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Category Archives: City Manager’s Update

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Friday Update on St. Patrick’s Day March 17

All,

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day. As someone of Irish heritage and a citizen of Winters I give you the following irish blessing (slightly modified for context):

 May the Winters hills caress you.
May her lake and creek bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you

 Now the update:

·         Groundwater will be the big issue at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday with a presentation by Tim O’Halloran from the Yolo Flood Control District on the Yolo “Sustainable Groundwater Management Authority” (SGMA). I have attached some information on the Authority, its membership and what they are working on (click here). Some really good stuff and YES, I am leading off with information about an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day.

·         HERE is a link to the balance of the City Council Agenda.

·         Good news this week with the opening of bids for the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. The bid ($928k) is under the Engineers Estimate of $950,000. I will share with you that about four years ago, I went ballistic when we built the Matsumoto Lane signal at $600k and the fact that signals now come in at close to a million dollars is just incredible!

·         Yesterday was like Christmas in the City Manager’s Office when I received in the mail two permits from Caltrans for both the Walnut/Grant Roundabout and the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. Kudo’s to the Public Works and Engineering teams (and Caltrans) for getting these projects lined up. By the end of August, both improvement should be in and/or under construction. Getting permits like that is like hitting the lotto twice in a single day. Not easy to get!

·         Last week, we made the moves to get the Walnut/Grant Roundabout moving. In total, the project funding we have lined up will be about $1.4 million. A lot of money, but an equally important project.

·         The Hispanic Advisory Committee is working on a forum regarding immigration issues for April 7, 2017 from 6:30-8:30 at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall. The entire community is welcome and it should be a great opportunity for people to get the straight scoop on what is happening on the immigration front. Kudo’s to the entire Hispanic Advisory Committee, Councilmember Jesse Loren and Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar Curry (and her staff) for putting this together to get some good information out there.

·         The Winters Police Department Cadet’s are holding a fundraiser to help support the goal of the Winters PD to initiate a K-9 Program. They are selling raffle tickets to win ½ of a pig purchased through an FFA program (win/win for everyone but the pig). Click HERE for information on where and how to get tickets.

·         Congratulations to Winters Fire on a very successful Fish Fry. As someone who works in the back, I will tell you that the organization was excellent, the fish was terrific and it all goes to an amazing cause! Well done by all!

·         Our Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar Curry (Winters own) and State Senator Bill Dodd are working hard on the Chromium 6 regulation to help save our community from a devastating hit from the expense of trying to comply with a regulation 9X lower than the Federal level. I know they are hard at work trying to help us and they are working with the Governor to come to a solution. We have some incredible representation by these two legislative leaders on this (and other) issues. Stay tuned on this and give them an atta girl and atta boy when you see them! Strong representation is what California needs and both Cecilia and Bill are the real deal!

 Finally, the Hispanic Advisory Committee (HAC) and others in the community are working hard to address the concerns of the many immigrants who are an extremely important base group of the Winters community. There are a lot of rumors and politics flying around about immigration raids and threats to children and legal immigrants which are simply not true. The April 7 workshop at St. Anthony’s will be an important resource for immigrants, employers and the general public to get some accurate information.

 An important concern we are dealing with at the City is the negative depiction of law enforcement in this entire political debate between the immigration policies. It is completely unwarranted and harmful, especially for those who are vulnerable. The Winters PD and law enforcement in Yolo County have nothing to do with the implementation of immigration policy. If someone gets pulled over for speeding or is interviewed in relation to an incident, the Winters PD DOES NOT ask for documentation status. The only time immigration and law enforcement cross is when a wanted criminal is apprehended with an ICE warrant. Period!

 People who have legal immigration status and are not committing crimes have no reason to be concerned. If someone has issues regarding their immigration status, they need to address them and there are resources to do that. The current administration (same as the past number of administrations) is bringing light to illegal immigration. The rhetoric from the recent election is absolutely toxic and doing absolutely nobody any favors, from either side of the debate. April 7 will help bring answers and resources.

One thing the HAC and the City Council are dealing with is messaging to try and calm the fears and anxiety of folks in our community. Immigrants have and always will be an important part of the Winters and our nation. They make us strong!

 Winters is an incredible community because it is inclusive and diverse. We are safe because we know each other and we achieve great results because of the collaboration, input and engagement which happens every day. Winters is a place where our children grow and thrive because of the incredible values they learn from our small town. People of all cultures and persuasions make up Winters, California and the many issues which seem to be swirling in other cities and the media does not exist here because it is not accepted. The differences we all bring makes our town stronger and special.

Much like the paella on Fourth Friday’s, the combining of diverse ingredients and spice makes an incredible meal. Winters and our nation really is one big paella feed and we need to support that!

 Hopefully the meeting on April 7 can dispel some of the myths and rumors, give us a chance to help some folks who are scared from the misinformation and genuinely help and support those who need it.

Have a nice weekend.  Everyone is Irish today, thus all beer is green, so off to Berryessa Brewing to share the cheer of the day.

 John


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Friday Update on March 10 2017

All,

I think everything is happening this weekend March 10, 11 and 12! Some key events:

  • Coffee Festival this Saturday at Rotary Park from 12-5.
  • Fish Fry this Friday from 5-8.
  • “Rumors” play by the Winters Theatre Company at the Community Center.
  • Rotary Charter Night from 6-8:30 at Yolo flyers.
  • Shamrock 10K (Saturday) and Shamrock Half Marathon (Sunday).
  • Winters AYSO Select Three teams in either Davis or Concord.

Others items.

City Council Agendas:

March 7, 2017 – All Items Approved

  • Cal Fire Grant Award Acceptance – Golden Bear Pre-Plan
  • CAFR – Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
  • SACOG MOU and CalTrans Agreement for I-505 Overpass Study Report

March 21, 2017

  • Tim O’Halloran – Yolo Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Implementation Update
  • Waste Management Contract
  • Budget Adjustment for Open Purchase Orders as of June 30, 2016
  • Water Management Update
  • Swearing-In of Reserve Level 1 Police Officer Jeff Stanton
  • Recognition- Gail Jimenez – Officer of the Year

April 4, 2017

  • Winters Highlands Public Improvement Agreement
  • Authorization to Bid – Grant & Walnut Roundabout
  • Award Signal Contract

A couple heads up on things:

  • Parcel map for the Marriott, Starbucks and Chevron expansion has been signed and is off to be recorded. Look to be drinking Starbucks by the early fall.
  • Staff filed a declaration with the Judge overseeing the Chromium 6 issue on the economic impacts of the new regulations. Pretty incredible!

Have a nice weekend!

John


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Winters Fire Fish Fry Friday March 10 5:00-8:00

All,

Just a reminder about the Fish Fry this Friday from 5:00-8:00. $15 pre sale and $20 at the door. Winters Fire Department 2017 Annual Fish Fry.  Online Tickets Available at https://events.ticketprinting.com/event/22712

Click HERE for the flyer on Facebook or click on the photo below to open in a new window.

The culinary event of the year and an incredible Winters tradition.

John


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Friday Update on March 3 2017

All,

 Back from a week south of the border! I made it back and was glad they did not get the wall up before we crossed. I would tell you that we had horrible weather but instead, it was absolutely perfect! A couple items this week:

 ·         City Council Agenda is a little light this week with the Comprehensive Financial Report, SACOG MOU for Safe Streets, Acceptance of a CalFire Planning Grant for Golden Bear and the approval of Street Closure for the Car Shows.

·         Sewer laterals throughout the town are becoming an issue. We suspect ground saturation is playing a role from the weather!

·         Public Works is putting the final touches on the Little League Field. It is in great shape and we are excited for a really god year!

·         Heavy storms put our storm drain system to the test and we think we passed! We plan to do some camera inspection of the lines to make sure everything came out OK!

·         Staff is ramping up to work with Project Playground who are looking to do a community build playground at City Park. We will be meeting with their team in the next week to start putting plans in place.

·         On Thursday, the City sold Tax Allocation Bonds as a refinancing of existing debt from our former Community Development Agency. In total, we sold approximately $13.5m in bonds and achieved a savings of almost $2.3m which will be distributed over time to taxing agencies. To the City, it means an increase in revenue of about $58,000 each year!

·         The draft of the Fee Study and Cost Allocation Plan has arrived. Look for this to come before the City Council in April.

·         Pool Manager and Lifeguards are being hired for the summer. The pool opens on April 1for lap swim!

·         Walnut Park had a walk through with the contractor. The picnic shelter needs to be erected and the contractor will redo the hydra seed for the grass.

·         Officer Morgan Hatcher has been selected for the Yolo County Crisis Intervention Team! This is the group who coordinates crisis negotiations and care. A big honor for Morgan and a real feather in the cap for Winters PD!

·         Heroin is becoming an issue in Yolo County and something out Police Department is dealing with! They will be coordinating information with Winters Fire!

·         Chief John Miller was recently appointed to the Yolo County Community Care Board.

·         AB 109 money is now at a deficit in the State, meaning the City will no longer be reimbursed for monitoring paroled inmates into Winters!

·         Deputy Fire Chief Ron Karlen was recently dispatched to the incident response team for the Oroville Dam spill incident.

·         Winters Fire will host its annual Fish Fry next Friday, March 10 starting at 5:00! One of the best events in town in support of our volunteer fire department!! Tickets are available at the Fire Station.

·          City Attorney is working on an ordinance for businesses looking to sell recreational marijuana!

·         Next Saturday March 11 is the Coffee Festival in Downtown starting at 10:00!

·         Winters Friends of the Library will be holding their annual Fruit Tree Sale at the corner of Railroad and Edwards starting at 8:00 a.m.. Get there early (before 8) if you want citrus or the type of tree you are looking for. They will be there until they run out!

 Finally, the Winters community lost an incredible leader with the passing of Alfredo Rodriguez who served at the Regional Commissioner and a coach for the Winters AYSO organization for almost 13 years. I would argue that Alfredo was one of our key Hispanic leaders and someone who has left an incredible legacy in our community.

 A little about Alfredo.

Alfredo was immensely respected within the AYSO soccer community for his knowledge of the game, perspective on dealing with the issues of youth soccer and the ability to quietly run the largest  youth organization in Winters (460 players, 60 coaches and 25 referees). He was a very unassuming leader who could convince folks to give their time and energy to the cause of serving people. The immense respect Alfredo had from those who competed against his teams was incredible to see.

 I worked with Alfredo in running Winters AYSO and cherish the memories of showing up at the school on Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. to see Alfredo’s car already in the parking lot and seeing the lone person in his sombrero (or that Dodgers hat) behind a paint sprayer marking out the fields. He genuinely felt the kids deserved to play in a quality environment and put his all into making it the best he could. Equally, I would spend time with him at the end of the day picking up the trash and putting away the flags. He gave it his all.

 As a coach Alfredo set an incredible example for so many young men in Winters, teaching the life skills of discipline, commitment, hard work and how to both win and lose with class. As a coach, he taught the players about life within the metaphor of soccer. Players experienced some of their greatest individual success within the team game. They also learned that there are negative consequences for bad actions, with Alfredo pulling some of the best players from a tight game when they misbehave to set the standard for the rest of the team. Whether they realized it or not, they had a tremendous role model coaching them who instilled values and principles which they can take with them for a lifetime. Probably Alfredo’s most important contribution!

 I will celebrate the excitement of Alfredo’s teams going to 18 kicks from the mark in a semi-final and then taking the Davis World Cup in a 2-1 final. Amongst my most cherished possessions of Alfredo and Winters AYSO is a Davis World Cup first place medal and a picture from the Winters Express of a victorious team with the Davis coach sitting in the middle of the champions photo. Equally, I will love the memories of the losses and Alfredo not complaining but rationalizing why “we deserved to lose” and just moving on.

 Mostly, we will celebrate a friendship from a man who was an incredible friend to so many people. He was a genuine HERO of Winters whose love of people, community and others made him as unique a man as you can every hope to experience in your lifetime.

 They say, the wealth of a man is never measured by money or possessions, it is the legacy that they leave behind by the effect that they had on others in a meaningful way. Alfredo leaves this world probably the richest man we have ever known, through his effect on those around him.

 May heaven have a crappy soccer field with a half broken paint sprayer and a need for someone to squeeze two soccer fields into a space where only one will fit. They now have the right guy there!

 Winters lost an incredible member of our community named Alfredo Rodriguez!

 Have a great week.

John


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Friday Update on February 17, 2017


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Friday Update on February 10, 2017

All,

A productive week:

 ·         The big item on the City Council Agenda this week involved discussion of a contract renewal with Waste Management. The issues mostly surrounded moving toward containerized green waste, street pickup and street sweeping. Carol Scianna and the Waste staff did a fine job of reviewing the various options. Council direction was given regarding looking at more frequent street sweeping, community concerns regarding large green waste pickup (core area) and leaf season. Overall, a good discussion and direction.

·         The Hispanic Advisory Committee met on Monday and the main topics surrounded questions related to national immigration policies. The meeting had a good attendance, including Chief John Miller and Officer Jose Hermosillo from the Winters Police Department. The direction from the HAC was to identify community questions and concerns and possibly host a community workshop to bring greater understanding to what is actually happening.

·         The leadership shown by folks on the HAC was amazing!! They quickly assigned tasks for members to begin identifying questions within the community and to determine accurate sources to help folks find answers. It was clearly one of the best meetings for the HAC and demonstrated leadership from the members.

The national debate on immigration and the role local governments play has erupted nationally. This is a FEDERAL issue and our national leaders are the ones responsible and accountable for getting information to residents. It is also their role to deal with the ramifications of what is happening. While cities are the most accessible for residents, the issues being brought are simply out of our purview.

It was important that the Winters Police Department was well represented at the HAC Meeting. Some basic questions which were discussed included how local law enforcement works with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE). Here are some basic facts:

 ·         Police do NOT interface with ICE on issues which are not criminal in nature. The police are not agents of ICE and never have been.

·         Police do NOT randomly check documentation of folks (without cause) and only ask for identification in criminal matters. We do not stop people on the street asking for documentation.

·         Police and State Agencies do NOT share data bases on immigration issues. On criminal issues, when persons are wanted for crimes, they are included in the same data sets as anyone else. Wanted criminals go into criminal data bases for wanted criminals. If people are not wanted for a crime, they have nothing to fear from contacting the Winters PD.

·         Cities do NOT defend or get in between ICE and persons in relation to documentation status issues. There are many groups who do that, but not cities (maybe San Francisco, but they could be another country) J.

·         In California, law enforcement will tell you that they absolutely supports the licensing of all drivers, regardless of documentation status. ALL drivers are required to have a drivers license and insurance, regardless of immigration status. It is the law.

·         The State DMV is not in the business of working with ICE on immigration issues. Its just not in their business.

 The interface between local law enforcement and our residents is critical to keeping Winters safe. It would be counter productive for local law enforcement to put a barrier to people reporting crimes, especially undocumented folks who are often selected targets. Anyone, including undocumented people, who are the victims of crimes should always feel comfortable reporting when a crime occurs. Victims are victims and crimes should always be reported.

The Winters community is an incredible place because we are safe, diverse and collaborative on issues which are within our purview. Regardless of race, religion, gender or socio-economic status, folks in our town are residents first. Winters is Winters because we are a place where people are welcome and accepted.

If people have immigration issues, they should deal with those with the applicable agencies. The City has no role in that but individuals do. If you know of someone with immigration issues, they need to deal with that and get it resolved because it is the law. The HAC has had forums on the topic to get information out and I expect more is to come.

 Summary, Winters Police are not in the immigration business, we are in the business of keeping all residents, regardless of immigration status safe. The federal agencies have their job and we have ours.

 ·         This week, I attended the League of California Cities City Manager’s Department Meeting which was held in Monterey. The hot topics discussed were Cannibus, Sales and Use Taxes, Affordable Housing and the California Economy. A couple takeaways.

·         The passage of Prop 64 creates as many questions as it cures. Marijuana is now legal to use, but the business of marijuana, cultivation, the manufacture of products and distribution still has many issues to resolve.

·         A fun fact on cannabis is that there are in excess of $1.2b in “proposals” for permits in cities to build marijuana facilities. That is a lot of brownies!

·         Tackling how sales taxes are distributed is a big topic. The internet market place and who and where the taxes should go is a big question. They estimate that over $1b in sales taxes are simply lost under the current system.

·         Affordable Housing has major issues. Flatly, there is no money for it when it is needed most. That State readily acknowledges that housing is one of the critical issues facing California residents and affordability is one of those, but the Governor is not ready to deal with it.

Finally, the best news in many years was the signing of the concession contract with John and Linda Frazier for Markley Cove. This is a critical move for a business and location which is important to Winters as the “Gateway to Lake Berryessa”.

 The over 15 year odyssey of Lake Berryessa and the failed revitalization plan of the Bureau of Reclamation is hopefully over for John and Linda. They have been a very important business to our community both because of the economics and their generosity in supporting many groups and organizations. The way the Frazier’s (and practically all of the former resorts owners) were treated should never happen again.

The Frazier’s and the entire Markley Cove team have kept their dignity during what must have been the most difficult of times. The decimation of the Lake Berryessa economy, the national recession, combined with the illogical actions of a federal agency could not have been more daunting for John and Linda. During it all, the Frazier’s were absolute class acts and models of persistence in trying to preserve their rights and property interests. Even when the BOR gave away Markley Cove, then re-bid, selected the Fraziers, then pulled it away again, they never gave up.

The Fraziers are absolute symbols of class and role models for people dealing with adversity. They are important to Winters and their business will serve as a foundational element to the eventual re-birth of Lake Berryessa.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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Friday Update on February 3 2017

All,

A couple items:

February 7, 2017 City Council Agenda

  • Waste Management Contract Options
  • Reject All Bids for Walnut Avenue Roundabout on St. Hwy. 128  (Grant Avenue)- The project is under some revisions and will to out again very soon,
  • On-Call Storm Drainage Engineering Services Contract with Wood Rodgers (Renewal/update of contract)
  • Proclamation Celebrating June 3, 2017 as Elder Day in the City of Winters (1st Sat. in June)
  • Resolution to reimburse certain Capital Expenditures made to the City Water System
  • Public Hearing- Second reading and Adoption of Ord. 2017-01 – Second Residential Units
  • Introduction of Ord. 2017-02 – Affordable Housing Interest Rate Requirements
  • Reso. 2017-07 Adopting Tax-Advantaged Bonds Post Issuance Compliance Procedures
  • Reso. 2017-06 Adopting Continuing Disclosure Compliance Procedures
  • Successor Agency – Authorization for issuance of Tax Allocation Refunding Bonds

 Other items:

 ·         Data for the Parking Committee is starting to come in and it is amazing stuff. On December 3, we did an all day count of parking turnover in the Downtown which generated over 48,000 pieces of data. We are now crunching the data and many of the results are telling us about trends which will help in recommendations on improving the availability and efficiency of parking in the Downtown. The core of our Parking Committee includes Sandy Vickery, Gino Mediati, Chris Turkovich, Peter Hunter, Pierre Neu, Wade Cowan, Bill Biasi, Nicki Chapman, Dan Maguire, Kate Frazier and Devon Vickery. These folks have done an incredible job in helping work on parking issues and are making a real difference in improving the business climate for Winters! These folks are really stepping up to help our town.

·         Special recognition to Karla Jenkins at City Hall who input all the data. A really difficult task and she really did a superior job in putting it all together!

·         Congratulations to the  Solano Resource Conservation District (Solano RCD) which was awarded one of 12 2016 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA) for its excellence and leadership in conducting environmental education programs in Solano County. Chris Rose and his staff do incredible environmental work in our area and this award is well deserved recognition for the education and environmental stewardship they do to benefit our region. We have some real stars in the area and the Solano RCD is one of those agencies. HERE is the article on the award.

·         Our Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar Curry (former mayor of Winters/West of 505) had dinner on Wednesday night with the Governor and new Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Hopefully the conversation surrounded Chromium 6! Cecilia always talked about getting Winters “at the table” and when that table has the governor in one of the chairs, we have hit a high point. Kudos to Cecilia!

·         Last weekend, Winters Fire hosted practically every major public safety organization for training in Putah Creek and the Monticello Dam for a variety of swift water, rapelling, helicopter and search and rescue training. The accolades have been coming in with comments attributable to “Winters Regional Leadership”, “incredible coordination”, “very professional” and “an incredible training opportunity for all the agencies”. Our entire staff did an amazing job of developing and implementing training over a two day period which benefitted agencies both large and small.

 I have always been proud of my association with Winters Fire and the work of our paid, reserve and volunteer staff who really shined last weekend. The men and women of Winters Fire serve our community with an incredible sense of pride and commitment which is second to none. The Department is doing things at levels today which are as complex and advanced as any fire agency in our State. The idea that we are a “regional leader” in the professional development of other fire personnel is a high point. This week brought moments which made me as proud as I have ever been of our staff and where the Department is today!

 I have had the pleasure of knowing the Fire Chiefs from the past 50 years of Winters Fire. They came from a time where finances were frugal and things were tight and required ingenuity to make things happen. They formed a sound foundation which still sets the tone for how the Department operates today. Chief’s Vernon Bruen, Dave Kidder and Scotty Dozier helped lead a committed volunteer force who brought incredible pride and personal sacrifice to making Winters a safe place. The were/are all men of high integrity and were role models for the fire staff. The community has also benefitted from an incredible Fire Board which has been led by the likes of Tony Turkovich, Don Rominger, Jack Thomas, Bob Bell, Kathy Gilpen and Gloria Lopez. I will share that Tony Turkovich who has chaired and led the District Board for the last 30 has served as a fiduciary to the community in positioning Winters Fire for success from a business standpoint. His leadership has been amazing and the community, both District and City, owe where we are today to his stewardship.

 I personally credit both Tony and Scott with getting the Department to where it is today. I wish Scotty was here last weekend to see the leadership of his firefighters with the other agencies. I know he would have been especially proud.

 Finally, last weekend, my wife Kathy and I were honored as Citizens of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce at their “Year in Review” along with Chris Turkovich (Theodore Winters award for service to Winters), Gino Mediati and the staff at Ace Hardware (Business of the Year) and Sharon and Wally Pearce who were named Senior Citizens of the Year. The event at Park Winters was incredible and the entire Board led by new Board President Megan Curry, Past President Kathy Cowan and Executive Director Carrie Green deserve a huge applause for their efforts.

Kathy and I were very honored for the recognition but mostly we are grateful to live in Winters. We both feel that the community has been a blessing on our family.

In reality, the recognition is less about us and more about us representing the many groups and activities we have had the pleasure of being involved with over the years. Winters AYSO, Youth Day, Rotary, Winters PTA and schools, Winters High School, Girl Scouts, Winters Fire, Relay for Life, March of Dimes all have incredible core groups which help make Winters the place it is. These volunteers are the every day heroes who coach our kids, present incredible events and donate time unselfishly to keeping things going in our small town.

 Winters is full of folks who are “all in” putting the community first, perpetuating kindness, service and making it a place people proudly call their home. There are many “couples” whose daily and weekly routines include some form of service to Winters as part of the lives. It is the soul of that commitment which gives our town the strength.

 Winters is especially blessed by the Winters Express led by Charley Wallace, Newt Wallace and an incredible staff who write our story each week, record our history and remind us of the past. They really are the glue which binds both the old timers and newcomers. We genuinely believe the town owes the Wallace Family considerable gratitude for what they have done for Winters. Debra takes a lot of heat for her opinions, but few do more than her to perpetuate the things which make our community special.

 Kathy and I view being Citizens of the Year as a reminder of our obligation to keeping committed to serving our community. Our lives are tremendously enriched by the people who have become as much family as friends. We feel blessed and are thankful for all we have here.

 Have a nice weekend!

 John


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Friday Update on January 27 2017

All,

City Council Agendas:

February 7, 2017

  • Waste Management Contract Negotiation Update
  • Adoption of Ord. 2017-01 – Second Residential Units
  • Introduction of Ord. 2017-02 – Affordable Housing Requirements
  • Successor Agency – Bond Refunding Agenda

February 21, 2017

  • Adoption of Ord. 2017-02 – Affordable Housing Requirements

 Lot’s going on in each of the Departments

 ·         Water Department is valve exercising and flushing is 70% complete. This is a chance to maintain the valves and “flushing” of hydrants helps clean debris from the water system and improves overall water quality.

·         Recent storms has made the creek rise and lots of mud and sediment has been deposited on the lower section of the Putah Creek Trail. PW has been on the trail cleaning up after the flooding.

·         Main & Grant signal project has gone out to bid; bids are due on 2/23.

·         Water Resources Agency WRA is working diligently on the creation of a new Sustainable Groundwater Management Agency (SGMA) as required by the State. Carol Scianna attended a SGMA meeting including all Yolo County water districts.

·         Staff is moving forward on the evaluation of Cr6 analysis for a potential Well #9.

·         Finance and Engineering will be working on a kick off meeting regarding an RFP for Impact Fee Study.

·         Staff is also working on the Compensation Report for State Controller’s office. This details salaries and benefits for all of the staff into a State data base.

·         The Planning Commission unanimously approved ordinance amending Affordable Housing requirements and restrictions on Inclusionary For-Sale units regarding how interest rates are accrued on a promissory note/silent second.

·         The firm interested in a residential project for the Valadez property on Hemenway is working with staff regarding an affordable housing plan which will eventually go before the Affordable Housing Steering Committee.

·         Staff and the City Attorney held a Conference call w/Domas an update on the Senior Center.

  • The Active shooter exercise at WHS on 1/21 which involved several local agencies went very well.
  • The Women’s march on 1/21 was peaceful and well attended. Mostly non political and was an impressive show of support for womens and community wide issues. Well done!
  • Winters PD hosted a taser instructor class for local law enforcement agencies.
  • Police Chief John Miller is working on a Homeland Security grant.
  • The Winters PD has been in the community at various apartment complexes giving bilingual personal security presentations.
  • The next movie night (“Trolls”) will be on 2/4 or 2/10 in the Fire Department Apparatus Bay.

·         Super Police Dog Kepi and her handler Chaplan Robert Duvall were recently on KCRA’s “Common Grounds Program”. Click HERE to see the program. Well done!

·         Monticello exercise will take place this weekend and will include two high angle rescues and search and rescue drills in Putah Creek.  Look for helicopters and four wheelers in the area.

 Finally, tomorrow night is the Winters Chamber of Commerce “Year in Review” where they recognize folks in the community including Citizens, Business, and Senior Citizens of the Year and the Theodore Winters Award. A couple comments on some of the recipients.

Chris Turkovich from Turkovich Wines will be receiving the Theodore Winters Award which recognizes people for their community contributions over the past 5 year. Chris is very well deserving for a number of reasons. His activity with the Downtown business community has been vital to the renaissance and advancement of what is happening, From Roots to Wine, www.Discoverwinters.com ,  Fourth Friday, Highway 128, the expansion of the “parklet” in front of their tasting room has really helped set the “vibe” for our Downtown. Chris has really stepped up to help create Winters as a destination and helped establish a really high bar of expectation for the quality people expect when they are visiting our community. Not only are Chris and Luciana making incredible wine, but they are contributing to the greater good of the entire community. Chris has been a leader in addressing parking issues and he and his wife Luciana has been a active with the City’s Hispanic Advisory Committee. Chris has taken a very positive role in advancing the greater Winters area and is making us look really good.

Ace Hardware is the “Business of the Year” which is really well deserved. Gino Mediati and the entire team at Ace are an institution in our Downtown. Not only do they provide incredible customer service and are an essential resource in town, but they are also extremely generous with the community. They absolutely go beyond the call of duty in helping with fundraising by local groups, sell tickets for the Palms and collaborate with the many other businesses. Gino has become a leader in our business community through his positive contributions to the Parking Committee and in helping with many other events. A very well deserved honor for one of our more important businesses.

Sharon and Wally Pearce are the “Senior Citizens of the Year”. Both have become incredible leaders in advancing issues and activities for the largest growing demographic in our community- seniors. They are founding members of the Winters Senior Foundation, they have helped in the coordination of numerous activities and events, conduct monthly foundation meetings, lunches and  representing seniors with the City Council and within the County. Sharon and Wally are helping change and improve the lives of seniors in Winters today and for years to come!

Congrats to Chris, Gino/Ace and Wally and Sharon. All are incredible examples of the type of people who make Winters a very special place.

Have a nice weekend,

John


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Friday Update on Inauguration Day 2017

All,

 A couple items:

 ·         Winters Police and Fire will be active at Winters High School in a training exercise on Saturday, January 21 in the morning. This will be a full simulation exercise on a couple training goals for the Departments. People will see a considerable amount of activity at WHS but please note that “This is only a drill”!

·         This week, Councilmembers Bill Biasi and Jesse Loren attended the League of California Cities “New City Councilmembers Orientation” in Sacramento. The seminar is a comprehensive look at local government issues, laws and procedures to prepare them for success in navigating the myriad of responsibilities of being on the City Council. I liken it to trying to “drink from a fire hose” with the shear volume of material they are given at the meeting (the notebook is over 700 pages). Both learned a lot and had an opportunity to meet other elected officials from throughout the State. It is really cool with the number of folks who know about Winters and how much the “love” our town! When the Mayor of Palm Desert comes up to you and says she has heard and read about the “good things” happening in our community, you know you are doing some things right!

·         The storm Wednesday night knocked out power to a couple neighborhoods and the East Street Pump Station. The good news was our auxiliary generator immediately kicked (and ran for almost 18.5 hours) on and our staff was immediately notified through our network control systems. It is awesome when things work the way the are supposed to!

·         Russell Street seemed to have taken the brunt of the storm, with lots of trees and debris down, broken power poles and lines along with a really big mess. If you have a friend and a pole saw, go give them a hand this week.

·         Overall, Public Works along with Winters Fire and Police have done extremely well with helping folks impacted by the storms, which seem to be lining up……

·         Special thanks to ESPS neighbors Jill and Josh Nelson and Sally Brown and Jeff TenPas and their patience for listening  to the backup generator on all night!

·         The Winters Music Boosters will be hosting a fundraiser with the show My Funny Valentine on February 4 at the Community Center. Attached is the flyer!

 Finally, today was the 58th Presidential Inauguration which represents one of the most significant symbols and the greatness of our democracy with the peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next. It is a view of history which dates back to our founding fathers and includes elements which were mostly established and written by Thomas Jefferson. No matter your political persuasion, the spectacle of  watching the leaders of the three branches of our government, past presidents,  political rivals and ordinary Americans coming together in celebration on this special day is something which should never be missed.

 As a child, my grandparents took me and my brothers to Washington D.C. and we visited the White House. All they talked about was what an honor it was to go to visit the home of the President and how blessed we were to be Americans. The day before, my grandmother took us to a Sears and bought each of us new dress suits, shirts and ties along with shoes for our visit. My Grandfather wore a nice suit and my Grandmother a new dress. We were incredibly excited and they told us we need to be on our best behavior because where we were going was special and symbolic of the incredible history of our nation. They were so right and the visit is something I remember like it was yesterday. It helped instill in us the importance of service, patriotism and gratitude for living in such an incredible country.

 Our nation is the purest democracy in the world and the inauguration is a chance for the entire world to witness why we are the leaders of the free world. It is a special day and something to be celebrated.

President of the United States has got to be the toughest job in the world! Now, former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle are coming to California for a well deserved vacation as he leaves the presidency. Hopefully, they will toast the ultimate task in citizen service and what they accomplished in eight years. Whether you agree with the politics, our nation owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Obama’s for bringing class and dignity to the White House, working tirelessly for our nation and setting an incredible example for the next generations. They deserve the vacation and the genuine thanks of our nation. Pray that they find success in their next phase of life.

Equally, President Donald Trump deserves our well wishes and prayers that he can fulfill the pledge doing great things (I already think we are great)! No matter your ideology, he is now our President and this is OUR nation and the thoughts and hope that all people will find success is what matters most.   His inauguration is but a beginning point. And as did President Obama, I am certain that President Trump is going to work really hard.  Hopefully folks can find a way to come together, transcend many of the issues which have created division and focus on the common values of peace, freedom, liberty and the ability of all people to pursue happiness. Everyone deserves a chance and we must give him that opportunity.

Have a nice stormy weekend!

John


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Friday the 13th Update for January, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th!

A couple items from the week:

·         The upcoming City Council Meeting has the Grant/Main Traffic Signal Bid, Water and Storm Drain bid for Downtown, Pension and Unfunded Issues, an Ordinance on Zoning Text Amendment for Second Residential Units, Uniform Compensation Policies for Public Safety and Public Works Personnel and the Obligation Schedule for the redevelopment Successor Agency. It’s gonna be a party!

·         I got a call from Supervisor Don Saylor’s Deputy, Tara Thronson who had some questions as a follow up to an update by the Yolo Emergency Medical Services Agency regarding ambulance and EMS services. She shared an incredible statistic that in 2013, cardiac arrest patients had a 17% chance of survival versus 2016 which saw a 31% survival. Amazing and a tribute to the work in improving ambulance and EMS service throughout the County. Great job and a credit to many folks.

 Winters was a leading reason for the overall improvement of EMS services in Yolo County. In 2013, the City petitioned the State to be declared a “non-exclusive” area in the Sacramento Region which would enable us to break from the established contracting requirements. We received permission and the Cities and County came together to form a Yolo County Agency for EMS Service. The biggest credit for enabling the breakaway needs to go to the many volunteers with Winters Fire over the years who drove the Winters Ambulance and maintained the license from the State. It was because of their service we were able to re-establish the services we receive today. My hero in all of this is Barb Karlen who was one of the drivers working with Chief’s Dave Kidder and Scotty Dozier to save lives. Because of their service, you have a 31% chance of surviving a cardiac event than before.

 ·         City Staff is working on a letter to the Judge who is overseeing the implementation of the new standards on Chromium 6 in regards to the economic impacts of implementing the new MCL. The impacts are significant and need to be known. We also plan on sending the letter to the Attorney General who has been notified about the economic issues.

·         There will be one item on the January 24th Planning Commission agenda to correct an inconsistency:  change language in the Muni Code to assess a rate tied to Local Agency Investment Funds.  Anticipate going to Council on February 7th.

·         Staff met with the Carrie Green, Executive Director of the Winters Chamber of Commerce to discuss joint venture options for economic development and business education programs between the City and Chamber. A REALLY good meeting and a lot of potential for the future!

·         Lot’s happening with the Winters After School Program! Reading, science programs and participation in the Farmers Market. It is amazing the amount of learning, enrichment and support for the WJUSD students. Simply amazing!

·         Staff is working on modifications to the Walnut Lane Roundabout. It looks like we may need to re-bid a modified project.

·         Overall, the City performed extremely well with the big storm from last weekend. Huge kudos for the Public Works Staff who did a lot of preparation during the fall, cleaning storm drains, fixing pipe and clearing ditches, drains and outfalls. No reportable flooding in the town, only the typical closure of Rd 89 which is just based on a lot of volume from the hills. Good job to our team!

 Finally, Monday January 16 will be a holiday to celebrate the life of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the greatest Americans to bless our country. A Baptist minister, orator, father and a real patriot who gave his life in the service of advancing the many freedoms and principles which make our nation the greatest. His press for the inaliable rights of people, non-violent protest and the importance of freedom has led to some of the most profound dialogues and advancement in our history.

 He is probably best known for the 1963 March on Washington and one of the greatest speeches in the history of our nation, best known as the I have a Dream Speech. Click HERE to read the speech or click HERE to watch it. Truly a remarkable day in the history of our country given by an incredible man.

 As we enjoy the privilege of a day off, take some time to reminisce and learn about Dr. King and the blessing he was to the advancement of civil rights for all Americans, all races, all religions and genders.

Have a nice weekend.

 John


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Storm Update on Friday January 6 2017

All,

Lots of questions regarding the upcoming storm and where to get help or find sand and bags. Looks like we might get a little rain this weekend!

A sand pile and bags will be located at the north dead end of East Street (between our Corporation Yard and Yolo Credit Union). The sand is in the street along with bags. For people who need the sand, it is first come to get it. Bring your own shovel and take only what you need as far as sand and bags.

Check our City of Winters Facebook for updates. We will monitor the site to respond to questions and inquiries.

Overall, a January storm is not a bad thing for us. All our storm drains are clean, leaves have mostly dropped and our chain saws are sharp.

Have a nice weekend and try to stay dry!!

John


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Friday Update on January 6 2017

All,

 Happy 2017!!!!! We are busy rolling into the new year with lots of projects and progress.

 ·         Here are the tentative items for the January 17, 2017 City Council Meeting:

·         Yolo County Housing Liaison Assignment

·         Ord. 2017-01 Amending Definitions, Application and Public Hearings, Land Use Regulations/Zoning Matrix, and Second Residential Units

·         Waste Management Contract

·         Pension and Unfunded Liability

·         Updated Project Budget Sheet and Authorization to Bid – Main & Grant Signal

·         Successor Agency Resolution Approving a Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS)

Other items of note:

·         Staff is working on getting the roundabout project back on course. We are meeting with the contractor, Caltrans and SACOG to discuss alternatives, funding and ways to make the project happen.

·         Bid documents are ready for the W. Grant/W. Main traffic signal and should be on the street within the next few weeks.

·         Staff is working on a letter to the judge overseeing the Chromium 6 issue. He has asked the Department of Water Resources to provide information on the economic impacts of the new MCL on communities. The letter will include some of our costs and the economic impacts to low income and seniors. Our plan is to send the letter/information to key parties including the Department of Water Resources, low income advocacy groups and other affected jurisdictions.

·         Residents will see extensive hydrant flushing over the next few weeks. This is a very important part of keeping the quality of the water in our system at high levels and expelling debris in the lines.

·         Public Works will change the pool filter at the Bobbie Greenwood pool next week. This is a big project and the first time it has been done in 6 years.

·         Well #9:  considering moving the well to another location near the 505.  Bids for the well work came in high and are being negotiated.  It will go to Council once the well placement is determined.

·         The crane operator responsible for the two deaths during the construction of the Putah Creek Car Bridge will go on trial for 2 counts of manslaughter in Yolo Court.

·         Buyers are lining up for both the Callahan and Creekside Estates subdivision maps. Interest in development in Winters is high and both of these projects are ready to go. Winters Highlands is also positioning to go, so lots of housing may be on the horizon!

·         Caltrans has denied the addition of a third driveway for the Chevron/Marriot Hotel along Grant Ave. Site plan will be modified to reflect only a second driveway.

·         The State Office of Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) has announced that they are suspending reimbursement to local law enforcement agencies for mandated training classes claiming reductions in penalty revenues. Its amazing that with the national tenure on the need for police training, the State now decides to eliminate funding to help agencies with training! Government at its best!!!

 Who ya gonna call…….. Supercuts???

 Finally, I read an article from the San Jose Mercury News with quotes from UC. Berkeley Professor Emeritus and Sports Psychologist Dr. Harry Edwards in regards to Forty Niner Quarterback Kolin Kapernick’s protest against police and America. In it, Dr. Edwards says  “the average police officer gets fewer hours of training than a cosmetologist doing hair”.  This is a sad exaggeration and is a gross understatement of the types and levels of training!

First, I looked up the qualifications for a cosmetologist and it requires 1,600 hours of training and 3200 hours of apprenticeship. Frankly, I was impressed that it takes 2 full years of training for someone to get a license to cut hair, but I would argue that the demands and scope of the training and their jobs is considerably different. (I really like my barber and think they do a great job with what little hair I have left!)

 A perspective on how someone qualifies to be a police officer in the City of Winters is the following:

 ·         Graduate from a 26-28 week accredited police academy. (1,040 hours-minimum)

·         Go through a hiring process which typically takes 6-8 months. This includes a professional oral board, physical agility examination, life background questionnaire, comprehensive background investigation, polygraph exam, physical exam and a final chief’s interview.

·         Pass a Minimum of 16 weeks of Field Training (640 hours)

·         12-18 month probationary period (3,060 hours).

·         All active police officers then a series of “mandated training” beyond the academy, field training, training bulletins and policy training which includes a minimum of 24 hours per year.

·         All officers are required to maintain “perishable skills” (firearms, driving, defensive tactics and communication) with a minimum of 80 hours every two years. This does not include mandated firearms range training but does include qualification.

·         Advanced officers has enormous amounts of training in investigation, forensics, mental health, psychology and specialty areas of law enforcement.

 The men and women of law enforcement have one of the most important jobs in our society…. they keep us safe. Their training and job skills range from physical agility to being mental health workers, marriage and family counselors to grief counselors. Our police deal with people on the worst days of their lives and to compare their skills, training and abilities to being less than cosmetologists is simply disrespectful and demeaning. Mostly it is unfair and a cheap shot! Our police officers and the people of public safety (dispatchers, fire to animal services) are heroic at times, putting their welfare before their own.

Celebrities and professional athletes live in a cloistered environment,  surrounded by walls, fences and security. They are wealthy and privileged people who have a spotlight and opportunity to influence public opinion.

Next time a crazy fan or criminal decides to take one of these privileged people on, I hope they have the nerve to call Supercuts for help and to report back on how things work themselves out!

Have a nice weekend.

 John

 BTW, kudos to Cosmetologists, also! While police keep us safe, barbers keep us looking good (mostly)!


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Friday Update on December 16 2016

All,

Some project updates:

· The SR 128 Roundabout Project bids will go before the City Council on January 3 with a recommendation for rejection. Essentially, the bids came in about $700k over the engineers budget and the City simply does not have the funds to do the project. Staff will be talking with representatives from SACOG and other agencies to see if we can find other funds to go toward the project. Additionally, the engineers will be talking with contractors who bid the project to determine why there was such a huge discrepancy between the estimates and bids.

One reality of doing capital projects is a combination of the increased cost of materials and fewer contractors doing work these days. When the economy collapsed in 2008, so did many construction companies. As the economy has rebounded, the emergence of companies doing work has been especially slow. This means fewer companies which equals fewer bids and the competitiveness for projects is significantly lower, thus the contractors can bid higher which drives costs. Also smaller are the suppliers of materials which also increases costs. This all points to higher costs and dramatically fewer projects in our future.

· Staff is currently in the midst of developing our estimates on the costs of implementing the new Chromium 6 projects and operations. This includes a review of estimated project costs, estimates on operational aspects, debt service to pay for the massive capital expenditures and ultimately what the new rates will be for our customers. This is a high priority project and we will hopefully have some firm numbers in the coming months.

With CR6, a Judge has ordered the Department of Drinking water to provide an economic impact analysis of implementing the new regulations on consumers and water providers. The good news is that someone is finally sobering up and realizing that this is a massive cost and burden to both utilities and ultimately rate payers. The bad news is that the timing of the economic anaylsis may be too late to help everyone. We are still waiting to hear whether the Judge will suspend implementation of the new requirements pending the analysis.

In Winters, we see the requirement adding close to $120 per month ($1,440 annually) to customer bills, taking the monthly water rate for the most frugal water user to over $200 per month! Very low income in Winters is someone with a monthly income of approximately $750 per month. To follow the impact, that means that the water bill alone will now represent 26% of that low income persons monthly income. Deduct a very low income rent of about $350, $50 for sewer, $100 for other utilities (phone, electric or cable), that will leave $50 a month ($1.66 per day) for food, medicine and other expenses. I challenge everyone to try to live on $1.66 per day for the next month and see how you do!

Once we have our firm numbers, I plan on sending the Judge and the folks at the Department of Drinking Water the information for their economic study. Maybe they can compare which benefits more, having an MCL which is 90% lower than 49 states and the federal requirement, or forcing people to live on $1.66 per day. We will see……………….

· The traffic signal at Main/Grant is inching closer to a permit. The final plans are being dropped at Caltrans this afternoon and we are praying for a permit for the signal this Xmas.
· Walnut Park has been hydro-seeded and the recent rains have been a blessing for helping to establish the seeds. A little sunshine will go a long way toward encouraging the turf to grow. I recommend driving by the site to take a look with the caveat that you drive by in 3 years when the landscaping will start taking shape. This is going to be a beautiful park in the coming years.
· The Planning Commission took up two items on Tuesday, including approving a variance for side yard setback for a new home on Russell Street and modifying zoning definitions for second residential units to keep our zoning code compliant pursuant to some new legislation going into effect in January. We have a really good Planning Commission and they are doing well.
· Cannabis is a hot topic throughout Yolo County. The County is working on regulations regarding the regulation of cultivation in the rural areas. The other cities are looking at both distribution and sales. In Winters, we are waiting for the details of Proposition 64 to be released by the new State agency and will follow suit once those are in place. The City WILL be looking at the nuisance issues for personal grows in residential areas which is becoming a problem.
· December 3 was an epic night in Downtown Winters with the tree lighting, Second Annual Tractor Parade and the arrival of Santa. A big congratulations to the coordinators Megan Curry, Kathy and Wade Cowan, Carrie Green and a small but dedicated group of volunteers who pulled off an epic event. These folks really brought an incredible and memorable evening. AND, don’t forget all the farmers and ag folks who were the stars of the evening! A special thanks to the folks from Yolo Balloons for not burning down all the trees with their fiery display on the back of the Turkovich Float!

There will not be a Friday Update next week!

Hanukkah begins next Saturday, Christmas is Sunday and New Year the following weekend. Who can believe it!!

I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season. Winters is a community which is blessed with beauty, wonderful people and a spirit which brings and incredible quality of life. As you gather with friends, families and neighbors, give thanks for all we have and pray for an incredible 2017.

Thanks,

John


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Friday Update for December 9 2016

All,

I am providing the minute notes this week from our Management Staff Meeting to give a little insight into the doings of all of the City Departments. First, a couple highlights of things happening on the larger scale:

• We opened bids for the Walnut Roundabout today which had a construction budget of $800k. The bids came it at $1.4m which summarily stops the project. Caltrans took almost four years to review the project and the result was an almost 75% cost escalation. The City has spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to move this project through the Caltrans bureaucracy. A very frustrating day!
• Welcome back to Wade Cowan to the City Council. Wade will be sworn in at the December 20 meeting. The Council will then select the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.
• Congratulations to Maintenance Staff member Ricky Castro who received his Wastewater Treatment I license from the State Water Resources. This is a big step for Ricky and really adds to the credentials for our Public Works Department.
• The Fire Department is still accepting toys for the Toys for Tots Program. Items can be dropped off at the Fire Station.

Here are the staff meeting notes:

City Council Agendas:

December 6, 2016
• St. Anthony’s Parish Street Closure Request – December 11
• Grant Avenue/Walnut Lane Roundabout Cal Trans Master Agreement
• Construction Engineering for Roundabout Project – Laugenour & Meikle
• Construction Agreement w/Ample Electric – Shade Structure Electrical Work @ Walnut Park
• Project Budget Sheet for Water & Storm Drain Improvements – Hotel Winters LLC (DT Hotel)
• El Rio Villa Sewer Lift Station Pump Replacement was awarded
• Reclassification of Building Permit Technician to Management Analyst
• Recognition for Outgoing Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry
• Wade Cowan was appointed to Fill City Council Vacancy

December 20, 2016
• Swear In New City Council Member Wade Cowan
• Main Street Signal Far Western Contract for Archaeological Services
• Roundabout Construction Award
• Selection of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore
• Waste Management Contract Renewal

Department Updates:

Public Works:
• Sprayed weeds, burned off brush in the ponds, removed leaves and cleaned the storm drains before the rain started.
• Water pipe attached to the water tank behind the out-building at the Corp Yard was dug up and will be capped underground.
• Water heater at the Community Center will be replaced due to a water leak in the janitor’s closet. Don’t forget your permit!
• Urinal flush valve at Public Safety Facility leaks; repairs (expensive) are being considered.
• C & D (Construction & Demolition) ordinance is increasing from 50% to 65% of waste to be recycled in 2017.

Finance:
• Fee Study and Cost Allocation Plan meetings began yesterday. Kristine has been very helpful.
• Working on getting the Financial Statements to the State Controllers Office.
• Hope to have the CAFR and Business License renewals out by Christmas.
• Attended Fire District Board meeting yesterday.
• Any change of address should be forwarded to Finance for payroll and the issuance of W-2’s.

Administrative Services:
• Working on policy changes and MOU’s.
• Making final PERS audit adjustment that involve MOU wording.
• Majority of employees want to change dental coverage to Guardian, which would be effective back to December 1st.
• Youth basketball sign ups have ended, with an increase of 60 kids from last year.
• Excused to attend a new legislation personnel law update webinar.

Economic Development/Housing:
• Assisted with the parking count exercise last Friday; collected data for 400 parking spaces in the downtown, which lasted for 14 hours at 15-minute intervals.
• Conference call with Ethan, Lisa Baker and Domas re: property split & the senior development.
• Domas will finalize approval for a diagonal parking plan on E. Baker; City Engineer approved an 11-foot path of travel.
• Meeting with Senior Foundation Board today regarding the planned Senior Center.
• Chamber Board meeting tomorrow.
• Meeting tomorrow with Alan, Eric and Todd Tommeraason re: parking lot and alley improvement sequencing.
• Working with Ethan re: CHOC documents.
• Asphalt has been finished, path and sidewalk fixes and hydro-seeding has been completed at Walnut Park. Shade structure work will commence once Empire has completed their work. Striping is still needed.
• DT Hotel mylar map has been recorded!

Planning:
• Planning Commission agenda packet for the December 13th meeting is ready to go out.

Building:
• PG&E is moving along, although the rain has slowed them down just a bit.
• New homes at Winters Ranch are going well.
• Will be attending a Code Enforcement conference in Santa Clarita the week of January 23rd.
• Will be taking Dago out on code enforcement visits for bilingual services.

Police:
• Traffic control for tractor parade went well and the road closure was a good thing. City Manager would like to set a meeting with WPD and Megan, Kathy & Carrie from the Chamber for after action review and to draw up a memo re: Standard Operating Procedures, including a parking plan, off load plan, and route plan. Moving forward, all entries will need to submit a certificate of indemnification on behalf of the City. There is a need to coordinate with Mariani re: event parking.
• Car pursuit occurred on Monday morning. Driver was apprehended after a 55-minute chase.
• Police Department Fee Schedule meeting is scheduled for today.
• Drafted a general order for DUI cost recovery up to $12,000; details will go to the City Manager for final approval.
• Meeting with the school board tonight re: juvenile restorative project.
• Movie night in the Fire bay on Friday night – the movie will be Finding Dory!

Fire:
• Regarding the upcoming Monticello multi-agency drill, proposing 2 days of training, with Solano County on one day and Yolo County on the other day. Winters Fire Dept. and CHP helicopters would be involved both days.
• Department is looking into values and replacement prices for W26 and W226 water tenders. A grant has been submitted, but is not likely (as per the Fire Chief.)
• Reviewing Emergency Medical Services contract w/EMS Services and the management of penalty funds (if the ambulance arrives late.)
• Pagers are being re-issued.
• Fire Department is preparing for movie night.
• Tractor parade went well, with 15 personnel assisting, including volunteers. There were 2 calls during the parade.
• TOYS FOR TOTS ALERT! Gift-wrapping will be done on 12/14 at 5:30 p.m. and gifts will be distributed on 12/24 from 9am-11am. Santa will be there too!
• PG&E gas line training will take place on 12/28.

City Manager:
• Police & Fire: check with personnel regarding radio upgrades and report any issues with dispatch.
• Attended a YECA board meeting yesterday.
• In light of the Oakland tragedy, code enforcement is a team effort. If anyone from any department sees something, it needs to be flagged. Gene will take the lead.
• Will meet with Police and Fire about mass casualty procedures and a training regimen, including a process for code enforcement issues that are found. Gene will take the lead.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


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Friday Update on December 2 2016- A big Christmas weekend in Winters


All,

Just a couple items of events this weekend which should suffice.

· The Winters Friends of the Library will be holding their annual Family Holiday Festival this Saturday at the Community Center from 10-2. This is the must do activity for kids of all ages.
· The Third Annual “Great American Piano Drop” will happen at 2:00 on Saturday out at Berryessa Brewing on Highway 128. The Downtown Piano will perform its last concert before being raised hundreds of feet (rough estimate) in the air and dropped to its final destiny. Last year it was thrown off the trestle bridge with this year being even better!!! Nothing better than really good beer and falling piano’s.
· The Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting and Tractor Parade will commence at 6:30. More than 50 tractors and the most tree lights ever.
· Winters Theatre Company will hold performances of “A Christmas Carol” at the Community Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A not miss!!!
· FFA is selling Christmas Trees at the Ag site from 9 a.m. until the are sold out.

Have a nice weekend and watch for the falling piano’s.

John


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Friday Update on November 18 2016

All,

 A little insight into some of those key (really important but not necessarily shiny) issues starting to shape up for 2017 and things we will be working on:

·         Pension: One of the most important issues facing California cities is how organizations will meet the impending pension crisis as boomers are retiring and annual contribution begin climbing. Pension stabilization and funding will be one of the more significant issues to be dealt with and will be the focus of a council meeting at the start of 2017. Staff is working on a strategy to fund and lighten the impacts which includes recommendations to the City Council.

·         Fees: From water and sewer to building and swimming, fees are under review from both sides of the equation (both up and down). Chromium 6 and State regulation will be front and center and it will not be pretty, especially for seniors and the lower income folks who get thrown in with everyone else but have proportionately higher impacts. Right now, we are looking at water increases of a minimum of $1,200 a year per residents. The economic impact will be close to $3 million from the Winters economy alone by this State mandate.

·         Streets: As one of the smallest cities in the Sacramento Region, we get very little revenue to put toward the maintenance of our streets and roads. Examining options for funding and maintenance strategy will be an important discussion.

·         General Plan: The City’s current General Plan will reach our 2018 horizon date in just one year. Strategically discussing when and how updates will occur will be forthcoming.

·         Economic Development: Capitalizing on the PG&E project, new hotels and advancements in local agriculture will be front and center. Also, strategically seeing how we support all sectors of business development will be looked at. The key will be increasing jobs, vitality for existing businesses and expansion of local opportunities. It will be an exciting time for Winters and something fun to work on.

·         Emergency Preparedness: From Police and Fire to public works readiness, the City will be conducting extensive training for staff and volunteers on our response capabilities.

A couple items from this week:

·         The opening and ribbon cutting of the Yolo Federal Credit Union branch in Winters was an exciting evening. The facility is absolutely incredible and will be a real asset to our community.

·         The City Council approved the drilling of a pilot well hole which will include extensive geological analysis regarding Chromium 6. Costs are starting to mount and this State mandate will cost tens of millions. The $150k spent on the test well will look like a drop in the bucket when we are spending upwards of $40m. Crazy!

·         City and WJUSD staff met to discuss the Summer Munchkin Program which provides summer care, enrichment and tutoring to a large number of students in our community. A really good meeting and City staff left impressed with the support from much of the WJUSD administration of the program.

·         The USDA Rural Development Program was in town talking small business and agricultural funding opportunities. Literally a “gold mine” of programs in support of small business. Look for additions to the City website with the information and resource links. Better than good!!

·         Winters High English teacher extraordinaire Matt Biers Ariel has a new novel out called Light the Fire. It is about high school. He will  be doing a reading as a fund raiser for Winters Friends of the Library on December 8, at the library at 7:00 PM. The book is available on Amazon. I have my copy already and so far, it is a great read!!

·         Salmon are slowly starting to return up Putah Creek. Go down and check them out!!!!!!!!!

 Finally, as most on my distribution know, there is no Friday Update during the Thanksgiving Holiday week. The reason is everyone turns on their “out of office” with their email and the responses (sometimes up to 2000 hammers my email).

 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and count your blessings for the incredible community we live and work in. Winters is a beautiful, safe and caring town where kindness and neighborly support still exists. Do something nice for someone and show some love. It’s what the holidays are really about (really!!).

Thanks,

 John


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Friday Update on Veterans Day- November 11, 2016

All,

 First, gratitude and appreciation to all of our Veterans! Freedom around the world is because of your service to the world! Our nation is the leader of a free world, and it is because of those who have served and sacrificed! Thank you!

 For those outside City Hall, I thought I would share the notes from our management staff meeting which consists of all City Department and Division Heads. A little insight into things going on in each Department.

 City Council Agendas:

 

November 15, 2016

·        Holiday Tree Lighting & Tractor Parade Street Closure & Parade Permit–Saturday, December 3

·        Presentation by Solano Community College Superintendent/President Celia Esposito-Noy

·        Seed Money for Winters Community Dinner

·        Approval of Sole Sourcing Well #9 Pilot Hole Drilling

·        Filling a City Council Vacancy and Appointing a Councilmember to Serve as Mayor

 December 6, 2016

·        Bond Refinancing – Successor Agency

·        Waste Management Contract

·        Funding Application to State Revolving Loan Program for Chrom 6

·        Appointment to Fill City Council Vacancy

 Department Updates:

 

Public Works:

·        Jim & Ricky will be cleaning sewer lines and storm drains on the south side of Grant Avenue.

·        Water valve installed on hydrant on Mermod and finished lateral service to the Old Catholic Church on Main Street.

·        Measured footsall court w/Dago.

·        Did a walk-through and signed off on the public works portion of Yolo Federal Credit Union.

·        Staff will be erecting wall for outdoor showers at the swimming pool next week.

·        Bob & Ramiro will be attending emergency operations training in Woodland next week.

·        Crew will split in two and alternately attend open trench training.

·        Bob & Ramiro will be taking their T1 and T2 tests, respectively.

·        Weeds coming up through the park are being sprayed at Walnut Park; Sal is also pruning and cleaning the dog park area.

·        The roundabout is out to bid; bids are due by 12/1.

·        First Salmon Festival was successful with 300-400 people attending.

 Finance:

·        Working with group for bond refunding, which is being submitted today to the Department of Finance.

·        Draft financial statement is ready to review.

·        May need to get a quote from the HDL property tax division.

·        PG&E property will remain on the county tax rolls until the doors are open.  Once open, it will then go into the state utilities pool, where we will see a lower assessment value.

·        Working with FEMA on a grant.

 Administrative Services:

·        Putting together a 2017 training calendar.  Will contact department heads for feedback and to schedule monthly lunchtime training.

·        Youth basketball signups are under way.

·        Will meet with After School & Munchkin program coordinators, who will then meet with the school district next week to discuss some issues.

·        Employee internal newsletter will be starting, which will contain stories, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.

·        Working with Ethan on the new marijuana issue from the Human Resources side; updated smoking ordinance generalizes “smoking.”

·        Request to Bargaining Units to tie up uniform and holiday pay language; sick leave can be addressed after 9/30/17.

 

Economic Development/Housing:

·        Attended a Parking Committee data collection meeting; tentative date to collect the parking committee data is 12/9.

·        Met with Align Capital on Monday re: Workforce Development. Working with SCC President Celia Esposito-Noy and WHS Principal Nicole Reyherme on employer job spreadsheets as an organizational tool to identify positions available.  Also looking at apprenticeships with businesses.  Over 100 jobs will be available once the downtown hotel is completed (Buckhorn & hotel)

·        Dan & John gave a Blue Mountain Terrace presentation to the Winters Senior Foundation yesterday, resulting in some minor changes.

·        Conference call w/Domas scheduled for today regarding revised funding strategies and the split of the property.

·        YFCU Grand Opening/Chamber Mixer on 11/14.

·        New City Councilmember orientation re: Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Center on 11/15.

·        Yolo County Sector Working Group meeting on 11/16.

·        Person reported living out of his vehicle at the end of Dutton Street.

·        Chamber Board meeting taking place in Council Chambers this morning.

·        Piano drop is scheduled for Saturday, November 26th @ Berryessa Brewing.

 Planning:

·        Planning Commission approved Jordan’s garage, Winters Healthcare item, and Wingard’s Lot Line Adjustment.

·        Planning Commission training is needed; they are seeing themselves as regulatory.

·        Finalized YFCU with a couple of minor adjustments needed – will be monitored by Gene.

 Building:

·        Architect for City Hall remodel will get something to Gene by the end of the week.  Will move forward with non-permit work.

·        Kristine will be out of the office on Tuesday afternoon attending training; office will be closed.

·        A duplex (two units) is being constructed as one house on the old Catholic Church property.

·        A Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for YFCU.

·        Will give mylar maps for hotel civics to Alan for signatures.

·        Winters Highlands tract with 2-story homes is going well; smallest ones are 1,800 sq. ft.

 Police:

·        Department was on stand-by for mutual aid for Davis for post-election protests.

·        Repeat offender 16 year-old cited for possession of marijuana for sale resulted in family being evicted from apartment by property owners.

·        Department is performing aggressive community outreach, including visits to Waggoner, Bilingual Story Time, Girl Scout Challenge, and movies in the fire bay with night shift.

·        Took a tour of YFCU last Friday, provided education and security input re: robbery awareness.  Will attend school board meeting to discuss restorative justice.

·        Active shooter scenario is approaching.

·        Officer Hermosillo/Winters PD Canine Unit is working with the Fairfield Canine Unit.

·        In-House roll call training tonight, which defines tactics and includes a taser update.

·        Received information for FEMA’s ICS-400 Advance Command & Complex Incidents Training with Yolo County on March 29-30, 2017.  Will contact YEMSA to sign up (due by 1/27/17)

·        Processing future reserve to serve in the DA’s High Tech Crime Unit.

 

Fire:

·        Putting together a regional, multi-agency swift water and creek rescue training exercise for this winter.

·        Annual Shrimp Feed on Saturday (cocktails @ 5pm, dinner @ 6pm)

 City Attorney:

·        Draft marijuana ordinance has gone to the City Manager, Police Chief and Planning Department, which addresses commercial marijuana activities in addition to outdoor grows.  City of Davis currently has a moratorium in order to figure it out, but are taxing it.

·        Working with Alan on the speed limits, which aren’t an issue right now.  When speed surveys are completed in a couple of years, we will look at it again.

·        Development Agreement for Dry Creek/Catholic Church property in Planning for review and to the developer.

·        Working with Shelly re: reimbursement agreement and inter fund agreement re: Chrom 6.

·        Working with Carol re: Waste Management agreement.

 

City Manager:

·        Measure D passed with 70% of the vote.  School district should start moving on the first phase of the plan.  No CEQA has been completed yet and City will offer assistance where needed.

·        Staff Pie Making Exercise:  Wednesday, November 23rd @ 3pm at the Fire Station kitchen.

·        Holiday Breakfast on Thursday, December 22nd

 Notes on the election:

 ·         The passage of Measure D for the Winters JUSD is a big deal for the community! The investment of almost $32 million from Measures D and R will be significant.

·         The passage of Proposition 57 will ultimately see 16,000 people previously in prison released and on the streets of California. It’s tough to do time in prison now and police will become the social and mental health workers of the world now. Its amazing that raping an unconscious person, assault with a deadly weapon, hostage taking and domestic violence and hate crimes are considered “non’violent” and are not  crimes which would keep someone in prison.

·         Possession of heroin, date rape drugs, methamphetamine and cocaine are now misdemeanors! Things which were once crimes are not considered such anymore and will have a significant impact on the culture of California. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

·         The passage of Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana will put most of the issues related to marijuana to bed in relation to use and possession. In Winters, the issues will surround outdoor cultivation which we will address through the nuisance ordinance (there is a reason why they call it skunk weed!)

·         The election of Bill Dodd to the State Senate will enable the City to continue what has been a solid relationship with someone who has been helping the City on a number of key legislative issues.

 Finally, the election of Cecilia Aguiar Curry to the Assembly is not only good for Winters, but really important for the State of California. As Mayor and City Councilmember, Cecilia has shown how she is an extremely effective leader who will represent many constituent bases in the District and people throughout California. She is bright, charismatic and someone who works for what is the best solution on critical issues. The State Legislature can use the pragmatism which Cecilia will bring. In an era where partisanship has made the public cynical about the political process, there is no doubt that Cecilia will transcend party politics to do what is best for all Californians, which will be refreshing.

 There are a lot of mixed emotions in losing someone of Cecilia’s caliber to a higher office, but all of us need to rejoice and show pride that the values which come from someone from Winters will now have influence in Sacramento. We need to be proud that a Winters High grad will bring small town influence to the leadership of the greatest state in our union. Cecilia always stressed “getting Winters at the table”. If there is anyone who can get and keep California at the Federal table, it will be her!

 Cecilia’s last City Council Meeting will be on December  5. Not a time to be sad in losing an incredible Mayor, but a time to celebrate someone moving on to do incredible things on a bigger stage!

 Have a nice weekend.

 John


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Friday Update on November 4 2016

All,

 A couple items……..

 This Saturday, it is all about the inaugural Salmon Festival in Downtown Winters. Click HERE for the website and the following are the particulars:

 Time: 10:00 – 4:00

Where: Downtown Winters- Rotary Park

Enjoy: Local Food and Local Music

Field Trips: Free Shuttle to Lake Solano

Activities: Face and Fish Painting, Trout Derby, Fly Casting, Raffle, Silent Auction and More!

Learn: About our salmon and projects to restore Putah Creek spawning areas.

A couple more items going on…………….

 ·         The Walnut Lane Roundabout is finally out to bid. Carol.Scianna@cityofwinters.org is the project manager for any questions or information.

·         The main items at the City Council included approval of doing a refinancing/refunding of redevelopment bonds, adoption of the Nuisance Ordinance and a Zoning Text Amendment and the re-transfer of the Railroad Ave Parking Lot from the Redevelopment Agency back to the City.

·         Walnut Park will see they hydro seeding of the turf next week. The park looks absolutely beautiful!!

·         The Relay for Life was a HUGE success this past weekend. Congratulations to the 35 teams which participated and special accolades to the coordinators including Cheryl Moore, Reana Laevelle, Tracy Jensen and Emily Donlevy! The battle to find a cure for cancer will be won with people like this leading the fight one community and one step at a time. The Winters Relay has raised almost $33,000 from this year’s efforts. Great job!!

Winters Warriors play Pierce High tonight for a place in the Northern Section Playoffs at Dr. Sellars Field. 5:30 JV and 7:30 Varsity. Go Warriors!!

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


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Friday Update on October 28, 2016

All,

 A couple items:

 ·         The upcoming City Council Meeting will include the second readings of the ordinances on Zoning Text Amendments and Nuisance Abatement, the reconveyance of the Railroad Ave Parking Lot to the City from the former Redevelopment Agency, the Bid documents for the Roundabout and the Refinancing of Redevelopment Bonds.

·         On Wednesday, we had some excitement with a car chase through town! Luckily, our law enforcement folks were able to catch the person but it was not a good situation. The suspect driving the car narrowly missed some pedestrians and ultimately crashed into a tree on Highway 128.

·         Tonight is the Relay for Life beginning at 6:00 at Dr Sellars Field. The event will run through Saturday. There are 35 teams who will be selling and doing things to fundraise for the American Cancer Society. Come out and support your neighbors and friends in this important event!

·         A pancake breakfast in support of the Relay for Life will be from 7-10 Saturday morning!

 Have a nice weekend.

John


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Friday Update on October 21, 2016

All,

A couple items from this week:

·         At the Council Meeting, the big topics included some Zoning Text Amendments to the Zoning Code, consideration of a Nuisance Ordinance and the Refinancing/Refunding of some Tax Allocation Bonds.

·         The amendments to the Zoning Code were essentially some housekeeping to consolidate some definitions of topics which were in conflict. Also included was an increase in building height to 45’ in the freeway area.

·         The adoption of the Nuisance Ordinance is a major addition. It essentially expands the section of the Municipal Code dealing with code enforcement on properties. Nuisances are typically various aspects of the Building, Housing and Fire Codes, along with State government codes dealing with health & Safety, vehicles and general maintenance issues. The City Council held a public hearing with the second reading coming on November 1.

·         The refinancing of the 2004 and 2007 Tax Allocation Bonds is meant to take advantage of the really low interest rates and provide more revenue to all entities receiving property tax revenues. In all, at current interest rates, the refunding of the bonds will save almost $100k in annual debt service payments and the City of Winters will see an additional $24K in additional property tax revenue. Overall, a basic business move which benefits the City and other agencies.

·         Cannabis is the big topic in California and amongst cities with the upcoming consideration of Proposition 64 on the November ballot. There are many issues regarding everything from cultivation, sales, home use and public use. The Cities and County are looking at a general meeting to determine what everyone is doing and how things will move forward in Prop 64 is passed! Stay tuned.

·         Walnut Park (between Walnut Lane and Dutton Street) is coming to a completion. Look for the hydra seed for the turf to go in over the next few weeks and the fences to come down soon. This is a beautiful project and a real asset to the community!

·         City Hall will be holding an open house on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to celebrate its 100 year anniversary. Come on by for refreshments and a tour to learn and see one of the oldest structures in the City.

·         The City Park Playground Rehabilitation Committee is fundraising and holding meetings. The goal is to have this project built in October, 2017. Go to their City of Winters Playground Rehabilitation Committee Facebook page by clicking HERE.

·         The Relay for Life is coming up next Friday, October 28 through the 29th . at the Winters High School Track.  To sign up, make a donation or participate, go to www.relayforlife.org .

·         Berryessa Gap is holding their annual Paella Cookoff on November 12 at their facility on Highway 128. Click HERE for more information and to attend.

·         These past two weeks have been especially sad for our farming community with the passing of John Ramos and Bill Biasi. These men were truly the cultivators of our landscape and represented the “old school” of farming and our heritage. Winters is a place where we grow some of the finest food in the world, and it takes farmers like John and Bill to advance that cause. Their services were this week and our community is morning the passing of two really good men! Godspeed to them both!

·         Finally, the past couple of weeks have been a nightmare for California law enforcement. In the past two weeks, four (4) police officers have been killed in the line of duty and two officers in Vallejo faced a horrific situation where a jammed gun prevented a gunman from murdering them as they sat in a Starbucks. The national media coverage seems to put a different spin on their coverage of persons killed in law enforcement incidents versus when law enforcement officers are killed by suspects.

The deaths of the each of these officers occurred in some pretty basic types of calls which our Winters officers respond to routinely. The call in Palm Springs was a “domestic dispute”, the call in Modoc County was a “disturbance” call. The other was responding to a “mentally disturbed” individual. The officers in Vallejo were sitting in the Starbucks having coffee.

In most cases, these incidents and decision making of the police officers happen in fractions of seconds. From nothing happening to gunfire is sometimes 1 second. I watched a video of the Vallejo incident and the officers had less than 3 seconds from the moment the gunman appeared in the doorway to them heroically giving chase to prevent him from killing innocent civilians. The Vallejo officers had every reason to “duck and cover” to protect themselves, but it was amazing to watch them immediately jump into pursue the gunman who was running up the street with the potential of killing people. The Vallejo officers were heroic!

As a City Manager, these incidents are a constant reminder of the harm we send our officers into on a daily basis. It is also a reminder of the commitment to duty these men and women assume every day they put their uniforms on to protect our community from harm. They have an incredibly difficult job with situations which can go from 0-60 in less than a second.

Please keep the officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in your prayers. Also give thanks to those men and women in law enforcement service here in Winters and everywhere for what they do for all of us.

·         Winters Warriors are in Willows this week to take on the Honkers!

Go Warriors!

Have a nice weekend.

John