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County officials mourn the loss of former Supervisor Tom Hannigan
October 11, 2018
SOLANO COUNTY – County officials are mourning the loss of one of their own as they reacted to the passing of former District 3 Supervisor Tom Hannigan.
Hannigan, who passed away Tuesday night at the age of 78, had an extensive career in public service, one that spanned more than 30 years. He served as a City Council member and Mayor for the City of Fairfield, as a California state Assemblyman and the director of the state Department for Water Resources. Hannigan also served as a Solano County Supervisor, representing the third district, including portions of the cities of Fairfield and Suisun. He will be remembered a passionate advocate, one who stood up for the health, safety and well-being of all Solano County residents.
"My dad always told me that being a County Supervisor was the best job in the world to have," said Erin Hannigan, District 1 Supervisor and daughter of Tom Hannigan. “As someone who genuinely cared about people and their well-being, having the opportunity to serve locally as a County Supervisor gave him the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of the people he represented.”
“While I did not have the pleasure of serving with Tom, he always made himself available to me,” said John M. Vasquez, District 4 Supervisor and Chair of the Board. “He was a mentor to me, sharing his political advice, his savvy and his philosophies on the common-good – things I still take very seriously to this day, and doing so in his calm, gentile demeanor. That was just Tom, he was a good man.”
“Tom was a champion for transportation improvements in Solano County,” said Jim Spering, District 3 Supervisor. “Many of the I-80 improvements in the 80's and 90’s came about because of his leadership. He was also responsible for the very popular Amtrak Capitol Corridor service connecting Solano to the Bay Area. I always admired Tom for his big vision and how many lives he touched through his many years of public service.”
“Tom absolutely loved what he did and it was clear that he was good at it,” said Birgitta E. Corsello, Solano County Administrator. “As a former County Supervisor and life-long advocate for Solano County, he helped to create a more vibrant community for everyone.”
“Tom Hannigan was truly a gentleman,” said Dennis Bunting, Solano County Counsel. “He was ethical, he was knowledgeable and he was relatable. He understood the value of compromise, without sacrificing his own values, both as an individual and as a politician – that’s just who he was.”
“I will always remember Tom as a supporter of the libraries,” said Bonnie Katz, Director of Library Services in Solano County. “He played a critical role in helping stabilize the funding source we use for all public libraries in Solano County today – something we couldn’t have done without his help.”
Tom Hannigan served on the Fairfield City Council from 1970 – 1974. He was mayor for two of those four years. Hannigan was elected to the Solano County Board of Supervisors in 1974, serving as the District 3 Supervisor until 1978. He was elected to the state Assembly in 1978, representing the fourth and eighth districts until terming out in 1996. In 1999, Hannigan was appointed by Governor Davis to serve as the director of the state Department of Water Resources. He retired from this position in 2003.
Flags at the County Administration Center, located at 675 Texas Street in Fairfield, are flying at half-mast today in honor of the Supervisor’s passing.
There will be two public memorial services for Tom Hannigan, both at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, located at 2700 Dover Ave. in Fairfield. The first service is a vigil and will take place on Thursday, October 18 from 4 – 8 p.m. A rosary will take place at 7 p.m. The second service is a funeral mass and will be held on Friday, October 19, starting at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions in memory of Tom Hannigan be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 2700 Dover Ave. in Fairfield, CA 94533 and Saint Patrick Saint Vincent High School, Class of 1958 Scholarship Fund, 1500 Benicia Road in Vallejo, CA 94591. Saint Patrick Saint Vincent’s website is www.SPSV.org.