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.
John Vasquez after three terms on the Board of Supervisors still has more he wants to accomplish.
For example, he said he wants to protect Travis Air Force Base in the wake of concerns that have arisen over having utility-scale wind turbines and solar farms in certain parts of the county.
“I’m looking at some type of designation that says, ‘This ground surrounding Travis is really important and we have to make sure it doesn’t impact Travis now and in the future,’ ” Vasquez said.
Now that the county government finances are emerging from the Great Recession, Vasquez wants to put money back into savings for the next rainy day. The county in recent years used savings to avoid making even steeper budget cuts.
“I’ll be criticized for putting aside too much money, you always will be,” Vasquez said.
If the county does otherwise, it will be criticized for spending too much, he said.
He noted the county is looking at a different way of evaluating soils for agriculture. The Land Evaluation Site Assessment system goes beyond the prime and nonprime soil categorizations. It uses numeric evaluation and looks both at soils and such site attributes as social and economic factors to rate the value of farmland.
This rating system will probably come before the Board of Supervisors at some point, Vasquez said.
Vasquez served on the Vacaville City Council from 1980 to 1984 and spent 17 years on the Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery District board. He served as an aide to former Supervisor Bill Carroll before his own election to the post in 2002.
He was born in the long-gone Bunney Hospital that once stood in Fairfield. He worked on his family farm in his youth and in the mid-1970s worked on the Alaska Pipeline. His family started Vasquez Deli in 1976 and Vasquez is a co-owner.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.