In recent years, Christian Scott has watched the workings of the Vacaville City Council from the sidelines.
What he saw, he said, was not a lot of progress being made on major issues.
“Working outside of the governing body, I saw that there was not a whole lot of meaningful change of the issues I had been working on, like a solution to homelessness in our city and fiscal responsibility with the budget,” he said.
Scott also felt that his district — District 4 — was one of the most neglected in terms of being kept clean as well as having parks and services.
“As I drive through the city, everything looks pretty good until I get to District 4,” he said. “There’s weeds and garbage along the road and dilapidated fencing. The walking path along the creek needs a lot of attention. It’s become a place that’s got 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 effect meaningful change, then I needed to do it from within the system.”
Thus, Scott has pulled papers to run for a seat in Vacaville’s 4th City Council District. With Councilman Nolan Sullivan not running for another term due to his promotion as Yolo County’s Health and Human Services director. So far, Jason Castle and Kristen Navarro have also pulled papers for this seat.
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 as far as getting elected president.
“(We) got through the 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 for the unhoused, something he would want to continue to address as a council member.
“We spent millions of dollars on homelessness, and the only thing that changed is we got more police to police the homeless,” he said. “We didn’t get any sort of solution. I’ve made proposals to the council, but really it seems like it’s been in one ear and out the other.”
Scott began pulling together resources a few years ago and hopes to convert a 90-acre property off Interstate 80 in northwestern Vacaville into an area with tiny houses to provide a small community with produce gardens and livestock to allow residents to become self-sufficient. He said he has also gotten volunteer dentists, barbers and mental health clinicians to provide services.
A similar tiny shelter project was approved by the Solano County Board of Supervisors off Brown Street, but it was met with opposition from residents and the City Council, and the project was scrapped. Scott said this project, if approved, would go outside the city limits and believes it would be beneficial in providing shelter and services.
“If we get this piece of property and we set the tiny houses on it, it’s gonna clean up the downtown business area, it’s gonna clean up the neighborhoods and it’s gonna reduce the homeless population from sources of drugs and alcohol and allow for rehabilitation, education and all of the things that they really need to get the help that they need to become productive citizens,” he said.
Scott also wants the council to take a more conservative approach on budgetary matters.
“I can’t stress enough having fiscal responsibility and transparency with respect to how we’re spending money,” he said.
Scott believes money allocated for 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 influence 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 portions of Peabody Road, Nut Tree Road, Shasta Drive and Tulare Drive. A full 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 have pulled papers, while incumbent Councilwoman Jeanette Wylie has pulled papers to run in District 6. In the latter election, Tapac Chastain and Jennifer House have also pulled papers, while John Carli and Joseph Green has pulled papers to run for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Ron Rowlett has announced that he will not seek re-election.
Incumbent candidates will have until Aug. 12 to declare their candidacies, although non-incumbents may be able to file through Aug. 17. The general election is Nov. 8.
An updated list of candidates will be posted to Ci.vacaville.ca.us/government/city-clerk/general-election-information.