>> Click HERE to download the full 2022 Annual Report PDF document
Dear Residents -
On behalf of the Solano County Board of Supervisors and County staff, we are pleased to present our 2022 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 everyone.
In January, Solano County Public Health, following the guidelines of the FDA and CDC, greatly expanded eligibility of the COVID-19 vaccine booster to children, youth and adults by partnering up with several local healthcare partners to host free vaccine clinics across the county. Because of their efforts, Public Health successfully provided more than 350,000 booster shots to people in Solano County – all in an effort to protect our community members and curb the spread of COVID.
In April, the Department of Health and Social Services, Behavioral Health division, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, expanded their free community-based mobile crisis services into the cities of Vacaville, Rio Vista, Dixon and unincorporated Solano County. The program successfully de-escalates crisis situations, linking people to necessary services while supporting the care coordination response with the appropriate community agencies.
In July, Senator Bill Dodd secured a $5 million allocation of State budget funding to support the establishment of the Vallejo Early Learning Center – a center that will provide quality early care and education for nearly 300 children, including infants, toddlers and Pre-K in Solano County. The project upgrades will provide parents the option of private childcare, Head Start and Early Head Start learning opportunities for their children.
In November, the Registrar of Voters hosted the 2022 General Election, partnering with community groups that helped to observe, volunteer and disseminate information to voters. A total of 260,409 ballots were issued to all voters in the County, with 50.7 percent of all registered voters participating in the election, including voting by mail, dropping off ballots at a drop box and casting their vote in person at one of the County’s 68 polling places.
In December, the Board hosted their 16th annual Centenarian event, honoring the lives of 42 individuals ranging in age from 100 years to 107 years. The Board also hosted the ribbon cutting of the new Mental Health Residential Treatment Facility that will house clients, diverting them from justice systems or homelessness to improve their quality of life through mental health treatment services.
As we close the chapter on 2022, we can take pride in a long list of accomplishments—far too many to mention in this letter—we say goodbye to Supervisor Jim Spering while welcoming newcomer Supervisor Elect Wanda Williams. 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
Bill Emlen, 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
EXPANDING BENEFITS TO COMBAT FOOD INSECURITY
The Department of Health and Social Services, Employment and Eligibility (E&E) division knows that many Solano County residents have felt the pinch of double-digit food price inflation in 2022. To help eligible low-income households stretch their food budgets, E&E has focused on increasing access to and enrollment in the CalFresh supplemental nutrition program. E&E has enrolled more eligible families by leveraging administrative flexibilities during the public health emergency, utilizing technology to support remote application processing, partnering with community agencies, and conducting CalFresh outreach activities. These efforts have resulted in more than 50,000 residents receiving over $12 million a month in supplemental CalFresh dollars for food purchases while generating a monthly economic boost to the local community of more than $18 million.
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 7,200 benefit claims in 2022 on behalf of veterans and their dependents, resulting in more than $23.9 million in new federal dollars coming into the community. The VSO averages nearly 60 visitors a day and is in the top three offices in the State of California with a participation rate of 44.9 percent. The national participation average is 21.8 percent, meaning almost half of all Solano County veterans are receiving access to the compensation and benefits they have earned as part of their military service. Visit the VSO at 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.
HONORING OUR OLDEST LIVING RESIDENTS
The Solano County Board of Supervisors hosted the sixteenth annual Centenarian Commemoration event on December 13, 2022, recognizing and honoring 42 centenarians, including 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 residence. The public is invited to view the video on the County’s Facebook page @CountyOfSolano and the Yearbook at issuu.com/solanocounty.
EMPOWERING STAFF TO ENSURE OPTIMAL OUTCOMES
The Department of Health and Social Services, Child Welfare Services (CWS) division, provides intensive services on behalf of children in Solano County who need protection from abuse and neglect. Because CWS staff is at a higher risk of experiencing burnout and secondary traumatic stress because of the nature of their work, the County deployed a multi-pronged, values-driven strategy in early 2022 to effect change within the environment and create outlets for the workforce. Looking forward, CWS strives to improve staff retention in order to sustain the expertise and skills critical to ensuring child safety and optimal outcomes for families in Solano County.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR A POSITIVE PLAY EXPERIENCE
The First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission provides opportunities for families and children of all abilities, including their caregivers, opportunities for a positive play experience. In October 2022, the Commission participated in the grand opening of the new Play 4 All Park, located at 815 Elmira Road in Vacaville. The park, now open to the public, features playground equipment, including accessible swings and merry go round, a cozy dome ideal for small children with autism or other sensory needs, several learning panels, including braille alphabet, musical instruments, wheels with compasses and soft surfaces – all designed for young children and families with disabilities.
HELPING THE COMMUNITY RECOVER FROM LNU FIRE
The Solano County Office of Emergency Services (OES) experienced another very busy year recovering from the 2020 LNU Lightning Complex Fire. OES received a CAL FIRE Grant of $900,000 to create evacuation zones, a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) and create a county-wide Fire Safe Council. OES staff and vendors are working all three projects simultaneously. Solano OES and the Department of Resource Management won a National Association of Counties award for the LNU Fire recovery effort. In January, OES closed out the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (MJHMP) project when all the cities adopted their specific planning annexes. The MJHMP will enable the county and cities to access millions of dollars in hazard mitigation grant funds.
MEMORIAL HEALTH FAIR EMPOWERS SURVIVORS
The District Attorney’s Office hosted the annual Health Fair again this year, permanently changing the name of the event to the “Lori Frank Memorial Health Fair,” in honor of Lori Frank. Lori Frank, a long-time employee at the Family Justice Center, spearheaded the health fair each year before she passed away in August 2021. Lori Frank was known by many for always looking out for crime victims, empowering survivors, and helping others to protect the rights of victims and survivors every day. The health fair was a huge success and included 70 vendors on site, music, arts and crafts, food, and community engagement. The “Healthy Living” art contest was also another success with over 200 entries from K-12 students across the county. The artwork was inspiring, creative, and directly on theme.
STREAMLINING ACCESS TO COUNTY PARKS
The Department of Resource Management, Parks division, updated their online reservation system to streamline the campground reservation process for visitors, including adding the ability to purchase Annual Passes. The new reservation system allows for easier website navigation and includes improved graphics, visual mapping and interactive icons - helping users get a better idea of what to expect before they visit a Solano Park. Additionally, purchasing Annual Passes are an easy, affordable and increasingly popular way to visit Solano County’s many parks, with a reduced rate for Solano County residents, seniors and persons with disabilities. Check it out at https://parkreservations.solanocounty.com.
FUNDING CRITICAL WATER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
The Department of Resource Management coordinated with local stakeholders and water/wastewater agencies in 2022 to identify 11 projects to improve water supplies, wastewater and drainage infrastructure throughout Solano County. The Board of Supervisors allocated more than $7.6 million from ARPA funding to make critical improvements for aging and at-risk infrastructure and for future resiliency. Over the next four years, the Resource Management will work with the local agency stakeholders to progress these critical water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure projects forward to the benefit of all County residents, businesses and stakeholders.
AWARD WINNING PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES
The Department of Health and Social Services, Public Health division’s Infection Prevention Team was formed early in the pandemic in 2020 to assist high-risk congregate locations, including skilled nursing and residential facilities for the elderly, to decrease the spread of infections of COVID-19 in their facilities. In 2022, staff provided 240 in-service trainings and site visits to more than 160 high-risk facilities, visiting several of these sites multiple times and protecting more than 3,400 residents living within the congregate homes. In May, the Infection Prevention Team was awarded the National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award for reducing the impacts of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality in our high-risk, congregate settings.
NEW MENTAL HEALTH RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT FACILITY
In February 2022, the Department of General Services, with direction from the Solano County Board of Supervisors, broke ground on a new Mental Health Diversion and Adult Board and Care Facility, located at the Health and Social Services campus on Beck Avenue in Fairfield. The 12,600 square-foot facility, completed on September 16, 2022, includes an administrative building and two residential housing units, capable of housing up to 32 clients at a time. Clients, including individuals who are criminal justice-involved and/or who are homeless in Solano County, will receive intensive mental health treatment during their stay and have access to several common areas, including a dining room, lounge, half basketball court, group and individual therapy rooms. The $14.5 million project was funded by a combination of County public facility fees (48%), a Community Services Infrastructure State grant (43%) and a Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention Program grant (9%). The Board hosted a grand opening celebration on December 13, 2022.
REMOVING TOXIC LEAD FROM OUR HOMES
The Department of Resource Management, Environmental Health division, continued to assist Solano County Public Health in the removal of lead hazards within our community in 2022. This was accomplished by completing initial work to implement the Lead-Based Paint Abatement Program, which will identify and remove lead-based paint hazards from older homes where young children reside. It is anticipated that several hundred homes with lead-based paint could be mitigated through this important program.
WELCOMING BACK CLIENTS AFTER THE PANDEMIC
The Department of Health and Social Services, Family Health Services division, welcomed a return of patients seeking health care services post-pandemic. All the clinics, including medical and dental, were re-opened in 2022, welcoming clients and making appointments for primary care, specialty, dental, and behavioral health. Family Health Services dental and medical, mobile clinics also returned to the community, providing critical services to the County’s most vulnerable and hard to reach clients. Family Health Services is a leader in the community, integrating public health services, primary care, dental, behavioral health and specialty care.
EXPANDING ACCESS TO REHABILITATIVE SERVICES
The Solano County Public Defender, with the help of grant funding, has expanded access to post-conviction litigation, providing advocacy to individuals who have demonstrated rehabilitation in the years since their criminal conviction. Staff assists clients get back on their feet by helping them clear arrest and conviction records, obtaining relief from registration requirements and reducing sentences for individuals with minimal involvement in their crime. With this advocacy, the Department is helping to eliminate obstacles for client’s reintegration into society, and as a result, is reducing recidivism and minimizing the costs of incarceration.
CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM GRADUATES 19 EXPERTS
The Department of Health and Social Services, Behavioral Health division, graduated 19 deputies and code enforcement officers as part of the first cohort to participate in the new 40-hour Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for law enforcement and first responders. CIT provides essential information on what mental health looks like in the field when officers respond to emergency and 911 calls. The course covers various diagnoses, includes panels from experts in the field and presentations from individuals and their families with real-life experience of mental health emergencies. Additionally, trainees participated in hearing voices simulation exercises, de-escalation techniques, suicide prevention, cultural humility, vicarious trauma and self-care for officers.
STEWARDSHIP OF OUR COMMUNITY
LIBRARY WELCOMES BACK PATRONS; PROGRAMS SURGE
Solano County Library Services is proud to announce that after two years of a world-wide pandemic, we have fully re-opened our doors to the community, welcoming 552,804 people to our branches in 2022. This represents an 80% increase over the previous year. When compared to 2021, total checkouts increased 40% to 1.8 million, usage of digital resources, including e-books, audio e-books, digital magazines, and streaming music increased by 33% and new library card registrations increased 181%. In total, the Library offered 1,926 programs – an increase of 200% over the previous year. When it comes to programming, we expanded our “lunch at the library” service from two to five branches, distributing a combined 13,813 meals to those in need in our community. Last, and certainly not least, we launched the “Solano Reads” initiative program in January 2022. As of October 1, 2022, users of all ages have read a collective 2,812,130 minutes.
ADMINISTERING MULTIPLE ELECTIONS CYCLES
The Solano County Registrar of Voters (ROV) successfully administered three elections during the 2022 election cycle, including the unscheduled April 5, 2022 Assembly District Vacancy Election, as well as the scheduled June 7, 2022 Primary and November 8, 2022 Gubernatorial General Elections. The 2022 elections were the first to implement new district boundaries based on the redistricting that occurred after the 2020 Census. The ROV adjusted district boundaries for 56 different election districts prior to their participation in the 2022 elections. In addtion to hosting mail-in and several drop-off voting locations, the ROV also continues to support traditional election day polling places, serving in-person voters at locations around the County. For more information, including registering to vote, polling place lookup, volunteering to become a poll worker and signing up for text alerts, visit the ROV website at www.SolanoCounty.com/Elections.
EMERGENCY RELIEF FOR RANCHERS AND FARMERS
The Solano County Department of Agriculture works to protect farmers and ranchers in our community, including in 2022 when they endured multiple weather-related challenges like freezing temperatures, searing heat, and a third year of extreme drought. In late February, during the peak of the annual almond bloom, fruit and nut growers were beset with three nights of freezing temperatures that decimated developing crops. In cooperation with affected growers, the department assessed resulting almond, olive, apricot and cherry crop losses at over $52 million. Based on these findings, the Ag. Commissioner submitted a disaster designation request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In July, USDA Secretary Vilsack granted the request declaring Solano County a natural disaster opening emergency relief programs to affected growers.
CREATE NEW HOUSING, PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT
The Department of Resource Management, Planning division, received Board approval in October of two Middle Green Valley Tentative Subdivision maps, which together will serve as a significant milestone in the implementation of the Middle Green Valley Specific Plan. This unique development project proposes to create much needed housing in the county, including 322 new residential units in the unincorporated area, while setting aside 1,500 acres of open space and agricultural land, some in permanently preserved conservation easements. The comprehensively planned, high quality, communities created by these maps will honor and protect the ongoing agricultural activities, viewsheds, wildlife habitat and rural feel of the area and serve as a model for urban-agricultural interface development.
ENHANCING THE WELL-BEING OF CHILDREN
In 2022, the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) provided services to nearly 14,000 families and collected and distributed more than $39 million in child support. In addition to financial support, DCSS established orders for parentage, child and medical support on 95 percent of its cases - a significant accomplishment for the department and their clients. The mission and vision for Solano DCSS remains consistent with the services we provide by promoting parental responsibility to enhance the well-being of children by providing child support services to establish parentage and collect child support through innovative, world class service.
HELPING CLIENTS REMOVE BARRIERS, ACCESS SERVICES
The Solano County Probation Department is staffed with individuals who are dedicated to helping clients bridge resources and remove barriers when it comes to preparing for their future beyond Probation. Probation clients who are focused on making a better path for themselves often struggle to find employment due to barriers such as homelessness, transportation, literacy, driver license restrictions, and childcare issues. In 2022, the Probation Department’s Resource and Barrier Removal Unit (R&BR) addressed that need with dedicated staff to support system navigation and quicker access to services proven to increase positive outcomes and reduce the high costs of recidivism.
BOARD ADOPTS A BALANCED BUDGET
On June 23, 2022, the Board of Supervisors adopted a comprehensive and balanced budget of more than $1.43 billion 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.
BOARD ALLOCATES FUNDS TO AID IN COVID RECOVERY
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law. The bill contained a total of $1.9 trillion in funding to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and assist in the recovery efforts, including $86.9 million of direct funding to Solano County. In 2022, the Board of Supervisors allocated funds to a wide variety of projects including low income housing, emergency food, workforce training, support for small businesses, children and youth, behavioral health, electronic health records, water infrastructure, broadband, parks, and employee retention and recognition.
POPULAR ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT
The Auditor-Controller’s Office issued a Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021. The PAFR is also known as the Citizen’s Report and focuses on the financial results of the County in a condensed, easily understandable format for those without a background in public finance. The source of the data is the County’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and the PAFR is intended to complement the CAFR. The Auditor-Controller’s Office has submitted the PAFR to the Government Finance Officers Association for consideration of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Financial Reporting.
GOVERNMENT FINANCE OFFICERS ASSOCIATION AWARD
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, 2021. This award is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting. The attainment of this award represents a significant accomplishment by the County, the Auditor’s Office and all County Management.
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, 2021. 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 such as timely submission of the report and county budget, proper classification of revenue and expenditure data, and complete and proper reporting of outstanding debt. The information is used by the State Controller to publish accurate and useful local government financial data in the Counties Annual Report. Policymakers and other interested parties throughout California rely on the quality of the uniformly reported information.