By email by sending a
request to firstname.lastname@example.org
On the internet -
An agenda summary can be found in the Winters Express
on the Wednesday before the meeting.
Complete City Council Agenda packets are available at: City Hall, 318 First
Street, in the City Clerk’s Department
Making an Oral Presentation
To make sure you are heard, and to help increase the
effectiveness of City Council meetings, please remember the following tips:
Public comments will be accepted for items listed
on the agenda when that matter is considered by the City Council.
Citizens may speak on any issue which is not on the agenda during public
speaking, please step to the podium, face the City Council, and speak
into the microphone.
by giving your name and address for the record. Address all statements
to the City Council as a body; address all questions to the Mayor.
make your comments brief, to the point, and try to avoid repeating what
previous speakers have said.
Winters was incorporated in
1898. It is a General Law City organized by and subject to the statutes of
the State of California. This City is governed by a five member Council,
elected at large (there are no Council districts). The Mayor is to preside
at all meetings of the City Council and perform such other duties consistent
with the office as may be imposed by the Council or by vote of the people.
The Mayor shall be the official head of the city for all ceremonial
purposes. The Mayor Pro Tempore carries out the duties of the Mayor in the
Mayor’s absence. Elections for City Council are held every two years, with
council members being elected to four year terms. By ordinance, the person
who receives the greatest number of votes in a council election serves two
years as Mayor Pro Tempore. The City Clerk and the City Treasurer are also
elected positions with a four year term.
City Council appoints all members to the various city commissions. The City
Council appoints two positions within the city organization: City Manager
and City Attorney. Both positions serve at the will of the City Council to
interpret and carry out Council policy. The City Manager is responsible for
coordinating the many activities of the City departments and staff.
Common City Government Terms
Common City Government Terms
For people who haven’t been closely
involved in local government, it sometimes seems as if the Council members
and staff are speaking a foreign language. Below is a list of some of the
terms you may hear at a City Council
The incorporation of a land
area into the existing City Limits with a resulting change in the boundaries
of the City.
A mechanism for funding
services to a specific area of the City by assessing property owners for the
The Brown Act requires
legislative bodies of "local agencies" to hold their meetings in public
except under specific, limited circumstances where closed sessions are
authorized. Public boards, commissions and councils shall take their actions
openly and deliberations shall be conducted openly.
5-year spending plan for the construction or improvement of public
facilities including streets, sewer and drainage systems, parks and public
buildings, and other city facilities and amenities.
Environmental Quality Act:
State law requiring that
the environmental effects of a project be taken into account when
considering a general plan, zoning, permits, variances, development and
Items on the consent
calendar require little or no discussion and therefore may be acted upon in
one motion. Certain items may qualify for the consent calendar by virtue of
being very routine or of an informational nature. Other items may be place
on the consent calendar if they have already received considerable Council
review in the recent past and a consensus has been previously reached. If a
member of the City Council wishes to discuss a specific item he/she may
request that the item be pulled from the consent calendar and considered
CUP-Conditional Use Permit:
A permit issued
following a public hearing, authorizing specific uses of land within the
City limits, subject to specified conditions, that would not otherwise be
allowed in a specific area.
A right given by the owner
of land to another party for specific limited use of that land such as to
allowing utility facilities like power lines or pipelines.
fund that functions similar to a business enterprise, whereby all costs of
providing a service are paid for by the revenues generated by that service.
A permit issued by the City
to allow work to be performed in a City right-of-way such as a street or
assessment of a proposed project, required by CEQA, to determine whether it
will have significant effects on the natural and manmade environments.
A legal and accounting term
designating revenues, including property taxes and sales taxes, which are
not restricted to any particular use. These revenues pay for general city
services such as Police, Fire, Parks & Recreation and Administration.
Comprehensive guide and map
containing policies for the long-term physical growth and development of the
Facilities and services
such as water, sewer, streets, etc., needed to sustain industrial,
residential and commercial activities.
JPA-Joint Powers Authority:
A legal entity
created by a contractual agreement between two or more existing government
agencies for the purpose of providing services.
LAFCO (Local Agency
LAFCO has regulatory
authority over local agency boundary changes and is generally charged to
discourage urban sprawl and encourage the orderly formation and development
of local agencies, based on local conditions and circumstances, and planned,
well-ordered, efficient urban development patterns with appropriate
consideration of preserving open space lands.
Document containing the laws and regulations of the City.
Neg Dec - Negative
statement issued when a proposed project will have no significant
A law or regulation adopted
by the City. Generally ordinances are introduced by council vote at one
meeting, and then adopted at a following meeting. After a waiting period of
30 days, during which time it is published in a local newspaper and subject
to referendum by the citizens, the ordinance becomes a law.
The Planning Commission is
the city planning agency authorized by state statutes. The commission
reviews and makes recommendations relative to all land use decisions
including but not limited to the General Plan and Specific Plan amendments,
variances, conditional use permits, planned developments, tentative maps,
rezoning and annexations.
Land use zoning
which allows the adoption of a set of development standards that apply to a
California State Law, redevelopment allows the city to identify areas of the
community with defective infrastructure and stagnant or unproductive land
use and take measures to make improvements. As improvements are made in the
area and the property values go up, the increase in property taxes must go
back into the Redevelopment Fund. The Redevelopment Agency oversees the
expenditures of these funds. The City Council sits as the Redevelopment
Referendum means to cause
for reconsideration. The period between adoption and the effective date of a
ordinance is normally 30-days. During this period between adoption of the
ordinance and effective date of the ordinance, the voters may challenge the
ordinance by circulating a petition. The challenge/petition is a referendum
An official City action by
which the Council formally adopts policy or approves the taking of specific
action. Resolutions are written documents and become effective when
RFP-Request for Proposal:
inviting companies to make a proposal to the city on a project, and
outlining the parameters of the project.
Roll Call Vote:
Called by the City Council
for the City Clerk to record each vote individually.
Special districts are
formed to deliver a specific, or a multitude of specific, services to a
defined area within the boundaries of the district. Limited authority
underlies the special status of special districts and sets them apart from
general purpose cities and counties. (example: fire district, cemetery
A plan adopted by a city to
implement the general plan for designated areas. It contains the locations
and standards for land use densities, streets, and other public facilities
in greater detail than the general plan map and text.
Contains detailed standards and procedures to implement the General Plan.
The ordinance divides the city into various zones with different land uses
permitted in each.