There’s a dust-up over crime in the 3rd District Board of Supervisors race, a dust-up that centers on recent crime. Crime that is in Fairfield. It’s a serious issue that must be resolved by the city, not the county.
Fighting crime is certainly an important part of what any local government does. For Solano County, that includes funding the Sheriff’s Office and probation operations; staffing and expanding the jail; financing prosecutions and providing defense lawyers for those who cannot afford them; offering various social services to those who need them; and working collaboratively with allied governments, across jurisdictional boundaries when necessary.
This county does all of that, arguably with less vigor in the wake of the Great Recession. But this county avoided the financial calamity wrought by the recession in other cities and counties because it had millions of dollars set aside for just such circumstances.
Such a rainy-day fund is a talking point among legislators in the Capitol now that the state’s financial picture has improved.
But a county must have more than a single focus. The needs of Solano’s nearly 425,000 residents are as varied as the people who live here – one of the most diverse counties in the country according to Randy Olson, a Ph.D. student in Michigan State University’s Computer Science program, who last month mapped out the nation’s racial diversity county by county using U.S. census data and found that Solano is No. 5 on the list of most-diverse counties in the nation.
A county must support educational opportunities for all children; support crime victims and their families; and bring jobs to the area.
In Solano’s case, the county must fight for its share of regional transportation dollars to keep both people and merchandise moving along our highways, rail lines and waterways. It must work to protect our area’s most-vital employer, Travis Air Force Base, while also supporting a thriving agricultural economy and the water upon which agricultural and other industrial enterprises thrive, and balancing those needs against those of a burgeoning green-energy sector.
Jim Spering has a hand in all of this and more.
Solano County is poised to turn a corner. The most-telling sign of this is the revised structural deficit in the county’s general fund. Solano County began the fiscal year with a projected general fund deficit of $14.7 million. The midyear budget report in February put the structural deficit at $9.8 million. It sits as $2.9 million as of Tuesday.
Another sign: The unemployment numbers released Friday, which show Solano County at 7 percent unemployment. It’s not the 5 percent rate prior to the recession, but it’s a far cry from the double-digit unemployment that was common at the height and immediate aftermath of the recession.
Spering came to the Board of Supervisors during good times – times when county leaders were banking cash against some future need. That need came with the recession. Spering has seen the county through that recession, and while we are not yet experiencing our former good times, things are looking up.
All on Spering’s watch.
Yes, things are better than they were even two years ago, but there’s work to be done to get us back to where we were and to improve from there. Spering can help take us there.
Vote Jim Spering when you cast your ballot in the June 3 election.