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Solano Voices: Service to Vacaville ‘a life-defining opportunity’

Originally published in The Daily Republic on June 13 2018 By Daily Republic Staff

Political campaigns are kicking off earlier each year. The mail-in ballot, advanced endorsement request and fundraising efforts are forcing candidates to announce earlier in the election cycle.

In this light, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election. It has been an honor and privilege to serve this wonderful community for the past 12 years as a council member and six years prior to that as the chairman of the Community Services Commission.

This has been a difficult decision and I want to thank the community who encouraged me to run for my office or mayor. For me, this decision represents the end of a lifelong dedication to public service. I worked 32 years in the public sector: as a deputy probation officer, division manager and finally as a consultant for Solano County, coordinating city teams for the Alcohol Tobacco and other Drugs Prevention Program. Of all those experiences, this service has been the most rewarding.

I want to thank my wife of nearly 45 years, who supported me. I also want to thank the 2007 City Council that appointed me to a near full term. Finally, I want to recognize the voters who returned me to office in 2010 and 2014. I hope I have earned your support and have exceeded your expectations.

Vacaville is blessed to have fantastic city employees. I want to thank our devoted, dedicated and highly skilled city employees who on a daily basis make this a wonderful place to live, work and play. I have had the opportunity to work with three proficient, competent, skillful city managers: David Van Kirk, Laura Kuhn and Jeremy Craig. This city is in good hands.

I am proud of the accomplishments of our current council. Our council (Steve Hardy) guided this great city through the most significant recession in the history of the United States. We had a 30 percent decreases in revenue, but managed to stay afloat. We have partnered with the local health care providers, Kaiser Permanente and NorthBay Healthcare, to significantly improve the health services to our citizens. The council approved a new General Plan that will guide development for the next 20 years. We approved the Nut Tree Village with Best Buy, providing much-needed sales tax revenue during the Great Recession. We adopted a downtown plan that will define our city in the future. We supported job development with Amazon, Icon. Finally, we supported and passed two sales tax measures.

I challenge the new council to continue to discuss the fiscal realties of municipal government. I had the reputation as the “detail guy – the fiscal conservative.” I stood alone on many issues. I challenge the new council to address the unfunded liability, deficit spending and unsustainable expenses. These are real issues and must be addressed locally. I challenge the new council member to be an independent thinker. It is easy to know when you don’t have the votes and just vote to avoid being singled out. But that is not leadership.

This has been a life-defining opportunity.

Curtis H. Hunt is a member of the Vacaville City Council.