In recent years, Christian Scott has watched the work of the Vacaville City Council from the sidelines.
What he saw, he said, was not much progress on key issues.
“Working outside of the governing body, I saw that there wasn’t a big meaningful shift in the issues that I had been working on, like solving homelessness in our city and being fiscally responsible with the budget,” he said.
Scott also felt that his district – District 4 – was one of the most neglected in terms of cleanliness, as well as the wealth of parks and services.
“As I’m driving around town, everything looks great until I get to District 4,” he said. “There are weeds and debris along the road and dilapidated fences. The walking path along the stream requires a lot of attention. It’s become a place where there’s a lot of crime and drugs, people using the bathroom there.”
Eventually, Scott said, “It got to a point where I decided, if I was going to make a meaningful difference, then I had to do it from within the system.”
So Scott has withdrawn his papers to run for Vacaville’s 4th District City Council seat. With Councilman Nolan Sullivan not running for another term due to his promotion as director of Yolo County Health and Human Services. So far, Jason Castle and Kristen Navarro have drawn cards for this spot as well.
Scott’s desire to see change goes back to his college days. He said he had some issues he wanted to see his school’s student council address and began serving on the board — even going so far as to elect the president.
“(We) went through tough times and it gave me good experience,” he said.
Scott, 50, is the owner of Advanced Leak Detection Pool & Spa and a pastor with The Mission, a church on Leisure Town Road. It is through his ministerial work that he has become passionate about finding solutions to homelessness, something he would like to continue to address as a council member.
“We’ve spent millions of dollars on the homeless and the only thing that’s changed is that we have more police to control the homeless,” he said. “We have not received any kind of solution. I’ve made proposals to the council but it really seems like it’s been in one ear and out the other.”
Scott began fundraising several years ago and hopes to convert a 90-acre property off Interstate 80 northwest of Vacaville into a tiny house area to provide a small community with produce gardens and livestock to feed. allowed residents to become self-sufficient. He said he has also recruited volunteer dentists, barbers and mental health doctors to provide services.
A similar small housing project was approved by the Solano County Board of Supervisors near Brown Street, but it was met with opposition from residents and the City Council and the project was canceled. Scott said this project, if approved, would go outside the city limits and he believes it would be helpful in providing housing and services.
“If we take this piece of property and put the tiny houses on it, it will clean up the downtown business district, clean up the neighborhoods and reduce the homeless population from drug and alcohol sources and allow for rehabilitation , education and all the things they really need to get the help they need to become productive citizens,” he said.
Scott also wants the council to take a more conservative approach to budget matters.
“I can’t stress enough fiscal responsibility and transparency about how we’re spending the money,” he said.
Scott believes that money allocated to budget items should be spent on those items and not used for other purposes.
“If I can get a seat on the council, I can sit on these committees and affect some change, some transparency, some fiscal responsibility and meaningful change in our community,” he said.
District 4, in the central part of the city, is the smallest district geographically. It is between Alamo Drive and Marshall Road/Hume Way and consists of all or part of Peabody Road, Nut Tree Road, Shasta Drive and Tulare Drive. A complete map of District 4 can be viewed at Ci.vacaville.ca.us/government/police-department/vvpd-district-commanders/district-4?locale=en.
In District 2, incumbent Councilman Greg Ritchie is the only candidate to file, while incumbent Councilwoman Jeanette Wylie has filed to run in District 6. In recent elections, Tapac Chastain and Jennifer House have also filed, while John Carli and Joseph Green have withdrawn their papers to run for mayor. Incumbent Ron Rowlett has announced that he will not seek re-election.
Incumbent candidates will have until August 12 to declare their candidacies, although non-incumbents may be able to file until August 17. The general election is on November 8.
An updated list of candidates will be posted at Ci.vacaville.ca.us/government/city-clerk/general-election-information.