Supervisor launches re-election campaign
Linda Seifert: ‘I’ve done what I said I would’
By Donna Beth Weilenman
Solano County District 2 Supervisor Linda Seifert has announced her intentions to run for re-election next year.
In addition to Benicia, Seifert’s district covers Cordelia, Green Valley and parts of Vallejo, Fairfield and Suisun.
Seifert is completing her first term on the Solano Board of Supervisors, having been elected in June 2008 for a term that started the first of 2009.
“I was elected in a prosperous economy, but I was sworn in in a declining economy that was drastically different,” she said.
Over the past three years, Seifert said, as the county’s financial picture worsened she has been faced with difficult decisions.
“Managing the struggling economy has been a considerable challenge,” she said.
To approach that task, she said, “I supported thoughtful reductions to the county budget.” That budget has had to be cut by 25 percent during her term.
She has advocated streamlining county government to reduce waste. At the same time, she has supported an effort to increase the number of jobs in the area by promoting preference for local companies and vendors — in her words, “to keep the economy going in struggling times,” she said.
Seifert also has voted to reduce government officials’ salaries, and has cut her own pay.
In the midst of addressing the county’s economic difficulties, she said, she also has sought to keep the promises she made while campaigning four years ago.
She found funds for public safety programs, strengthened children’s services, raised money to renovate veterans’ halls in both Benicia and Vallejo, and secured funding for the Benicia Community Action Council so it could expand its senior lunch services.
“I’ve done what I said I would do — be the supervisor out there working for the community,” she said. “In that regard, I did that every day. I’ve worked for the district I represent and the county as a whole.”
One issue before the county is Solano 360, a program that since 2009 has sought to bring new development to the Solano County Fairgrounds. The master plan is still in the discussion stage, with suggestions ranging from retail anchors to hotels to a youth sports complex to additional entertainment attractions.
The county is looking at ways “to create an exciting plan to support the economy,” she said, especially since the state has cut its support of fairs, and the county’s fair no longer offers horse racing and has trimmed its fair time to a week.
Another issue for the county is the state’s Public Safety Realignment Plan that became effective Oct. 1 and that contracts with counties to handle state prisoners released to probation under the county sheriff’s department. The state is paying $7,800 for each inmate’s probation, court, health, social and legal costs, expenses that in past would cost the state $47,000 or more annually for each inmate.
The plan is the state’s attempt to comply with the U. S. Supreme Court’s deadline of May 24, 2013, to lower the population in California’s 33 state prisons to 137.5 percent of design capacity. State officials have said the plan will reduce recidivism and cut waste, but many counties worry that the changes will mean more expenses for local governments.
She has supported transportation improvements, including the Suisun Parkway, the first major roadway project in the county in more than 30 years, among other roadway improvements.
Seifert also has been involved in children’s health and social services, particularly First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission that creates programs and collaborates with other local agencies to improve the lives of young children and their families. She is that commission’s vice chairperson.
She also is vice chair of Solano Land Trust Board of Directors and the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Board, and chair of the Law and Justice Committee, the Solid Waste Independent Hearing Panel and the Tri-City and County Cooperative Planning Group. She sits on numerous boards, commissions and committees and is a member of Benicia League of Women Voters and Benicia Historical Society.
Despite the difficulties of the position, Seifert said, she is seeking re-election because “in challenging times, you need thoughtful leaders who consider the needs of the business community and individual citizens, and balance those respective needs.
“I consider myself a thoughtful person who can balance these concerns,” she said. “I have always conducted myself in a thoughtful and transparent way.”
Seifert’s re-election campaign formally launches at her birthday celebration Nov. 17, from 6-8 p.m. at the home of Barbara Lane, 1879 Rockville Road, Green Valley. Tickets are $100 per person, $150 per couple; sponsorships range from $250 to $1,000.
Her re-election website is seifertforsupervisor.com.