Mayor's Message

September 28, 2020

Dear Vallejo,
I’ve been receiving calls and emails from residents about the trash and litter around our community. Yes, I see it, and I’m not ignoring it.
I am thankful to all the groups that have taken time out of their busy Saturdays to pick up trash around town. I know how frustrating it is to look at it and to see it accumulate. Unfortunately, we have only two groundskeepers that police our streets, picking up garbage. On homeless cleanup days, which is once a month, we have three more that help.
Last quarter, the crews picked up close to 290,000 lbs. of refuse, that's nearly 145 tons. That’s all within a three month time period! It is amazing that so many people feel they are entitled to dump, throw out, or litter our streets.
Our Volunteer Coordinator, Shelee Loughmiller has been coordinating volunteers for trash pickup. If you want to get involved, please contact Shelee via email at Shelee.Loughmiller@CityofVallejo.net. Thank you to all of you that care about Vallejo and our image. It’s heartbreaking to see what inconsiderate and entitled people do to our beloved Vallejo.
And it might be last in this message, but surely it's one of the first things on my mind, our neighbors to the Northwest who are suffering through yet another devastating fire. Our hearts go out to them during this very scary time. Five of Vallejo's firefighters have been deployed today to the Glass Fire burning in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Please pray or send good thoughts that everyone, residents, and firefighters alike, stay safe through this event.
Sincerely, Your Mayor, Bob SampayanDear Vallejo,

  
 

Mayor's Message - August 20, 2020

Dear Fellow Vallejoans,

 

Sadly, fires are still burning throughout Solano and the surrounding counties. Vallejo Police and Fire personnel were deployed to help out our sister cities to evacuate their residents and fight the fire. All of our surrounding agencies’ resources have been stretched thin and I was thankful to hear Governor Newsom’s announcement today that he has activated the National Guard. While we have personnel assisting outside Vallejo, I want to assure you all that our stations in Vallejo are staffed and ready to respond to anything in our City as well. For more information on the LNU Lightning Complex Fire Incident, you can visit Solano County’s Incident Page or the CalFire Incident Page for more info.

 

Residents who are looking for an opportunity to volunteer at the Solano County Fairgrounds which is being used as the large animal evacuation center, are encouraged to call Solano County @ 707-784-1635.

 

Due to the fires burning all around us, the air quality is very poor right now. I would encourage you to stay indoors if possible and if you can't stay inside, please be sure to wear a mask or some type of face-covering. This should be second-nature for us given that we have been required to wear masks for quite some time now. If you are curious about the air quality, visit the AirNow.gov page for the latest information.

 

Lastly, as if 2020 hasn’t dealt us enough, we are also in an unprecedented heatwave that looks as though it will be continuing for a few more days. This brings on an entirely different concern, rolling blackouts. The California ISO (CAISO) has asked residents to be mindful of their electrical usage. You can sign up for CAISO flex alerts and updates HERE. PG&E also has a webpage HERE that you can visit where you can find information and updates on outages.  

 

Be safe, Vallejo!

 

Your Mayor,

Bob Sampayan


Mayor's Message - August 27, 2020

August 27, 2020

Hello Vallejo,

The last six months have posed some severe challenges to our community. From COVID 19 to economic hardship for our residents, businesses, and city government, to a spike in crime. It is the latter I wish to write about. As of today, our homicide rate is at an alarming 19. Shootings are on the rise, as are auto thefts. I have received many messages voicing your concerns about crime. Residents of our city are afraid; and as your Mayor, I hear the concerns, your heartbreak, and fears. I have taken your comments directly to the City Manager, Greg Nyhoff, and Police Chief Shawny Williams, demanding that we take back our city. I suggested that we enlist the help of the California Highway Patrol as we did in the mid-1990s where they augmented our patrol staffing with eight officers patrolling some of the more challenging areas of Vallejo. That program, Operation Safe-Streets, was a success with a large reduction in crime, firearms were taken off the street, many stolen vehicles were recovered and perpetrators sentenced to jail.

Chief Williams has agreed to this strategy and has written to the CHP Commissioner as well as the Area Commander, asking for help. He and Assistant Chief Allio have also asked for the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force and the ATF for assistance. FBI has committed resources to us.

This is all part of a larger project to reduce crime in Vallejo. You can read more about Operation PEACE Project and the plan of action to decrease crime in our city by clicking HERE for more information.

Lastly, I am excited to share the news about our COPS Hiring Program grant award!

This grant award will allow for eight new sworn positions in VPD. VPD plans to increase their number of detectives, expand their Crime Reduction Team, address quality of life concerns many in our community have, and reduce the growing gun violence. The COPS grant is a win-win for the City of Vallejo.

As always, I wish you all well.

Your Mayor,
Bob Sampayan

#Togetherwecan #VallejoStrong #VallejoProud

Mayor's Message - September 14, 2020

Hello Vallejo,
I’ve been receiving a lot of calls and emails regarding “First Responder Fees”. I’d like to address our community’s concerns about these fees.
On May 9, 2017, the First Responder Fees were brought to Council by Former Vallejo Fire Chief, Jack MacArthur, as a way of recovering expenses of our paramedic services. The Council unanimously voted to approve the fee. There are a lot of medical supplies that are used on paramedic calls, and most of the cost was borne by the City. Under Section 13916 of the California Health and Safety Code, First Responder fees can be recovered. The fees go towards the replacement of supplies and enhance the services the fire department provides. The use of property taxes is designed to fund fire suppression and basic medical care only. However, communities have come to expect and receive advanced levels of paramedic care, and it is an essential public service.
Vallejo was the only city in Solano County that did not impose a first responders fee. During the 2017 Council meeting, I also learned that we were one of the few municipalities in the state that did not charge.
That said, the letter our residents who received care, was poorly crafted. I want to express that the letter IS NOT a bill. It was merely a courtesy notice of charges, intended to be billed to and paid for by your health insurance provider. Several council members and I have asked that the letter be re-written to clearly indicate that it is only a courtesy notice and that the actual bill was sent to their insurance carrier. The current Fire Chief, Chief Arbuthnott, has made it clear that the City IS NOT sending non-payment of these First Responder Fees to collections. Therefore, those that do not have health insurance are not expected to pay the fee unless they are able to.
Cost recovery is vital to providing quality service to our community. It allows us to provide rapid access to advanced life support services that are only attainable in an EMS system that staffs paramedics on both ambulances and fire engines.
I hope this clears up the misunderstanding.
Stay well and healthy!
Your Mayor, Bob Sampayan


Mayor's Message - September 21, 2020

I have great news!

 

Operation P.E.A.C.E. has proven to be highly successful in its first couple of weeks. Since the Operation's launch on September 10th, the Vallejo Police Department’s Crime Reduction Team and Operation P.E.A.C.E. task force officers have seized ten handguns, one assault rifle, three extended magazines, and three pistol drum magazines. Officers were also successful in making arrests of nine individuals who were associated with these illegal weapons. Today, the VPD PIO shared that the U.S. Attorney and District Attorney are part of the state, federal and local partnerships for the Operation. The criminal cases will be reviewed by their offices on a case-by-case basis to determine if charges will be assessed at the state or federal level. I am nothing but impressed with the progress this Operation has made in making Vallejo's streets safe again for our residents. If you are interested in reading the VPD press releases about the weapons seizures and arrests, click here.

 

Returning to the conversation about the Fire Department and last week’s message about the First Responders Fee, Fire Chief Arbuthnott shared with me today that "the Department has directed Wittman Enterprises to suspend the First Responder Fee program until further notice. The Fire Department will be working with City leadership and Wittman to determine the next steps forward." As I mentioned in last week's message, these mailings were never intended to be bills to our residents, but merely serve as a courtesy notice to those who received emergency medical care that their insurance carrier would be billed for the services rendered. We never expected our residents to pay this fee. When the program is instituted again, we will make sure that these courtesy notices are very clear for our residents to understand. I can also assure you that the program's re-activation will be clearly communicated from the Fire Department and the City before anyone receives a courtesy notice in their mailbox.

 

Lastly, I want to give a HUGE thanks to Shelee Loughmiller, Vallejo's Community and Volunteer Coordinator, for organizing the Give Litter the Boot Project. Shelee has organized various groups, which include the Coastal Clean-up North Bay Ploggers, the Vallejo Rotary Club, and the Vallejo Street Stewards. Together with a dedicated Public Works Employee and the City's clean-up tool trailer, volunteers will work to keep the streets of Vallejo litter-free and beautiful for all to enjoy. The clean-up events will occur on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays, September through February 2021, from 9 AM – 12 PM. If you're interested in volunteering for one, or more of these clean-up events, visit Give Litter The Boot interest page here!

 

I hope this week's message left you feeling encouraged and hopeful as we move into better days here in Vallejo.

 

Sincerely,

Your Mayor, Bob Sampayan