Events Calendar (updated October 30, 2014)

Oct. 31, 4-6 PM, Downtown Vacaville trick-or-treating

Nov. 2, 11 AM, Vaca Pug Club monthly gathering

Nov. 4, Election Day! / evening parties

Nov. 6, 9 AM, Ribbon Cutting, Chick-fil-A

Nov. 6, 5:30 PM, Vacaville Chamber of Commerce Mixer, Opera House

Nov. 8, Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club, Chocolate Gala, Yin Ranch

Nov. 14, 9 AM, Business Issues Educational Forum, Travis CU

Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, 2015, Open Enrollment for CoveredCA health insurance

Nov. 17, 2-4 PM, Chamber of Commerce business walk

Nov. 18, 8 AM, Wake Up Vacaville, Dickey's BBQ

Dec. 1, Festival of Trees annual Gala, Skating Center

Dec. 2, annual Merriment on Main festivities, downtown

Dec. 4, 5:30 PM, Holiday Mixer, Travis CU

Dec. 5, 6 PM, Dr. Laguerre's annual party, Solano Community College

Dec. 7, 11 AM, Vaca Pug Club monthly gathering

Dec. 12, 9 AM, Business Issues Educational Forum, Travis CU

Dec. 16, 8 AM, Wake Up Vacaville, Hampton

Community Musings

April 2014

Covered California's inaugural online open enrollment from 10/1/2013 to 4/15/2014...

... was an epic failure, from my perspective as a 18-year financial professional. Having helped enroll over 60 people in the past few months, I was dismayed that the website crashed every, yes every single day since its October 1, 2013 inception. Luckily, I figured out several tips and tricks to make that error-ridden site work, and as such, was featured on the front page of the Vacaville Reporter on December 18, 2013. Now, I'm typically flashing a big smile for pictures, but you may have noticed my sullen smirk for this one - calculated, to express my "smh (shaking my head)" state at this technological nightmare.

You may have heard that the federal version of the new healthcare website had glitches too. After a couple of months of this, the feds rightly decided to put out an RFP (request for proposal) for firms to take over and fix the site. But who was hired? Accenture, the very same firm behind, which has not has an error-free day yet. Really? And this awarding of such a massive contract came right after Accenture decided that fixing the small business portal of CoveredCA was so hard for them that the site would be down "until fall." WHAT?! Could you imagine if a REAL tech firm like Google just shut down for 6 months? How about It'd be inconceivable. So their "reward" for announcing they'd be taking 6 months to rewrite some lines of code is millions of dollars for the federal contract. SMH.

As to the gist behind the Affordable Care Act, sure, I get it. We are better off as a society when our neighbors, coworkers, child care providers, and food service workers are able to obtain proper medical services so they can be as healthy as possible. It's just that the funding behind this ideal doesn't pencil out.

Example #1: An immigrant couple in their 50s who have only been in the USA a few months - long enough to get their SSN and green card - managed to "score" an Anthem Blue Cross policy for $2.00 total per month, after federal subsidies - for BOTH of them - with $3 Dr. visits and labs, and $5 x-rays and prescriptions.

Example #2: A local small business owner who earns in the 6-figure range but is able to deduct a sizable amount of business expenses, saw his family of 5's Kaiser plan drop from $1200 / month to $152 / month. Actually, this example has repeated many times over, and it's caused me to proclaim that the ACA is the best thing that's happened financially to small businesses in at least a decade.

But as any insurance agent will attest, every type of insurance has a "sweet spot" of premiums, as well as folks who simply get "hosed." We hear plenty of the "hosed" stories through mainstream media ($800 monthly premiums, $5000 deductibles, $50 office visits, 30% co-insurance charge for surgeries, etc.), but rarely hear any "sweet spot" examples.

Being a small businesses, I'm thrilled with the 75% drop in my Kaiser premium this year. So, thank you ACA for my sweet spot.

Will health insurance carriers adjust rates accordingly for 2015, or will our federal government's expense side of the balance sheet swell? Time will tell.

October 2013

Obamacare agent?!

Realizing that if I wanted to continue working with clients to help them with their healthcare insurance (including my own Kaiser policy), I endured the incredibly cumbersome licensing path to become a Certified Covered California agent. Yes, this is the name of the CA exchange for the federal Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. Like it or not, it's the law of the land.

While folks working at a place with over 50 employees received a 1-year reprieve, those of us who are self-employed, uninsured, or at a under-50 employee business are required to have healthcare coverage in place in 2014 or be subjected to a penalty, starting at $100 and rising to $700 in the next year or so.

But don't fret! If your income qualifies you for a "subsidized" plan, then imagine reducing your Kaiser monthly premium from $400 to under $100, with $3 office visits, labs, and prescriptions. What level of income? While it varies depending on size of family, if you're a family of 4 and make $75,000, you'll have access to subsidized healthcare insurance. What if you need a ton of costly medical services? No worries, as they've now lifted all pre-existing conditions, so everyone will have guaranteed, *affordable* coverage.

You need to apply by December 23, 2013, in order to have an effective date of January 1, 2014, the earliest date possible. Open enrollment is supposed to extend through March 2014, although that date is liable to change with Congressional maneuvering.

While you're free to try and figure out the keeps-crashing-even-several-weeks-into-the-program website, please know that your rates are the same if you use a Certified Agent. So please start by going to the Broker Search page, type "95688" into the zip code field, and hit Enter. On the next screen, click on Jay Yerkes, and then follow the website's instructions to allow me to become your friendly agent and help you through the process. I'll receive notification of your selection of me within 48 hours, but once you've completed that step, call me at (707) 448-1018, and I will guide you through the remaining steps.

September 19, 2013

Comments made at VUSD Board Meeting

Good evening. I’m Jay Yerkes, Vacaville’s City Treasurer and former VUSD governing board member. I’m here to encourage your support for the proposed Kairos Charter School. (#KPSVA)

10, 10, 832, 6, Certified, Distinguished. This is how I described our illustrious Buckingham Charter Magnet High School at a board meeting in 2007 – noting that Buckingham was the first school in Solano County to earn a 10-10 decile ranking, and was VUSD’s highest scoring high school. That happened back under the leadership of Bob, Taryn, Ellen and Jared, the same folks who now are proposing to bring their highly successful student achievement model to a new K-8 feeder school to Buckingham.

Given that California School Boards Association’s guidance is for trustees to focus primarily on increasing student achievement, since we now have a proven example with many years’ track record of how to do just this in our district, it simply behooves the board to embrace this Kairos proposal.

I’m sure you have many questions on specifics, but the beauty is that the board is merely to focus on the “why” – increasing student achievement – and leave the “how” – all the details, like the exact expense charged percentage – to the Superintendent and his staff.

This will be a huge change for Vacaville – a change to be embraced. We could easily default to no change – but that too often backfires, and we have no desire to be the next Kodak, Borders, or Blockbuster. Sometimes you need to take a smartly calculated risk – Vacaville Unified can be the Google.

February 25, 2013

Newest SCC-EF Board Member

I'm excited to be one of the newest board members on the Solano Community College Educational Foundation.

Having taken several courses at SCC during 1990 and 1991 summers back "home" from UCLA, I've always been a proud supporter of this wonderful higher educational facility right here in Solano County.

With a full 15 credit load costing only $1380 for 2 semesters, it's a bargain compared to $6,000 for a CSU or $13,000 for a UC annual education. Since you're going to be crammed 300-500 in a room for all of your General Education courses during your first 2 years at a CSU or UC (been there, done that), why not save the $, get your GE out of the way at SCC, and then transfer? Besides, later in life when people ask where you went to school, you're going to reply with the institution you graduated from with your Bachelor's Degree, right? Although, even getting "just" an AA in 2 years at SCC is going to net you around $400,000 in higher lifetime earnings than a high school diploma. So, for a few thousand dollar investment into your future, you'll likely reap hundreds of times that over your life. Such a deal!

Alternatively, SCC has a tremendous CTE (Career Technical Education) set of offerings: biotechnology, fire training, agricultural, cosmetology, horticulture, etc., many of which have evolved over the years with input from the local employers who will be hiring students with these skills.

August 26, 2013 update: Elected Vice President

November 7, 2012

Jay wins with 72% of the vote

Thanks for your support everybody! I'm happy to be given the opportunity to be of service to Vacaville again.

August 21, 2012

Jay Yerkes, Vacaville's next City Treasurer
Facebook Biography

Born and raised in Vacaville, Jay Yerkes was Vanden's Valedictorian in 1989. After receiving a BA from UCLA in 1993, an MBA in 1995, his Real Estate Broker's and Notary Public licenses, and all the financial licenses necessary to do lifelong financial planning with families, Jay reestablished himself back into the fabric of his beloved community in 1998. After joining the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, Jay cemented his position as a key cheerleader for the city and its businesses. He was peer-selected to be the Ambassador of the Year and then became Chairman of the Ambassadors in 2000.
In 2002, Jay was a founding member of VPEF, the Vacaville Public Education Foundation, and the COC, Vacaville Unified School District's Measure V Citizens Oversight Committee.
In 2003, Jay began 2 full terms, 8 years, as an elected trustee of the Vacaville USD Governing Board. Jay served 2 years as Board President, 5 years as President of the Solano County School Boards Association, and was instrumental in transforming board meetings to a paperless solution, saving thousands of taxpayer dollars.
Jay has fully embraced serving as an Honorary Commander at Travis Air Force Base for 2012-2014.
In July 2012, after conferring with current, departing, City Treasurer Andy Suihkonen, Jay learned that no one else in the community had expressed interest in his seat, and thus began his then-uncontested candidacy for Vacaville's next City Treasurer.
Jay appreciates your support. With 8 years of experience being an elected overseer of taxpayer funds, and with a 16 year position as a financial guru managing millions of dollars, Jay is the only candidate appropriately qualified for the position.
Jay thanks you for your vote on (or before) November 6, 2012.

November 9, 2011

“As the election results stand, I am disappointed with the outcome. I have devoted the last 8 years to the Vacaville Unified School District and our community’s youth. I congratulate my opponent, the teachers’ union, though a win for the union is not necessarily a win for the students. They were gunning for me, an honest voice willing to speak the truth even when it was not always the popular thing to say. Overall though, I will miss the excellent employees of the school district and the many superb individuals who are devoted to the students.”

Stay tuned Vacaville, as more facts will soon be revealed.

Press Release

Committee to Elect Jay Yerkes

Jay Yerkes will not seek endorsements for reelection

Vacaville, CA, September 5, 2011

In an effort to maintain focus on the needs of the school district, Jay Yerkes will not be seeking organizational endorsements for his November 2011 Vacaville School Board reelection campaign.

Endorsements do not always help voters gauge candidates on the most important criterion: which person will do what is best for the district as a whole. Endorsements are given when an organization feels the candidates’ views most closely align with their own.

Yerkes states, “The organization I support and am committed to wholeheartedly is the VUSD. I am always open to listening to any ideas, issues or problems, but my focus remains on what is best for the success and solvency of our district and ultimately what is best for our future, the students in our district.”

Yerkes, a fiscal conservative, has a track record of making decisions from a big picture vantage point. Voters proved in 2007 that a campaign can be successful without endorsements. At, he added, “Vacaville voters recognize what is truly important in holding an elected office: passion, dedication, accountability, and visibility.”

Yerkes has always made himself available throughout his time in office, and will continue to be. He can be reached at or 707-448-1018.

Ballot Statement for November 8, 2011 election

Occupation: Financial Educator / Trustee

Age: 40 (Registrar's error: left off Ballot Statement)

Vacaville is my home. I was raised in Vacaville by two teachers, was a Valedictorian at Vanden, and received a B.A. from UCLA, an M.B.A. and multiple financial services licenses. I started my career 15 years ago, and today I help hundreds of families achieve their education planning, estate, insurance, and retirement goals.
During my service on the Vacaville Unified School District Governing Board, I’ve championed rising student achievement levels, Measure V modernization projects, wise fiscal choices, paperless meetings, and revenue enhancements, including our first districtwide alumni directory.
When I was first elected in 2003, we were struggling with a low reserve and tough budget cuts. Today, our financial house is in order, with a prudent reserve and significantly reduced administrative ranks. I’m proud to be fiscally accountable to you, the Vacaville taxpayer.
I’ve been President of the Solano County School Boards Association for 5 years. Furthering my leadership skills, I have presented workshops at national and state education conferences. Recently, my peers elected me to the Delegate Assembly of the California School Boards Association.
I have always enjoyed being an accessible public ambassador. With your vote, I’ll continue to work hard for Vacaville, our children, and our schools.

Remember, Yerkes Works!

Vacaville's Sign Ordinance, October 2011 D. Political signs may be posted on private property only. Political signs must be removed within seven days after election day. (Ord. 1637, Added, 04/13/2000)

Thank you Laura Kuhn, Vacaville City Manager, for appreciating my "willingness to follow the rules" while wishing "everyone would do so in the spirit of cooperation."

(all 2003-2010 speeches and educational musings have been removed but are available upon request)

Personal Interests

Married to best friend, Wendy Nichols, multiple and single subject (history) public school teacher at Sheldon Elementary in FSUSD

Daughter ElleAnn Yerkes, born July 3, 2010

2 pugs, Atticus Finch and Frida Kahlo (the “Give a Hoot” pugs as seen in Vacaville’s Fiesta Days Parade, May 24, 2003) - With their own websites, April 2004! Atticus - Frida

Check out our Vacaville Pug Club, which meets the 1st Sunday of the month at 11AM.

Vaca Pug Club at May 24, 2008 Fiesta Days parade, 1 minute video clip, 25 MB here. (Right-click, Save Target As, then watch after downloaded to your computer.)

Waterskiing (since age 6, Lake Berryessa & Donner Lake ~ UCLA Waterski Team, 1989 – 1993 – “Most Valuable Skier”)

Snowskiing (since age 4 – Tahoe Donner, Boreal Ridge, Alpine Meadows, and all-time favorite Squaw Valley)

Windsurfing (since age 15 – Donner Lake and Lagoon Valley)

Work? Yes. Due to financial industry rules, this website is not allowed to post details.

Find me on Facebook.

Contact Information