VACAVILLE — Four people are competing to serve a redrawn 4th District that still includes much of Vacaville, but now also Dixon.
Whoever is elected will help guide county government at a time when the budget is recovering from the Great Recession. Agricultural interests also loom large in the 4th District, with major crops ranging from tomatoes to walnuts to nursery stock.
Gerald Clift wants to see a Solano County with more supervisors making less money.
Solano County should have seven supervisors instead of five, he said. That would allow them to better represent residents by having fewer people in each district. Each supervisor could make $59,000 annually, instead of $96,000.
That’s in keeping with the work Clift does for the Rescue California Educational Foundation. The foundation advocates having smaller districts for the state Legislature.
“I’m just very concerned about where our state is going, but also the county,” Clift said.
He realizes this vision of having seven supervisors would take some effort, but said it could be attempted. Solano County would have to go from being a general law county to becoming one of the state’s few charter counties. That in turn would take a vote of citizens.
Clift lives in rural Solano County near Vacaville and helps with the family farm, which raises chickens. He said he is running for the Board of Supervisors because he believes that supervisors are disconnected from their constituents.
He disagrees with some projects the county undertook in recent years at a time when it faced budget problems that ended in layoffs.
As one example, he cited the county’s attempt to set up a 311 call center in 2008 to create a “one-stop shop” for county information. The county discontinued the center in early 2010 because of the cost and to free up $1.1 million annually for its recession-battered budget.
Clift also mentioned the county’s $2.3 million remodeling of the old county library in 2010, turning it into the county Events Center.
He disagrees with the county’s push to redevelop the county fairgrounds in Vallejo with both public and private investment. The goal is to create a regional destination used every day of the year.
“I just don’t think it’s the time in our economy to be spending money on it, especially when we could be spending on roads or other county services,” Clift said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.