Public safety is one of the most important and impactful responsibilities of local government. Here in Vacaville we have enjoyed some of the most responsive and innovative approaches to police and fire safety as well as emergency medical services (EMS). Most are unaware of the details, but truly appreciate being safe and secure in their homes, businesses, schools, and personal way of life. We should all be proud of the work of our police and fire departments, yet concerned that we may fall behind due to the difficulties in staffing, recruitment, and hiring. Carli knows how to address these priorities, and several others that impact public safety, to ensure we can continue to provide these excellent resources for the future.
While there are many areas to focus resources and funding, public safety is the top priority within our community. This is more complex than simply funding police, fire, and emergency medical services personnel, which is necessary given the projected business and population growth in the next 3 years, and the significant decline in staffing and recruiting in public safety. This must be understood in context to other citywide goals, which include strengthening our local economy and protecting our quality of life. City government provides the majority of services through its employees spread throughout its many departments. As these service demands increase, John will ensure the city has the professional personnel and resources to meet these needs.
Individuals experiencing homelessness and subsequent encampments that create unhealthy conditions is a public health crisis. Our community is very generous, but requires effective coordination and a collective response to solve this significant problem. This response creates a daily impact on city resources. Many services are funded through Solano County Health and Human Services, but the impact in our community requires local Police, Fire, Public Works and Code Enforcement services depending on the immediate circumstances. These services provided here in Vacaville require a personalized approach to helping individuals in need, which is why Carli created the Community Response Unit (CRU) using Federal COPS funding, focusing on quality of life and homeless issues. John chaired the Vacaville Homeless Roundtable for seven years, which was formed to address these issues by bringing committed stakeholders together. Carli’s creative approach to reducing homelessness in Vacaville was highlighted during a national town hall meeting by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), focusing on the national response to homelessness.
In early 2020, Carli participated in a policy discussion in Washington D.C., sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and facilitated by the RAND Corporation. The objective of convening nationwide subject matter experts and researchers was to discuss current law enforcement responses to homelessness and identify the highest priority needs for support and improvement of existing efforts. John understands these issues and has the experienced needed to help solve these difficult issues.
The current national model of Housing First, while helpful, has created unintended consequences locally as homeless shelters such as The Opportunity House do not receive federal funding as their extended program is not an overnight shelter and requires its tenants to abstain from substance abuse upon entry.
The City of Vacaville Housing Department is funded through federal and state sources. Staff currently provide up to 1300 housing vouchers to assist low income residents who are often on fixed incomes and at risk of becoming homeless without assistance. While these programs exist independent of the City General Fund, the authority rests with the City Council to ensure resources are managed properly. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are also available to provide resources within the community and designed to support at-risk individuals and groups.
As mayor, Carli will continue to advocate for individuals who are at risk and those who are precariously housed. His experience working within our city has given him the insight and perspective to balance these needs with the interests of the rest of our community.
There has been significant scrutiny over police response to mental health calls for service, with demands for reform to improve interactions between the police and individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. For so long the police have been primary responders, having been given lawful authority and responsibility to take persons in crisis into protective custody at a moment requiring immediate intervention. In general our healthcare system lacked a prevention layer for so many people, resulting in a 911 call for those seeking help. Most of the time the outcome is resolved and immediate help is provided. Police officers in Vacaville are highly trained to interact in these difficult moments, however, there is a growing awareness that this public health issue is better addressed with an alternative response using mental health clinicians instead of police officers, to avoid injuries and in rare incidents deadly outcomes. Often, these individuals lack the ability to act rationally, and too often become combative towards first responders who were called to help.
Carli’s experience and leadership as chief expanded the unique clinical services being provided in Vacaville into an entire Division of mental health clinicians including preventive support services for local residents. As a teaching agency, post-graduate interns are placed into service providing assistance to youth, families, and schools. Vacaville’s Family Resource Center (FRC) has been a proven model and example of prevention and intervention for such challenges.
Carli understands the complexity and his leadership was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Solano County Mobile Crisis “alternative response system.” It’s countywide implementation is now underway, reducing the incidents where police officers respond to mental health calls. As mayor, John will continue advocating for the advancement of this alternative response and secure funding to provide the resources necessary to create a more robust prevention and support layer.
The threat of wildfires are very real and concerning to our community. We are fortunate to have a very proactive Code Enforcement Division within our Fire Department, actively working to ensure structures are appropriately equipped and open spaces are defensible and abated to prevent catastrophic destruction by wildfire events. In 2020 Vacaville experienced the most destructive fire in recent history. The LNU Fire was devastating and even fatal for some. This fire is a reminder of the vigilance we must undertake to ensure our safety. As tragic as this was for so many who live in and around Vacaville, it was a reminder of outstanding response that prevented a single structure from burning within our City. Our emergency response, was the outcome of strategic investments into equipment, training, and emergency response planning. Carli has emergency response experience and was actively involved in leading our public safety efforts in the response to these emergencies, and understands the issues as we continue to be prepared for the future.
Vacaville has experienced its share of financial challenges during times of economic downturn. After the Great Recession, hard decisions were made, which required long-term planning and recovery measures to restore fiscal health. Carli was instrumental in positioning the police department to withstand these difficult times, and as chief of police, directed the recovery of the police department while ensuring the safety, security, and quality of life for residents, businesses, and visitors were effectively provided.
While Vacaville is now experiencing positive growth, and optimistic revenue projections, It is important to understand the history of Measure M, a local sales tax increase presented to the voters in 2016, during a time of actual and projected deficit spending from the General Fund. Our community was surveyed in order to identify the priorities of the revenue measure extension and increase, which subsequently passed. As the City made strategic decisions with policy, projects, and people (employees), many of the identified survey priorities have been partially or fully funded. Measure M, has been used in keeping our city safe, beautifying our parks, and maintaining our streets. These should remain the priority as the local tax measure was intended. Carli has experience with local financial issues and the needed leadership to make sound fiscal decisions for the future of Vacaville.
Our local economy thrives on small businesses, which create the unique experience we love about our city. It is important that our government is efficient and effective in providing the services needed to make this happen. As mayor, Carli will ensure that our downtown Business Improvement District helps create opportunities that bring the Vacaville experience we all want, and that our economic development strategy embraces the true value of local businesses throughout Vacaville.
Our city has grown over the years and there is tremendous opportunity to become a world-class center for several industries. As we move into an expanding phase of biotech hub development with national and international implications, there is a need to carefully plan for supportive business space, workforce development, and housing. John has dedicated his professional life here in Vacaville, serving in a public safety leadership role, which is aligned with the interests of economic development. He believes the future of a sustainable city rests on industry sectors and job creation that build a robust economy, which appropriately funds the needs and interests of local government.
Quality of life is often the reason why we choose to live in one community over another. The values, interests, and services all create the environment that defines our city. The culmination of housing, business, employment, retail, tourism, entertainment, activities, and industry, all come together to create a living condition that we desire. Vacaville is special, a feeling that we must protect, requiring planning and resources. Carli believes as do so many others this “place of peace” must be preserved, and is dedicated to protecting the remarkable values that we share.
One of our greatest asset to a healthy community is our social and sports activities coordinated by our Parks and recreation Department. From our seniors to our youth, Vacaville standers out among cities with a broad range of activities and programs that help our community thrive. As part of the General Plan, neighborhood parks and other city recreational facilities have played an important role in our health and wellness. There have been several opportunities to create additional recreational space to support the demand for sports fields and competition leagues. As mayor, Carli will support the expansion of our program capacity and recreational facilities that will help our community thrive.
Our neighborhood developments frame macro communities within Vacaville. As a city now represented in districts, we must not lose our connection from one neighborhood to another. Individual and family needs and values shape most of our neighborhoods, parks, streets, and schools in any given district. We can’t forget we are one city, with many needs that are uniquely different but inseparable. There is a vast need to ensure both affordability and variety in our housing market. Our Planning Commission has the vital oversight role of reviewing and vetting projects coming before the a city Council for approval. Our General Plan outlines a comprehensive guidance for future growth, infill, and residential development. As Mayor, Carli will balance these interests to ensure that we are inclusive and supportive in how our city grows and the various residential and housing needs are met.
The residents of Leisure Town have experienced a significant upheaval in this beautiful area of our city. The recent change in development is personal and requires thoughtful input and careful planning to adapt to these changes. John has family who lives in this neighborhood and have a personal interest in making sure what is best for all who call this area home. With additional residential growth and business expansion planned in this area, it is important to consider quality of life issues and traffic implications. John is committed to ensuring the values and needs of residents in this part of our community are represented and valued.
Vacaville has been instrumental to the biotech industry for many years, and is now positioned to be a world-class leader as the city has been recognized as a future industry hub. It is important that there is coordinated planning and marketing to ensure this vision becomes a reality, creating an economic boom and high paying jobs within our community. The financial implications are significant, and require leadership and Vision. Carli is a proven leader who understands the value and impact of these opportunities and will ensure that Vacaville becomes the biotech industry leader nationally.
Our city has wrestled with the development of Lower Lagoon Valley, with strong advocacy to preserve open space, wildlife, and our Lagoon Valley Park. With many hurdles to overcome and infrastructure required for development, this longstanding project is in full swing. With so much invested and legitimate concerns raised over its viability and sustainability, Carli is committed to working with developers and businesses to ensure Lower Lagoon Valley exceeds the expectations of all stakeholders, to include necessary resources to support the required city services. Additionally, John will work closely on this project through its completion to ensure the environment and wildlife are protected and enjoyed by all.
Our city has a rich history and downtown Vacaville is a special place with so much opportunity. Many residents and visitors frequent the businesses and restaurants that create the downtown draw. It is the community’s intent to reestablish Downtown as the heart of the city, a lively place that offers residents and visitors an urban experience that is authentically Vacaville. the City of Vacaville has established the Downtown Vacaville Specific Plan, which provides a detailed roadmap to accomplish this vision over the next 10-25 years.
Currently, the Downtown Vacaville Business Improvement District DVBID is partially funded with City resources to assist in the improvement and advancement to help activate downtown and support local businesses. There has been a shared vision by many to create a vibrant destination that includes the redevelopment of East Main Street with additional shops, eateries, and housing that is complimentary to historical downtown. It is time to invest in the completion of this plan, and Carli is prepared to lead this endeavor, completing this vision that will bring significant value to the district and create a thriving downtown experience.
The responsibility to govern requires a thoughtful understanding of local issues with careful insertion of authority over what can be controlled and influenced. State legislation is not always aligned with the needs of our community. Local policies and ordinances reflect the interests and values here in Vacaville. Collaboration with community organizations, non-profits, and regional partners brings real solutions to local issues. Carli has demonstrated his ability to forge these relationships, create unity, and solve real problems within our city, and beyond.
John appreciates and understands the requirement of local government to protect community interests within its control, safeguarding business rights and individual freedoms. As a former chief of police in Vacaville, he was responsible for addressing sensitive issues, including health orders beyond our local control during the pandemic. John was careful to understand the impact of restrictions placed upon businesses and residents within our community. Under Carli’s leadership, public safety initiatives were implemented to protect our community through very uncertain times.
Our Public Works and Police Departments, along with our contracted bus system have collaboratively worked together to ensure we have efficient and safe transportation within our city. Work commutes, and school transportation are impactful on our local roadway system. Traffic safety is a top priority. Carli’s experience in public safety and years of local government service in developing safety strategies for public transportation make him the ideal candidate to advance these priorities.
Peaceful and Prosperous
Safe and Secure
Vibrant and Active
Inclusive and Connected