Historical Articles of Solano County


Friday, January 06, 1978

The History of ‘77, and the Potential for ‘78

John Rico

GOODBYE ‘77, HELLO ‘78 - Well, it has only been a few days since Christmas and it may be time to start thinking about that present for the Mrs. for next Christmas. There are only 354 days left for you to do the shopping. This year Christmas falls on Monday; in 1979 it is on Tuesday and the in 1980 it jumps over to Thursday.

Enough said about Christmas. Let’s talk a bit about the year ‘77 which just ended and ‘78 which is ahead. It cannot be said that 1977 was a good year for everyone, or every family, because adverse conditions and the loss of loved ones have! visited many families during the year just ended.

But aside from this sadness, the year of 1977 has been a very good one. There have been no American soldiers fighting on foreign lands; economic conditions have been exceptionally good; and it can be said the average family has enjoyed a better standard of living than ever before in the history of this country.

While the drought has been of concern to many residents, and water conservation has been practiced, it is interesting to note some figures about rainfall here which may surprise many residents.

Rainfall is tabulated and reported by seasons July 1 to June 30 of the following year. Rainfall during the 1975-76 season was at a low of 7.72 inches, followed by an equally disastrous 1976-77 season with 9.18 inches, the two driest consecutive seasons in recorded rainfall history. But if the rainfall had been reported by the calendar year, 1976 would have shown a total of 6.59, and 1977 would have ended with 19.25. The big difference in 1977 is the more than 13 inches which have been recorded since July 1. This precipitation will be incorporated in the 1977-78 seasonal total.

There is every indication rainfall in the local area for the new season, although not in abundance, will be substantial, and sufficient to provide ample water for the irrigation of Solano County agricultural crops.

Crop incomes in Solano County, which have ranged between $80 and $90 million in recent years, should remain about the same in 1978. California’s total farm output, at about a $9 billion annual figure, should also stay about the same.

Vacaville’s city council, and mayor race, to be decided by voters in a few months, will occupy some attention of the local electorate. Ex-mayor Bill Carroll, making his first bid to be elected mayor by the voters, is the man to beat and from all reports seems to have the position well in hand.

There’s an interesting race shaping up for the Congressional seat now held by veteran Robert Leggett, and at this writing the tide could turn in either direction.

During 1978 don’t look for a return of the 10 cent cup of coffee. Inflation is going to continue, with most prices reflecting increases as much as 10 percent. There could be a leveling off of demand for single-family homes, but any noticeable decline in prices is wishful thinking.

Vacaville’s population, estimated a few days ago at the 38,000 mark, will continue to increase as homes now under construction are completed and occupied. In the past 30 years, Vacaville’s head count has gone up by 35,000, for an average of more than 1100 new residents each year.

While there may be pro and con arguments or debates about growth control, it would be wise for those people who live here and those men and women at City Hall to accept Vacaville as a growing community, and exert whatever efforts are needed to provide the necessary conveniences for residents in this number. Let’s face it - Vacaville’s days of the horse and buggy have ended. It’s an entirely new ball game.

We can be assured here, by accepting long-range averages, that the sun is going to shine in Vacaville during 1978 for at least 225 days. The remaining number out of the 365 will be either cloudy, partly cloudy, or days with rain.

At this writing there are no proposals for additional bonding, either for school or city uses. Assessed valuations on Vacaville (city) properties are skyrocketing to well over the $100 million mark. This figure is used for tax purposes, indicating total assessments in the city to be slightly under the half-billion mark.

Prognosticators, economists and learned professors are all getting into print, telling us just what is going to happen in 1978. Any middle of the road analysis will show that gasoline consumption will be on the increase; automobile sales will continue strong; wages will be on an upward spiral, and profits generally will be as good if not better than in 1977.

The stock market has been unsettled, but economists do not seem to be disturbed because the market is not proving a true barometer of business conditions. The advise to people who would want sound investments is to stay away from the stock market.

Despite efforts made to lower or equalize property taxes, the infinitum pattern seems to indicate there will be no lessening of the tax load. ‘It all boils down to “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?”

Vacaville possesses the triple combination ‘of agriculture, industry and geographical location. These three, spiced with an abundance of sunshine, all blend together to offer a better-than-average economic position.

It would be erroneous to say that 1978 is going to be a good year for everyone. But we do know it is here, it has potentials. We will know next Dec. 31 just what kind of a year it has been.


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