on needs. Visit SolanoConnex.org and @SolanoConnex.
USING TECHNOLOGY TO EXPAND SERVICES TO FAMILIES
In 2021, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) provided services to nearly 14,000 families and collected and distributed more than $41 million dollars in child support. Additionally, nearly 96 percent of all DCSS cases had a court order in place - a record high for the department. These accomplishments were made possible through the dedication and hard work of DSCC staff, coupled with the expanded use of technology, including DocuSign, e-filing and texting. The use of these technologies allowed DCSS clients to access child support services from the safety and convenience of their home.
HELPING FAMILIES RE-GAIN INDEPENDENCE
The Health and Social Services Department, Employment and Eligibility (E&E) division administers the state-run CalWORKs program, a public assistance program for impoverished families in California counties. In 2021, Solano County E&E, with funding from CalWORKs, helped provide up to 16 days of hotel shelter for 478 families. Staff also assisted 336 chronically homeless families, including 379 adults and 586 children, gain access to critical services, including, but not limited to monthly rental assistance, financial literacy training, substance and mental health treatment, employment workshops, computer skills training and domestic violence prevention support. The services provided by Solano County E&E assists homeless and impoverished families gain, and in many instances, re-gain independence.
HONORING OUR OLDEST LIVING RESIDENTS
The Solano County Board of Supervisors hosted the fifteenth annual Centenarian Commemoration event on October 26, 2021 virtually due to concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic health emergency. The Board recognized and honored 47 centenarians, including with resolutions from state and local elected leadership, a video highlighting their secrets to longevity and a commemorative yearbook – these items were delivered to Centenarians after the ceremony in the safety and comfort of their homes. The public is invited to view the video on the County’s Facebook page
@CountyOfSolano and the Yearbook at issuu.com/solanocounty.
HELPING KEEP PETS WITH THEIR FAMILIES
The Solano County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services division recognizes the importance of an owner’s attachment to their pet especially during the COVID-19 shutdown. Staff worked side-by-side with members of the community to provide pet owners with supplies in their time of need, including pet food, cages, temporary housing, rehoming, medical and dental care and assistance with vet bills. Animal Care Services staff also partnered with Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano to deliver pet food to help keeps pets with their families. You can adopt a pet at
SolanoCounty.com/AnimalServices and @SolanoAnimalCare.
COMMITTED TO SERVING OUR VETERANS
Solano County is home to Travis Air Force Base, 34,000 veterans and 90,000 of their dependents. The Solano County Veteran Service Office (VSO) filed more than 7,000 benefit claims in 2021 on behalf of veterans and their dependents, resulting in more than $39.7 million in new federal dollars and $252 million in pension and compensation claims. The VSO averages 51 visitors a day and is in the top three offices in the State of California with a participation rate of 37 percent. The national participation average is 27.8 percent, meaning more than one-third of Solano County veterans are receiving the compensation and benefits they have earned as part of their military service. Visit the VSO at https://www.SolanoCounty.com/Veterans and by calling (707) 784-6590 for more information, to learn more about the programs and services and to make an appointment.
ELEVATING PROBATION YOUTH THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
The Probation Department has continued to thrive and adapt during the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, with staff creating two unique programs that embrace positive youth development, engagement and critical skill building. The department hosted a virtual youth summit called ELEVATE!, featuring guest speakers from around the globe who shared their stories, perspectives, hopes, struggles and achievements – promoting success and resilience for young men who have been in their shoes. Additionally, the department coordinated with the Hidden Genius Project, a technology and youth leadership organization, to host an inaugural 10-week program that teaches youth in Solano County’s detention housing learn to lead, code and build their own websites.
ATTRACTING, TRAINING AND RETAINING EMPLOYEES
The Department of Human Reources plays an integral role in attracting, training and retaining a high-quality workforce for Solano County. This year, due to the ongoing pandemic, the department streamlined some of its critical operations away from in-person to accessible online, including training tools for County employees and health and wellness platforms. In addition to making resources easier for employees to access, Human Resources also operates an online recruitment portal, https://www.SolanoCountyJobs.com to attract new potential employees. Everyone is encouraged to follow the Human Resources Department on social media @SolanoCountyJobs.
VACCINATING COMMUNITIES AGAINST COVID-19
Since January 1, 2021, the Solano County Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health division, has hosted 571 vaccination clinics throughout Solano County, including mass vaccination clinics at the Solano County Fairgrounds, at pop-up sites, at long-term healthcare facilities and at homeless encampments. As of December 31, 2021, because of their coordinated efforts, more than 655,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to approximately 320,000 individuals, including people of all races, eligible ages, ethnicities and genders in Solano County. As Public Health staff continue to promote and make vaccine available for everyone age five and older, the division will provide regular health updates on their website, SolanoCounty.com/PH. For more information, consider liking and following the Solano County Public Health Facebook page at Facebook.com/SolanoCountyPH and @SolanoCountyPH.
COMMUNITY-BASED MOBILE CRISIS CARE
The Department of Health and Social Services, Behavioral Health division, in partnership with the Fairfield and Suisun City police departments, launched the new Solano Community-Based Mobile Crisis Unit, a team comprised of clinicians and specialists to respond to 911 calls in the two cities. The available services, including de-escalation, linking to necessary services and after-incident support, are available to children, youth and adults regardless of insurance or immigration status. The Mobile Crisis Unit is currently available between 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday – Friday, with plans to expand to 24-hour service, county-wide as staffing expands. A phone number for community members to access services (without 911) is anticipated in early 2022.
FREE BACKBACKS & SUPPLIES / FUTURE FIRST 5 CENTER
In early January 2021, when most students were still attending school virtually, the Solano First 5 Commission allocated funds to purchase 5,500 backpacks for transitional kindergarten and kindergarten students and schools throughout Solano County. During the first week of January, staff and volunteers helped distribute backpacks full of traditional school supplies, virtual learning materials and high-quality schoolbooks to every school district in the County. The schools then distributed backpacks to students at each school site. In July, thanks to Assemblymember Jim Frazier, First 5 received an earmark of $2 million dollars in support of a future First 5 Center located in Fairfield. The new center will complement the Vallejo First 5 Center in ensuring children and their families have the opportunity for the best start in life and in school.
KEEPING PARKS OPEN DURING THE PANDEMIC
The Department of Resource Management, Parks division, continued to deliver recreational experiences to Solano County Parks and open spaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and LNU Lightning Complex Fire recovery efforts. Parks staff hosted special events, including the Winters Salmon Festival, U.S. Forest Service Visions of the Wild and Lynch Canyon Kite Festival. All events included appropriate social distancing while dealing with resources closed due to the fire. Because of their creativity, more than 76,000 people visited a Solano County park and/or open space in 2021.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR COMMUNITY
ENSURING LONG-TERM WATER SUSTAINABILITY
The Department of Resource Management, in coordination with the Solano Irrigation District, cities of Vacaville, Dixon and Rio Vista, Reclamation District in the Delta, the Resource Conservation Districts, Solano County Water Agency and Sacramento County continued to collaborate this year on the development of the Solano Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). The GSP identifies a roadmap for sustainability in managing the development of water resources in the eastern half of Solano County and parts of the Sacramento Delta over the next 20-years. The GSP is a result of more than five years of coordination between stakeholders and will help ensure long-term water sustainability in Solano County.
RENTAL ASSISTANCE FOR QUALIFING HOUSEHOLDS
In February, the Solano County Board of Supervisors approved the County’s acceptance of $13.3 million in direct federal funding from the U.S. Treasury to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in Solano County. As of late November 2021, the County has administered $10.5 million in funds to eligible households. While the Solano County ERAP has closed, the State’s Housing is Key program has reserved an additional $14.3 million for Solano County residents is currently accepting applications. Visit https://Housing.Ca.Gov or call (833) 430-2122 for more information and to submit an application.
GUBERNATORIAL RECALL ELECTION
On September 14, the County hosted a recall election for Governor, the second Gubernatorial recall election in State history. While the recall ultimately failed, the Registrar of Voters successfully executed the County-wide election within a compressed schedule, and during an ongoing pandemic. More than 90 percent of Solano County registered voters voted by mail, requiring the ROV to quickly pivot resources to support the change in ballot processing – all while maintaining the highest levels of security, transparency and accuracy in elections.
WORKING TOGETHER TO FIGHT AN INVASIVE PEST
County Ag Biologists identified glassy-winged sharpshooters in Fairfield and Vacaville. Glassy-winged sharpshooters are invasive pests of special concern to grape growing regions of California. The Ag Department, with cooperation from residents in the Browns Valley neighborhood, conducted parcel-to-parcel surveys, implemented high-density trapping measures and applied targeted treatments to protect Solano County’s 4,000 acres of vineyards by containing and suppressing this new infestation.
LIBRARIES RE-OPEN, HOST POPULAR PROGRAMMING
The Solano County Library continues to make public access to its collection a top priority. Over the summer, after a year of pandemic related restrictions, the Library shifted some of its virtual programs back to in-person programming outdoors. Gradually, as conditions improved, the Library opened all its branches – without restrictions. As patrons and students returned, the Library hosted its popular all-ages Summer Reading Challenge. The program had 5,942 participants who read more than 11,000 books for a combined 395,829 minutes. In addition to being fully open, the Library had a record 1.2 million page visits to its website, SolanoLibrary.com, demonstrating the public’s ongoing interest in accessing Library resources – especially during the pandemic.
REDISTRICTING EFFORT INCLUDES COMMUNITY INPUT
Redistricting occurs every ten years after the U.S. Census is completed. District boundaries for federal, state and local elected offices are redrawn to reflect new population growths and equalize district populations. This process, called redistricting, is important to ensure that each Board member represents approximately the same number of constituents in Solano County. In March, the Board of Supervisors established a 15-member Redistricting Advisory Committee (RAC21), tasked to help identify communities of interest, ensuring the integrity of those neighborhoods. Between June and August, the RAC21, with staff coordination, hosted 10 community outreach meetings and reporting their findings to the Board in September. By law, counties must adopt their new boundaries by or before December 15, 2021.
2020 LNU FIRE RECOVERY EFFORT CONTINUES
In the summer of 2020, the LNU Lightning Complex Fire burned through parts of Solano County, affecting 373 properties in the unincorporated area, destroying 309 homes. To help property owners with the recovery process, the Department of Resource Management, Environmental Health division, hosted a government sponsored cleanup option, in coordination with local, state and federal agencies, to help owner’s cleanup debris on their properties at no charge. Of the 373 properties, 252 enrolled in the free cleanup option and the remainder opted to go with a private cleanup. As of December 1, 2021, 112 applications have been received to rebuild and 69 permits to rebuild have been issued.
BOARD ADOPTS A BALANCED BUDGET
On June 24, 2021, the Board of Supervisors adopted a comprehensive and balanced budget of more than $1.28 billion dollars that includes a combination of funding from State and federal revenue sources and includes awarded grants, and local revenues from fees for services, interest income, various tax revenues; including property tax, business license fees, and a small amount of sales tax collected in the unincorporated areas of the County, making us financially positioned to provide the programs and services necessary to help Solano County residents thrive.
STANDARD & POOR’S RAISES COUNTY’S CREDIT RAITING
The Board of Supervisors, at their September 14 meeting, adopted a resolution to approve the issuance of the 2021 Certificates of Participation (COPs) to fund energy conservation and generation projects for County campuses located in Fairfield, Vallejo and Vacaville. The County successfully issued COPs at a 1.75% True Interest Cost, and subsequently Standard and Poor’s (S&B) upgraded the County’s credit rating from AA to AA+. Also, S&P raised its long-term rating on the County’s outstanding pension obligation bonds from AA+ to AAA, the highest possible rating. The higher ratings give the County the opportunity to price future bonds at lower interest rates.
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDING
On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law. The $1.9 trillion package is intended to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and assist in the recovery efforts, including the public health and economic impacts, and ensure the country thrives in the coming years. Solano County received $86.9 million in ARPA funds that will be used to address the County’s continued response and recovery from COVID-19, including the economic impacts to our community. The Board of Supervisors is currently evaluating the various options for utilization of the funding in line with the U.S. Treasury guidelines. The public is invited to visit the County’s ARPA website to learn more about the law, the statutory eligible uses of funding and process for determining uses of direct funding. Visit https://www.SolanoCounty.com/ARPA.
CALIFORNIA STATE CONTROLLER’S AWARD
The Auditor-Controller’s Office received the State Controller’s Award for Achieving Excellence in Financial Reporting for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. This award recognizes the County for submitting an accurate and timely financial report in accordance with criteria established by the State Controller. Counties must follow the eligibility criteria specified by the State Controller, including budget, classifications, revenue and expenditures. The information is used by the State Controller to publish accurate and useful local government financial data in the Counties Annual Report.
EXCELLENCE IN FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING
The Government Finance Officers Association awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting to the County of Solano and the Auditor-Controller’s Office for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020. This award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. This award represents a significant accomplishment by the County, the Auditor’s Office and all of County Management.