Monday, July 25, 2016

Wolk wins praise for 26 years of solving problems

By Ryan McCarthy

From page A1 | July 22, 2016

FAIRFIELD — State Sen. Lois Wolk, praised Thursday for work that ranged from securing $4.2 million for the Fairfield Cordelia Library to saving lives by helping fix the blood alley that was Highway 12, said her job allowed her to do what she most enjoys – solving problems.

“I’m a jigsaw puzzle fan,” said Wolk, D-Davis.

She spoke at the Solano Economic Development Corporation breakfast after 12 elected officials – including the seven mayors of Solano County – recounted how Wolk served the region during her 26 years as a public official.

Fairfield Mayor Harry Price, the final speaker before Wolk, noted the money she got for the local library and said he and the state senator are from Pennsylvania.

“Public education is really important to us,” Price said.

Dubbed the first stop on her farewell tour as Wolk ends a career that began in 1990 with election to the Davis City Council, Rep. Mike Thompson began the tributes during the event at the Hilton Garden Inn.

He joked about Wolk representing the “People’s Republic of Davis” and called local government “tough service” that’s more demanding than legislative work in Sacramento or Washington, D.C.

You hear at the grocery store from constituents who want to know why a pothole hasn’t been fixed, said Thompson, D-St. Helena.

“I’m glad you’re my state senator,” he told Wolk.

Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering spoke about how Wolk always returned phone calls. Supervisor Skip Thomson called her a “true advocate for the Delta.” Supervisor John Vasquez described Wolk as “a tough negotiator.”

Osby Davis, mayor of Vallejo, recalled that after the city filed for bankruptcy in 2008 that Wolk helped exempt Vallejo from losing $8 million in revenue to the state.

Wolk responded to his request for help, the mayor said, even though Vallejo was not in the legislative district she represented.

“If it’s right, it’s right,” Davis said.

“You’re the kind of public servant all of us should strive to be,” he told Wolk.

Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine said Wolk “always came to the rescue of our city.”

Dixon Mayor Jack Batchelor Jr. recounted how the city in April discovered an attempt to divert a vendor’s $1.3 million electronic fund transfer into a fraudulently held bank account – and Wolk’s legislative assistance to Dixon to deal with the situation.

“You saved our bacon many, many times,” Batchelor told Wolk.

Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Napa, spoke about Wolk’s having “an uncanny ability to create warm partnerships in the state Legislature.”

“We’re going to miss her leadership,” said Dodd, who seeks election Nov. 8 as the new state senator representing the 3rd District as Wolk terms out of office.

Wolk said at the end of the event that she’s been asked if she’ll miss the around-the-clock world of serving as a lawmaker in Sacramento.

“I honestly don’t know,” she said.

“That doesn’t frighten me,” Wolk said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or

Wolk feted for service to Solano County

Wolk feted for service to Solano County
By Kimberly K. Fu,, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter
Posted: 07/21/16, 6:41 PM PDT | Updated: 3 days ago
Kimberly K. Fu — The Reporter Surrounded by the mayors of Solano’s seven cities, Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Solano, thanks leaders for their partnership, the community for their trust and her staff for their dedication.
Surrounded by local, state and national leaders Thursday in Fairfield, Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Solano, was toasted again and again during the first stop on what’s being called her “Farewell Tour.”
Leaders at the Solano Economic Development Corporation gathering touted her integrity and her willingness and availability to help and called her a champion of the people.
“This is a pretty special person in my mind,” advised Congressman Mike Thompson. “We were both elected at the same time.”
He was elected into Congress, he joked, while she was elected to serve the “Republic of Davis.”
Describing Wolk as doing marvelous work, Thompson thanked the senator for her service.
“She’s for her constituents and she’s always been,” he said. “She’s made sure that the people ... get their money’s worth. She works tirelessly for that.”
Her successful end of life bill, work on improving traffic-heavy roadways such as Highway 12 and dedication to water issues all are proof of her amazing abilities, he said, and she will never be forgotten.
“I know that Lois will always be on call,” Thompson said. “She’s checking out but she’s not leaving.”
Wolk, who has been in public service for decades, is serving her final term in office. She was a high school teacher before entering politics, serving as a Davis city councilwoman and two terms as that city’s mayor. From 2002-2008, she served as representative for the Eighth Assembly District and was elected to the Senate in 2008.
Assemblyman Bill Dodd, D-Solano, praised Wolk for her leadership and ability to get things done.
“She’s just done a phenomenal job,” he said. “What a class act.”
Solano County Supervisor Jim Spering, on behalf of the Solano Transportation Authority, thanked Wolk for her efforts in making Highway 12 safer.
“I can’t tell you how many lives you’ve saved,” he said. “Solano County has absolutely been blessed to have Lois Wolk. She’s dedicated to her constituents. ... She has been a champion (of the people) and made a difference in saving lives.”
Supervisor Skip Thomson called Wolk a true advocate for the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta while Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis said she’s a person to emulate.
“You are the kind of public servant that all of us should strive to be,” Davis emphasized, citing her honesty, integrity and commitment to all people.
For her part, Wolk expressed gratitude to county leaders for their partnership.
“You’ve allowed me to do what I love the most,” she said. “Solving problems.”
She called her staff a blessing and attributed her success in getting things done to strong local ties.
In closing, she thanked those present for making her 14 years of service to Solano very good years.
“It’s been, in my perspective, a great ride,” she said.