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Category Archives: City Manager’s Update

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Friday Update on April 12 2019

All,

The City Council on April 16 will include the following:

April 16, 2019

  • Presentation by Yolo County Office of Emergency Services – Winters Evacuation Plan and Community Outreach Meetings in May
  • Planning Commission Vacancies- Three positions terms are up for renewal.
  • Reduction in City Impact Fees and Housing Trust Fund Loan Authority for Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments Project
  • SB1 Road Rehabilitation Presentation – Fiscal Years 2019/2020
  • Downtown Merchants Trash Enclosure Proposal
  • Purchase of Recycled Content Patio Furniture for Library Garden Project
  • Amplified Sound Permit Application – Liliana Bermudez
  • Climate Action Plan and Resiliency Update

A busy week on a number of key projects:

  • The City engineering project team met with representatives from the Stone’s Throw subdivision to discuss a number of infrastructure issues including the Rancho Arroyo Detention Pond, the linear park and the West Main Wastewater Pump Station. The developer has also prepared plans for the public improvements on “Phase II” of the project which will facilitate the need for construction of a number of improvements including the completion of the Moody Slough roadway, two phases of the linear park and mediation for storm drainage issues.
  • Phase 1A of the Stones Throw development will include a smaller lot/home product to be built by KHonanian Homes. They were at the Planning Commission in February and should begin construction in June. Once we have information of their sales, we will let people know.
  • Electricity has been pulled and is operational in both the Stone’s Throw and Heartland subdivisions.
  • The City and Yolo County will have a “2X2 meeting” on Tuesday, April 16 starting at 4:00 in the City Hall Downstairs Conference Room. The 2X2 is an information sharing meeting with 2 City Council Members and 2 members of the Board of Supervisors on issues of mutual interest. The agenda will include discussion of the I-505 Overcrossing Pedestrian Improvements, Mattress Recycling, County Annexation Procedures and the Fires at Hay Kingdom.
  • Staff is working on scheduling the presentation of the Economic Development Advisory Committee’s Report and Recommendations for late April. Look for an announcement next week.

Specific Plan Overview:

From last week’s update, I have received a number of questions about “what is a specific plan”, how does it play a role in relation to the City’s General Plan, annexation and eventual development. Here is an overview.

The purpose of a Specific Plan is to provide a vehicle for implementing the City’s General Plan on an area-specific basis. A Specific Plan is both a policy and regulatory document. It must be consistent with the City’s General Plan.

The most important aspects of a specific planning process includes:

  • public outreach/engagement and participation in the development of the plan
  • scoping to ensure conformance with existing plans
  • environmental review
  • economic and fiscal review analysis and consistency with community goals and visions.

The following framework is a draft guide the City Staff has developed with the goal of creating effective, efficient, and statutorily complete documents that share a common outline countywide. The content of a Specific Plan must meet the requirements of California Government Code Section 65451.

Here are some of the key components of a specific plan document:

  • Introduction and Summary: This would include a summary of the plan, key features, the background and history of its generation, the community involvement program, legal authority references, any related documents- specifically the relationships between the General Plan, Master plans, zoning, development standards, environmental documents, financial analysis and design standards. The plan must show consistency with the General Plan.
  • Project Visioning and Setting: The plan must outline a vision for the area including the purposes for the plan, desired outcomes and key principles to be implemented. The Plan must establish the setting for consistency with the region, site characteristics, surrounding land uses, the boundary and acreage and any off-site components (if any).
  • Land Use and Community Character: The plan outlines the overall goals and defines the land use through maps, descriptions and tables. This section also coordinates with other City land use documents like the form based codes, master plans and design standards. The plan outlines things like parks, open space, public facilities and schools.
  • Circulation: The plan defines and establishes circulation and traffic goals and design standards for the planned area along with key amenities such as the street cross sections, bike and pedestrian models, trails and walking areas, traffic calming and bus service.
  • Public Utilities: The plan includes updates to key master plans to outline the utility requirements for key areas such as water, sewer, storm drainage, energy, broadband and flood control. The plan also updates and forecasts for financing and funding mechanisms for the implementation of utility plans.
  • Public  Services: The plan identifies the key goals and implementation for the development of parks, schools, public safety and other key government services. It sets benchmarks along with funding concepts for accomplishing the goals.
  • Jobs and Housing: A key element is coordinating how jobs will accompany the housing which is proposed. The Plan merges with Economic Development and Affordable Housing Strategies. The plan expands on how to target key industries, local versus regional businesses, incentives for attraction and a focused plan and strategy. The affordable housing component includes an overall implementation plan, inclusionary housing and income eligibility.
  • Environmental Resources and Open Space: The establishment of goals and policies regarding Environmental Resources, Climate Change, Biotic Conservation, Agricultural Land Mitigation/HCP Coordination and general standards for insuring maximum environmental compliance.
  • Sustainability: Insuring that the building and construction will maximize benefits to the environment including water conservation, energy efficiency, green building, VMT Reduction, recycling, food miles, GHG reduction and other.
  • Implementation and Financing: The Specific Plan will include a plan for phasing and sequencing the overall development, market absorption, fiscal impacts and facility financing and an overall capital improvement program.
  • Administration: The plan will include an overall implementation program to include administration, compliance with the overall plan along with benchmarks and key milestones.

Thanks and have a nice weekend.

John


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Friday Update on April 5 2019

All,

A very busy and active week.

  • Congratulations to Winters Fire Chief Brad Lopez on his official appointment and swearing in. Winters Fire has probably the strongest team in its history led by Chief Lopez now coordinating Administration and Operations, Captain Art Mendoza who oversees prevention and is the Fire Marshall and Captain Matt Schechla who oversees Facilities, Training and Medical Operations. Their leadership is amazing and our public safety has never been stronger.
  • The street lights in the roundabout are taking a beating! We lost the second one from someone missing a turn and driving up onto the sidewalk. The jinx on the situation is that we had on that very day received the replacement for the other light taken out about a month ago.
  • Staff met with Yolo County representatives to discuss fire issues at Hay Kingdom. The fires over the past few weeks have created issues which need to be remedied. I think I speak for a lot of folks who agree that the City routinely smelling like a bad ashtray.
  • Staff has been working with the Downtown Property Owners and businesses on a project to consolidate their trash operations into a single location to beautify the Newt’s Expressway Alley and begin the Alley Activation Master Plan.  The merchants have brought a request to locate the trash enclosure on the new parking lot location on First Street and the alley (which would take out a couple parking spaces) This will come before the City Council on April 16 2019 for a decision on the location of the enclosure.

We had a very busy City Council Meeting with public input regarding concerns on development, planning and annexation which are related to a possible request for a Specific Planning Process for the most northerly properties in the City. Lots of issues and questions came up, so I thought it might be beneficial to clarify some things and answer some of the questions directly.

Questions:

  1. What proposals have been received by the City from the property owners and what is their request from the City?

The representatives from Bellvue North who owns the majority of the property in the north part of the City’s planning area have not submitted any plans or official requests to the City as of today. Staff has been in  discussions with them  regarding the potential for a long range Specific Plan for their property. Discussions have predominantly focused on the area where the planning would occur, the process and scope of the work which would be undertaken, reimbursement of costs incurred by the City to be paid by the applicant and the need for extensive public engagement, environmental review and planning.

Staff has specifically told Bellvue North that any specific plan must include a planning process which includes all land both inside the City Limits and within the current planning area which are outside the limits which would need to be annexed. We put it on Bellvue North to work with the remaining property owners (there are three others) to participate in the planning effort, which they have said they have done. The reason for including the remaining properties if so the final plan will have complete continuity for the entire area.

  1. What land are we talking about, how much is in the current City limits, how much is in the planning area, how much land would be annexed?

A simple geographic reference and roughly speaking it is for the properties located just north of Niemann Street and Moody Slough (not including those properties on Niemann). Bellvue North owns 183 acres which are currently within the City limits, 210 acres which are within the City’s planning area but not in the City limits (the acreage which would need to be annexed) for a total of 393 acres. There are approximately 130 acres owned by other property owners which are in the planning area but not in the limits which are owned by others (and would need to be annexed at a later time). In conversations with Bellvue North, they have discussed the idea of possibly expanding the City’s planning area by approximately 270 acres on additional land they own north of the City’s General Plan area. They have also suggested they are interested in establishing a 480 acre agricultural mitigation area just north of the City.

The numbers included here are directly from the Bellvue North. In meetings, they have shown maps and photo’s but not submitted or given anything for the City to keep. I would venture to guess that over the years, we have seen no fewer than 6 versions, all different with very little specificity on ultimate land uses.

  1. Has the City Staff and City Council been meeting with the north area property owners and what has been the context of those conversations?

Yes. Over the years, we have met with representatives of Bellvue North, their owner Greg Hostetler, their engineers and environmental consultants on numerous occasions regarding multiple topics including flood control and drainage, Moody Slough, the prospect of creating public access for bike and walking trails, water, wastewater re-use, environmental projects, economic development opportunities and planning. In total (both in and out of the City) they own literally thousands of acres and are a major land concern so without question, Staff talks with them.

As Staff discussions with Bellvue North moved toward  the potential for a request coming to the City, their representative, Jeff Roberts requested  to meet with the City Council Members in February for an opportunity to introduce himself, talk about the prospects of a specific planning process and the overall process for public engagement, plan development and environmental review. The Council Members met individually(so as to avoid a violation of the Brown Act) with Mr. Roberts, he brought in some large photo’s of the properties and talked about the concept of the specific plan, possible expansion of the planning area and agricultural mitigation area. Staff (me) sat in on each meeting to assure continuity of information delivered to the Council and to answer any questions or provide clarification on issues which might arise, especially on process. One City Council Member met with Mr. Roberts on a second occasion and Staff participated in that meeting also.

In the past, Mr Roberts has inquired about the prospect of submitting a subdivision map for the 183 acres already in the City limits for development (which they can do at any time). Staff has suggested that a more comprehensive planning effort, such as a specific plan would be more beneficial to the City. The logic behind this position is that a broader planning area gives greater opportunities for a cohesive long term outcomes which would benefit the City.

As part of the Economic Development Advisory Committee Meetings (EDAC in 2018), Jeff Roberts representing the property owner came in as a guest speaker to answer questions regarding potential economic development opportunities on their property. The EDAC has included extensive recommendations on land use and flood control in their report. Because many recommendations were specific to Bellvue North land, Staff provided drafts of the report to Mr. Roberts so their group would not be surprised or unaware of the discussions. As Mr. Roberts was considering submitting a planning request, Staff repeatedly suggested that they wait to allow public discussions to occur (through the Strategic Planning Workshops) so they could hear public input outside of their request before submitting and starting another process.

As an aside, Staff meets constantly with property owners, businesses and prospective property owners about land use. At the City of Winters, we work to maintain optimum transparency and customer service for people who own property, businesses or are looking to invest in the City. Its simply what we do both big and small! The biggest complaint about government is people’s inability to “get answers” so we work to keep an open door and be accessible.

  1. Has a request for proposal (RFP) been released for planning firms to assist the property owners in the development of a specific plan?

The City Staff is unaware of any RFP by Bellvue North for planning services. We have told them and they have acknowledged that they want to bring a quality planning organization as part of any application to work with the City on such a project, so it would not be out of the ordinary for them to look to hire someone. This is no different than a property owner who hires an architect to help them design a home. In this case, Bellvue North will have a large group of planners, engineers, environmental consultants, etc within their team and doing an RFP is how you get proposals.

  1. Has the City entered into a reimbursement agreement with the developer to cover costs to pay the City for services associated with working with the developer?

Before considering or working on any submittal by Bellvue North (or any applicant), the City has provided our standard form “reimbursement agreement” which provides for the applicant to cover all City costs in the consideration of their application. In this case, we requested a $20,000 deposit and they have executed and sent the agreement it back.  We do this for all projects to insure that the City costs are covered.

As a perspective, the City hires and pays all consultants associated with processing an application by any developer. This includes the project manager, environmental consultants, engineers, traffic engineers, financial consultants, etc as well as City Staff. The City team works independently of the applicant, reporting only to the City and not the applicant. This is done to avoid any conflicts. It is through the reimbursement agreement that the City receives the funds to pay the consultants.

  1. Has the City been in contact with the Yolo Local Agency Formation Commission regarding annexation information?

Yes. LAFCO is the agency responsible for all annexations and it is logical to contact them on process and law. Our discussions are also a courtesy to keep them in the loop that something might be on the horizon. We have been talking with them about annexation issues for probably the past 5 years!

  1. When will the City be moving forward on an update of its General Plan, doing a General Plan “Refresh” or additional  planning work?

General Plans are extremely expensive and the City still owes almost $400,0000 from the 1992 plan. Timing on this depends on whether a planning application is submitted by Bellvue North which would essentially do a comprehensive update on all of our planning documents and in essence, an updated General Plan. The City has received a $100,000 grant towards a “refresh” of our documents to make them more user friendly and in line with State goals for how planning documents look. A refresh would most likely occur in our 2019-20 Fiscal Year.

Tuesday night was an active discussion with lots of issues.

Have a nice weekend!

John


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Friday Update on March 29 2019

All,

A couple items this week:

  • The Planning Commission Meeting included an overview and consideration of an ordinance regulating temporary rentals better known as the “AirBnB Ordinance”. The Commission had a very in depth discussion of the various aspects of the ordinance which would allow a combination of streamlining, public input/review and the ability of the City to condition various aspects of this part of the new economy. Frankly, it was one of the best discussions the Commission has had in many years. The Commisioners were absolutely exceptional in their review of the materials. Perspective on concerns for those wanting the permits as well as neighbors. Look for the final recommendation on an ordinance to be before the Planning Commission either late April or early May. Kudos on a job done well by the PC!
  • The City Council Meeting will have the Second Reading of the PD Overlay for the property on Second Street, Senior Advisory, Acceptance of the radar/speed zone survey along Grant Ave and an overview of the Land Use Element of the City’s General Plan.
  • Staff will be meeting with the folks from the Stone’s Throw Subdivision to discuss a number of issues, including construction of the Three Oaks Linear Park, Moody Slough Improvements, Storm Drainage and Phase II of their project.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee will release its final report which will be posted on Monday morning .  Key recommendations include expanding light industrial zoning, planning for the north area of the City, addressing flood zone issues and collaboration with neighboring regions and with the local business community.
  • Staff is tracking two key legislative and regulatory issues. One includes a statewide tax on water services and the return of Hexavalent Chromium 6 with the SWRCB Division of Drinking Water. Not like we don’t have better things to work on!

Today, I attended the Sacramento Valley City Manager’s Group at the City of Davis Police Department. To begin the meeting, we heard from Chief Darren Pytel who gave us an overview of dealing with the murder of Police Officer Natalie Corona. To say it was riveting would be an understatement as the Chief gave a summary of the incident along with the ramifications it has had on the Davis Police Department. Simply unfathomable and much respect to the men and women of the Davis Police Department for their professionalism and humanity in dealing with the situation then and now moving forward.

One of my biggest takeaways from the event was the Chief describing how fast social media took the situation. He described the need to provide notification to the family of Officer Corona’s passing and how social media beat him to getting back into the Police Station to get a phone number before the family and friends were alerted to the situation from media and the social media system. Imagine the idea of being alerted of the death of a loved one on Facebook?

Without question, technology has expedited things but at some point, we need to question the veracity of spreading this type of information outside the human interaction and dignity which notification of such an issue deserves. People post information without even questioning or considering the impacts on the sensitivity on those with the greatest impact, such as family members. Just a takeaway.

Finally, Chief Pytel shared a quiet tribute paid to Officer Corona. In the early morning of January 11th  following her passing, the body of Natalie Corona was transferred from the UC Davis Medical Center to the Yolo County Morgue. He described a procession which left the Medical Center at 3:30 am with literally hundreds of police officers and family in tow behind the hearse. On virtually every overpass between the Medical Center and Woodland there were fire trucks and ordinary folks with lights and candles paying honor to the fallen officer. The community coming together in those moments was the start of the healing for the family, Davis PD and the greater public from a very tragic and heart wrenching event.

Chief Pytel and his entire team are outstanding representatives of what is really important about leadership in law enforcement, especially when they are forced into critical incidents like the murder of a fellow officer. Humanity, professionalism, the rule of law, compassion and dignity were all in play on the evening of January 10 and Davis PD made the law enforcement community and Officer Natalie Corona proud.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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Friday Update on March 22 2019

All,

  • For those interested in getting a reservation or making plans for the Hotel Winters, go to hotelwinters.com to make those big plans.
  • The swearing in ceremony for new Fire Chief Brad Lopez will be at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday April 4 at the Fire Station. All are invited and it will be a very important day for Winters Fire.
  • The property owners for the most northern properties in the City’s planning area are expected to be submitting a proposal for the development of a specific plan to cover the future land uses. Staff has been working with representatives on an overall outline of the planning process, a work plan, a reimbursement of costs agreement and an overall strategy for the public process. The meetings have been extremely positive and will be a significant effort for the City which will help cast the future build out of  Winters. So far, so good!
  • Staff is working with the Winters Chamber on a new event for the community called the “Hispanic Music Festival”. Lots of details to work through and we will be holding a meeting on this next week.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee’s Report is now in the formatting stage for final publication. Overall, the report is an impressive, insightful set a of recommendation beyond the scope of many of the past reports. Look for the report to come out within the next two weeks!
  • Storm and Pond Update: New containment levy’s have been installed near the Highland Canal to capture some of the water which was inundating the Rancho Arroyo Detention Pond and causing the January overflow. The pumps in the detention pond have been tested and are operational with auxiliary power. PG&E has begun pulling the final power into the new subdivisions and when people see the street lights go on to the north, the detention pond pumps will be fully operational and we should be back to normal.
  • The Marriot Fairfield Inn is still working through final financing. Staff is working with more banking people than we should legally be required to talk to. The permit on this project has already been issued, so hopefully construction will start during the summer!

Finally, I had an opportunity to participate in the Youth Empowerment Seminar which was hosted by Yolo Auditor-Controller-Elections Officer Jesse Salinas. The program is designed to educate high school students on local government and allow them to discuss issues important to them. It was an amazing program!

The first thing you realize is the local government is just not taught in our schools in really any form. It was surprising what some clearly well informed students simply did not know about how their communities operate in relation to local services, including their own education through the school districts.

The most important thing you realize is what a promising future we have with these students. The students were extremely sharp and passionate on a variety of the top issues of today from health care, food, water and housing. I will share that when it comes to housing and development, the students understand the crisis in housing costs and availability probably better than most adults. Sustainability to them falls into where they live in proximity to jobs, entertainment and amenities. It was refreshing to hear them taking a much longer view on the future than I expected.

The “ah ha” moment for me was sitting with two students from Winters High, one of which I have known literally her entire life (she is my neighbor) and the other is the cadet sergeant with our Police Department Cadet Program. The poise and confidence of these young women was impressive. Articulate, sharp and very capable of taking on the assignments being given by the YES coordinator. They took on a couple pretty complex issues and just knocked them out of the park! I was proud to be from Winters as they showed leadership at the table with students from other schools.

One thing I have learned about students from Winters High (both of my kids are Winters High grads) is that small town school avails a very quiet confidence because there are few places for them to hide. The engagement they get compared to students in the larger high schools is evident. We are blessed with some really good teachers throughout the WJUSD and it shows. Our students represented well at the YES conference!

Have a nice weekend.

John

 


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Friday Update on March 1 2019

All,

Just a couple announcements:

  • Rain or shine, the Winters Friends of the Library Fruit Tree Sale is tomorrow (March 2) on Railroad Ave. Trees are $10 and the sale is from 9 a.m. until noon (or they run out of trees). WFoL is one of Winters best organizations, providing support to the Community Library with hours, programming and many other community benefits. I have 10 fruit trees in my yard, all from this sale and I totally recommend!
  • Tickets for the Friday March 8, 2019 Winters Fire Fish Fry are now on sale. Click Here to go to their link where you can purchase tickets.

A quick storm update:

  • Winter storms continue to bring an incredible amount of rain and water into our area, creating significant runoff from already saturated hillsides, fields and farm lands.
  • The issues with the detention pond seem to have been solved with the pumping schedule and the closure of the canal breach making things manageable. For all intents and purposes, the pond has been almost empty even with 3-4 inches of rain over two day periods. The permanent pumps with temporary power are scheduled to  be put into operation on March 7.
  • Those affected by the January 16/17 storm are working with insurance companies to resolve claims and get repairs completed.

On social media a main question has been “why did the City not know the canal was breached”. In 2018, we had significant rains and not a single issue with the detention pond. In 2019, The most significant rains occurred during evenings which created runoff and frankly, the water just begins to rush, similar to a flash flood. The rains on the week of February 18 gave us an opportunity to track the water in the daylight which led us to the canal  breach. Once found, we were able to close the breach and get things back to normal. When water which is supposed to flow into different drainage systems flows in a different direction it can cause issues. The fact that the pond was not drained sufficiently and external water rushing into the system is what caused the overflow. We are confident we have resolved the issues and the fact that we have had 2 100 year events in the past 3 weeks with no additional flooding is testament that things are under control.

Finally, Winters lost a very important member of our community with the passing of Don Frisbee on Wednesday evening at home. The Frisbee Family is a long time business in town and they ran “Frisbee Motors” on Railroad Ave for many years as one of our City’s main car dealerships in the 1940, 50’s and 60’s.. Don was a Winters High School Graduate, went on to Stanford University then into the United States Air Force where he retired at the rank of Lt. Coronel and worked in the Intellegence Section during the Vietnam War. He later become an aerospace executive, working for Northrup Gruman and the development of the B-2 Bomber. He was a Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Winters and a really great guy. He is survived by his wife Betty and a wonderful family. He will be missed.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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Friday Update on February 22, 2019

All,

A couple items this week:

  • Interviews for Winters Fire Chief were held this week. Final interviews will be held over the next week and a decision will occur in the next 10 days. The three (3) internal candidates who interviewed did an amazing job and frankly any of they would be an amazing Chief for the Department. The best news is we get to have all three in our organization to move Winters Fire forward. It was one of the proudest and most satisfying weeks of my professional career. The City is blessed with some extraordinary people serving our community and this week it shined even brighter.
  • Planning Commission this week includes Design and Site Plan Review for 100 homes, a lot split on Second Street and an Expansion of the Berryessa Gap Tasting Room.
  • Staff took a financial group which is considering investment opportunities and financing for the Freeway Hotel Project on a tour of the PG&E Gas Operations Academy on Tuesday. It was an amazing tour to see the quality of the facility and the various classes being offered to the Gas Operations Employees. The City is really fortunate to have PG&E in our town and see their commitment to providing some of the best vocational training for utility employees in the world. The facility is first class and the tour by Saul Martinez from the Academy was very well done. Many thanks to Andrea Coker, the Academy Manager for helping set the tour up on short notice.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee has finalized its draft recommendations and will be setting a date to present it in a workshop with the City Council. A really good group and a very far reaching report. Good Stuff!
  • Last week, I had some Questions and Answers regarding the overage and contamination charges being assessed by Waste Management. In some responses on social media and in the press, a key issue maybe could have been emphasized a little better (on my part) regarding some background:

The residential waste management program from the City has six main components involving trash, recycling, containerized green waste and organics, street collection of green waste, household hazardous waste and bulky item pick-up.  For commercial and industrial accounts, there is a wider spectrum of services which includes mostly containerized waste, recycling, organics and a variety of other services.

Contamination is a significant issue, because it can literally spoil 3-5 tons of material which increases costs, change an entire days schedule for pick-up and nullify key diversion programs meant to help the environmental side of our waste programs. Not all contamination is done on purpose, but some is pretty obvious. Green/Organics containers with trash hidden in the bottom is a good example. A “contaminated load” cannot be delivered to the green waste facility and is thus diverted to the landfill instead. The cost of higher dumping fees, fuel and employee time, along with lost diversion is expensive and adds up.

The contamination of recycling can nullify the efforts of a hundred houses when people put paint, household hazardous waste or food products into the recycling container. The best purposeful example is someone hiding paint or motor oil in the container. The spillage instantly ruins the load which is then put into the landfill. If the driver misses the contamination and delivers the load to the recycling facility and dumps the load only to find the contamination then, the hauler is then cited by the facility, the truck must be reloaded (at a  cost) then diverted to the landfill. Some residents come home wondering why their container was missed and these are some of the reasons why.

Overages are another issue. If someone is generating excessive refuse at their property, there are many alternatives to simply overloading the container. The residential program has 3 different size refuse containers. If someone has a lot of refuse, that also means lots of opportunity for recycling and additional recycling containers can be obtained at no additional cost. The same for green waste with the availability of additional containers. For commercial accounts, Waste Management has an audit service for a customer service representative to come to the business and help find solutions to reducing waste.

The reason for discussing the technology is just to highlight how some issues are discovered. A common response to someone receiving an additional charge is “how do you know it was my home or business that contaminated the load”. This is the 21st century and the use of cameras, GPS and computers are in our pockets daily and aid in the investigation.

The idea that assessing “fault” on this was not meant in the slightest in the Q&A. In most cases it means a need for education or assistance from our waste management personnel so the person can avoid a penalty (which is 9 out of 10 people) in the future. Are there some which are done on purpose? Without casting judgment, some are pretty obvious.

Waste management requires a lot of time for the City because the demands of regulations, new programs mandated by the State and our attempts to meet diversion goals are ever increasing. A little education can go a long way is resolving these issues.

Have a nice weekend

John


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Friday Update on February 15 2019

This weeks update in the rain and trash edition!

First, the saga of the rain and the detention pond:

  • Over about a 36 hour period, we experienced almost 3.5 inches of rain.
  • Fun Fact- A hundred year storm in one which brings 5” of rain in a 24 hour period! So, we have basically been pretty close and on January 16/17 we received almost 3 inches in 3 hours.
  • We have brought in four (4) additional pumps and were successful in keeping the pond at a manageable level, even with periods of heavy flow overnight. The pond is now drained and we have turned all of the pumps off and have placed a huge 8” pump next to the cemetery if we ever need to really move some water. We will monitor the pond through the weekend and we can immediately turn the pumps back on when needed.
  • City Staff worked 36 hours straight moving water, sandbagging and operating equipment around to prevent issues in the area with this weeks storm.
  • “The good news” of Wednesdays rain is that we were able to see the flows in the daylight and found a breach in a canal which is supposed to flow into Dry Creek but was literally flooding into the detention pond at a rate of thousands of gallons a minute. With the assist of an excavator and sandbagging, we have been able to close the canal breach which enabled us to draw the pond down to a point where we can stop/limit pumping operations. We have also found an additional external source (not supposed to go into the pond) sending approximately 1,000 gallons per minute into the pond but do not have a solution for that area. A major frustration was the fact that we could not seem to catch up with all the pumping. Hopefully fixing the breach will allow us to catch up.

The discovery of the canal breach answers a lot of questions for us. Knowing that an external source was pouring thousands of gallons into the pond which are not supposed to go into the pond is a big piece of information. The breach, combined with the non-operation of the facility are at the root of the issues we are dealing with.

  • We were notified today about an additional delay in getting the pond pumping system online. Our engineering staff is working to find a solution. I will keep people in the loop in the developments regarding this.
  • We have tried to avoid pumping into the streets, but bringing in the additional pumps has facilitated a need to do so. You can only put so many pumps on to one pipe!
  • Kudos to the Public Works Crew led by Eric Lucero and the entire Winters Fire Team who have been working tirelessly to protect everyone’s homes.
  • Thank you for the understanding of the neighbors and folks on Foxglove, Main and Ivy Loop. Lot’s of understandable frustration by a lot of people.

Trash, overages and penalties:

Question 1- Why am I now being billed by Waste Management for over filling my trash container.

Waste Management has been notifying residents about overages (trash spilling beyond the capacity of the containers and contamination on the trash system. Warnings and additional fees are now being assessed which is allowed for under their contract agreement.

We have had a number of commercial and residential customers call City Hall regarding getting bills for overages from WM. Essentially folks are mad that they have been doing this for a while and are now getting charged.  In regard to this (and overloading the containers), there is a common sense component which needs to be applied. A lot like rolling stop signs and driving 70 mph on CR 31 to DAVIS, you know you are supposed to stop and drive slower, then getting pulled over and being upset for the ticket. Not much we can say about that.

Question 2- I am mad at WM for the additional charge and want to hire another trash company to pick up my trash. Why does the City give them the exclusive business for the entire City?

The exclusive franchise for waste pickup brings an enormous benefit of economy of scale, convenience and a lack of a chaotic enterprise to a community. The waste industry is a little more complicated than it seems and is highly regulated. Imagine having 3-4 different haulers picking up on different days of the week, with different equipment and different methods (imagine having trash containers on the streets every day). Also, imagine not being able to get a pickup, especially in the County areas which are essentially a loser financially for the franchised hauler for those areas. The waste management of refuse in a community is a big deal which requires uniformity and consistency in its operation. Similar to having one water and sewer system.

Question 3- How are they determining that it was me that contaminated the load or I exceeded the capacity of my trash container and am charged for an overage?

Smart technology and computers on each trash truck is now allowing the drivers to explain and document issues on their routes. There are now multiple cameras on the trucks allowing the driver to identify contamination, overages and other issues. Contamination is a huge issue because one stop can determine the difference between a load going to the recycling facility versus the landfill which has significantly higher costs and lost opportunity for diversion. Recycling and green waste/organic programs save resources, capacity in our landfills and ultimately reduce costs to the consumer (the economic component is a huge consideration).

Have a nice weekend!

John


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Friday Update on February 8 2019

All,

First, some announcements:

  • Congratulations to both the Boys and Girls Soccer Teams from Winters High on their combined League Championships for the Sierra View League. Really proud of these students and players who represent our town well throughout greater Northern California. Now on to the Northern Section Championships. Many of us have seen these players literally their entire lives and to see them become the champions they are on the field and in life is absolutely amazing! Go Warriors!
  • On Sunday, February 10 at 2:00, the City will host an information briefing for those affected and interested in the overflow of the detention pond behind Foxglove Street near Ivy Loop. We will give an overview of the cause of the overflow, information about the operation of the pond and moving forward. The meeting will be in the driveway at 620 Foxglove so bring a soccer chair. If it is raining, we will move down the street a bit to the Public Safety Facility, 700 Main Street in the Emergency Operations Center Conference Room.
  • The Buckhorn Food Truck is now on the corner of Railroad and Grant Ave. A chance to get your tri-tip sandwich fix and support a really good local business! Congrats to Silverio and the entire team on going through the process and getting this going!
  • On Friday (today) at 4:00 at the NE corner of Railroad and Main, the “Before I Die” public art wall will be unveiled. The project is sponsored by Yolo Hospice, Winters Participation Art, Winters High School Art Students and the Winters Healthcare Foundation. The wall will be up for about 6 weeks. Pretty cool project!
  • Movie Night with the “Night Shift” and Winters PD and Fire will be on Saturday, February 16 in the apparatus bay at the Fire Department. They will be showing “The Grinch” and provide snacks. Admission is Free. All are invited!

A few notes:

  • Today is Karla Sanders final day with the City of Winters in our receptions area in the Finance Department. We wish her the best with her future endeavors and thank her for her services with the City of Winters! Good job, Karla!
  • Congratulations to recently promoted Sergeant Jose Hermosillo on his swearing in at the City Council Meeting surrounded by his fellow officers, family and friends. Sergeant Hermosillo is a testament to hard work, professionalism and will represent the Police Department well in his new position.
  • Staff is working with the WJUSD and the Department of Industrial Relations in the development of apprenticeship programs within the Winters Community. Dan Maguire is the lead on this and advancing opportunities for WHS students. Well done.
  • Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments are working toward the start of construction with a final financing call and readiness for a March groundbreaking.
  • Staff is working with State Parks to position the City for some Prop 84 Grant Funds.
  • Both Winters Fire and Police have started fitness challenges over the next month. When you see them out and about, give a cheer for getting healthier.
  • The Police Department will be limited operation next week as Karla Fergeson is on vacation for a week!
  • Winters Fire will be advancing the final draft of the Community Wildfire Protection Program before the Winters Fire District Board, City Council and the County Board of Supervisors over the next month. A real collaboration and a good start on shoring up the interface areas of the Greater Winters jurisdictions! Kudos to Art Mendoza for his work on this.

Finally, the past few years has seen leadership of our Police and Fire Departments within the region through training, mutual aid and our collaboration with our neighboring jurisdictions. The emergence of the influence of our staff within the region has become a hallmark of the pride and professionalism with pulses through our organization. I have learned that it really is all about the “people” of the organization who extend our reputation. I cannot adequately express the feeling of being at a meeting when someone from another agency tells me they are “working with” someone from our team on a very meaningful project or effort which advances the profession.

As one of the smallest agencies, I will profess that it is tough living within the limited resources. The adage of having to do “so much with so little” gives me even more motivation when I see our staff giving the extra effort to keep up with our neighboring jurisdiction which have resources beyond our comprehension. It means we are working hard!

Hard work is one of the character traits which defines Winters. Our agricultural roots help establish the benchmark for accepting the effort it takes to achieve the excellence which is embodied and permeates through the Winters community. Our kids are champions on the playing fields, classroom and FFA, our environmental projects make salmon spawn in our creek, we produce the best food in the world, we are the home to a world class vocational training academy with the PG&E Gas Safety facility and our City Staff are second to none in the professional fields. Our Downtown is best in the region and people want to be here because of an incredible vibe. None of this just happens. It really comes down to a culture of hard work and commitment to being the best.

Really proud of some of our recent achievements and how we set the bar for other communities. Small yet mighty!

No Friday Update next week.

Have a good weekend and go Warriors Soccer in the North Section Soccer Championships!

John


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Strategic Planning Workshops Postponed

Strategic Planning Workshops Postponed- Stay tuned!

All,

The previously scheduled community workshops on strategic planning, community facility, etc are postponed pending the development of a new calendar. We have 22 people on our “must attend” list and unfortunately the schedules with many of our other regional evening commitments and meetings has developed many conflicts.

We are working a revamp of the schedule, so stay tuned for a new schedule.

Thanks,

John


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Friday Update on February 1 2019

All,

Some quick points from the week:

First, the items on this weeks City Council Agenda:

February 5, 2019

  • Final Acceptance of Well 2 Rehabilitation Project
  • Resolution 2019-02, Approving Certain Errata to the Implementing Agreement for the Yolo Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Community Conservation Plan
  • Promotional Swearing-In of Sergeant Jose Hermosillo
  • Request for Matching Funds for Vehicle Purchase
  • Animal Services Joint Powers Agency – Agreement Development
  • Informational Item:  General Plan Health and Safety Element
  • The “Before I Die Wall” Presentation by Liz Romero, Gerontological Specialist and Community Ambassador from Yolo Hospice

Now the notes:

  • The City will be contacting homeowners affected by the flooding in the Dry Creek Meadows Subdivision on Monday.
  • Hooby’s Brewing received their final building inspection approvals today. Look for them to open around the third weekend of February.
  • City Staff successfully completed the “tie in” of the West Main Sewer Pump Station. The project was a big step for our wastewater system which will eventually result is the diversion of almost 30% of the flow from the East Street Pump Station, increasing the efficiency and capacity of our wastewater system.

We are in full implementation mode of the Downtown Parking Master Plan. A couple key points:

  • Parking Regulation: All ordinances have been revised and will be in full effect within the next few weeks. Enforcement times, fines and posting of signs, striping of curbs are all on the cusp of completion.
  • Enforcement: Staff has been trained, citations ordered and delivered and the chalk stick is ready. We will begin with a process of warnings then move into citations in February.
  • Striping: the entire Downtown has been re-painted. Additional diagonal spaces have been added on Abbey and Main. In the end, we will net in excess of 20 additional spaces from the striping. The last striping will occur on First Street, Edwards and Baker in the coming months. We have focused on the enforcement areas first then will move to the rest of the core area.
  • First Street Parking Lot: The Winters Hotel construction will move off the property where the parking lot will be constructed in March. The lot will bring 38 parking spaces and a new alley. This should be a big deal for those along Central Main Street who will see almost a doubling in spaces,  a lighted parking lot, paseo parkway onto the mid block and added convenience for many. We expect the parking lot to be done in May/June and ready when the hotel opens.

Combined new spaces from both striping and the new parking lot will be somewhere near 68 spaces.

  • Waste Management has hired a new contractor to take over street sweeping, beginning in March.  Also discussed compacting for recycling & trash, and front loaders will still be needed for compost.  Contamination and overage fines for commercial accounts have begun ($150/overage, $50 contamination).  Also, recycling can’t include plastic bags.
  • Staff has been working on finalizing the City’s Climate Action Plan. The document will cover a six (6) year period to 2025 and include a revised implementation program which provides for public education, adoption of some key programs meant to reduce greenhouse gases. Look for the plan to go before the City Council in May.
  • Staff will be working with Yolo Housing on a new service agreement. Our partnership has resulted in some cost savings and efficiency which may result in a reduction in the rate portion dedicated to capital equipment replacement. Good stuff!
  • Staff is working with the Putah Creek Council on the installation of interpretive signs on the creek trail portion next to the PG&E Facility.
  • A tour of the new Yolo Food Bank on Wednesday showed the advancement of this critical service in Yolo County.
  • 3rd Annual Movie Night with the night shift will be held on March 16th at 5:30 p.m. in the Public Safety Facility’s fire bay – “The Grinch” will be featured.
  • The Community Wildfire Protection Plan Draft is almost ready for public viewing. Look for a release prior to the upcoming meeting of the Winters Fire District Board Meeting.
  • Attended a great SACOG Regional Manager’s meeting; SACOG rep said Winters was the perfect city for the “Green Means Go” pilot program that includes infill projects, travel options and EV options to decrease gas emissions in the region.
  • For all the no growthers out there, its time to get a refill on the big bottle of tums and the Costco size Excedrin because the State is ready to release the new Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) numbers with direct correlation to transportation and road funding. Staff attended a RHNA meeting with SACOG and although the City will be receiving $125K, these funds can’t be used to update the housing element.  Staff will look for an alternate way to utilize these funds within the context of RHNA and affordable housing.
  • The EDAC report will be re-written, and based on the recommendations from the EDAC, it’s a good time to go to the Planning Commission and City Council about the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process as everyone’s numbers are going up.
  • Regarding transit, the City pays a large amount of money for Yolo Bus.   Micro transit models may be explored.  We need to look at the needs for seniors.  An app on a phone could enable someone to be picked up along the scheduled route.  There is a lot of potential here.

Getting ready for the Super Bowl. My recommendation is two growlers from Berryessa Brewing, including their new Couch Potato IPA. My prediction on the Super Bowl is to take the OVER on the parlay card and look for Tom Brady to get ring #6- Patriots 36 Rams 21

Have a safe weekend.

 

John


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Friday Update on January 25, 2019

All,

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.

John


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Friday Update on January 18 2019

All,

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.

Thanks,

John


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Friday Update on December 21 2018

All,

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!

Thanks,

John


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Friday Update on December 7 2018

All,

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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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

All,

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.

 

John


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Strategic Planning Workshops Scheduled- City of Winters

Strategic Planning Workshops Scheduled- City of Winters

The City of Winters will be holding a series of Strategic Planning Workshops which are open to all members of the Winters Community to attend and participate. The workshops will be 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)
  • December  12, 2018- Public Safety (Fire, Police, Animal Services)
  • January 23, 2019- Planning and Economic Development
  • February 6, 2019- Community Facilities and Services (parks, facilities and services)
  • February 27, 2019- City Organization and Structure (succession planning)
  • March 22-23, 2019- Two all day Strategic Planning Workshop (9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

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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Friday Update on November 1 2018

All,

A day early so you can plan your weekend!

City Council Agenda:

  • Amendment to Waste Management Contract for Contamination and Overage Charges
  • Yolo Mosquito and Vector Update
  • Budget Adjustments for Recycling Funds
  • HOME Program Subcontractor- Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments
  • Claim Against the City
  • Fire Department Records Management System
  • Utility Easement- Olive Grove Subdivision
  • Public Improvements Dedication- Callahan Estates
  • Parcel Coneyance- Senior Center property.

Discussion Items:

  • Development Impact Fee Public Hearing
  • Circulation Master Plan
  • Waste Management Rate Increase- Tipping Fees
  • Parking Fines and Adjudication.

Events:

  • A Dia de los Muertos Celebration will be held at the Winters Cemetery on Friday November 2, 2018 starting at 4:00. This is sponsored by the Hispanic Advisory Committee and will be followed by a screening of the movie “Coco” at the Winters Middle School.
  • The 3rd Annual Salmon Festival– 2018 will be on Saturday, November 3 from 11:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Rotary Park. Displays, food and creek tours with a chance of seeing some salmon coming up the creek. Fun for the entire family!

A couple items of interest:

  • A signing ceremony for the Yolo Conservancy Habitat Conservation Program was held in West Sacramento. This was a big day for both Yolo and the environment. The ceremony was the culmination of over 25 years of effort and collaboration to streamline the mitigation process of government while helping in the preservation and sustainability of hawks, owls, snakes and invertibrates. Kudos to the many who have participated in an important program.
  • Permit issuance on the freeway hotel is looking imminent. Staff went through our checklists and are about to notify the developer to come in a pick up the permit.
  • On Monday, November 5 at the City of Davis, Staff and Mayor Pro Tem Wade Cowan will be attending a critical meeting on Animal Services for Yolo County. This will be the first of two meetings in November where the formation of a new governance structure will be discussed to improve overall animal services for all of Yolo County.
  • Follow the adventures of Woody and Rebecca Fridae as they travel across Europe in their blog. This week they are in Romania, but you can catch up on France, Belgium, Germany and soon to be in Greece. Go to https://fridae.blog/ .

Finally, file this under  “damned if you do damned don’t” in regards to the City of Winters App. Since going to the City Council for approval, social media and email has brought lots of comments which shows that there are lots of opinions on lots of things! The goal of the App is to put in place an avenue available to folks to dynamically report issues and gain information from the City. Apps have become a common avenue for these types of functions in the modern era and something many cities are turning to as one of the tools to achieve a higher level of responsiveness.

A key reason Staff looked into the App was to quell the issues and answer folks on social media who don’t report issues to the City but can broadcast issues over the various social media platforms instead of calling City Hall to report the problem. An easy link via Facebook or our website for active folks to quickly access the app, report the need and facilitate a response was seen as a means to an end! Uh, not so easy. Part of the budget was to print signs to include in key City locations for easy download and access to the App, including for visitors in the Downtown and future hotels.

An interesting phenomenon are the comments and emails from tech folks who all seem to essentially attack the tech option. The comments on “assessment of citizen engagement needs” from the tech folks essentially recommends steering off the tech option and “exploring” other alternatives than the City App OR waiting for something new to come along. Some experts suggest we assign people to monitor the numerous social media platforms, which is simply not going to happen.

We are working on an implementation plan for the App. If in the end, we can establish another tool for our residents and visitors to communicate issues to us, we will call it a success. We currently have phone, email, snail mail and our City website. One more options should not hurt.

So, damned if we do, damned if we don’t!

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on October 26 2018

All,

Next week is a fifth week of the month, so no City Council meeting. A couple items being worked on by City Staff:

  • This weeks Planning Commission had a couple items including an update of the City’s Circulation Master Plan and revisions to the Municipal Code in regards to food trucks. Both were recommended to the City Council with the Circulation Master Plan being reviewed at the November 6 meeting and the Food Truck on December 4.
  • The Food Truck Ordinance is a pretty dynamic issue. The State just enacted SB 946 which essentially allows “sidewalk vending” to occur almost anywhere within a City. In the case of food trucks, the City has limited them to only commercially zoned areas and on private property but the vending carts can go almost anywhere on sidewalks and the public right of way within the parameters that they are licensed.  My sense is that the future of vending will be pretty interesting since the establishment of the vending carts can occur in residential areas and they can sell practically anything except alcohol and tobacco. Stay tuned.
  • Staff is actively working on the striping of Downtown for parking. We are currently evaluating locations for additional diagonal spaces (versus parallel) along Abbey Street as well as location on East Main Street. Once we have a plan we need to grind some markings off the pavement and begin a process of repainting which will include practically every space in the Downtown area.
  • Parking fines and a process for adjudication will be on the November 6 City Council Agenda. We expect to have everything in place for an active parking enforcement program for just after the first of the year.
  • Folks with motor homes and fifth wheels need to move them off the street and back to storage! The Police Department gave everyone a late summer reprieve as people finished off those late summer trips. It is now time for people to get their recreational vehicles and trailers back into storage or get a ticket. We did an entire summer of warnings but the reality is tickets will be next on the list.
  • The Rotary Club of Winters was at both Waggoner and Shirley Rominger Schools on Thursday reading poems and giving away books to kids. Check out these Rotarians in action by clicking HERE.
  • Tonight is the Downtown Harvest Festival beginning at 5:30. Great food, wine and music to entertain and start the weekend off right!
  • The 7-0 WHS Warriors are in Durham for a League game. Go Warriors!

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on October 19 2018

All,

A really short update but some good stuff.

  • Staff met with representatives for the Downtown Hotel. They are shooting for an opening around the start of summer. They are developing their website and marketing materials which should be available before the first of the year. Frankly, it was the most positive meeting we have had on the project in the past few months.
  • As inspections are commencing, the hotel is starting to become very real. Some members of the City team have been onto the roof top bar which has some amazing views of the Creek, hills and the amazing farmland which surrounds us. Many of us can hardly wait for the project to open.
  • A good job by Winters Fire this week for the fire in Putah Creek. The good news is that it cleared out a lot of debris which will benefit the creek during the winter. The bad news was the loss of an excavator and an entire day of smoke enveloping the City.
  • A busy City Council Meeting. The City Council approved moving forward with an App for the City, gave direction regarding scheduling sessions for Strategic Planning and had a very positive discussion on some general plan stuff. Overall, a good meeting.
  • Planning Commission Meeting on Tuesday will include the City’s Circulation Element, Food Trucks and an update to the City’s Emergency Plan Multi Hazard Mitigation Plan.
  • A nice presentation on recommendations for Senior Services. To get a copy of the Winters Senior Resources Guide click HERE.
  • For people interested in getting an update on the City’s General Plan, go to HERE.
  • The WintersJUSD will be having a visioning workshop at Shirley Rominger Intermediate School next Thursday,  October 25, 2018 beginning at 6:00.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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