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San Joaquin County sees year of growth and change
Robert Rickman


San Joaquin County Supervisor

As we step into a new year, let us reflect on the journey behind us. In facing challenges, we found strength; in moments of joy, we discovered gratitude. Let us carry these lessons forward, embracing the opportunities that lie ahead. I am honored to serve as your County Supervisor, and I would like to take this moment to share some of the many accomplishments we had as a county.


Fiscal Optimization

The fiscal state of our County is as strong as ever. Among our most important priorities is delivering a structurally balanced budget. In fact, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) recently upgraded the underlying credit rating of San Joaquin County’s 2017 Certificate of Participation from A+ to AA-, with a stable outlook. The improved S&P credit rating upgrade demonstrates our county’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.


Quality of Life

As a community and society there are certain support systems, services, and comforts that the County provides that residents rely on to make day-to-day life better.

Highlights include:

Established an Elections Advisory Committee of local residents to incorporate voter input into how the Registrar of Voters can best serve the community.

Opened the Jack J. Williams, M.D. Public Health Building providing a new administration building and lab facilities.

Commenced a Master Service Agreement with Dignity Health that is resulting in clinical, operational, and fiscal best practices at San Joaquin General Hospital.

$74 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for housing, veterans, behavioral health, and illegal dumping prevention.

$6.4 million in facility repairs and upgrades at the eight community centers located throughout the County, which includes the Larch Clover facility in Tracy.

$5.2 million to strengthen the mental health workforce by offering paid opportunities and student loan forgiveness in exchange for service commitments within the County.

$2,593,919 for facility repairs, upgrades, and equipment purchases at six local Veterans Service Organizations.

The Board of Supervisors approved one million in total matching funds for the Delta College Student Career Internship Program.

Expanded funding for local non-profits. Examples of funding in my district (District 5): $10,600-Tracy Interfaith, $42,500-Escalon Strong, $70,000-Grand Foundation, $1,500-Escalon Chamber of Commerce, and $115,700-Bread of Life.



Homelessness is not just a housing issue; that is only one component of the overall issue. People are experiencing homelessness for a variety of reasons including substance abuse problems and those who have serious mental health issues and lack available resources. In the past two years alone, the County invested over $200 million for countywide projects ranging from permanent supportive housing, emergency shelters, responding to calls for service, hospital treatment, and enhanced care management. These investments will result in the addition of over 700 new units of permanent supportive housing and an increase of shelter capacity countywide by 166 percent.

Efforts include:

The development of the San Joaquin Be Well Campus. Phase one will include dual diagnosis point of entry, a sobering center, medical detoxification, a psychiatric health facility, and a crisis stabilization unit with a completion date of FY 2025/2026.

Opened Victory Gardens, through a partnership with the Housing Authority of San Joaquin, providing permanent housing for 49 formerly homeless veterans and their families.

I brought forward and the Board allocated $7,167,798 for the completion of the emergency shelter in the City of Tracy. This funding follows the Board’s July 2021 allocation of $3,661,113 to support initial construction and related development costs for the emergency shelter.


Public Safety

The first priority of government is to keep our citizens safe. For close to 28 years, I worked as a Sergeant for the CHP and have worked in every city in the County. I want to thank those in law enforcement, our firefighters, and medical responders, for all that they do and the sacrifices they make each day to keep the public and our communities safe.

Highlights include:

The District Attorney’s Office increased the charging rate of crimes from 53 percent in 2022 to 80 percent in 2023.

The Board of Supervisors approved funding to support the establishment of the District Attorney’s Fentanyl Intervention and Response Safety Team (FIRST). Know this, if you are going to deal in this poison that is killing our children, then we are going to use every available resource at our disposal to make sure you will spend time in prison.

The Board of Supervisors committed more than $12 million in funding to 16 fire districts, which includes Tracy, Mountain House, Ripon, and Escalon.


Economic Development

A vital economy keeps our County moving forward, growing, and innovating.

Highlights include:

The latest crop report showed San Joaquin’s gross value of agricultural production increased to more than $3.2 billion in 2022 with agricultural commodities exported to 94 countries.

The Port of Stockton had their second busiest year ever including 278 vessel calls transporting nearly 4.5 million tons of cargo to and from locations worldwide. The Port provides over 10,000 jobs, generates $1.6 billion in economic activity, and nearly $78 million in state and local taxes annually.

Stockton Metropolitan Airport is currently expanding their cargo ramp space and conducting pavement rehabilitation of their taxi lanes to attract prospective cargo operators and increase flight services.

The Employment and Economic Development Department and Economic Development Association was awarded $987,685 from the State to provide 316 microbusinesses with a grant of $2,500. The Board of Supervisors matched the grant making San Joaquin County the only County to provide $5000 in grant funding to microbusinesses.


Water Management and Emergency Response

The past year showed us that nature remains unpredictable and powerful. However, our county’s emergency response to the floods were swift and prepared, mitigating impacts significantly and keeping residents informed of changing conditions and evacuation plans, when necessary.

The Office of Emergency Services (OES) activated their Emergency Operation Center on New Year’s Day, operating 24/7 and the Board of Supervisors ratified a Proclamation that declared a local state of emergency on January 4, 2023.

San Joaquin County was added to the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) major disaster declaration for the State of California and the County opened a Disaster Recovery Center to assist county residents.

The Sheriff’s Office spent over 2,100 hours between January and April conducting evacuations of five separate locations and provided 24-hour a day security for each location to protect the homes and possessions of residents.

Public Works oversaw repairs totaling $1.27 million on critical transportation infrastructure, and $1.1 million in repairs when the MacArthur Drive bridge and Kasson Road washed out. It took Public Works less than one month to repair and reopen those roadways.

Raising the importance of OES, the Board of Supervisors transitioned OES back to a stand-alone department reporting directly to the Board of Supervisors.

OES partnered with a Northern California non-profit, Hold Your Horses, to provide critical support to local livestock during natural disasters and emergencies in San Joaquin County.

The County, in partnership with the Delta Counties Coalition and our state and federal legislative delegations, defeated the Governor’s highly controversial and outrageously expensive Delta Conveyance Project. The County has been fighting various forms of this tunnel battle that would ship the Delta’s water south and we are not going to stop until the proposed project is dead in the water.


Supervisor Robert Rickman, who represents Escalon, Farmington and the surrounding areas at the county level in District 5, just completed a term as chairman of the county Board of Supervisors and provided this summary of the past year. District 1 Supervisor Miguel Villapudua was recently selected as the new chairman.