Monday, April 13, 2009

SB 250 -- the Pet Responsibility Act

SB 250 is a bill authored by Sen. Majority Leader Dean Florez that would require Californians to spay and neuter their pets -- or if they choose not to, they'll be required to get a license. Vallejo took in over 4,000 lost and abandoned animals last year. Only 1,000 of them went into homes. The money we spend on sheltering and euthanasia could definitely be better spent in our community. Please help support this bill. Our pets and our taxpayer dollars depend on it. The first vote on SB 250 The Pet Responsibility Act is this Wednesday, April 15 at 11:00 a.m. in the Senate Local Government Committee. Before Wednesday morning, please call the five committee members and ask them to support SB 250. If you can only make one call, please call the Chair, Senator Patricia Wiggins. Senator Patricia Wiggins (Chair) (916) 651-4002 Senator Dave Cox (Vice-Chair) (916) 651-4001 Senator Samuel Aanestad (916) 651-4004 Senator Christine Kehoe (916) 651-4039 Senator Lois Wolk (916) 651-4005

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A Word on Disincorporation

Disincorporation was mentioned briefly at a recent Council meeting. I believe it was put out there more to illustrate how truly serious our budget deficit is right now, than something that is currently being considered. I'm just one of seven Council members, but to me, disincorporation is not an option. Vallejo has too rich a history and too many people who love her to ultimately cede to the County. Last year, bankruptcy was our last and only option to get our fiscal house in order. We need to make that work and get out of it so we as a city can start healing. We have to work together to fix our structural budget deficit and get out of bankruptcy -- the Council, city employees, Vallejo businesses, and Vallejo residents. But before we do that, we have to balance our budget by July 1, and we have a $9 million deficit. We can't keep cutting services to the public to balance the budget. I don't want to lose more police officers or close more fire stations -- we must start cutting our expenditures. We need our employees to take a one-year pay cut, five to 10 percent depending on salary levels. This must be top to bottom. And every employee should pay 25 percent of their health care costs. That's a start that would get us near our goal of a balanced budget on July 1, 2009. That would give us breathing room to resume discussions on how to take the next step, which is solving the structural deficit and getting out of bankruptcy. We'll be talking about the budget again at next week's Council meeting. I certainly hope that everybody is thinking about how they can contribute to Vallejo's recovery. Ideas are definitely welcome, so please e-mail me any suggestions you may have.

City Updates

  • The Fire Department has been meeting with Solano County City Managers and Fire Chiefs regarding preparation of private-public partnership proposals for the Solano County Ambulance Contract.
  • The City Manager has been working with the grant writer to prepare the Fire Department State Stimulus Funding Request.
  • The visioning process for the proposed development of the 152-acre Solano County Fairgrounds site began with the first community workshop in March. The next community workshop is scheduled for April 8 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the first floor of the County Building in Fairfield. There will be one more community workshop in Vallejo (date/time/location TBA). Brooks Street was hired by the County to lead the visioning process.
  • After approving a Use Permit for a bed and breakfast on Mare Island across from Chapel Park, the Planning Commission has requested to review the Use Permit standards for future bed and breakfast establishments.
  • Staff is reviewing plan revisions for proposed commercial development at the former Pontiac/Cadillac site located at Sonoma Blvd. and Yolano Drive, as well as a retail commercial center at Broadway and Mini Drive.
  • The Code Enforcement Division is preparing to conduct citywide proactive vacant property inspections in anticipation of the amended Vacant Building Ordinance.