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Tapac Chastain worked for the city of Vacaville in various departments for nearly 30 years and became attuned to all sorts of issues facing the city.
These are the issues the city continues to face, and Chastain hopes to address them — along with new issues that have come up since his retirement — by running for the Vacaville City Council in District 6.
What he feels the city needs is a new approach.
“I have experience working with the government, working with the city of Vacaville, and I have experience with what’s going on,” he said. “What’s taking place, I don’t agree with and I think I can do a better job.”
Chastain feels the City Council and city staff have become “increasingly reactive and less proactive.”
“We are experiencing substandard street maintenance, suspension of fire and paramedic services, failure to support businesses during the pandemic and beyond in the most basic ways, and ball fields in District 6 without the lighting they were promised and paid for nearly a decade ago,” he said. “All of this at a cost to our community financially and trust in leadership.”
Chastain is also disappointed by the council’s decision to not continue offering a remote option for city meetings, like it did at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked to a council member about it.
“They responded (that) meetings would once again be overran and overwhelmed with participation,” he said. “Limiting people’s participation is not OK.”
Another concern of Chastain’s is the city assessing special fees and additional taxes “while dragging their feet on other revenue-generating opportunities.”
“To me, this seems absurd,” he said. “I offer the Vacaville community solutions that will save money and fully utilize the resources and services we already pay for.”
Chastain is a lifelong Solano County resident who graduated from Fairfield High School and later received an associate’s degree in science, electronics and computer engineering from Heald College in San Francisco. He worked for the city of Vacaville for 29 years in the water, street, traffic safety, sewer and information technology divisions before retiring in 2018. His wife, Jennifer, is retired from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, and his son, Wil, is a graduate of Vanden High School.
Chastain previously ran for the City Council seat in 2020, ultimately placing fourth. Many of the issues he ran on in that campaign are issues he is running on in 2022.
“The last time I ran in 2020, I warned that we were gonna be facing floods in the next three to five years,” he said. “Here we are, this year they say is the year there’s gonna be flooding. Almost all Vacaville floodwater is funneled in and funneled out towards the Wastewater Treatment plant. That project hasn’t been overseen or maintained since it was conceived and put in, so it’s gonna be the one bottleneck where the water goes to.”
Another issue Chastain hopes to address is support for the city’s fire and paramedic services, something he feels the city is not currently providing.
“They’re reaching catastrophic levels where they’re not going to be able to sustain services that they have coming to us for staffing, so they’re working way, way too much overtime and they’re having issues with hiring,” he said.
Chastain also feels not enough infrastructure is being built to keep up with the pace in which houses are being constructed. He cited the condition of Vanden Road, which is located near a lot of infill developments, as an example.
“There’s one piece of property that separates Fairfield from Vacaville housing developments, but there’s a large stretch of road that is built there and is being used as a major thoroughfare for people to get from the Bay Area to their new homes in Vacaville, but it’s dangerous,” he said. “It’s a great example of where housing is built without being able to support the kind of vehicle traffic that is traveling along there.”
Chastain feels infrastructure to support new homes should be built before those homes.
Additionally, Chastain wants Measure M money to go only toward what voters approved it for.
“We had three (movie nights) at Walter Graham Aquatic center that were being paid for with Measure M money that’s supposed to be going for fixing roads and making sure that we’re adding staff for fire and police and paramedics,” he said. “That’s not happening.”
Chastain also wants more collaboration between the city and Travis Unified School District, which has two elementary schools located in Vacaville. One of these, Cambridge Elementary School, he said is overpopulated because of the amount of homes being built in the Cambridge attendance area.
“That whole school’s been put on the back burner, and instead they’re continuing on with building in that area and they’re offering those houses as family houses,” he said. “We’re putting the cart before the horse.”
Chastain believes he would bring not only local government experience but also “responsible spending of people’s money.”
“I believe that I would bring a level of cohesion and communication that we don’t already have between the city staff and City Council,” he said.
More information on Chastain’s campaign can be found at Facebook.com/TapacChastaincitycouncil2022-110458371700291.
District 6 is located at the southeastern end of Vacaville between Leisure Town and Peabody roads and bordered by Alamo Drive to the north. A full map can be viewed at Ci.vacaville.ca.us/government/police-department/vvpd-district-commanders/district-6.
The other candidates in the District 6 race are former Councilman Raymond Beaty, business coach Jennifer House and incumbent Councilwoman Jeanette Wylie.
The election is Nov. 8.
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