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Friday Update on January 25, 2019


A quick update on the many initiatives and projects I have on my desk:

  • Interview and Selection for Fire Chief: We have decided to conduct formal interviews with internal candidates to fill the job of Fire Chief for Winters Fire. The process will include a dual interview panel including a “Technical Interview” with Fire and City Management professionals and a “Community Panel” which will include persons from the community who do business with Winters Fire. This will occur in mid February and we will plan on an appointment by early March.
  • Economic Development Committee Report and Recommendations: The draft is in circulation with the Economic Committee and we should have the report completed within the next 10 working days. We will then schedule a workshop for presentation in February.
  • Winters Housing Element Update: The City’s General Plan Housing Element expires in October of 2020, thus we need to begin the process for the update. This will include the hire of a consultant and a process of preparation. We will work toward having the request for proposals for a consultant out by April of 2019.
  • Greater Winters Community Wildfire Protections Plan: Through a grant with CalFire, Winters Fire has been working with residents of Golden Bear Estates, Positas Rd and other key stakeholders such as Audubon California on a wildfire protection plan. So far, the process has been exceptional and they are working toward a draft which should be ready for public review in March.
  • General Plan “refresh”: A key goal for 2019 is to take the City’s General Plan and update various sections to make it easier to read, include more graphics and goals and to essentially make it a more transparent document in compliance with State goals for General Plans. The City has received a $100k grant and will look to hire a consultant to facilitate a “refresh” of our overall plan. To see our overview and status on the City website, click HERE.
  • Monthly General Plan Updates: Starting on February 5, the City Council will be getting a monthly update on each of the City’s nine (9) General Plan Elements. February will include an overview of the Health and Safety Element.
  • Succession Planning: The City has some key retirements on the horizon. This means the need to hire and replace some key personnel. Look for an extensive discussion of this topic at one of the upcoming Strategic Planning Workshops.

A quick status on some key projects coming soon:

  • First Street Parking Lot: A new Downtown Parking Lot will be constructed to support the Downtown Hotel and increase public access. The City calendar has us starting on this project in March and it will bring an additional 38 spaces.
  • Flood Plan Update: An update to the flood master plans covering the north area of the City is in development.
  • Three Oaks Park: As part of the new housing projects being developed, an 11 acre linear park will be developed named “Three Oaks Park”. The project will be developed in three phases and will include picnic areas, playgrounds, grass play areas, dog parks and a community garden. Infrastructure plans are due in 2019 with construction beginning in 2020.
  • City Hall Annex Remodel: A key project at City Hall will be to make it more accessible to residents. In 2017, half of the former fire/police station was remodeled to include a new conference room. Staff is currently working on plans to add additional office space into the other half of the building and move certain administrative offices into that location to ease the ability of folks to do business with the City. Look for this project in 2020.

Have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update on January 18 2019


A couple items as I return from two weeks out of the office!

  • Heavy rains from the past couple weeks brought flooding to parts of our town on wednesday, affecting a number of homes. Kudos to Winters Public Works and Fire for their response, literally working through the night from Wednesday into Thursday to unclog drains and pump flooding water.
  • Planning Commission Meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 22 and will include a Permit for the Buckhorn Food Truck and a review of the draft Vacation Rental Ordinance.
  • The Strategic Planning Workshop on Economic Development previously scheduled for January 23 has been cancelled and will be rescheduled to another date. Delays in the production, review and relesae of the Economic Development Committee’s Report and Recommendations is the reason. Stay tuned for updates on the meeting days and times.
  • Good news in Transparency for the City of Winters Website. The City scored highest amongst all Yolo County Agencies for our website transparency in grading done by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). LAFCO actually scored 2 percentage points higher, but they were doing the grading, so I am giving us a bump! To review the report, go HERE.
  • Saturday evening is the Year in Review and will honor Linda Glick Landes (Citizen of the Year), Karen May (Senior of the Year), Baldo Arce (Theodore Winters Award) and the Treehouse is Business of the Year.

Some hot items on my plate as the City Manager:

  • Interviews and Selection for Fire Chief
  • Economic Development Committee Report and Recommendations
  • Winters Housing Element Update Preparation
  • Greater Winters Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • Monthly General Plan Updates
  • Budget Review and Tightening.
  • Sacramento Valley City Manager’s Group Assistance to the Town of Paradise
  • Succession Planning for key positions

Finally, the ambush and murder of Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona is a staggering reminder of the dangerous world we live in and the risks our law enforcement personnel take on a daily basis. Just a senseless incident, taking a young officer who had her life and career in front of her mostly before it ever began. At the memorial service today, Winters was represented by our Police Chief John Miller, Sergeant Jose Hermosillo, Officer Alan Pinette, Department Chaplain Robert Duvall, K9 Kepi and our the entire Police Cadet group. I saw them before they left and could not think of a more appropriate group to represent our town. I was immensely proud and honored by them.

Winters Police Personnel were also on patrol in Davis during the memorial and procession for Officer Corona to her hometown of Arbuckle.

The threats to our law enforcement grow daily. California is a State with a dichotomy of interests which make it very difficult to be a police officer. Laws, initiatives and interests challenge and work to redefine the entire field of law enforcement almost daily. In today’s world, police have become the social workers of the streets, dealing with the many folks bitten by mental and emotional health issues previously dealt with through a broader dealing legal system. At the same time, legislation and initiatives have decriminalized and legalized certain offenses and behaviors which many in society do not completely understand. When you add in various levels of media and political sentiment towards law enforcement, its tough!

Yet, it is these same individuals who keep our communities safe, protecting us from those who do harm or the first we will call when we have a major issue. They are the ones who enter some of the most dangerous situations in the name of service and duty. They confront the worst in our society while consoling those in their most dire moments. In Winters, I have witnessed some of the most incredible moments of compassion from the Winters Police Department to help those in need. Heroism comes in many forms, sometimes in the physical but probably most often in the emotional and support to those who are most affected.

As I watched today’s memorial I was gratified that they focused on the hope and enthusiasm that Officer Corona brought to her job as a Davis Police Officer. Hopefully there are people who can take motivation from Natalie Corona who will step up to fill her career destiny for her. She was immensely proud to be a police officer! Without question, her memory will live forever in the hearts of her colleagues and family. Being in law enforcement is unquestionably one of the most challenging and honorable professions. I personally am honored to work with these men and women and am grateful for their service. Hopefully people will light a candle tonight for Officer Natalie Corona.



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01/22/19 Planning Commission Meeting

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Public Works – Recycling Updates

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January 15, 2019 City Council Meeting

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01/10/19 LPCCC Meeting

Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee

The Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee consists of:
Cities of Davis, Fairfield, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo and Winters; Counties of Solano and Yolo; Solano and Yolo Riparian Landowners; Maine Prairie Water District; Solano County Water Agency; Solano Irrigation District; Putah Creek Council and University of California, Davis

810 Vaca Valley Parkway, Suite 203, Vacaville, California 95688
Phone: (530) 902-1794     Fax: (707) 451-6099

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Shop at the Big Blue Barn, Jan. 18/19, 2018

Shop at the Big Blue Barn Thrift Store: Jan 18/19 (Sat/Sun), 2019, 9am-3pm
44090 County Road 28H, Woodland, CA
Yolo County Landfill Facebook

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Friday Update on December 21 2018


A short update and a reason to count our blessings and evaluate our options on giving!

Today, I along with a group of Sacramento Valley City Manager’s met with the Town Manager of Paradise to discuss assistance to them in addressing the situation from the Camp Fire which destroyed almost 95% of the homes in community. An absolutely untenable situation!

The challenges are massive and the demands are very serious. In many respects, they will be working towards the creation of an entirely new town while most who called it home will be living elsewhere for the foreseeable future. The generosity of so many people has been amazing but nothing can replace the fact that many will be spending these holidays without their home.

Our City Manager’s Group will be working with the Town to bring expertise to some of the really big subject areas (Fiscal, Legislative, Legal, Operational) which they will be facing. The cities have been generous and the desire to bring aid is commendable.

Finally, a very sincere wishing of Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. We are truly blessed to live and work in an amazing community like Winters!



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Happy Holidays – hours

Winters City Hall will be closed

12-24-18 through 1-1-19.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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12/18/18 City Council Meeting

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Friday Update on December 7 2018


As an FYI, I do not send a Friday Update the week of Thanksgiving and the week following. This is because the email goes to LOTS of people and the email server and my email gets literally flooded with “Out of Office” replies which takes an effort to clear. Thus no update!

Strategic Planning Workshops

The City of Winters is holding a series of Strategic Planning Workshops which are open to all members of the Winters Community to attend and participate. The workshops are topical and include working to establish priorities on key issues which will fold into an overall Strategic Plan for the City to focus on.

The dates and topics are as follows:

  • November 14, 2018- Infrastructure (Water, Wastewater, Streets, etc)- This discussion centered on current and future infrastructure needs and impending demands. This workshop included discussions on streets, water wells, wastewater expansion and the threat of enhanced discharge requirements, ADA improvements and the potential work needed for the former City landfill site.
  • December  12, 2018- Public Safety (Fire, Police, Animal Services)- This coming Wednesday will focus on presentations from both Police and Fire regarding current and future issues in public safety. The discussion will surround staffing, the realities of new laws and expectations along with the needs of a future Winters. The session will also include an update on Animal Services.
  • January 23, 2019- Planning and Economic Development- This session will focus on the release of the recommendations from the Economic Development Advisory Committee along with a discussion on the planning of the north area of the City’s current general plan.
  • February 6, 2019- Community Facilities and Services (parks, facilities and services)- This will be the workshop to be a chance to begin establishing priorities for parks and future community facilities and services. From Seniors to youth, parks to theatres, this will be an opportunity to begin formulating those big picture wants and needs for the City.
  • February 27, 2019- City Organization and Structure (succession planning)- This session will focus what the City organization will look like in the near and longer term future. As the City plans its future, it will need to determine what the overall organization will look like to provide and maintain services to the community.
  • March 22-23, 2019- Two all day Strategic Planning Workshop (9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)- This will be the culmination of the workshops. Day 1 will invite all of the previous participants and groups to a day long session to discuss and help strategize on the highest priorities of the City moving forward. Day 2 will be a chance for the City Council to provide direction to City Staff on the formulation of an action plan to move things forward.

The culmination of the work will be a facilitated workshop on March 22-23 which will help take the many issues and help develop the overall Strategic Plan which will be for the next 10-20 years.

All workshops will be held at the Winters Public Safety Facility (700 Main Street) in the EOC Training Room from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact John.Donlevy@cityofwinters.org

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12/11/18 Special Planning Commission Meeting

  • 12/11/18 Special Planning Commission Meeting (Agenda / Packet) (pdf)

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Text to 911 Now Available in Yolo County

Text to 911 Now Available in Yolo County
Call If You Can, Text if You Can’t

Yolo County residents needing emergency services are now able to text their situation to emergency dispatchers.
Text-to-911 is intended primarily for use in specific emergency scenarios:

  • for an individual who is speech, or hearing, impaired;
  • for a person who is unable to call 911 due to a medical emergency that renders them unable to speak;
  • in the event of a crime such as a home invasion where speaking might give away the location of a person hiding, or in an abduction situation; or,
  • in domestic violence situations where it’s not safe to make a voice call.

When determining whether to make voice call or send a text keep the following in mind:

  • Callers should text 911 only when calling is not an option
  • Texting is not always instantaneous, which means it may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services in a text-to-911 situation
  • Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since
  • Yolo County 911 may not receive location information and will not be able to speak with the person sending the text. Text abbreviations or slang should never be used to that the intent of the message can be as clear as possible.
  • Those who use the system must have a cell phone that is activated and capable of sending text messages in order to reach 911 via text. There is no charge to the customer for sending a text to 911.

How to text 911 in an emergency:

  • Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
  • The first text message to 911 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and the type of help needed;
  • Push the “Send” button.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker.
  • Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations or emojis.
  • Do not send pictures or attachments
  • Keep text messages brief and concise.

We encourage anyone who has any further questions to please contact our dispatch center. We would be happy to provide further education on these services including a test scenario from your phone at a scheduled time.

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Friday Update on November 9 2018


A short recap of some key items from the City Council Meeting and how Winters is helping on the Camp Fire which has destroyed the Town of Paradise.

  • The City Council approved an increase in the City’s Development Impact Fees which are charged to new development to offset the impacts toward new future facilities and as a “buy in” to facilities which are already constructed but the new development benefits from. The last impact fee increases were in 2003 and 2010. The main measure of comparable fees is medium density residential units, which will see an increase of approximately 382 per new residential unit over the fees from 2010 (which were drastically lowered because of the 2008 recession). The increases are main generated by the addition of two projects to the program which include a new Community Center and a 22 acre active sports park for new baseball/softball, soccer and other amenities. The fees will go into effect on January 1, 2019.
  • The Council also included two amendments to the Waste Management contract, including an allowance for fines for contamination (trash) in the organics container, overages (too much trash set out beyond the capacity of the bins) and about a $1 increase because of adjustments at the County Landfill to cover tipping fees due to some upcoming capital projects and new environmental regulations.
  • Parking Fees– the Council approved a resolution to increase parking fines to $30 from $15 which essentially covers our administrative costs. Our parking fines are about half of those in neighboring jurisdictions.
  • The Circulation Master Plan was approved which provides for the roadway and traffic improvements all the way to build-out of the City. The plan essentially includes some widening of Grant Ave from the 505 to E. Main Street, future traffic signals at 505 and E. Main Street and future roundabouts at Morgan and Dutton Streets. Improvements are predicated on the total buildout of the City which is now estimated at 2036 and beyond. The overall goal of the program is to address both safety and the reduction of congestion through town.

Overall a pretty comprehensive meeting on really important items.

A reminder about the Winters Fire “All you can peel and eat” Shrimp Feed on Saturday, November 10 at the Fire Station with Cocktails starting at 5 and Dinner at 6. Proceeds go to the Toys for Kids Program.

Finally, our efforts to help the Town of Paradise.

Winters has sent both Police and Fire Personnel to what can only be described as a devastated area. As of Friday, they estimate 15,000 structures have been completely destroyed including the Town Hall, the commercial district, a hotel and a hospital. Reports from the City personnel are that the area is significantly impacted, mostly homes have been totally burned and the residents and businesses need our prayers. We were on the Santa Rosa Fire and they describe it in that context.

OES 333 is on the fire line with no relief, so they were asked to work another 24 today. They are a part of OES 4816A team and currently enroute to Magalia. Staff has said everyone is holding up, a little tired but they are on a mission and working hard is expected. Let’s just hope they get some rest tomorrow.  The 4 that went on the strike team include Captain Matt Schechla, Driver Operator Victor Diaz, FF Junior Mederos, FF Alex Mercer.

The Sacramento Valley City Manager’s are mounting a relief effort to help the Town of Paradise with staff assistance for both short term relief and long term recovery in their EOC, field operations and administratively. The process of recovery is a difficult and significant maze which can be difficult to negotiate with State and Federal agencies. Its times like these that we need to combine talents and know how to help a community in need. The Town Manager of Paradise along with her staff are a small and mighty group, but many have been equally affected with their homes destroyed and families impacted.

For those wishing to help or donate toward aid for Camp Fire victims, the following has been forwarded to us https://www.nvcf.org/fund/camp-fire-evacuation-relief-fund/

Keep the communities in this area in your prayers.




Department Links:

-City Clerk

-City Council

-City Council Agendas

-City Manager

-City Manager's Update

-Economic Advisory Committee*

-Future Leaders*

-Hispanic Advisory Committee*


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-Administrative Forms and Reports

-Website Posting Requirements

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