VACAVILLE — Skeptics did not hold back and the California Forever CEO did not back down in an emotional town hall in Vacaville about a proposed new Solano County city.
Vacaville resident Mary Heiser was one of the first members of the public to speak.
"Jan, my name is Mary, so I'm going to call you Jan," Heiser said.
California Forever CEO Jan Sramek stood in front of the crowd, which was filled with opposition.
"You need to work on your soft skills," Heiser told Sramak. "Don't insult us when you come to talk to us."
The drama surrounds California Forever's proposed massive Solano County development that would create a new city.
Despite the overwhelming opposition, Sramek stayed calm while handling the questions.
"To say we have to shut this down so quickly before we even see the plan? I think that's premature," Sramek said.
Heiser is an adamant opponent of the plan.
"They've walked around being secretive for so long, and to suddenly pop out of the woodwork, 'We're the best thing since peanut butter.' Are you? Well, prove it," Heiser said.
Jim Wise is a California Forever supporter and blames opponents he says fear change.
"The fact of the matter is this world waits for nobody, and we will have change," Wise said.
California Forever purchased 50,000 acres of land in the county for nearly a billion dollars, in secret, over the last six years, only now revealing the intention to build a city. That one-time secrecy has become its number one public relations problem.
"I think you have to learn to love the process," Sramek said. "And you get better at it, I get better at it."
The California Forever developers will need Solano County voter approval to make this project work. They will begin gathering signatures for a ballot measure next year.
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