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Friday Update on February 14 2020- Valentines Day

All,

A quick review of the City Council Agenda for February 18, 2020:

Discussion Items are mostly direction on appointments and feedback:

  • Direction on the assignments to the Putah Creek Committee
  • Climate Action Plan Development Board Appointment Process
  • Procedure for filling a Planning Commission Vacancy
  • A review of the Community Engagement Input and Options for moving forward.

The consent calendar:

  • Minutes from January 21 Workshop and Regular Meeting from February 4
  • Acceptance of the First Street Parking Lot Construction

Also presenting will be Ron Turner, representing the 100 Club of Solano & Yolo Counties presenting a donation to the Chaplaincy and Crisis Intervention Program for the Winters Police Department.

This weeks edition is just a download of things on the City Manager’s Calendar and key items on the horizon.

  • Hexavalent Chromium (CR6) and the potential for new maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) from the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) is a big item. I will be meeting with State Board Members over the next couple weeks to discuss the economic impacts on the City and our customers. The potential would be for a significant water processing operation which may cost in the range of $40 million dollars and increase our water rates to our customers by as much as $93 to $150 per month. The current MCL in California is 50 parts per billion (ppb) and they are looking to reduce it to as low as 10 ppb. The national and basically worldwide standard is 100 ppb. CR6 is a naturally occurring element and in Winters our levels are between 17 and 22 ppb. A $40 million project would cripple the City’s capital capacity for debt for any other improvements or repairs to any of our utility systems and would place a massive burden on our utility program. Staff has talked with our water regulators and there are really no easy solutions that would satisfy compliance with the lower MCL. The SWRCB is working on an economic “white paper” which they will publish on the effects of a new MCL and I will provide our impacts for consideration in their consideration. This is a really big deal and could be a big hit on lower income residents and seniors. Stay tuned.
  • Public Employees Retirement System (PERS)- Pension liabilities and costs are amongst the highest priority items for cities. I am a part of a representative group which has been presenting to the PERS Board on the issues and impacts to local governments, our need to work with the PERS Staff on solutions and key policy issues which will help stabilize costs to member agencies. Thus far, our dealings with the PERS staff has been extremely positive and their Board has been receptive. This is actually a lot of work.
  • Staff is starting to assemble our Fiscal Years 20-21 and 21-22 City Budgets. That means a lot of up front work on financial forecasting, capital project needs, increased costs for operations and important items such as insurance and pension obligations. The last two fiscal years have been some of the tightest financially for the City and while we are forecasting some upticks in some revenues, we are extremely cautious on some increased costs, especially in our pension obligations. In April, we will move to some workshops and hearings on Council and community priorities. In total, the City spends a little over $13 million each year across our General, Capital and Utility Funds.
  • Housing Element and Planning- Staff is distributing the Request for Proposals for consultant services related to the upcoming housing element update process. We are linking and emailing the document which we hope will have us selecting someone and having them working by May. We also have other planning projects related to an SB2 Grant and a Specific Planning Process. The City will also be working on our Climate Action Plan and a programmatic environmental impact report to cover a number of key policy documents. Our community engagement strategy to maximize community input is being generated and can be accessed here: http://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020_0211CommunityEngagementSummary.pdf
  • Animal Services- The Cities and Yolo County are working on a new governance strategy for how animal services are being provided which basically entails starting a new administrative structure and oversight by those previously under contract with the Yolo Sheriff for the services.
  • Automated License Plate Reader Technology- Staff will be scheduling meetings with Caltrans to discuss deployment of the ALPR technology. Within the region, Winters is one of the few which currently does not have this law enforcement tool. Each of our neighboring communities have it is a tremendous resource in investigations and early warning for potential issues. We will be seeking permission from Caltrans to mount devices on traffic signals along Grant Ave.
  • Succession Management- Within the next two months, the City will be losing two key staff members. Coordinating their work and determining a future course for some key areas is a high priority.
  • Growth and Development- Over the past few weeks, staff has had multiple meetings with persons related to the potential for a growth measure in Winters which deals primarily with the northern area of the City’s General Plan. Conversely, the key property owners in the north area have asked for a meeting and staff will meet with them. Additionally, key stakeholders such as Legal Services of Northern California and their legal allies, the State Housing and Community Development Department and regional planning will need to be talked to. The advice I have given to those concerned with growth, property rights, affordable housing and planning is that they should all be talking to each other, which is what I am going to stress emphatically. This is a really big deal and all parties need to understand each other and the ramifications of their actions.

Finally, a little bit about planning and why the City does it. I tell every councilmember and planning commissioner that the decisions we make or don’t make today will determine what we have or don’t have tomorrow. People are worried about “change”, but the reality is that Winters is changing daily and the Winters of 2020 is dramatically different than the Winters of 2000. In 2000, half of the Downtown was empty and deteriorating buildings. Preserve, Steady Eddies, Chuy’s, Turkovich Wines Spin a Yarn, Berryessa Gap, El Pueblo, Ficelle, Velo City, Winters Healthcare, Scoop, Arc Guitar, Yolo Traders all did not exist.  In 2003, we closed the old car bridge for two weeks in fear that the high creek flows would make it collapse. The Downtown “looked” very different with rusted cobra head streetlights, broken sidewalks, empty storefronts and literally a single business (Buckhorn) open on the busiest evenings. The planning for renewed vibrancy and investment, important infrastructure improvements “changed” things into what we have today.

This also has to do with the services we provide. In 2004, the swimming pool was condemned, the library was a wet, mildew filled mess on First Street and the public safety facility did not exist.

I will share a short story on where we have come from in the area of services.

In 2001, Winters Fire discontinued its basic life support (bls) ambulance services because they were unable to adequately staff the unit and adhere to the requirements of an ambulance license in California. For advanced ambulance service (like we have today from AMR), the acceptable response time for service was 20 minutes (our ambulance came from Davis then). Our current service response is under 4 minutes. When I started as the CM in Winters and they told me of the 20 minute response time, I thought they were joking. In Southern California, if you were more than 4 minutes, you lost your ambulance franchise. All I knew is that 20 minutes meant you were basically dead!

Recently, an anniversary hit on my calendar which I know has changed the lives of many people and embodies the reason why it is important to never settle for the way things are and to keep moving forward.. It also gives a perspective that some things take a lot of time.

In 2004, our Fire staff and volunteers were dispatched by these radio “pagers” which provided an audio alarm and call out for incidents. When the call was picked up by the responding unit, you could listen in on the call and what was happening.

One morning, the pager went off (I had one) for a very well known Winters resident who was “not feeling well”. Winters Fire staff responded to the call and met the person and their spouse in the dining room of their home. The call for the ambulance said they were responding from West Sacramento! They talked with the individual who was completely lucid and could talk and describe what was going on. Within seconds, the person dropped to the floor of their home in full cardiac arrest.

I listened as the ambulance was stuck in traffic on the causeway. Our staff began defibrillation procedures, then began CPR which they attempted until the ambulance arrived almost 30 minutes later. Over the radio I could hear the frustration of the ambulance crew stuck in traffic. I could hear the strain in the voice of our Fire staff (who never gave up) who would periodically come up on the radio with dispatch. I listened as they reported that the individual was deceased. All because advanced life support and medications were not available to save their life.

I immediately ran down to the Fire Station on Abbey Street and to talk with our Fire Chief Scott Dozier. Scotty was strong and stoic and basically told me “that these thing happen” in our area. I could not accept what I was being told and honestly, I cried. The result, we became an organization on a mission.

For the next 7 years, we worked to change ambulance services in Winters. This involved planning for a new public safety facility (which we moved into in 2011), gaining representation on local emergency medical response boards and mostly exploring every functional, political and administrative avenue possible to departing the then existing structure in ambulance licensing so we could improve things. As a small jurisdiction, our ability to maneuver services takes time and sometimes four times the effort.

On February 6, 2013, an ambulance drove into the first space of the apparatus bay of the City’s public safety facility where they have been stationed every 24 hours a day since.  Because of this service, we have experienced more than a dozen “life saves” and countless responses which have changed the lives of countless numbers of people and their families.

From this entire experience, I learned what heroes really look like and realized that there truly are angels amongst us. They are staff like Brad Lopez and Art Mendoza and the entire Winters Fire organization which lived in the “old world” of EMS in Winters. It is volunteers like Barb and Terry Karlen who drove the Winters Ambulance (Barb drove while Terry worked on the people in the back). It is people like Phil Hoag and the AMR Ambulance Team who bring people back to life.

Probably my biggest hero was a guy named Scotty Dozier who not only lived all of this, but was the one who produced the documents which enabled us to perform an unbelievable political power play which got us to the service we now enjoy each day. Scotts legacy will live forever in our town.

Mostly, we learned to never give up trying to make things better and advancing the community.  It may save someone’s life.

Happy Valentines Day.

John


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02/18/2020 City Council Meeting

02/18/2020 City Council Meeting (PDF): Agenda / Packet


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Big Blue Barn Thrift Store Feb 14/15, 2020

Big Blue Barn Thrift Store, Yolo


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Friday Update on Sunday February 9 2020

All,

A super busy week when I need to attend the State City Manager’s Annual Meeting and take care of things back at home. Not easy!

A couple items:

  • Yes, we were talking “trash” at this weeks City Council Meeting. 😊 The City Council approved the increase in the trash rates which for the typical residential customer means about a $1.19 increase to reflect a consumer price index (CPI) increase to Waste Management and pass through costs associated with the landfill. Also discussed was the subject of the bulky item pickup. In 2020, we will cancel the bulky item drop off at the Corporation Yard and switch to a voucher which was recently mailed to our residents and residents still will get one pickup in front of their homes each year. We will evaluate utilization over the year and come back with recommendations on how to proceed in the future.

The bulky item cost is little over $60 a year to each residence. We keep this in the franchise as an outlet for people to get rid of excess and large trash items conveniently and with some cost controls. We also have it to help with overall code enforcement and to help prevent illegal dumping in the areas around the City. Some folks use it, some don’t and our attempts at addressing it are part of an overall management of the waste system. Stay tuned on this.

  • Also on the agenda was the City’s participation in the Yolo Animal Services Joint Powers Agency (JPA). The Cities and Yolo County currently share the costs in how animal services are provided through a contract with the Yolo Sheriff. The JPA is an avenue for a more active participation in the future of this service to address some cost escalation, a need for a more robust participation of private parties and a need to address a new shelter facility. The action of the City Council was the first step in a process which allows many “onramps and offramps” from the JPA moving forward.
  • A discussion and concerns regarding the results from the January Community Engagement Workshop and getting some of the raw data out. We have posted the raw data from the workshop here http://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020_0121DraftResponsesCommunityEngagementWorkshop.pdf We are still taking in data from our Google docs form which I will link and push out in a separate format on Monday. A word of acknowledgement is that the draft responses includes some consolidation of the same responses, removal of the “snarky” and inappropriate responses. We will publish the draft work plan proposal next week.
  • Also on the agenda was an RFP for consulting services related to City’s Housing Element Update due in 2021.

Finally, this weeks meeting of City Manager’s led to a focus on the really big issues facing our nation’s most populated State. The top issues without question are the homeless, availability of affordable housing, transit and the impacts of pension costs on the future of service delivery by cities. I also attended a presentation on economic development issues in rural communities. These are all enormous issues but I will share a couple takeaways.

Homelessness is not just an urban issue, it is quickly becoming a rural reality and the rights and obligations for homeless populations will accrue to all jurisdictions will quickly come upon all of us. The need to allow homeless in parks and open space areas will become the norm and the ability to enforce loitering and even trespass will become more and more difficult. At City Hall, we get many calls and complaints regarding homeless in the creek and other locations and frankly, there is not a whole lot we can do to restrict individuals doing so. Eventually, the requirement to consider housing alternatives may become more pressing and the need to outreach into our own community to help these individuals will come upon us. Monies for affordable housing previously was facilitated through redevelopment funding which annually provided more than $2 billion to generate housing for low, very low and even very, very low income individuals. That void has not been filled in the 10 years since the dissolution of redevelopment and last years housing funding legislation (SB 5) was vetoed by the Governor. Many cities and counties are now reaching into their General Funds to address homelessness and we can eventually expect that to become a reality in Winters. California is home to more than 130,000 homeless and almost a quarter of all homeless in the US reside in the State because of our weather, social services, the cost of housing, our economy and many other factors.

Rural economic development was a session I sat in and the reality is that Winters is the exception to the rule for most rural and semi-rural communities. While we have found success in the revitalization of our Downtown, most are not experiencing the same and for most, the classic downtown will become the relic of a bygone era. The advent of online purchasing has simply flipped the paradigm for how people purchase literally every product on the market from everyday food and clothing to car parts and valentines gifts. Believe or not, that Amazon Prime delivery person will now be your new butcher for many people!

The sustainability of our Downtown needs to be a constant focus. The vitality of the business community, generating customers and attracting people offline and into our local stores is critical. As one speaker said, “there has to constantly be a there- there” so people will want to come out of their homes, get offline,  to visit, socialize and experience your downtown. Winters benefits from our proximity to urban areas but those same benefits create volatility which makes investment a risk. The ability for businesses to constantly reinvest in marketing the local “brand”, refresh themselves, make a profit, employ people and maintain themselves within a larger context is important. The job of the City in being able to shape a positive reality of the future to drive business and investment.

Winters always gets called out for our success which is mostly attributable to the fact that we have a tremendous business core and made a couple strategic investments in infrastructure. I tell people “we get more out of two blocks than most get out of 20”. In all honestly, I left the session both gratified and scared to death at the same time. Lot’s of opportunity and volatility on our horizon.

And really finally, for the folks who were upset with my prognostication misses on the Super Bowl last week need to just rest a bit and wait for next year. First, who knew both defenses would be absolutely shut down against tremendous offenses. Second, the momentum changer was the bogus pass interference call against George Kittle in the second quarter which would have put the Niners up going into the half. I also think some key players were more hurt than advertised which meant the rush against the pass just exhausted the 49er defensive line which allowed the KC come back in the fourth quarter. KC had a good game plan, mixed their overall defensive coverage and deserved the win. For the Niners, they have a very young team, room in the NFL salary cap and good leadership in their front office with John Lynch (super good guy) and Kyle Shanahan/staff.  My prediction for 2021 is the 49ers will beat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl LV!

Have a nice week.

John


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Friday Update on January 31 2020

All,

Lot’s on the City Council Agenda for Tuesday.

Discussion Items:

  • Trash Rates
  • Senior Center Grant Application
  • Housing Management Agreement with Yolo Housing
  • Animal Services
  • Housing Element- Request for Consultant Services

Consent Items:

  • Redevelopment Agency Dissolution Schedule
  • Employee Injury and Illness Prevention Plan
  • Civic Spark Fellow Services
  • Landfill Monitoring
  • Acceptance of Phase IA Improvements- Winters Highlands

A couple items for update:

  • A Solano County Judge has ruled in favor of the various Public Agencies involved in the legal disputes surrounding the Phase 3 Putah Creek Project. This summarily ends the years of legal wrangling on the Winters Putah Creek Park Projects. Its nice to move forward!
  • Staff had a good meeting with Bob Polkinghorn from the group working on a growth referendum. Overall a very good meeting and a commitment to keeping channels of communication open. We talked about a number of subjects including traffic circulation, impacts on affordable housing, the potential for litigation from various interests, economic sustainability, fiscal impacts, the impacts on overall City planning, infrastructure and services. We are providing Bob with a considerable amount of information for him to share with his group in consideration of what they are proposing. The meeting was productive and I appreciated Bobs time.
  • Staff met with Neighborworks, a non-profit housing development firm about the possibility of a “self help” housing project to build 26 units in the Winters Highlands Subdivision. This could be an exciting project for 2020.
  • The information from the Community Engagement Workshop is still being compiled and it will be shared over the course of the next few weeks. This and next week are literally “monster” weeks for some of us, so the workload balance has many balls in the air!
  • Both the Fairfield Inn and Blue Mountain Terrace Apartments are beginning construction. Look for lots of activity during the break in the weather.
  • The Mitigated Negative Declaration on the Walnut 10 subdivision will be out for public review next week.
  • The Public Safety Recognition Dinner is scheduled for February 29 2020.

Finally, my Super Bowl LIV Prediction. I am a staunch believer that you win with Defense. The 49ers have, without question the best defensive front 7 in the NFL, rivaling even their greatest years. Kansas City is probably weaker up front on D but overall they are better against the run than the embarrassing Green Bay Packers meaning Jimmy G will need to throw the ball. KC has better coverage from their linebackers and corners than the 49ers have faced in the playoffs which will benefit in dealing with  the awesomeness of George Kittle. My favorite 49er is clearly Richard Sherman who will thrive in the Super Bowl atmosphere. Patrick Mahomes will also thrive but I really think Jimmy G who has been to multiple Super Bowls will have a better focus when it comes to the fourth quarter. My prediction is to take the “over” (the current Vegas line is only 54.5) and the 49ers will win the game behind 2 long Robbie Gould field goals, a Richard Sherman “pick 6” and Kittle shredding the weakness of the KC safeties with a couple long TD catches to become the MVP. Niners 39 KC 26

Go Niners!


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02/04/2020 City Council Meeting

02/04/2020 City Council Meeting (PDF): Agenda / Packet


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Need Volunteers to Certify as Lifeguards

The City is interested in having a group of regular lap swimmers (around 5 individuals) to certify as volunteer lifeguards.  For the upcoming swim season, the City’s  goal is to always have two certified guards available during lap swim sessions.  There will  always be a paid guard on duty who is primarily responsible for guarding .  The volunteer guard simply needs to be at the pool site for the entire two hour shift, however, the volunteer guard could swim during this time.  The volunteer guard would be a backup only if something were to happen and the paid guard needed assistance to rescue an injured swimmer from the pool.

The City of Vacaville is holding its next Lifeguard Training Session during President’s Day Weekend.  It is a comprehensive in-water course:

  • Saturday, Feb 15 (12-4)
  • Sunday, Feb 16 (9-5)
  • Monday, Feb 17 (9-5)

Participants must first complete an American Red Cross online course (approximately 7 hours).  The cost for the Vacaville Course is $160.  You can sign up online (although it appears that their website has been compromised) or in person at the main office on Alamo (near the Graham Aquatic Center).

https://secure.rec1.com/CA/vacaville-ca/catalog/index/0338bfed904c6d5741f237a26fee36d7?filter=c2VhcmNoPSZsb2NhdGlvbiU1QjEyMzQzJTVEPTE=

City Manager Donlevy has offered that there will be some type or reciprocal deal, whereby the volunteer guards will get free swims in lieu of doing shifts – details to follow.  Volunteer lifeguards will also have to be Live Scanned, but the City has agreed to cover the cost of this.


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Friday Update on January 24 2020

All,

Just a few items today, but look for a very expanded update next week:

  • One of the biggest issues facing the City is the consideration by the State Water Control Board on a new drinking water standard for Hexavalent Chromium (CR6). This issue is beginning to raise its head again and it could have a massive impact on Winters and our drinking water rates. I am scheduled over the next few weeks to be a part of a group meeting with Water Board Members on this topic to talk about the projected impacts on our community. Of things which are a really big deal, this would be one of the biggest deals for us.
  • Overall a good meeting on the Community Engagement. Our expansion into streaming on Facebook Live and Youtube Live brought the meeting to more than triple the attendance at City Hall. The survey tool we used gave us some really good input which we will condense and start to weave into a draft strategy which we will take before the City Council in February. The most entertaining part of the responses was to the question of incentives to get people to be involved, and the top two responses were beer and wine!
  • Next Thursday (January 30th) is Don Saylor’s Annual Soup’s On event.  In the past 16 years this event had raised funds for various local non-profits.  This year 100% of the funds will benefit Acme Theatre company, a youth development program cleverly disguised as a theatre arts program.  The event features delicious food and beverages from throughout Yolo County.  The City of Winters is well represented with clam chowder from Councilman Wade Cowan, soup from Buckhorn Grill and Carboni’s Restaurant, and wine from Turkovich. Join this fun event and help raise funds for a good cause.

Don Saylor’s Soup’s On Event: Thursday, January 30, 2020
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
NEW LOCATION: Veterans’ Memorial Center
203 E. 14th Street, Davis
Ticket Info: https://soupsonacme.brownpapertickets.com/

Finally, Saturday night is the Winters Chamber of Commerce’s Year in Review which recognizes the Citizens of the Year, Business of the Year, Senior Citizens of the Year and the recipient of the Theodore Winters Award for recent service to the City.

Citizens of the Year are Barb and Terry Karlen. The reality is that their 35 years with Winters Fire has impacted this community in a manner which should beatify them into sainthood as they represent the many men and women who have saved lives and property in our community. From coordinating explorers to running on fires and medical emergencies, Barb and Terry’s dedication to the community continues day in and day out. One of their most important contributions was the time that they drove the Winters Ambulance. Because of their efforts, we now have paramedic level services in our town. The fraternity which are the Citizens of the Year is an amazing group and Terry and Barb will be amongst the top for their service.

Business of the Year is Turkovich Wines. Without question, Chris and Luciana have put Winters on the California wine map, but in reality they have brought so much more. Their entire team has set the bar for excellence in advancing the “Winters” brand, promoting our town to writers from throughout the world and making Winters the destination it has become. From www.Visit128.com to leadership within the Downtown on key issues and in the region, the generosity of time and commitment to raising the vitality of the business community puts them as one of the City’s biggest assets.

The Theodore Winters Award is going to Gino Mediati, the Manager of Pacific Ace Hardware. Gino does not know how to say “no” and has quietly been one of the number one benefactors to many community organizations from Project Playground to Winters High School. Gino and the entire team were honored a few years ago as a very deserving “Business of the Year”. Truthfully, it takes leadership and will at the top of the store and Gino is that guy!

Senior Citizens of the Year goes to the “Gorilla Gardener’s” who will be represented by Ellie Yeatman and Nikki Chapman. The best way to describe the Gorilla Gardener’s is that they are the ones committed to making Downtown Winters look really good. From planting flowers to just trimming everything up, they are constantly giving their time to keeping out town beautiful.

The Year in Review is really a special tradition for Winters in recognizing those who are unselfishly giving of themselves and making a positive difference in our town. Cheers to those being honored!

Have a nice weekend.

John


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Winters Senior Commission on Aging – accepting applications

We are accepting applications to fill an alternate position on the Board of Winters Senior Commission on Aging.

The Application of Appointment to City Board and Commissions and the Resolution of the Winters City Council establishing the Winters Senior Commission on Aging can be found on the City of Winters website at http://www.cityofwinters.org/winters-senior-commission-on-aging/.    Prospective applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have a Winters address.  Please email completed Applications of Interest in Appointed Positions to tracy.jensen@cityofwinters.org.  You may also drop completed applications off or mail to City of Winters, Attn: Tracy Jensen, City Clerk, 318 First Street, Winters, CA  95694.

For more information, call 530-794-6702.


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Friday Update on January 17 2020

All,

An update on some key items:

City Council:

Discussion Item:

  • Joint Workshop with the Planning Commission on Community Engagement (Discussion Item)

Consent Calendar:

  • Memorandums of Understanding- Police and Fire
  • Drainage Impact Fee and Accessory Dwelling Unit Fees Consulting Agreement
  • Amendment to Teacher/Public Safety Mortgage Loan Program
  • Public Improvement Agreement- Fairfield Inn
  • Emergency Generator and Lighting Project- El Rio Villa

A couple other updates:

  • Congratulations to Winters Police Sergeants Kelly McCoy and Jose Hermosillo on achieving milestones in service. Jose hit the 6 year service mark!
  • The construction team for the Blue Mountain Terrace Apartments are beginning their move in on the site. They will utilize the future Senior Center property as a staging area for the construction of the project.
  • Staff is working on the draft of the RFP for the 2021-29 Housing Element. The plan is to put the Request for Proposals out in February and have someone on board by April.
  • The State Department of Housing and Community Development has notified staff of a preliminary approval of our SB2 Planning Grant. The next stage is they are moving it up the chain to the next level. We will see!
  • Staff met with the architect team for first two phases of Three Oaks Park. This is the 11 acre linear park to be constructed in the Stones Throw subdivision. The first phases will include picnic areas, playgrounds, a combination basketball/futsal court and two dog (small and large dog) dog parks. Look for construction to occur over the summer with a goal of completion by September or October.
  • Overall housing production in the City was below projections for 2019. Original estimates were 78 units but actual certificates of occupancy were 44, about half of the projection.
  • Congratulations to the Hotel Winters on an amazing “Grand Opening”. Extremely well done and a celebration worth waiting for, the hotel is beautiful!
  • Look for Carboni’s Restaurant to open toward the end of January/start of February. They are hiring and need staff. Go here for job opportunities https://www.olshotels.com/careers?fbclid=IwAR2XDpgZtrdH174IO4GU6MnxsrXNBvD3rQP1UkS83XdpvQT4w5XrTAhAuDE . Navigate to page 9 of the opportunities and the Winters jobs come up.

Workshop on How to do Community Engagement- Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

In 2020 and 2021, we will be working on a number of key planning effforts including the City’s Housing Element, SB 2 funded projects, the development of a Climate Action Plan and a City limits specific plan. The goal of the January 21 workshop is to begin the development of a community outreach and engagement strategy to help facilitate a broad crossection of community input into these important subjects.

This Joint Workshop of the City Council and the Planning Commission is to focus on the development of a Community Engagement Stratgy for the City of Winters. The workshop will NOT include or focus on any specific issues or topics other than community engagement.

We will be covering many issues over the next few years including our Housing Element, Climate Action Plan, SB 2 Planning Topics and a City Limits Specific Plan. THIS IS NOT THAT MEETING! This is an opportunity for us to get input on outreach and engagement before we begin anything specific on any topics. This is foundational and a chance for us to begin the groundwork for how we will get input on the bigger issues. How we outreach and communicate is a critical component, so we are starting now by trying to get input up front on the how we do it.

Some specifics on the goals of the meeting:

  • Why and the purpose of this meeting: To gain input on key questions which will contribute to the development of an overall community engagement plan for the City of Winters.
  • Tasks Planned: A facilitated list of questions which will allow participants to provide input on aspects of the plan.
  • Who is invited and How can people participation: Any interested persons are invited and people can participate either in person, on Facebook Live or through a Google Docs Form which will be posted both before and after the meeting.
  • Translation: All questions will be in english and spanish in person on the Facebook Live feed and on the Google Docs Form.
  • Input: This is a workshop and we will be summarizing and consolidating responses as best we can. Similar will be counted as same in some instances.

The workshop will include the following elements:

  • A series of questions posed to participants and attendees to gain input on elements of the strategy.
  • A smart phone polling feature which will allow people to submit responses to the posed questions. For those who do not wish to use the smart phone, 3X5 cards will be available.
  • Streaming on Facebook Live to allow people to watch the workshop and submit responses to the same questions.
  • A Google Docs Form will be developed and pushed on social media for responses from persons not at the meeting.

To watch the City Council Meeting on our Youtube Channel, go here: http://www.cityofwinters.org/live-city-council-meetings/

To join the meeting on Facebook Live, go here: https://www.facebook.com/City-of-Winters-CA-106291445827/


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January 21, 2020 City Council Meeting

01/21/2020 City Council Meeting (PDF): Agenda / Packet


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Friday Update on January 10, 2020- Leadership Edition

All,

A busy first work week for 2020. A couple items of interest and then a little bit about some exemplary leadership occurring from the Winters Community.

A couple items of interest:

  • The Hotel Winters has their ribbon cutting on Saturday at 3:00. It’s going to be GREAT!
  • On Tuesday, a groundbreaking was held for the 73 Room Marriot Fairfield Inn which will be constructed on Matsumoto Lane just off Grant Ave. This is a really important project and will provide needed lodging for the PG&E Gas Academy and travelers. Look for a construction timeline of about 10 months.
  • The contractor for the Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments picked up the approved plans and we expect a groundbreaking and construction to commence soon.
  • 2020 brings many new laws into effect which bring new requirements for our organization. Police have significant changes regarding use of force, documentation regarding contacts with the public and many new “annual reports”.  Lots of administrative burdens which just seem to be piling up.

For this update, I thought it would be nice to share a perspective on community leadership and people who have and are impacting Winters and our influence. As I sifted through my mail this week, signed various documents and attended both regional and State-wide meetings, it is apparent that Winters is influencing in ways beyond our “weight class”. Without question, we have folks demonstrating leadership which comes from within many of the values and efforts which make our community strong, vibrant and moving forward. The only way to describe it is we are defining what people call leadership:

  • Leadership is opening Comstock’s Magazine and seeing an article titled “A Cut Above” about John and Melanie Pickerel and the success of the Buckhorn Restaurant. The Buckhorn represents a level of excellence which is ingrained in how they do business every single day. They represent a level of quality which permeates their operations which sets them apart from their competition. Ironically, the magazine came out the day of the passing of Bob Taylor who served as a member of the Buckhorn Team and was a critical mentor to people like John Pickerel, Joe the Butcher, Leon Bajakian and the next generation types like Silverio Artega who now runs the Buckhorn food trucks. Joe told me that is was Bob who showed him the “steakhouse skills” which help makes him one of our nations’ top in house butchers. Silverio told me how Bob taught him how to “do things the right way” and how “not to cut corners or quality”. The quality and excellence which is the Buckhorn, Joe’s skills and Silverio’s commitment to always do things the right way is a testament to a legacy which Bob leaves us all. When people think of Winters they always bring up the Buckhorn and the reputation for simply being the best.
  • Leadership is opening Western City Magazine (the main publication for city governments) and seeing a picture of our former Mayor and now Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar Curry being recognized by the League of California Cities as the “Legislator of the Year” for her support of issues and as a champion for communities throughout our State. Who is Cecilia, she was a single mom who raised two beautiful and successful daughters working multiple jobs and juggling work and family. She was a soccer coach and active community member. On the planning commission she became an unyielding voice for universal design in construction for Winters projects. On our City Council, she got Winters “to the table” within the region and brought representation to western Yolo County. She spearheaded the Hispanic Advisory Committee, the Festival de La Communidad/Carnitas Festival. Cecilia brings inclusion and pulls people into the process and empowers them to step up and make things happen. If you are around her, she gives you a job, holds you accountable and celebrates your victory and success. Its actually pretty cool seeing a local person being recognized as the top champion for cities who you know works incredibly hard to get things done. Few care more or work harder.
  • Leadership is seeing a picture of Councilmember Jesse Loren in the same Western City Magazine being recognized for being a member of the Torch Leadership Program for the League of Cities. Jesse has brought leadership as a member of the Leagues Executive Board representing all “rural cities” in the State. She chairs the Rural Caucus, is a member of both the Women’s and Latino Caucuses and sits on key policy committees for community development and environmental quality. Winters influence on policy and legislation for key issues and support for rural and small communities is extremely high because of these efforts.
  • Leadership is Robert Duvall, the Winters Police Department Chaplain who along with K-9 “Kepi” were recently recognized by the Kaiser Foundation as “First Responders of the Year” for the Napa/Solano/Yolo Region. Robert is a “hero amongst the hero’s”, providing support to victims, families and his fellow public safety personnel in some of the toughest situations of peoples lives. In 2019, he provided over 2,000 hours of volunteer services, serving over 80 death notifications and responding to the regions biggest incidents. Robert supports our residents and public safety personnel by helping them deal with the sometimes unimaginable of tragedies. For many, Robert is the rock in the worst moments of their lives, providing strength and support to deal with the grief but also to begin the healing. He is 100% volunteer and wears a shirt that says Winters on it.
  • Leadership is Chris Kelsch, Leticia Quirarte, Irene Tweet (and the entire team) from Winters Healthcare who are taking our healthcare to a new level. The new campus, their programming and their services will lead our community to a new horizon from a livability and quality of life stand point. To walk into their new facility will give you euphoria with how nice it is. Winters is going to be healthier because of the work and leadership of these individuals who bring old fashion community values to making their home a better place.
  • Leadership is what I like to refer to as the “millennial” entrepreneurs who are creating businesses and opportunity I have never seen in my 18 years in Winters. Businesses like Flatland Construction, Josh Colter Painting, Ample Electric, Aleco, Winters Concrete, Winters Plumbing and others are hiring locally with good paying jobs, training and growing themselves to lead Winters into the future. At City Hall and throughout the community, you see these hard working, home grown entrepreneurs building their base, doing the work and supporting local families with sustainable wages. They are growing their businesses and more importantly, hiring locally to compete against the “big companies” from outside our town. To say we are proud of these businesses is an understatement. They are role models who are bringing a vitality not seen in Winters for decades!
  • Leadership is the quality which permeates the “Winters Brand” through the products which people know us for. Turkovich Wines (Chris and Luciana), Buckhorn Trucks (Silverio and Moy), Berryessa Gap Wines (Nicole and Rosendo), Steady Eddies Coffee (Karla and Mel), Pure Honey (Doniece) and Berryessa Brewing (Chris and Lori) exude that same excellence which is how Winters is viewed. These are all perfectionists who are at the top of their respective classes who settle for nothing but the best product as a reflection of themselves but also the Winters Community. Some people settle for good. Not these folks! Every drop, sip and bite are important to them as a reflection of who they are, what they stand for and a local culture which says we are going to simply be the best. They are our reputation  and they know it. You always want people who have high expectations and pride driving your reputation and nobody can doubt we have that we these folks.

Finally, Leadership are those who have taken the chances to build, resurrect and advance the Winters community to where it is today. Downtown Winters is important and represents a celebrated renaissance. In reality, Downtown essentially died in the 1970’s and 80’s when the train left and area cities blossomed. It became mostly abandoned with boarded buildings and empty storefronts. Leadership are people like Charley Wallace, John and Melanie Pickerel, Joe and Karen Ogando, Elliot Landes, Mike and Janet Kimes and John and Liz Siracusa. These are the people who did not let it die and have led the resurrection. These are people who literally have given their all, mortgaged properties and kept Winters viable during the toughest of times so that we can enjoy the best of times. These folks are “all in” for this community both emotionally and financially. In my career and life, I have never met people like them and feel privileged to know them.

I have included a photo which is probably one of my most cherished Winters memories. It was taken in 2008 at 2:00 a.m. in front of the Buckhorn during the Downtown construction Phase I project. Restaurants all over the region were closing, the economy was crashing and we decided we would dig a hole and cut off the access to the front door of the Buckhorn. John Pickerel stood eerily in shock and my only consoling words I could think of were “I hope this works?” In many ways, I think we can argue that it has.

Leadership is about many things which include motivation, discipline, taking risks, pride, making people successful and sometimes dealing with disruption (like a big hole). To quote Huell Howser, “Winters is amazing” and I think it accrues to our culture of excellence, commitment, giving and to moving forward in our quest to simply be the best.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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Utility Bills – Technical Difficulties 1/15/20

We apologize for the delay in mailing out the Utility Bills due to some technical difficulties. Upon receiving your bill, please disregard the printed due date of 1/15/20. Due to the delay, payments will be due on 1/25/20.Thank you for your understanding. We apologize for any inconvenience.

-City of Winters Finance Dept


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Friday Update on January 3, 2020

All,

Happy 2020. According to my notes, everything was supposed to be solved by 2020, but in our case, there are still a few loose ends to pick up.

The January 7 City Council Meeting will cover the following:

  • Annual Report on AB 1600 Impact Fees
  • Review of the Active Projects list
  • Second Reading of the PD Overlay for the LDS Church Subdivision
  • Transit Board Appointment
  • 2 claims against the City.

As we move into 2020, I will be presenting to the City Council an overview of our current projects. Things are really busy, so here are some of the highlights of what is being worked on:

  • Two important projects will break ground and begin construction. The Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Affordable Apartments is a 63 unit complex on East Baker Street behind the new Winters Healthcare Campus and Yolo Credit Union. The Fairfield Inn will be a 73 room hotel on Matsumoto Lane and will hold their groundbreaking on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 3:30. Both of these projects have been in the works for more than 8 years!
  • Housing will be working on affordable housing requirements for the current subdivisions, Blue Mountain Terrace, a 26 Unit “self help” project in the Stone’s Throw subdivision, and the LDS Subdivision.
  • Engineering will be working on subdivision capital improvements for the Stones Throw, Heartland, Farmstead, Walnut 10 and Olive Grove.
  • Capital Projects to look for in 2020 will be Three Oaks Park, a City Hall Accessibility Remodel (former police station), planning applications for the I505 Overcrossing in support of Yolo County, the Paseo Park (Downtown) connecting the Hotel Winters and Main Street, the Putah Creek Trail Extension and Phase II of the Influent Screen Project at our Wastewater Treatment Facility. Also look for street slurry seal projects at locations throughout the City.
  • The City will submit grant applications for a new Senior Center, Fire Personnel, sewer treatment facilities and roadway improvements.
  • The Fire Department will be working on overall operational planning, volunteer recruitment, fire prevention and equipment replacement.
  • Police will be adding a Police Commander position, participating in the Yolo Crime Task Force, deploying new technology to assist officers, code enforcement and continuing investigations on crimes within the community. The addition of a detective resulted in a 95 year conviction for a child molester in 2019. A major issue with public safety in Winters has been the lack of staffing to follow up on reports and criminal behavior.
  • Public Safety in general will be working with our Yolo 911 on the deployment of records management systems to enhance data management of emergency data. This will be a major initiative on a State-wide basis in 2020.
  • The City Council represents the City on more than 20 different Boards, Committees and Commission within the region and throughout the State. ALL are tremendously busy and will tackle huge issues from homelessness, housing,  groundwater sustainability, regional transportation, energy, habitat and State-wide legislation.
  • There will be lots of “planning” in 2020. The City will be developing its updated Housing Element, a “City Limits” Specific Plan will be developed, revisions to the City’s General Plan and key policies.
  • A “Climate Action Plan” will be a priority project for the beginning of 2020.
  • Economic Development efforts will be on hold from the City standpoint, pending the outcome of certain community discussions.
  • The Building Department will be busy with inspections for both new and existing residential, commercial projects including the Fairfield Inn, Blue Mountain Terrace and the never ending Chevron Project. Building will also be implementing a new building permitting software system which will allow online project submittal and permitting.
  • A major initiative for Building will be advancing a seismic retrofit ordinance which will affect properties in our Downtown.

For the full list, check out pages 69-97 of the City Council agenda packet: http://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020_0107CityCouncilPacket.pdf

One of the biggest issues facing the City organization will be the departure of key personnel in our planning, housing and public works. The success which we have achieved over the years has been rooted in the continuity and long term commitment to seeing big things through. Anyone in business can tell you that long term employees are tremendous assets in achieving the most difficult and challenging projects.

A reality for a community like Winters is that gaining investment confidence with folks is not easily done. In fact, it can take years for what some communities see as simple projects. Our size, limited business climate, location and land use constraints make us a really high risk for those with money and getting some projects to fruition can take years and decades. We genuinely need business leadership to help advance the Winters economy, create jobs and vitality.

I think 2020 is going to be an interesting year!

Thanks,

John


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