2011 Annual Reports

The following items provide a glimpse into the various accomplishments and accolades that the County of Solano has received over the year. Click here for a printable executive summary of the 2011 Annual Report.

To the Citizens of Solano County

Change has been the operative word for Solano County in 2011 and will continue to be the mantra in 2012. There has been changes in leadership, changes in the way services are delivered, and changes in the available financial resources. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to provide the best quality services possible, within the available resources, to ensure the county remains a great place to live, learn, work and play.

Elections, retirements after 20-plus years of service to this county, and new career opportunities resulted in leadership changes of the District Attorney, County Administrator, Chief Probation Officer and the directors of the General Services, UC Cooperative Extension, Veteran Services and Human Resources departments. These new leaders bring a new set of experiences to guide Solano County’s transition to a “new normal.”

Changing how we deliver services goes beyond the dozen automation projects launched or were under way this year, which are making it possible for fewer employees to maximize what can be accomplished. The conversion to electronic health records, the expansion of online and other self-help services, the consolidation of facilities, the regionalization of services and the sharing of back office services all represent fundamental changes in how we do business. Throughout the organization, the status quo is being challenged to find more sustainable ways of meeting the needs of our residents.

For the past few years, the collapse in the housing market and the overall recession have had a profound affect on available financial resources. The new normal is less money for public services, and it will be that way for some time. Solano County reacted by strategically using its reserves as we shrank the organization to a more refined focus on essential services. As we continue to face change and evolve this organization, we remain focused on fulfilling our vision, mission and goals.


Supervisor Michael J. Reagan, Chair

Birgitta E. Corsello, County Administrator


Awards & Recognition


Solano County named 100 Best Communities for record 5th time

Solano County has been named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People by the America’s Promise Alliance — the only California community to earn that distinction in every year of the competition. Solano County’s winning application emphasized the fact that education does not begin or end in the classroom. The District Attorney’s Office represented the fifth local organization to take the lead in the process, highlighting its efforts to reduce truancy as well as the BabyFirst Solano project that gets kids off to healthy start through the Master Plan for College/Career-Ready Graduates initiatives in Vallejo. The 100 Best designation recognizes those communities that make youth a priority by implementing programs that help keep children in school and prepare them for college and the 21st century workforce.

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Solano Grown earns NACo award

A centerpiece of the Solano Grown marking effort – solanogrown.org – earned a 2011 National Association of Counties Achievement Award for its effective and creative solutions. The website provides a hub for local growers to communicate with each other and to market their products to the public. Since its official launch in October 2010, Solano Grown has grown to more than 160 producer members and 70 locovores, which are residents who support the growth of local agriculture. The website project is a partnership of the local growers, the Department of Information Technology, Department of Agriculture and the County Administrator’s Office.

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Money Matters receives CSAC Award

Money Matters — a pioneering financial literacy initiative to help foster youth to be money wise now and as adults — earned a 2011 California State Association of Counties Challenge Award. In related accolades, Linda Orrante, Health and Social Services deputy director for Child Welfare Services, was presented the Deputy Director Award from the California State Foster Parent Association and the J. Paul Coan Award from the Solano County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

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Accolades bring attention to notable work being done by great employees

·         Juvenile Detention Facility Superintendent Richard Watson received the California Association of Probation Institution Administrators 2011 Jerry Darling Award and its Employee of the Year, and Juvenile Detention Facility Supervisor Ann Marie Thomas its Outstanding Supervisor Award (Northern Region). Chief Deputy Probation Officer Donna Robinson received the Employee of the Year honors from the California Association of Probation Services Administrators.

·         Pamela Posehn, Child Support Services director, received a Positive Collaboration Award from the Child Support Directors Association for her role in the production of video to educate incarcerated men about child support and the options available to them.

·         Solano County Bar Association named County Counsel as the 2010 Law Office of the Year — the first time the association bestowed the honor on a public law firm.

·         Solano County’s exhibit at the 2011 California State Fair earned a Gold Award, Best Agricultural Display Award, People’s Choice Award and the Manager’s Award.

·         General Services Purchasing Division received a Merit Award of Appreciation from the U.S. Communities Government Purchasing Alliance for its efforts to reduce the costs of procurements through the aggressive use of competitive cooperative contracts.

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Investing in and for the Future

Summits seeking to spur action

Several summits were held to move the County and its community partners forward on a variety of fronts.

·         Economic Summits: The County released in May an in-depth study of the food chain industry cluster in Solano and Yolo counties, which generates $2.5 billion in economic value. The report was the impetus for the Solano and Yolo Counties Joint Economic Summit in November that sought to expand that economic footprint and add more value to agriculture. An Economic Stimulus Summit in June focused on kick starting the construction industry by examining ways to mitigate real and perceived barriers.

·         Youth Summit: The District Attorney brought together law enforcement, education and government agencies in May to figure out how they could collectively reduce juvenile crime by reducing truancy. The outcome was the creation of a Truancy Court in October.

·         Solano Safety Summits: First 5 Solano took the lead in convening three summits focused on organizing community partners to address short- and long-term strategies to reduce poverty in Solano County.

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Adding center for North County

The County broke ground in June on the two-story William J. Carroll Government Center in Vacaville, which will provide centralized services to North County residents, continuing the County’s efforts to provide quality services in the most efficient manner for residents. The $19.1 million project will provide construction jobs through its opening in the fall of 2012. Afterwards, it will provide residents medical, dental and mental health clinic services and a variety of social services. The project is being built to LEED™ Silver certified standards.

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Expanding dental, medical services

Alterations to the existing Dental Clinic added four more dental chairs, almost doubling the capacity of the clinic. The $1.1 million modernization project improved the effectiveness of dental treatment to accommodate the growing demand for dental services. The addition of vans will bring medical and dental services to needy low-income residents at schools, homeless shelters and transitional housing units as well as in outlying areas that did not previously have ready access, such as Rio Vista and the migrant farm worker camps near Dixon.

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Resourcefulness lands funding

Through the use of innovative leveraging strategy in partnership agreements with the Partnership Healthplan of California, the County was able to obtain $6.5 million in one-time funding to help transition toward mental health and other programs toward more sustainable funding sources. The funding will be used to fund programs that move the Health and Social Services Department toward a new business model for delivery services.

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Youth give back via garden project

New Foundations, a targeted program at the Juvenile Detention Facility, started a garden project in May with help from UC Cooperative Extension volunteer master gardeners and donations from local community agencies. The youth learned how to prepare the ground to create a productive source of fruits and vegetables for use at the facility and for donations to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

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Crews improve safety of rural roads

A mixture of County road crews and contractors improved about 11% of the 585 miles of roads in the unincorporated areas maintained by the County. The investment of over $5 million in federal, state and local dollars resulted in upgrades to the Robinson Road Bridge, safety improvements on Peaceful Glen, Gibson Canyon and Jon roads, and the surface rehabilitation and maintenance of nearly 65 miles of roads.

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Generator enhances emergency prep

Thanks to a $170,000 Department of Homeland Security grant, the County purchased a 125-kilowatt generator for its Fairfield corporation yard that ensures uninterrupted fuel, maintenance and repairs to vehicles during an emergency. During a power outage, the generator supports the operation of a communications control center.

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Community Engagement

Making community connections

In 2011, departments undertook a variety of community outreach efforts to connect the community to the services they offer. Some examples of this outreach include:

·         Child Support Services held a series of lunchtime workshops that gave 62 moms, dads, aunts, uncles and grandparents insight into the child support process.

·         Resource Management took an information show on the road with a series of night meetings for residents in the unincorporated area of the county. About 100 residents learned about the tire amnesty program, used oil recycling, code enforcement, vehicle abatement and building code changes. Representatives from the Sheriff’s Office and local fire districts participated in the community meetings.

·         Agriculture Department held a dozen workshop events on pesticide use, invasive weeds and pest eradication efforts. The UC Cooperative Extension targeted much of its educational outreach efforts to the orchard growers and their pest control advisors.

·         Veteran Services added a monthly newspaper column to inform veterans about key issues affecting them and eligible benefits.

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Changing roles in criminal justice

The way California approaches the rehabilitation of criminal offenders shifted from a focus on long-term housing in state prisons to an array of community-oriented services designed to break the cycle of recidivism. Assembly Bill 109 and related legislation define how this realignment of services and local control will happen. Key to the implementation of this effort is the collaboration of the many community stakeholders that make up the Community Corrections Partnership, including representatives from the Probation (chair), Superior Court of Solano County, District Attorney, Public Defender, Sheriff, Health and Social Services, Workforce Investment Board, Solano County Office of Education, local police departments, Solano County Reentry Council, and other interested community organizations. See www.solanocounty.com/realignment.

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Geek the Library raises awareness

The Library kicked off a community awareness campaign designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries and bring attention to the critical funding issues libraries face. The premise is simple, everyone “geeks” something, and no matter what you are passionate about, no matter what you “geek,” the Library supports you. In one outreach event at Westfield Solano Shoppingtown Library ambassadors discovered what 600 community members geeked. See www.solanolibrary.com.

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Census reshapes district boundaries

Following the completion of the 2010 census the County conducted a series of workshops to engage the community in the discussion of how to realign the supervisorial district boundaries to reflect the changes in population that occurred and are anticipated in the coming decade. The new district boundaries were adopted in August and will be used in the 2012 supervisorial elections. See www.solanocounty.com/redistricting.

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Financial Story

World, national, state and local issues converged

Economic distress, unstable financial markets and the associated fiscal impacts on governments around the world factored into the financial challenges and revenue uncertainty that the County faced in 2011. At the same time the County was dealing with actual and threatened cuts in state and federal funding for programs, the County expanded its role in the rehabilitation of convicted criminal offenders. While the added roles provided some additional revenues, they did not come with any assurances of adequacy or long-term stability. Property taxes — the largest source of local discretionary revenue — continued to be suppressed by the troubled economy. Some potential signs for optimism came with higher-than-budgeted sales tax revenues that help fund public safety programs.

As has been the case for the past three years, the Board adopted a balanced budget in June with the expectation of making additional reductions throughout the year to further align ongoing expenses with ongoing revenues. By December, approximately $4.7 million in reductions were identified — ranging from employees taking on a greater share of the cost of benefits to scaling back programs and levels of service that the community can expect. The budget reduction efforts will continue into 2012 as departments look to find another $9 million in reductions in ongoing expenditures.

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Long-term perspective in viewing ongoing services

Whether looking at cost-saving measures or revenue opportunities, the County’s focus has been on the long-term picture. For example, to reduce its “footprint” and the ongoing associated costs, the County sold some of its surplus buildings and consolidated services into fewer buildings to maintain or lease. Other inward examinations found opportunities to “buy and sell” support services between departments, which expands the capacity of both departments at a lower cost. The County looked outward to partner with Napa and Yolo counties to establish the state’s first regional public health lab.

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Financial reporting continues to get GFOA praise

For the ninth consecutive year, the Government Finance Officers Association awarded the Auditor-Controller’s Office its Certificate of Achievement in Excellence in Financial Reporting for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

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Adopted budget for FY2011/12

The Revenues by Source chart describes the sources of funding used to finance the FY2011/12 budget. The County’s single largest revenue source is intergovernmental revenue from state and federal agencies, which are generally restricted dollars to fund the County’s implementation of their programs. The Discretionary Revenue chart provides information on the use of General Fund dollars to finance County operations, including property taxes and intergovernmental revenue that come to the County without restrictions. The Spending Plan by Function chart shows where the County allocates its budget. Public Protection represents the single largest category of expenditures in both the total budget and Discretionary Spending.

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·         160 children received free dental exams as part of the County’s first Give Kids a Smile event

·         No. 1 medium-sized county in the state for getting CalFresh benefits to needy residents

·         26 seniors were recognized for their contributions as part of the 5th annual Centenarian Day

·         $323,823 in collected restitution payments by District Attorney’s Office

·         More than 200 people took part in a statewide drill that tested the capacity of local hospitals and first responders

·         $37.9 million in child support payments collected by Child Support Services

·         4,500 aviation enthusiasts attended 2nd annual Mustang Days event at the Nut Tree Airport

·         85% of the light equipment vehicle fleet are certified low-emission vehicles

·         39 teen 4-H teachers reached 1,800 youth interested in Science, Technology and Engineering

·         14,250 clients represented by Public & Conflict Defender for felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile cases and conservatorships

·         11,000 more or 26% increase in Partnership HealthPlan of California patients seen by Family Health Services

·         $652,223 in annual savings and additional lease revenue by renegotiating building and other leases

·         4.1 million items were checked out from the eight County libraries

·         11,200 women, infants and children served monthly by Public Health, providing education and assistance for nutritious foods

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