City of Benicia This Week
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In this edition: Beyond the Blueprint, All Fireworks Illegal in Benicia, New Emergency Water Shortage Ordinance, Eastern Gateway Open House, We're Hiring, Solano Youth Coalition Openings, Grand Jury Openings, Hearing on Refinery Rule, City Employee Spotlight, COVID Assistance
Message from the City Manager
June 21, 2021

Hello Everyone,
I want to start by saying happy belated Father’s Day to all my fellow dads out there. As a father of four, I can say parenting in general has been such a challenge through this pandemic. Doing our best to help our children navigate school, sports, socializing, and just….keeping it together, has been very difficult. And seeing your children struggling is so hard. There is no one right answer in how to go about raising a child during a pandemic, but I’m very proud of our community in their often heartfelt and creative response to this challenge. I’m also very proud of our staff, who have worked throughout this pandemic, trying to insure we could do the very best for our community and our children while preventing the spread of COVID-19. For those parents looking for more for their kids (or even themselves) to do this summer, please check the amazing offerings of our Parks and Community Services Department at And a reminder that, if your teen is struggling and you need help, you can turn to the Kyle Hyland Foundation for Teen Support.
We are also having a series of important community information meetings on two important issues moving forward. One is the Eastern Gateway Project, which will be an in-person outdoor Open House on Tuesday, June 29. The other is the East E Street Parking Lot, where we will hold in-person and remote meetings on Thursday, July 1 and Tuesday, July 6, respectively. See below for more details.
I’d like to close by saying thank you to Shantae in our Finance Department for her amazing customer service, patience and empathy. She recently received this nice commendation from someone moving out of the City, which I though captured how lucky we are to have her as an employee, representing the vision of what we want to be as a City Staff:
I have had the pleasure of speaking with you several times over the last two years and I must thank you for your wonderful upbeat attitude and your professional assistance in various water matters. You are an asset to your company and the Benicia community. I can only pray the new people I must work with, are at least half as efficient and warm hearted as you are.

Thank you for your interest in the City of Benicia This Week!

Erik Upson
City Manager
City News
Beyond the Blueprint
California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy ended on June 15, reopening the state. Restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, and most everyday places reopened as usual with no capacity limits or social distancing required. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has indicated masking guidelines are revised, and face coverings are no longer required for fully vaccinated persons when outdoors or indoors in public spaces except as required by local businesses or Cal/OSHA. Anyone can still wear a mask if they would like, especially around children and others who are vulnerable or not yet eligible for vaccination.

Click here to find more information about living and working beyond the blueprint from Solano County Public Health.
All Fireworks Illegal in Benicia
As the celebration of Independence Day approaches, the Benicia Fire Department reminds everyone of the regulations and dangers associated with the private use of fireworks. Fireworks present a hazard and are highly regulated, therefore, the sale and private use of all fireworks are banned in Benicia, including fireworks that are referred to as “safe and sane.”

Thousands of people are injured each year by fireworks around the 4th of July. Not only do fireworks present a danger of causing physical injuries, they also cause fires. With the devastating destruction of whole neighborhoods due to wildfires caused by errant sparks, and our current drought conditions, the Benicia Fire Department is concerned about the very real threat of open space fires caused by illegal fireworks. For these reasons, ALL fireworks are illegal in Benicia, subjecting the user to arrest and prosecution.
The City’s Parks and Community Services Department is leading an Independence Day Decorating Contest. From now until Tuesday, June 29, stop by Benicia Community Center at 370 East L Street or Benicia Main Street at 90 First Street to pick up a Spirit of Benicia sign and begin decorating for Independence Day. Decorations may by as small or as grand as desired; from homes to front doors to mailboxes, from cars to bikes to trikes, or whole streets and neighborhoods, or simply just the sign itself. 100 prizes of $100 Shop Benicia eGift cards will be awarded in a random drawing on Wednesday, June 30. More information may be found at
New Emergency Water Shortage Ordinance
On May 18, 2021 City Council adopted an ordinance amending the Emergency Water Shortage Stages in Chapter 13.35 of the Benicia Municipal Code. The main changes include increasing the number of stages from five to six to maintain compliance with the State of Calfornia. The table below outlines the new stages, which went into effect June 17, 2021.
As was done in the past, the City is always operating in Stage 1. Stage 1 will be rescinded if and when a more restrictive stage becomes necessary. Click here to review the amended ordinance and see the requirement of Stage 1 Water Alert (up to 10%).

Public Works staff want to take this opportunity to thank our customers for continuing to use water efficiently. Questions and comments may be sent to [email protected].
Eastern Gateway Open House
Those interested in the Easter Gateway Study Area are invited to an Open House on Tuesday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at Benicia Community Center, 370 East L Street. The Study Session will be followed by a Study Session by the Planning Commission on Thursday, July 8 via Zoom. Additional details are available at

East E Street Parking Lot
Next, the City is contemplating the potential future use of the City-owned property located at East E Street and East Second Street. The property, which is vacant, is currently used for downtown parking, particularly during the Farmer’s Market and special events.

There will be two meetings where community members can learn about the site and provide input for the City Council’s consideration. The first meeting will be held virtually via zoom on Thursday, July 1, 6 - 8 p.m. ( Meeting ID: 893 1318 7498). The second meeting will be held in-person on Tuesday, July 6 at the Benicia Community Center, located at 370 E. L Street. Please RSVP if you intend to attend this meeting at
We're Hiring
Looking for a new job or a change in career? The City of Benicia Human Resources Division is accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Community Preservation Officer
  • Facility Attendant II (Part Time)
  • Human Resources Assistant - Limited Duration NEW
  • Lifeguard
  • Management Analyst I/II - Climate Action Coordinator - Limited Duration NEW
  • Parks Landscape Building Maintenance Worker (Parks Division) NEW
  • Police Officer - Academy/Non-Lateral
  • Police Officer - Lateral (Currently Working)
  • Recreation Specialist
  • Reserve Officer (Volunteer)
  • Seasonal Senior Lead Park Worker (Part Time)

To apply for any of these positions, the application and supplemental forms may be found online, then click the job title. Employment applications may also be obtained from, and must be returned to, Human Resources at 250 East L Street, Benicia. Sign up with Job Interest Cards to be notified of future position openings when they occur.
Solano Youth Coalition Openings
The Solano Youth Coalition (SYC) has current openings. The SYC builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development which engage youth as active leaders and resources in their communities. The SYC is a youth led coalition that provides opportunities for youth to build capacity and commitment for life-long involvement in health promotion. The SYC is comprised of youth from Solano County’s high schools and colleges and is supported by an advisory team of adults.

To apply to the SYC, youth must complete the 2021-22 online application. Coalition Leaders will review applications in the first week of August, then make contact for follow-up interview.

Coalition members are expected to participate in bi-weekly meetings, (online web meetings, teleconferences, or in-person) attend leadership trainings, and contribute to coalition projects and activities on a monthly basis. A new member orientation will be scheduled in August.

For more information visit or contact Johanna Nowak-Palmer at [email protected] or call 707.646.7608.
Grand Jury Openings
Each year the Solano County Superior Court Judges identify qualified citizens who might serve on the Civil Grand Jury. Nominations for prospective jurors are made by the Judges themselves and other public elected officials.

Solano County residents are urged to volunteer for service on the Civil Grand Jury. Those recommended are interviewed by a Superior Court Judge, Court Executive Officer, and the Civil Grand Jury Foreperson. Based on the results of interviews, a pool of qualified jury candidates is created and these citizens are invited to appear in the Superior Court of the Presiding Judge. Names are then drawn randomly by the Clerk of the Court.

The new Civil Grand Jury will consist of second-term jurors, plus new members, to make a total of nineteen jurors. All nineteen are sworn and given a description of their duties and responsibilities by the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. These citizens begin their one year term on July 1st.

Information on qualifications, commitment & compensation of the Civil Grand Jury is available at
Hearing on Refinery Rule
Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) staff has developed proposed amendments to Regulation 6, Particulate Matter, Rule 5: Particulate Emissions from Refinery Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Units (Rule 6-5).

The Board of Directors initiated a public hearing on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 to consider adoption of the proposed amendments to Rule 6-5 and will continue the public hearing on Wednesday, July 21.

Rule 6-5 was originally adopted by the Air District Board of Directors in December 2015, and subsequently amended in December 2018 for minor clarifications and revisions. The purpose of the current rule development effort for amendments to Rule 6-5 is to further reduce emissions of particulate matter, including condensable particulate matter, from petroleum refinery fluidized catalytic cracking units (FCCU), which are some of the largest individual sources of particulate matter emissions in the Bay Area.

Click here to learn about the Air District's process for developing the amendments, and find out about the status and anticipated timeline of the rule development process, as well as supporting documents and materials.
City Employee Spotlight
Evan Gorman is an Assistant Planner in the Community Development Department. He joined the City of Benicia in March 2019 after obtaining his Urban Planning degree from San Francisco State University. His career in Planning is a true passion: in order to obtain his degree, Evan worked two jobs and commuted by car, train and bus for five hours each day. He started his career by volunteering for the City of Oakley and was ultimately hired as a full time planner where he worked before joining the City of Benicia.
Evan is highly regarded for his positive and helpful attitude as well as his professionalism. He enjoys breaking down complex land use issues for the public in a way that’s easier to understand. A true “team player”, Evan is known to take the initiative in making sure that the City’s work is done, whether by contributing to a large project, facilitating the coordination of multiple departments, or rolling up his sleeves to help train and support other employees. Many community members and business owners who contact the City with zoning or land use questions are likely to recognize Evan by his friendly smile and helpful demeanor. Evan volunteered at all of the City’s four vaccine clinics and has referred to those events as his favorite days in public service. 
Evan enjoys improving services and the way the City does its work. Most recently, Evan took the lead on the development and implementation of the City’s new online permit center. This work, which has involved months of coordination with software engineers, permitting departments, and city records, was complex and required consistent focus. The new permit center streamlines application processes and provides an opportunity for the community to apply for and track their permit applications online. In the days since the launch, Evan has dedicated himself to troubleshooting and training employees to ensure the successful implementation of this new permit approach.
Evan grew up in Antioch. In his free time, Evan enjoys camping in the snow, producing music and supporting open space preservation.
COVID Assistance
Find resources and information for seniors, local food access, basic needs and rental assistance, mental health, stress and coping, and more courtesy of Solano County Public Health. Benicia residents in need of help during these difficult times may find assistance through these local resources:

Press Releases

Recent City of Benicia Press Releases are available on the City of Benicia website under Main/Announcements.
Save the Date
  • Jun 21 - Art Gallery Committee meeting, 6:30 p.m. via livestream. See the Full Agenda for more information.
  • Jun 25 - City Offices closed for Alternate Friday.
Modified service due to COVID-19
City Hall is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you require entrance to City Hall offices outside of these hours, please make arrangements with staff from the department that you will be visiting.

All visitors shall be required to enter City Hall from East L street through the door located on the left (East) side of the building closest to the Post Office. Please check in with the staff person at the designated Welcome Window.

You will be required to wear a face covering over both your nose and mouth for the duration of your visit to City Hall. Please maintain 6 feet of social distancing between other visitors and staff. Do not visit City Hall if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Appointments can always be rescheduled.
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