Saturday, July 14, 2012

Solano County grand jury: Cemeteries not in compliance

The Reporter Staff

The four cemetery special districts within Solano County were found to be noncompliant with California codes by the Solano County grand jury.

In a report made public this week, the grand jury reported that the reason it investigated the special districts was due to the districts lacking a review since 2003, concerns raised in a citizen complaint received by the 2010-11 grand jury and that cemetery district long-term operational and financial stability is important to the community.

The four cemetery special districts are the Rio Vista-Montezuma District, Silveyville District, Suisun-Fairfield-Rockville District and Vacaville-Elmira District.

The grand jury visited all nine cemeteries in the four districts.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors appoints a board of trustees to act as the governing body for each cemetery district.

The grand jury identified several issues that need to be addressed by the districts which include trustee terms, sign placement and record keeping.

In the report, the grand jury noted that none of the trustee terms began in compliance with state code and that reappointments and vacancies were not filled promptly and in compliance with Health and Safety Code and Government Code.

Additionally, the grand jury reported that the Rio Vista-Montezuma Cemetery District's revolving fund was not maintained at $11,800 as required, nor did it have written policies and procedures. Meanwhile, the Rio Vista-Montezuma and Silveyville districts didn't adequately backup records.

Meanwhile, Suisun-Fairfield-Rockville Cemetery District has had more than nine years to determine the adequacy and completeness of documents provided to them in a 2003 legal settlement and the review had not been finalized at the time of the grand jury investigation, according to the report.

Furthermore, the grand jury believes that endowment-property signage was not posted as required by Health and Safety Code at Rio Vista-Montezuma, Silveyville and Vacaville-Elmira districts.

The grand jury toured the Suisun-Fairfield Rockville District and reported that the signs "appeared to be commercial advertisements."

The districts are required by Health and Safety Code to post signage "in a conspicuous place at or near the entrance of the cemetery and at its administration building and readily accessible to the public" indicating that the facility is an endowment care interment property.

The grand jury has 12 recommendations for the cemetery districts to fix these issues. To see the full report, visit

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