City of Benicia This Week
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In this edition: Public Safety Dispatchers Ready to Help, Candidates' Forum Scheduled for Saturday, Tuesday Last Day Registrar Can Mail Ballots to Voters, Take the Benicia Shopper Survey, Test Your Smoke Alarms Sunday, We're Hiring, Enter the Visit Benicia Photo Contest, We're Hiring!
Message from the Interim City Manager
October 26, 2020

Hello Everyone,
This week I’m highlighting the outstanding work of our Communications Center, which is part of the Police Department. Our Communications Center has a fantastic reputation in the community and among our peers. They not only dispatch for police, but also for the Fire Department. Their statistics are excellent, but more importantly they are a critical part of the Police Department’s vision of greatness. Years ago they did away with the ‘phone tree’ to insure that every caller got a live person when they called who could help solve their problems. 

Two years ago their excellent reputation also attracted the California Maritime Academy (a California State University campus located in Vallejo) to look at the Benicia Communications Center as a possible service provider for them. After working out the challenges, we took them on as a customer. As you will see in the article below, they’ve been very pleased with their service.
It is important to note this also is an example of our efforts to not only be the greatest service providers anywhere, but also our efforts to always look for ways to be an added value to the community. In this case we were able to decrease the overall cost of the Communications Center to the community by 10% (the amount we receive from the Maritime Academy to provide this service). 

Another recent example can also be seen in the Water Treatment Plant’s work this year to increase efficiency in their water treatment which will save us approximately 14.6 million in treated water per year. Know that we are always looking for ways to be of added value to the community; providing the highest level of service as efficiently as we can.

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

Erik Upson
Interim City Manager
City News
Public Safety Dispatchers Ready to Help
Whether you dial 911, 745.3411 or 745.3412, Benicia Public Safety Dispatchers are standing by to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2019 alone, they answered 5,928 911 calls. 99.6% were answered in under 10 seconds, well exceeding the NENA (National Emergency Number Association) standard of 90% in under 10 seconds. Dispatchers answered 51,460 non-emergency calls. Though not standardized, 98.53% of the non-emergency calls were answered in under 10 seconds.
In addition to special projects and continuous training, Benicia Police Tactical Dispatch (comprised of specially trained dispatchers) has joined the County's SWAT Team. In recognition of the true nature of the profession, Governor Newsom signed AB1945 into law on September 11, 2020, changing the classification of Public Safety Dispatchers from administrative or clerical workers to first responders.

An example of how Dispatchers serve: 
On August 19, as the LNU Complex Fire raged in northern Solano county, a call was made by Solano County asking for staffing to help in their understandably overwhelmed Dispatch Center. Without hesitation, Benicia Police Department's Community Services Officer Lauren Teel, a former Benicia Public Safety Dispatcher and current member of the Tactical Dispatch Team, quickly arranged childcare and left the calm and safety of her home to spend a chaotic graveyard shift providing assistance to our neighboring agency and community members of Solano County. She handled calls from frightened evacuees, concerned family members, Deputies requesting information, kept track of evacuated residences and provided assignments to mutual aid agencies arriving to help. Lauren's actions prove that once a Dispatcher, always a Dispatcher!

It is hoped that you never have to speak with one of Benicia's Public Safety Dispatchers, but it you do, rest assured you'll receive prompt, professional, courteous service.
Candidates' Forum Scheduled for Saturday
Candidates for the Benicia City Council will have the opportunity to participate in a Candidates’ Forum on Saturday, October 31 at 10 a.m. All candidates running for Council Member and Mayor in the November 3 election have been invited to attend.

The forum, sponsored by the City's Open Government Commission, will be broadcasted live on Zoom and on local government Channel 27.

At the forum, voters will have an opportunity to hear candidates discuss any ‘hit pieces’ distributed before the election. Members of the public are encouraged to send questions relating to ‘hit pieces’ for candidates to answer at the forum to the City Attorney, Benjamin Stock, at by close of business on Thursday, October 29.

Please note that the candidates’ forum may be canceled by unanimous decision of the candidates.
Tuesday Last Day Registrar Can Mail Ballots to Voters
The Solano County Registrar of Voters (ROV) is reminding residents that Tuesday, October 27 is the last day the ROV can mail ballots to voters for the November 3 General Election. Voters who have not yet received a ballot for this election should contact the ROV by or before Tuesday.
“Starting back on Monday, October 5, we’ve been busy mailing out ballots to the more than 258,000 registered voters here in Solano County,” said Tim Flanagan, Solano County Chief Information Officer and Registrar of Voters. “I want to remind everyone that after next Tuesday, October 27, all ballots must be picked up in-person at the Registrar of Voters Office or at a polling place on Election Day.” 
The ROV has extended its office hours on Saturday, October 24 and Saturday, October 31 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. to give voters additional time to register to vote. Voters who are still not registered by Election Day can visit any polling location for same-day registration, giving them the option to participate in the General Election.
The ROV encourages voters to take advantage of no-contact voting options by using one of 16 secure ballot boxes located throughout the County. Starting on Thursday, October 29, an additional 10 curbside ballot drop-off locations will open, allowing voters a convenient and safe way to drop off their ballots. For more information, including ballot box and curbside drop-off locations, visit the ROV website at and click the “Ballot Drop-Off Sites” and Curbside Drop-Off Sites links.
Early Voting is available at the Registrar of Voter’s Office, located at the Solano County Administration Center, 675 Texas St, Suite 2600, in Fairfield. Details on voting options, polling locations and key election dates are all available on the Registrar of Voter’s website,, by email at and by phone at 707.784.6675.
Take the Benicia Shopper Survey
Since the start of the pandemic the City of Benicia, through the Office of Economic Development has worked to implement programs designed to aid our business community through this very difficult time. We are now looking ahead on how best to aid our businesses and local economy through the next phase of the pandemic and beyond.

To aid City Staff in developing the initiatives to meet our changing economic landscape we need the help of Benicia residents with some information on your shopping habits. The information shared about outside dining and online shopping are essential to the City in formulating successful programs.

Click here and take 10 minutes to fill out the anonymous shopping survey before November 1. If you’re comfortable in leaving your contact information, you will be entered into a random drawing for one of three prizes of $100 in Downtown Dollars. Downtown Dollars spend like cash at more than 60 downtown businesses. Feel free to share with other Benicia residents.

Your input makes a big difference. Thank you!
Test Your Smoke Alarms Sunday
Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 1. Benicia Fire Department encourages you to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors while changing your clocks to “fall back" one hour. It is recommended that you test your alarms every month, replace batteries every year and replace alarms every ten years.

The U.S. Fire Administration instructs to install smoke alarms on every level of the home and inside and outside each sleeping area.

Did you know? Half of home fire deaths happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep? If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone. Stay outside until the fire department says it’s safe to go back inside.

For questions about smoke and carbon monoxide detector safety, call Benicia Fire Department at 707.746.4275.
Enter the Visit Benicia Photo Contest
Visit Benicia, the tourism arm of the City's Office of Economic Development, invites you to participate in the 3rd Digital Photo Contest. They are looking for striking digital images to celebrate your Benicia experience! Your images should highlight the fun, adventure and charm of Benicia.

  • Shopping
  • Dining
  • History
  • Arts
  • Scenic/Fun

Shopping, Dining, History, Arts Categories:
  • First Place — $250 in Downtown Dollars*
  • Honorable Mention — $50 in Downtown Dollars*
Scenic/Fun Category:
  • First Place — $100 in Downtown Dollars*
  • Honorable Mention — $50 in Downtown Dollars*
*Downtown Dollars spend just like cash in more than 60 Benicia locations!

Contest Deadline
December 31, 2020
How to Enter

Judging Criteria
  • Photos must be taken within Benicia and should depict landscapes, activities, public art, buildings, plants, animals, or events. Greater weight will be given to photos with people in them.
  • Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters, corrective functions, and legitimate manipulations such as burning or dodging, brightness and contrast, color adjustments, saturation, stitching and cropping are permitted. In cases where a photograph is considered “digital art”, the image may not be considered. Entrants shall not place borders or frames around their images, nor place watermarks, signatures, dates, or copyright notices on their images.
  • Photos will be judge by members of the City of Benicia Office of Economic Development Tourism Committee and Visit Benicia staff. All decisions are final.
We're Hiring
Looking for a new job or a change in career? The City of Benicia Human Resources Department is accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Building Inspector II
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager - (Part Time - Limited Duration)
  • Librarian I (on call) 
  • Police Officer - Academy/Non-Lateral
  • Police Officer - Lateral (Currently Working)
  • Reserve Officer (Volunteer)
  • Water Plant Superintendent

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.
Save the Date
  • Oct 27 - Zoning Administrator Hearing, 3 p.m. via livestream. See the Full Agenda for more information.
  • Oct 30 - 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.
City of Benicia This Week is published each Monday morning. Previous editions are available here. We also communicate on and Sign up now!
City of Benicia This Week is published each Monday morning. Previous editions are available here. We also communicate on and Sign up now!