An early edition as I am dealing with a number of things over the next few days and next week.
A couple items:
Last week I shared a little bit about my first year working for the City and mentioned that 9/11 was my second day on the job. A little more on that fateful day.
I watched the second plane go into the second tower of the World Trade Center when I was getting ready to come to work on that Tuesday morning at my brothers apartment in Sacramento. He had the Today Show on and mentioned a plane crashing into one of the buildings. We watched in horror as a news camera picked up the second plane roaring through Manhattan and exploding into the second tower.
I jumped into my City car, fumbled with the radio and found a talk radio station which was talking about the attack. On the ride to Winters I heard about the attack on the Pentagon and that they were shutting down all air traffic around the Country. Simply surreal.
When I arrived at City Hall, I ran into the building looking for a television. It was janitorial day and the two people looked at me like “who the heck are you” when I asked them for a tv. I spent a couple minutes trying to convince them that I worked here. Finally I showed the one guy that I had a key to my office and he bought that I was a new employee! The City only had a single, 13” television, no cable with a really cheap antenna with only a 2’ cord on it. I put the tv on a chair, found a bay area news station and got a horrible, but watchable picture and things unfolded.
Staff began to arrive to work that morning a little before 8. We all gathered in the upstairs conference room and watched the news reports and the eventual collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. What I remember most about the moment of the first collapse was our Recreation Coordinator Gloria Marion grabbing and holding on to my hand as the first building went down. We all stood there in silence, me and Gloria holding hands as the massive dust cloud erupted like a volcano on the New York Skyline. The ghostly figures walking from the streets, covered in grey ash in utter shock. We all had a tear in our eye and nobody really said anything.
Later that morning, our Police Chief, Steve Godden came to my office. He told me that all the government offices in the area were closing as a security measure against terrorism. I told him, that being the new guy, I had to ask why Winters would be a target for international terrorism. He mentioned the dam and we talked it out a bit and decided that we would keep the doors open for folks to come by with any questions.
Gloria Marion was one of the most social people I had ever met. From the theatre productions to her side job styling hair, she seemed to know everybody (and she did). That day it seemed like hundreds of people stopped by City Hall to check in. Most of the people were older, many just looking for someone to talk and visit. I think many were as in shock as all of us and just looking for a little reassurance to share some sorrow. Gloria had an incredible personality and a deep, assuring voice. I can only imagine the number of people she gave solace to that day but it was awesome. She and Nanci Mills held court downstairs and made a difference for many.
Because it was a Tuesday, the town was basically closed during the evening. The Buckhorn was open but nobody was there. Downtown was very different that night than people see it today with the Buckhorn and Tienda Liquor Store being the only businesses open in Downtown. The place was just empty.
We had turned off the little City Hall tv and I remember working late into the evening. I called my wife Kathy and we decided that we did not want our kids to watch the television of what had occurred, so she read to them that evening.
As I got into the car to head to my brothers apartment in Sacramento, I ran into Gloria walking up the street from a hair appointment she had with a customer. I pulled over to offer her a ride (she lived only a block from City Hall but I did not know that) and she politely declined. I thanked her for being there for so many people who visited City Hall that day. I also thanked her for holding my hand that morning as things unfolded. She looked at me and said “You looked scared”. We both smiled at each, laughed and I proceeded to drive off. I knew at that moment that I would really like working with Gloria. And she was right, I was scared!
The warmth of a small town sometimes comes out in different ways. When horrific events happen, its nice to know that we have the type of place where when people have some fear and need comfort, they know they have a place to come.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Food and Drinks, Carnitas Cook-off, Live Music and Entertainment and Dancing.
Fun for the whole family.
(See flyer below-click to open pdf)
For more information about this event, please contact Dagoberto Fierros at (530) 794-6760 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Just a few items this week:
So, Tuesday, September 10, 2019 will mark my eighteenth (18) year as the City Manager of the City of Winters. It was an exciting week because the terrorist attack on our nation was the following day, September 11, 2001! For those who do not know my background, I grew up in the greater Los Angeles area and that area is a little different than there!
A couple remembrances to share about my first year in town after these 18 years which give me perspective to this day about Winters, California………………..
If I learned anything during my first year in Winters, it was about perspective and priorities. Volunteers and community values are critical, the importance of little things (being neighborly and caring about others) and mostly, the inherent goals of the community to move it forward yet maintaining a sense of place, identity and being unique.
In Winters, I have met some of the nicest and sincere people I could ever imaging knowing. I give thanks for the blessings of raising my kids in a town which really does care and the giving I have been able to do in return. 18 years is a while, but I still remember that Halloween at Bruce’s House as if it were yesterday. I’m a lucky guy!
On August 21, 2019, the City held a joint community workshop of the City Council and Planning Commission to discuss a number of key planning subjects including the status of any application regarding the North Area, an overview of the application and plan review process, the status of the General Plan and an overview of key planning issues in California. The Workshop was well attended and the public provided a number of important themes in their comments.
One of the most important takeaways was the importance that the City needs to ensure a very robust process of engagement, information and planning to bring the community into a process of planning all facets of the how, where and the pace of development within the City.
From the City Staff perspective and in my discussions with both City Council and Planning Commission, the message was heard loud and clear!
Key themes in the comments included:
Staff has taken these themes and is incorporating them into an overall land use planning work program which will be presented to the City Council on October 1, 2019.
At the end of the workshop, the Council provided staff with some specific direction on some key items including the following:
Status of Annexation
Additionally, Staff is proposing projects to specifically address many of the themes which were presented at the workshop. There are many details in development and some things will take time to prepare, (and may be modified) but will be presented at the October 1 meeting.
Without question, people at the workshop are interested in participation in planning the future of the City, and making sure that the City’s residents have input into land use and planning decisions moving forward. Making sure that our citizens have this opportunity will be the number one priority.
Staff is now working on the development of a public outreach strategy to maximize community participation in the review and prioritization of general plan policy development.
The work program will include the following to address concerns related to the General Plan:
The important of establishing a clear picture of a sound financial future for the City to provide services, maintain infrastructure and sustain critical services such as school, public safety and the wide variety of quality of life services such as parks and projected senior services is critical. The work program will include a variety of fiscal models to help in the decision making process.
The importance of accessibility of information on planning is a critical part of the overall process. The work program includes:
Climate Action Strategy and Plan:
The work program will include a program toward the update and adoption of a Climate Action Plan. This may include:
The proposal will be one of the most comprehensive planning and community participation efforts in many years for the City.
Stay tuned for more information!
Have a nice labor day!
John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager
Happy Yolo County Faire Weekend! Getting this out so I can go support the Winters FFA students and pour beer for Rotary. Here is the update:
Finally, a big thanks to the “Guerilla Gardeners” who have become an important partner for the City of Winters in maintaining and manicuring the Downtown Area. All through the area from Railroad Ave to Main and First Street, these volunteers are doing an amazing job and showing a lot of pride and “Winters Spirit” in making our community look really good! A shout out and many thanks for a job well done.
Go to the County Faire, support our FFA and enjoy one of the last “free” experiences of its type in California!
A couple of items this week:
Some miscellaneous items:
City Hall is extremely busy! A key project I am working on involves the development of a key project list to inform the City Council and the public about the myriad of issues and projects we are working on. Lots of projects which are interconnected means the need to plan the appropriate sequencing to maximize the overall efficiency and effectiveness of how we proceed. For some folks it may seem frustrating but it is just the reality for how we need to proceed.
Finally, I would like to highlight the Police Department’s Cadet Program which provides personal development and leadership opportunities for young people in our community. The young men and women in the program have the chance to not only learn about law enforcement and public safety, but to make a genuine impact on their community and become role models amongst their peers and especially with children.
In 2019, the Cadets have represented the community in a number of events, most notably at the services for fallen Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona. I will share that I saw the cadets the morning of the services, looking amazingly professional and ready to go represent. They shined at the event and those in the Department and I could never have been prouder to have such fine young people wearing the name “Winters” on their uniforms. It was special!
Cadet positions are non- sworn volunteer positions and complement the Winters Police Volunteer Program. The goals of the Police Cadet program are to expose men and women to the various aspects of police work in order to prepare them for a career in law enforcement. The Police Cadet program also helps to provide quality candidates for all law enforcement. Cadets increase services the Police Department can provide to our community and can provide support in the following areas:
The program is administered by Cadet Program Director Officer Alan Pinette and Coordinator CSO Gail Jimenez. For more information regarding the Cadet Program please contact: Cadet Program Winters Police Department 702 Main St Winters, CA 95694 (530) 795-2261 ext 146 email@example.com Or download our information brochure by clicking this link: Cadet Brochure
Have a good weekend!
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