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Category Archives: City Manager’s Update

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Friday Update for September 1, 2017


I mentioned a very comprehensive update of the City, so here it is. I have covered all of our Departments and the various main projects occurring in town. We have a lot going on, so we have tried to hit the highlights and areas of interest.

In the coming weeks, I will be featuring specific departments for an in depth look at what is happening.

City Highlights memo for August, 2017


Key Projects Update:

  • PG&E Gas Operations Technical Training Center (GOTTC) will officially open on September 27 with a grand opening.
  • Starbucks is coming out of the ground and things are looking up for a fall opening.
  • Grant/PG&E Way Traffic Signal is installed and should be operational within a few weeks. The Granite Construction, DPR and PG&E Teams did an amazing job.
  • Grant/Main Traffic Signal has moved to the south side of the street. Expect the poles to be delivered and installed in October.
  • Grant/Walnut Lane Roundabout will see construction start on the south side, then move to the north, then to the center. Expect closure one it is moved to the center for up to 4 weeks. So far, so good on this project.
  • Downtown Hotel is moving along with the foundation poured and the slab coming next. The construction side of the project is working really well at this point.
  • Walnut Park is 98% completed with monument signs and the community garden yet to be installed. Look for a grand opening in the next month.
  • Stone’s Throw has completed their rough grading and is moving toward the installation of utilities. The grading team did a miraculous job!
  • Callahan Estates has begun the rough grading for Phase I and is in the process of installing storm and sewer pipe.
  • Green waste and organics implementation is not going well. The first run had almost 40% trash in the load, requiring the entire load to be landfilled versus composted and recycled. We have determined that more education needs to happen so people know not to throw trash in the green waste container!


City Manager’s Office:


Key Projects in the City Manager’s Office includes:

  • Helping move key economic development projects forward including projects at the freeway, Downtown and the completion of the PG&E Project;
  • In August, Staff met with Caltrans to clear up a number of issues related to the Grant/Main Signal, Grant/Walnut Roundabout, Grant/PG&E Signal and ongoing relations. A very productive meeting and a renewal of a commitment from both agencies to work together in the future.
  • Downtown Parking Plan is in the final stages. The Consultant will be delivering draft recommendations the first week of September and the parking Committee will meet to review and refine the final report, a second public workshop (including the City Council and Planning Commission) will occur in early October, then the final plan will be presented for adoption in November.
  • Preparation for the FY 18-19 and 19-20 Fiscal Year Budgets is well under way. Current focus is on preparation for capital programs and infrastructure, public safety services, utility rates and senior services.
  • Working on regional issues including animal control, the many Joint Powers Agencies and such topics as cannabis and broadband.
  • Succession Planning is a key issue at City Hall in an effort to retain valuable information and continuity in the future.
  • Code Enforcement with updates to various municipal code sections to strengthen the ability of public safety to deal with problem residences.
  • General Plan Update– Working on a plan to refresh many of the key master plans and elements of the City’s key planning document.




  • A comprehensive review and update of the City’s Zoning Code is under way. Many of the definitions and references are very antiquated and confusing. Staff is working on an update which will include the development of a subcommittee including members of the City Council and Planning Commission to review, prior to a comprehensive workshop with both boards.
  • Staff is working with property owners on updates for the North Area Storm Drainage Plan and on the potential for an annexation request. These are huge projects which will require the City to look at many other planning issues.


Administrative Services:

  • Memorandums of Understanding MOU – Labor negotiations with all bargaining groups will be being held over the next month
  • CalPERS Health Open Enrollment begins Sept. 11th and ends Oct. 6th – Will be meeting with employees to discuss plans and options
  • Personnel Rules and Regulations – working on drafting new Personnel Rules in order to establish a uniform procedure for dealing with personnel matters
  • Intranet – to provide a vehicle for communication similar to the world wide web that is pertinent to the City of Winters.  Helping employees find the information they need easily.
  • Recognition Policy – Establish a mechanism for employers to recognize employee’s achievements to the organization


Housing and Economic Development:

  • Walnut Park is in the final stages towards completion.  Monument signs are under production and will be installed at the east and west entrances to the park.
  • Community Garden #2– Meetings have been held with various local groups building towards community participation in finishing the build out of the community garden.  Among the groups expected to participate are the Rotary Club of Winters, the HAC, FFA, and residents of the Almondwood and Orchard Village apartments.
  • Downtown Hotel construction is underway, with construction of the foundation and civil work occurring. Plan check is in progress for the building plans. In the near term, staff will be meeting with the developer to discuss Abbey Street improvements (Mike Olivas is working on Ashok Patel’s participation).
  • Blue Mountain Terrace Senior apartments and the senior center are progressing, with the developer’s senior management meeting today (Tuesday, August 29) to review and discuss the new revised cost estimates.  City staff expects to receive those updated cost estimates later this week.  Upon receipt of those cost estimates, staff will work with YCH staff to develop and submit a pre-application to USDA RD for gap financing (in the form of a loan).
  • HCD (state) HOME staff is resisting Winters using an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for grant administration for the Blue Mountain Terrace HOME grant.  Staff and YCH are working with state staff to resolve this issue.  After we work through the issue with HCD, it is likely staff will bring a HOME specific IGA to City Council for review/approval.
  • The delivery of Senior Services (via an IGA with Yolo County) is on temporary hiatus as the consultant (Sheila Allen) is away on a previously planned European vacation, with an expected return date of September 11th.
  • Staff will begin the preparation of a comprehensive report on Affordable Housing in Winters which will identify all of the units throughout the City, quantify important goals and include a workshop with the City Council and the Planning Commission on the challenges associated with addressing one of the most important issues in California.

Police Department:

Chief John Miller recently completed his first year as Winters Police Chief. Organizationally, the Department is as strong as ever, but is dealing with changes in personnel due to persons taking jobs with other agencies. Key highlights happening now include:

  • Sergeant Recruitment. Currently conducting recruitment to permanently replace vacancy currently be filled by Sgt. Kelly Schroder as a 960 hour employee. Position should be filled by end of October.
  • Automatic Electronic Defibrillators will be deployed in the coming months in Winters. With assistance of WFD, WPD will be receiving 6 AED’s for patrol vehicles. This will allow us to better serve the community as we are often on-scene to medical emergencies.
  • K9 program. Ofc. Jose Hermosillo still seeking innovative funding sources to launch a K9 program. Yocha De he tribe may be providing grant opportunity.
  • Juvenile Restorative Justice Still  working with the WJUSD to launch a re-vamped youth diversion program paid by WPD  through grant and supported by Yolo Conflict Resolution Center.
  • Updating technology. Currently conducting test and evaluations, as well as seeking funding, for  new body cams, Automated License Plate Reader’s, and a new Records Management (RMS) system.

Financial Management:

  • Closing out the FY 16-17 and preparing the year end reports in preparation for the annual audit.
  • Staff is facilitating meetings and data information for the AB1600 update for the City’s Impact Fee Program
  • Completing the update of the Building Permit fees in the building permit system
  • Getting  ready to prepare an Request for Proposals  for an update to the Water and Sewer rate study
  • Preparing for the audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report preparation

Public Works:

The Department is busy with preparation for the busiest time of the year, where the City transitions to preparation for winter, implementation of the lasts projects from summer and preparation for key maintenance of facilities. Key highlights happening now are:

  • Futsal Court construction at City Park. Look for paving in September and completion toward the end of October.
  • Working with Project Playground for the construction of a new play structure at City Park. This will include the demolition and removal of the existing structure build, assistance with site preparation, coordination of the build and the relocation of the current tot structure to Valley Oak Park.
  • Preparing street projects and submittals to the State for the new gas tax funds which will begin in November. This includes an update to the City’s pavement management index, identification of a 5 year maintenance program and establishing a financing strategy for future budgets.
  • Developing and revisiting capital maintenance programs for all facilities including parks, streets, accessibility, water, wastewater and sewer, storm drainage management and City buildings.
  • Continually Striping streets and pavement. The never ending project.
  • Working on the implementation of new infrastructure in the under construction subdivisions. This includes the development of sewer and storm drainage lift stations, water, sewer and storm drain lines and park development.
  • Implementation of the annual sewer collection system maintenance program in October.
  • Transition Plan (ADA) and accessibility improvement City-wide.


  • PG&E Welding Lab is on Schedule. A temporary certificate of occupancy has been issued and they are well on track for the final.
  • Classes are  currently being held in PG&E T&D and Learning Center
  • Underground plumbing and electrical being installed Winters Hotel
  • Starbucks exterior wall up framing
  • Winters Ranch moving along toward completion with the final 10 units.
  • Yolo Traders close to final

City Attorney:

  • Preparing a revised ordinance that will update the City’s Municipal Code sections related to Marijuana cultivation.  The proposed ordinance will continue to prohibit commercial and industrial cultivation and processing of marijuana in the City, and limit personal cultivation to medical use and the amount allowed to be cultivated for personal, non-medical use under state law.  The proposed ordinance will also prohibit the outdoor cultivation of marijuana, whether for medical or non-medical use.  We plan to take this to the Planning Commission in September, and the City Council in October.
  • Working with the School District and Homes by Towne to resolve issues related to dedication of street right of way and public utility easement from the School District to the City.  This issue appears to be resolved, and will go to the District Board and City Council in September.
  • Consult on legal issues related to the Project Playground project as they arise.  Preparing documents to allow for the acceptance of the final playground when it is complete.
  • Consulting with Environmental Management and SCWA on the Agreements needed to access property adjacent to Putah Creek for continued clean up/improvement work.
  • Working with Financial Management ly to clarify the process for determination of property tax related to the PG&E GOTTC.

Environmental Services:

  • Waste Management –Green waste/ Organics  roll out for residential and  newly added commercial accounts.  Staff is working to get the word out on new WM services and collection dates.
  • Dealing with issues related to the contamination of the green waste bins with garbage.
  • Residents leaving green waste on the street for extended time rather than prior to the new monthly pick up dates. Ultimately, this may lead to an ordinance limiting the time green waste can be deposited in the street.
  • Roundabout is project is moving along, currently travel lanes have been narrowed to facilitate construction on the south side of the street. Lane closures won’t be happening for several weeks. Vehicles are advised to slow to 25 Mph in construction zone.
  • Grant/Main Signal Project is also moving along sidewalks on the north side are near completion.  Delivery of the Signal pole will be in October, but the rest of the project should be completed within a 4 week window.
  • Influent Wastewater screen design- staff is working with design team to complete design for new influent bar screen for the waste water treatment facility, the addition of this equipment will increase capacity on existing East Street Pump Station. The bar screen helps remove debris from the sewer ponds which helps in the processing of the water and reduces damage to wastewater equipment.
  • 2nd annual Salmon Festival November 4th– planning for another great festival to be held at Rotary Park 11-4, a great way to celebrate the return of the Salmon and all of the restoration efforts in the Winters Nature Park

Fire Department:

  • Wildland Training continues with Live Burns. We continue to rotate personnel through utilizing fire engines and personnel during Mobile Fire Attack. Our personnel are using the different fire apparatus we have, as well as understanding the different types of basic wildland strategy options available to company officers – Direct Attack, Indirect Attack and Pincer Attack using mobile fire attack. The fire captains also get the opportunity to fine tune their Size-up skills which describe fire conditions and give commands during training scenarios, in a real life situation, utilizing Incident Command System (ICS)
  • AB1600 Fees –We are working with the other city departments to identify impacts of future city growth potential, from identified building projects, and trying to determine appropriate equipment levels needed to meet the future impacts.
  • Incident Action Plan development (IAP) – We are working with our local stakeholders and emergency partners to provide a standardized way to coordinate public safety at our many local events. We have begun talks with our local law agencies and introduced them to our statewide ICS forms used for IAP’s.
  • Fire Prevention  continues on an almost daily basis. Fire prevention includes residential fire escape plans, building plan reviews for fire protection, new construction inspections, juvenile fire setter programs and a variety of public education outreach – including CPR training. Recently, we have partnered with Cal Fire and Cal Trans to work on Hwy 128 corridor fire hazard reduction. We have had wildland fires in the same area four (4) years in a row, and we recognize the need to work together to reduce this risk along the heavily travelled state highway.
  • AED at Schools – We are working with the schools to install Automated External Defibrillators (AED). These devices greatly increase the survivability of persons having a heart attack with bystanders assistance.

 OES – The State of California Office of Emergency Services (OES) provides a fire engine to the City for participation in the Statewide Master Mutual Aid Agreement. We have deployed “OES 333” to several fires outside of our county and provide one of the highest levels of all-risk emergency services in the nation. The members of Winters Fire Department staff the vehicle for up to 14 days during each deployment. Staff are currently on the Topaz Fire.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager

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Friday Update on August 18 2017


A couple important items this week:

·         Construction on the Grant/Walnut Lane Roundabout begins this Monday. The good news is that closure of Grant will be postponed until the end of September. The contractor and engineering teams are working hard to limit closure by working beginning work on the south side and keeping lanes open. Overall, really good news!

·         Project Playground and the re-build of the City Park Playground is inside 60 days to construction October 10-15. They need volunteers to being signing up now. Go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4fa5aa23a4f49-build to sign up.

·         The Downtown Hotel foundation elements were poured this morning. The project is moving forward and they are hoping for a 2018 opening!

This has been an absolutely crazy week. Look for an expanded Friday Update next week.


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Friday Update on August 4 2017


·         The Main/Grant Traffic Signal Project has been delayed for the past three weeks due to Caltrans delays (their engineering review and approval of a modification took 3 weeks) and a recent stoppage by the Caltrans Inspector. The project timing was supposed to have the improvements completed before the start of school. The route to school is absolutely a mess at the intersection and will require us to take measures to get children through. Expect delays in the morning through this intersection and find an alternate route if possible. We are working to find a solution and will be meeting with Caltrans Headquarters as soon as they will grant us an audience!

·         Watch for a lot of weed abatement work along Grant Ave in the coming weeks. As the Grant/Timbercrest Signal Project comes to a close, we will prepare to get things cleaned up as PG&E prepares to open.

·         Staff is working on a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) for the City streets. This involves rating the overall condition and folding the results into an overall maintenance program.

·         On Tuesday, the State Water Resources Board conducted a public hearing and consideration of the elimination of the 10 parts per billion (ppb) limit on Chromium 6. The good news is the removed the new limit. The bad news is they authorized a re-set of the limit and for the Division of Drinking Water to begin working on it. The administrative law judge who has been overseeing the CR6 issue has mandated that they consider the economic impacts of implementation of a new standard. Hopefully that will be taken into consideration and they will give us a call on the impacts related to our community. The annual cost to rate payers is approximately $900m which would be removed from the economy at the 10ppb.

·         I had a chance to speak before the Board and share the impacts on Winters. I will share that I prepped like I have never prepped for a presentation to cram a lot of information into a short period of time which is easy to understand and effective. I actually practiced as I drove through traffic on an effective delivery! I think they would have passed it even without my words of wisdom, but I felt good about having a chance to represent our community.

·         Kudos to two staff members who really delivered big at the City Council Meeting the other evening:

·         Carol Scianna our Environmental Services Manager worked with Kurt Balasak and the folks at Wallace Kuhl on the development of a preliminary storm drainage master plan to address and prevent pollution in our storm system. The plan is very well developed and is a foundational plan which will benefit the City dearly in the future. Protecting and developing the Winters environment is an important part of Carol’s position and she does an incredible job at it. This particular project relates to keeping Putah Creek clean of pollution and I would give her and the Wallace Kuhl team an A+.

·         Shelley Gunby is our Director of Financial Management. She presented a Comprehensive Fee Update for Building, Planning, Public Works, Fire and Recreation fees. While nobody likes the City charging higher fees on anything, she took a very balanced and empirical approach to gaining needed reimbursement of City costs while protecting the consumer at the same time. Building Fees will see 7% increase, Planning Fees are charged at cost, Public Works and Fire see an 80% reimbursement and Recreation is mostly a low reimbursement item with the big increase being the pool swim cost from $1 to $2.

·         Finance also addressed property tax liens for delinquent water/sewer and trash service bills. Our staff are not the reason for people not paying their bills, but they sure do take the brunt of the anxiety people bring when it comes to the liens. As with any business, the City expects people to pay their bills owed for services and I appreciate the staff for dealing with our customers in a professional and tactful manner even when some folks are not particularly kind.

·         The Winters Theatre Company, Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce and others will be hosting a memorial for Howard Hupe this Sunday, August 6 at 4:30 at the Community Center.

Finally, the bounty of our harvest is really coming in now. I was out this morning getting some figs from my new neighbor Cole Ogando’s trees (Sierra and Kadota varieties) and I realize what heaven it is around here to have some of the most delicious food amongst us. Here are some of my hot picks on where to get the bounty:

·         K&J Fruit Stand (Gaddini Road)- Fresh stone fruits, dried, multiple varieties of melons, honey, preserves and heirloom tomatoes, garlic and limes. My favorite is the 4/$1 corn which you can eat raw but get there early before it is gone.

·         Warrens OMRF (Old Mans Retirement Fund) on Russell Blvd just east of El Rio Villa. Stone fruits and fresh tomatoes. Seriously, you will re-consider the hassle of your own garden with these tomatoes!

·         Road 31- Covell/Road 98 Fruit Stand in Davis- Typically I would not recommend leaving the greater Winters area, but this is worth it. Drive on about a quarter mile east of Rd 98 and it is on the right hand side (if they flag is up they are open). Four cewheel across and ditch and up a dirt driveway. Your food of choice in one item Strawberries!! They grow multiple varieties throughout the year and they are incredible. Buy a full flat, eat a ton and freeze the rest!

·         Capay Valley– Take a drive to Cache Creek and stop at the variety of farm stands along Highway 16. Just past the casino in Guinda is a farm stand. The growers in Capay are some of the highest quality and innovative anywhere.

·         Manas Ranch– Highway 16 in Esparto- Fresh pork and lamb are the items. If they have sausage, get that!

Have a nice weekend!


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Friday Update on July 28 2017


Just a few items this week:

·         City Council Meeting has a number of public hearings including an update to City Fees (Public Hearing), delinquent utility and trash bills going on the tax liens, a review of the FY 2016-17 Budget (bad news), a presentation on the Draft Yolo Conservancy EIR/EIS, a Draft Storm Water Management Plan, Creekside Estates Development Agreement (second reading), Futsol Court Painting and Rates for Commercial Organic Waste pick-up.

·         Staff met with the Yolo County Tax Assessor. The City saw a 9.35% increase in the overall assessed valuation of the City. Much of this is due to the Winters Ranch Subdivision and sales of existing homes. Good news is the increased valuation of the City, the bad news is our financial projections are generally really good so maybe not such a great bump in overall revenues beyond our projections. We will see………..

·         Downtown Hotel foundation is under construction.

·         Both Chevron and Starbucks are under way. Look for things to move quickly on those projects.

·         Congratulations to Project Playground on getting really close to their fundraising goal. There is still time to make donations, purchase fence posts and sign up for the big project. Go to www.projectplaygroundwinters.com for more information.

·         A memorial dinner and program in honor of Howard Hupe will be held on Sunday, August 6 beginning at 4:30 at the Community Center. Dinner and a program will be held for those who want to come honor Howard and his contributions to the Winters Community.

Thanks and have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update on July 21 2017


A couple items this week:

·         The pre-construction meeting for the Grant Ave Roundabout was held on Thursday. The project start date is August 14 and the total construction time is 80 days. The project will include work time shutdowns of Grant Ave with a detour during much of the project. The roadway will re-open during peak drive times and overnight and weekends. Look for more publicity as we get closer to the project.

·         Winters Fire personnel are on the Detweiler Fire near Yosemite. As of this writing, the fire was at 70,000 acres. Our staff are currently on a 24 hour shift near Maricopa protecting structures.

·         The Winters Friends of Putah Creek have filed a lawsuit against the Solano County Water Agency and the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee on the project environmental impact report for restoration activities for the creek. The EIR and the proposed projects are to provide ecological restoration activities, public access, removal of invasive plants and to improve the overall habitat and water quality. The EIR and project has been part of an extensive public process with key stakeholders, world renowned environmental experts from UC Davis and both public and private property owners.

·         The July 25 Planning Commission Meeting will have a couple items, including selection of a new Chairperson, design review for the Stone’s Throw (formerly Winters Highlands) subdivision, a study session regarding the Dry Creek setback requirements and the appointment of a representative to the City’s Affordable Housing Steering Committee.

Finally, Winters took a huge hit with week with the passing of two community icons; Howard Hupe and Dale Brewer.

I profiled the accomplishments of Howard and Germaine Hupe a few weeks ago. Howard was truly a man of service to Winters in so many ways. His services are as follows:

Tuesday, July 25th – Vigil and Rosary at Smith Funeral Home in Davis.  Friends are welcome from 6-7 for a viewing followed by a short service from 7-7:45.

Wednesday, July 26th – Funeral at St. James gym in Davis at 10 am.  Military Burial at Davis Cemetery at 11 am.  Reception from 1-4 at the Winters Community Center with a light lunch and open mic.

A Winters community celebration for Howard is being planned for sometime in August. Stay tuned.

Dale Brewer passed suddenly and unexpectedly over the past weekend. Dale was a lifelong resident of Winters and worked as the janitor at Winters High School for over 45 years. Dale impacted the lives of generations of students, teachers and administrators. To imagine someone who watched the development of 45 graduating classes from Winters High is an incredible feat. Dale was both a character and a genuinely nice person.

Services for Dale will be Saturday, July 29 at 11 a.m. at the Trinity Baptist Church in Vacaville.


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Friday Update on July 14 2017


A couple items:

·         The July 18 City Council Agenda includes the Olive Grove Subdivision and Affordable Housing Plan, recommendation on the formation of an Economic Development Advisory Committee, Creekside Estates Development Agreement, an update from the Police Department, Site Preparation for the Futsal Court, and contracts for design of a bar screen and monitoring services for the wastewater treatment facility.

·         Attached is the June Activity Report (pdf) for the Winters Police Department

·         Construction has commenced on the foundation for the Hotel Winters. This is really good news!

·         The City’s Design Review Committee (DRC) met with representatives of“Stone’s Throw” (former Winters Highlands) for the preliminary review of the  design elements for Phase I of the project. Generally a good meeting! The design review before the City Council is scheduled for July 25.

·         The Phase III Putah Creek Project has been hit by another delay from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the issuance of the permit to commence the project. This will further delay the project which now looks like it will happen in 2018.

·         Get ready for the Yolo Conservancy Habitat Conservation Plan on the August 1 City Council Agenda. A really good article in the Winters Express this week on the details, but in summary it addresses multiple species and mitigation for all of Yolo County. The environmental impact report on it is massive, so I am working on a short version to send out prior to the meeting.

Finally, a very real issue in town are people doing home improvement work without building permits. This affects the City both from a financial standpoint but mostly from a safety standpoint.

Many of the “do it yourself” television shows which show folks buying and flipping houses, doing massive renovations, tearing out walls or just running down to the local hardware store and changing things out are now creating issues which should give us all caution. In the past month, we now have numerous properties which have been “caught” blatantly doing work without the benefit of plans and permits. Some of the work is extensive and structural in nature.

One of the toughest jobs in city government is being a building inspector. Much like a law enforcement officer, the building inspector is responsible for enforcing State regulations which are meant to protect us. Getting caught doing something is never pleasant and when it comes to a house, it can be downright dangerous. The “inspector” can be pretty unpopular, but I would argue that they are one of the most important positions in the City.

With a permit for work, both the homeowner and future owner of a home will know a couple basic things; including that there were plans for the project, the person doing the work is qualified,  the materials used were proper, the improvement was inspected and meets the building code and a level of quality assurance that when it was finished it was safe. Without a permit, there is no guarantee on any of this, especially the safe part.

Recently, we have a combination of issues happening which are not right. Specifically, people simply lying about what is occurring at the home to hide work either done or under construction. People also lie about who did the work. An example is someone claimed that they “did all of the electrical work” in a home but when asked a very basic electrical question could not answer it (they obviously had “someone else” do the work). In another case, a property owner “just remembered” that they also moved the entire staircase over when demolishing some walls.

Imagine buying one of those houses from the televisions shows where they flip the house in couple of days with a quickie remodel. What quality of work do you think you are getting? What about the quality of work for someone doing electrical improvements without the benefit of a licensed contractor? Buying a home requires disclosure of non-permitted work. How many of these house flippers doing work without permits are then going to immediately disclose all of the improvements recently done to prospective buyers? When the house burns down from a fire caused by faulty electrical and someone loses all of their belongings or someone is injured or dies, who should be responsible?

If someone is willing to not get a permit to save a couple dollars or feels it is an inconvenience, where else did they shortcut the project?  What about the electrical panel size and who calculated whether the existing panel was sufficient? If no permit, do you really think the panel was calculated?

If you see someone doing work without a permit, please call and report it to the City’s Building Division. All calls are confidential.

Some things are just silly!

Have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update on July 7 2017


A couple of items:

·         Positas and Golden Bear Estates are re-opened from the evacuation which occurred from the fire last night. Enough cannot be said for the public safety folks who facilitated the notification and the patience of the folks who live there. It is not easy for anyone.

·         The fire last night showed that doing something four years in a row aids in the effectiveness of response. Winters Fire, Cal Fire and our neighboring jurisdictions got on to a fast moving fire and did an amazing job of protecting homes and residents of Positas and Golden Bear Estates. The Napa-Sonoma Unit for Cal Fire moved in and did an incredible job with the help of a lot of aircraft, bulldozers and personnel.

·         Winters Fire worked through the night. As the first unit on the blaze, Grass 26 spent almost 24 hours on the hill dealing with some of the most significant aspects. Engine 26 took the lead in protecting structures in Golden Bear. I know our crews were exhausted, but, again, they protected and represented our community well.

·         We are told they will start moving dirt on the Downtown Hotel next week. Keep your fingers crossed.

·         Starbucks has their building permit, the Chevron sign is coming down and grading has commenced, so things are moving.

·         Look for a lot of grading next week for the Callahan and Winters Highlands subdivisions in the northwest section of town.

·         If you are watching the Major League Baseball All Star Game next week, look for Brad Mills, the brother in law of our own Nanci Mills who will be coaching the American League All Stars. Brad is the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians and will be sitting in for Terry Francona, the Indians Head Coach who is out with an injury.

Finally, thoughts and prayers need to go out to Howard Hupe who has been laid up in the hospital for the past week.

Howard and Germaine Hupe are absolute icons of the Winters Community and will go down in the history of our town as two of its greatest citizens! Few have contributed as much to Winters as Howard and Germaine. Ironically, they live in Davis.

Both were long time staff at Winters High School, with Howard in the counseling office and Germaine teaching literature. Their impact on literally generations of Winters students in positioning them for life and success is amazing. They were also  the long time coordinators of the AFS student exchange program, where they worked with another Winters icon, Bobbie Greenwood, in sharing our community with the world.

Howard and Germaine are founding members of the Winters Theatre Company and were integral players in the development of the Community Center and its stage. The hundreds of plays, actors and actresses and the thousands of attendees have benefitted immensely from what they have brought us. One can only imagine the thousands of days and hours spent in the preparation and performance all in the name of entertaining us.

Howard is a long time member of the Chamber of Commerce Board and is arguably the #1 advocate for Winters business. He is someone to always be counted upon to represent the Chamber and town within the region. Few have worked even a fraction as hard as Howard in “making things happen” to advance the Winters brand. I can personally attest that Howard is a key player in the renaissance of Downtown Winters and the current vitality it is experiencing. Howard and Germaine are authors of the Walking Tour Guide to Historic Winters!

Howard and Germaine are past Citizens of the Year. They both have served many years as the “masters of ceremony” in the presentations to many other citizens of the year. They always provide an entertaining biography of the recipient through an often comical and mostly self effacing presentation. Always kind and generous, but funny, always funny!

Howard is an active member of the Rotary Club of Winters.

When Huell Howser came to town, we picked Howard to be the spokesperson for the City in the interview. Huell eventually interviewed a bunch of folks (including me, Dave Fleming and John Pickerel), but Howard is the star of the video. His baritone voice talking about the history of Winters made us relevant and special. To see Howard and Huell (and the rest of us) click HERE.

Writing any type of testimonial for people like Howard and Germaine is a risk because I know I am leaving so much out. So I apologize for all which is missing!

When you consider the legacy that people may want to make of their lives, Howard and Germaine Hupe have certainly made a mark on Winters. From educating our children and guiding their success, sharing us with the world and enriching the lives of many families,  to entertaining us and then leading the renaissance of our businesses and Downtown Winters, few can claim what Howard and Germaine have done for our town. They are genuinely two of the most unselfish and giving people I think I have ever met in my life.

Let’s root for Howard to gain his health. He’s a pretty tough guy, so keep good thoughts for him.

John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager

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Friday Update on June 30 2017


A couple items this week:

·         The fireworks show will be this Monday, July 3 2017 at Dr. Sellers Field. Gates will open at 6:00 and the show will start when it is nice and dark! Admission is a donation of at least $1 per person. More is appreciated. Entertainment will include music by Winters own DJ Barnett Entertainment (Troy Barnett), fun on the football field, etc. Bring a blanket and a soccer chair and enjoy the best Winters fireworks show of the year!

·         Construction continues on the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. The project includes improvements on the north side of Grant to Taylor Street with sidewalk and gutter work. Look for the majority of the intersection work to be completed by late July and the signals to be installed in October.

·         June 30 represents the end of the City’s 2016-17 Fiscal Year. This has been a really tough year because many of the projects we projected pulling building permits did not occur. The City has a two year budget which means we will bring budget adjustments for the next year which will reduce some projected positions in public safety. Hopefully, we will see the commercial projects take flight in 2017-18 and revenues will equalize. I will share that it has been the toughest financial year for the City since the real estate crash of 2008. We will get through it, but we will need to tighten our belt a bit!!

·         Fire season is upon us. Watch for more training burns in the north part of town and the real stuff starting to pop up throughout the region..

Finally, I attended the memorial service today for Gary Bertagnolli, the owner of Eagle Drug and the town Pharmacist for many years. I knew Gary as most did through prescriptions and in my case, the Rotary Club of Winters.

As I sat in St. Anthony’s Church, I reflected on the fact that in small towns, there are many people with special titles, who know each other within the roles they provide for our community. At the service were the mayor and councilmembers, banker, newspaper publisher, butcher, doctor, principal, police chief, chair of the cemetery board, Rotary President, Grocery Store Owner, eye doctor, hardware store owner, pre-school teacher, farmers, ranchers and yes, the city manager. At Gary’s service, literally all the key folks representing various interests turned out to pay their respects for the town pharmacist. Food was provided by El Pueblo, a key local business.

The service was short but beautiful. Gary’s daughter gave a wonderful eulogy of a man who will be missed very much by us all. Gary knew the personal secrets of many and was probably more up on the travails of folks than any priest or rabbi. He was kind, a confidant and most importantly, a GREAT resident of Winters.

We all have roles in the town of Winters. It really is one big fraternity of people working toward the common goal of making a quality community. Today we were reminded of the importance of squeezing our loved ones a little harder and telling them we love them a little more often.

Have a safe and sane Independence Day Weekend.


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Friday Update on June 23 2017


A couple notes for this week:

·         Construction continues on the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. Staff met with Caltrans on a couple issues, most importantly the traffic control requirements. We are hoping for an approved change which will allow two lanes of traffic to eliminate the stoppage occurring now. We also have a request modify the Caltrans work restrictions which have significantly reduced the work day. Both of these changes will expedite the project and reduce the overall costs.

·         The City Council awarded the construction contract for Grant/Walnut Roundabout Project to Vintage Paving of Winters, CA. Project documents are in the works and we can expect to see construction activities begin somewhere near the end of July to the beginning of August.

·         The roundabout will include daily closures (8 a.m.-3 p.m) of Grant Ave with a detour. This will help expedite the project. It will create a big headache for a bit, but will help expedite the project. Kind of like tearing the band aid off all at once. It will sting for a bit, but then it will be done.

·         Look for grading to begin for the subdivisions located in the north area near Shirley Rominger School. The grading is set to commence the second week of July and will go for a 45 day period. Lot’s of dust and dirt to fly, so get ready.

·         A big congratulations to Winters Police Chief John Miller who received a $9,800 scholarship from the California Police Chiefs Association to attend an Executive Leadership Institute for Police Executives to be held at the Peter Drucker Management School at Claremont College. This is a huge honor and an incredible professional and personal development opportunity for the Chief!

·         The City of Winters has been awarded grant funding for the installation of two high capacity vehicle charging stations adjacent to the Community Center. Elliot Landes of the City Staff submitted the grant and obtained the award. Reason #6 to justify why you need to run out and purchase a Tesla! Well done, Elliot!

·         Last Friday, a Vacaville Police chase ended in town with the arrest of 3 suspects in an armed robbery from Vacaville. The arrest was made mostly from the K9 officer who located two of the suspects hiding in a back yard! The lesson learned is when you see the K9 car, surrender or you get to be the guy (or gal) from the video wrestling the police dog without the advantage of that big padded suit! Ouch!!!

·         June 23 is the Fourth Friday. Good food, cold drinks on a hot day and the ambiance of Downtown. I plan on being there and highly recommend it.

Have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update for June 16 2017


A couple insights:

  • This weeks City Council Meeting includes a contract for a revised Storm Drain Master Plan, Sound Permit for the Friends of the Library Concert Series, award of bid for the Walnut/Grant roundabout, the final Public Hearing on Weed Abatement and the Public Hearing on trash rates. Also on the agenda will be appointments to the Planning Commission.
  • The Main/Grant Traffic signal is now in full swing. We are trying to work through restrictions put on the project as far as work hours (7:00-2:00). This has put a burden on the entire team (contractor, inspectors and engineering). The goal is to get the majority of the work wrapped up by the end of July (before school begins).
  • This weeks Planning Commission included approval of an affordable housing plan for the Olive Grove subdivision on Hemenway and a revised development agreement for the Creekside Estates subdivision on Grant Ave.
  • Kudo’s and thanks to Kate Frazier on her last meeting as Chair of the Planning Commission. Kate has been an extremely valuable member of the PC and deserves a thanks for her community service over the last four years!
  • Lot’s of smoke in the air with Winters Fire doing training burns in the north area of the City. Looks for more in the coming weeks, with a pretty good burn near the Wastewater Ponds.
  • Staff is receiving a ton of calls from the marijuana industry who seem to be canvassing the entire State. I have taken three calls this week. My response is pretty simple… we are watching what the State is doing in relation to Prop 64; we have a moratorium on dispensaries in town; and if they can come into the industrially zoned area and solve the flood zone issue, we might be willing to talk (they usually hang up right after I explain the flood zone issue). Bottom line, we have a few issues related to marijuana (residential outdoor cultivation) and we intend to deal with that, but otherwise, we are going to look to the State for guidance in relation to recreational use, sales, etc.
  • Building Permits are IMPORTANT!!! A running joke amongst many is the idea that anything done on a weekend or holiday does not require a building permit. That line was given to me by a Winters resident I ran into coming out of one of the big box hardware stores with a water heater one Saturday morning! A couple things people need to consider:
    • An unpermitted improvement which causes damage to your home is most likely not covered by your homeowners insurance and zero’s out warranties for the item installed. When that water line blows and floods a home, it could be an issue! Remember, insurance companies send inspectors out to “assess” the damage and they know the codes pretty well and can spot issues.
    • If/When a home is sold, it is the law that you disclose any and all improvements made to the home without the value of a permit. If you disclose or fail to disclose something during the escrow process, you can be assured that it will require inspection, permit and a correction.
    • If you get caught doing an improvement, the fees charged can be either double or triple. In the case of walls, the inspector will most likely require that the walls be opened up to view any electrical and plumbing which may be hidden.
    • A licensed contractor doing an improvement without a permit will be turned into the State Contractors License Board and can lose or have an action taken against their license.
    • Finally, while that uncle or the friend of a friend seems like a good person and tells you they can help save you a couple bucks, 100% of the responsibility is on the homeowner and they know that! Lack of a permit and life/safety issues all fall to the homeowner.
    • If someone is doing a project, come by City Hall and just ask what you need to do to make it all legal.
  • At the library…………Summer Reading Program runs until August 29. All ages are welcome to participate, everyone receives an a gift at sign-up. There are also fun programs every week at the library. Students who read over the summer on average increase their reading level by about half a grade, while students that don’t read slide back in their reading skills.
  • Guitarfest is next weekend (June 23-24). Concerts, displays and sales. For the schedule and ticket information, click
  • Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar Curry will be buying everyone a cup of coffee at Steady Eddies in Downtown Winters from 10:00 to Noon on Friday, June 16. Come visit with Winters most accessible State Legislator to both share concerns and learn about what is happening under the dome in our State Capitol.

Finally, those Capitol Police Officers who were providing the security detail for the congressional representatives who were fired upon while practicing softball are genuine hero’s. They put themselves in the line of fire and battled at close range with someone who had superior firearms capacity in the name of saving the lives of many. Those officers, some of whom were wounded, placed themselves in harms way with incredible bravery and courage. Light a candle for those wounded in this attack and give thanks every day to the men and women of our nations law enforcement who protect our security every day!

Have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update


Lot’s going on, so here goes:

City Council Agendas:


June 6, 2017

  • Initiation of Weed Abatement Proceedings
  • Amend Landfill Monitoring Services with Wallace Kuhl
  • Amplified Sound Permit Application for St. Anthony’s Fiesta on 6/17/17
  • Project Acceptance:  Walnut Park Phase 2 Improvements
  • Contract with Hdl for Sales Tax Services
  • Consultant Contract with Hansford Economic Consulting
  • Proclamation for Retired Mail Carrier Richard Pitts
  • Approval of City-Wide Maintenance Assessment District FY 17/18
  • TEFRA Public Hearing & Approval of Conduit Financing for the Blue Mountain Terrace Sr. Apts. Affordable Housing Project
  • Intergovernmental Agreement w/Yolo County for Senior Services Funded from CDBG Grant
  • Large Lot Parcel Map for Callahan Estates Subdivision to Divide Existing Parcel into 2 New Lots
  • Cost Allocation Plan
  • Voting Delegate & Alternates for the League of California Cities Annual Conference


June 20, 2017

  • Planning Commission Appointments
  • Contract Amendment with Wood Rodgers re: North Area Flood Hazard
  • Update on Well 6
  • Draft Storm Water Management Plan
  • Callahan Phase 1 Final Map & Public Improvement Agreement
  • On Call Contract with Geo-Tech
  • Waste Management Rates Public Hearing and Contract
  • Walnut Lane Roundabout Award

July 18, 2017

  • Affordable Housing Plan for Olive Grove
  • Olive Grove Subdivision Map
  • Creekside Estates Development Agreement
  • Building Fees


Other Items of Interest:

·         Staff met regarding issues involving annexation and general plan issues last week. We are working to develop an overall process for looking at the annexation of land within the existing general plan area as well as updates to key master plans and an economic analysis for the City on a long range basis. Plans DO NOT include looking at annexation outside of the current general plan area.

·         A key issue in the City are some locations which generate multiple Police calls. The City Attorney is working on an update to the municipal code to make addresses subject to repeated Police calls subject to code enforcement and nuisance citations.

  • Fire Department will start live burn and wildland refresher training this Saturday and go through the end of the month in the north area of the City.  They will burn during the day on the weekends and at night on the weekdays.
  • Officer Jose Hermosillo was among over 200 officers from across Northern California honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for their efforts in identifying, enforcing and deterring intoxicated driving.  Officer Hermosillo led the WPD in DUI arrests in 2016, arresting a total of 10 intoxicated drivers in the City of Winters and marks the second MADD award Officer Hermosillo has received.

·         The start of construction for Main/Grant signal will commence on Monday, June 12. This is a four month project, mostly due to new requirements from Caltrans. They required a new type of traffic pole which has a 16 week order window. This means that most of the work on the signal will be completed by August, then the project will sit for the next 3 months until the pole arrives. Government requirements at its best!

·         I had a chance to take a walk through the PG&E Gas Operations Technical Training Facility. It really is the most advanced vocational training facility in the world and I will tell you that it is better than advertised. The commitment to excellence is on display inside the building which I would describe as amazing! They expect most of the construction will be completed by August. A truly amazing facility which will be a benchmark for utilities around the world. The partnership between PG&E and the City in making this facility a reality in Winters is a real feat! Well done.

  • Waiting for re-submittal of plans for the Downtown Hotel for the 3rd plan check.  The building site can be re-graded anytime without a permit, which needs to be taken down 6” and compacted again.
  • The final comments for Starbucks are expected today and will in turn be submitted electronically to Bureau Veritas.  If received today, permits can be issued by the end of next week.  As per architect, they plan to open before the end of August.
  • Chevron gas & car wash are in plan check.  Applicant said the marketing package and financing package are being wrapped up and they are updating plans for Title 24.  Hope to receive the submittal package by August.

·         Staff and Councilmember Bill Biasi met with the Chamber and local business folks to work on Economic Development Strategy. Key topics include the re-establishment of an Economic Advisory Committee and Chamber/City Collaboration. Overall a good meeting which will hopefully bring recommendations to the City Council in July.

·         Fireworks will be on the Monday, July 3. Why?? Mostly to avoid the need to bid for licensed folks to come and shoot the show. We save a tremendous amount by doing the show on the third because there are a lot more pyro technicians available than on the fourth. In the past, the City was blessed with Fire Chiefs Scott Dozier and Dave Kidder who had their pyro licenses and shot the show for free. We are now in a position to hire outside “shooters” and it is really expensive. The costs we save from doing it on the third go into a longer and better show. Plus, folks have an opportunity to go to other shows on the fourth and we get more people coming into Winters to see our show on the third.

Finally, if you know CPR and want to expand your ability to save a life, download the Pulsepoint mobile app on your smart phone. Click HERE to go to their website. With the app, you will be notified if your CPR skills are needed within 300 feet from you in an emergency. The app has an automatic locator of AED (Defibrillators) and you can even get fire calls on your phone for any and all fire agencies you want to follow.

Pulsepoint is connected with Yolo Emergency Communications and you are literally notified of cardiac events at the same time as first responders. Its an incredible resource and I recommend you get it.

Have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update


 A short version since most are getting ready for the three day holiday!

 Here are the items on the City Council Agenda’s for the next few weeks:

 City Council Agendas:

June 6, 2017

  • Initiation of Weed Abatement Proceedings
  • Appropriation Limit for FY 2017-2018
  • Infrastructure Transition Plan
  • Amend Landfill Monitoring Services with Wallace Kuhl
  • Amplified Sound Permit Application for St. Anthony’s Fiesta on 6/17/17
  • Project Acceptance:  Walnut Park Phase 2 Improvements
  • Contract with Hdl for Sales Tax Services
  • Roundabout Award for Construction Contract with  B & M Construction
  • Callahan Large Lot Parcel Map
  • Futsal Court

June 20, 2017

  • Consultant Contract with Hansford Consulting
  • Contract Amendment with Wood Rodgers re: North Area Flood Hazard
  • Update on Well 6
  • Callahan Phase 1 Final Map & Public Improvement Agreement
  • On Call Contract with Geo-Tech

         ·            Waste Management Contract

 A couple notes on projects:

          ·            Water and Storm Drain work is occurring in the Newt’s Expressway Alley. So far, so good!

         ·            Starbucks has their permits for the freeway project.

         ·            Chevron has submitted plans for a mostly new station. These are now being plan checked.

         ·            Downtown Hotel has submitted to do some foundation work. Hopefully they will get the balance of their plans in soon.

 Finally, a Memorial Day salute to those who have given their lives in the service to our nation. From the foundation of our country in the revolutionary war to those working to bring peace throughout the world, enough cannot be said in recognition for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice so people can be free. A memorial day service will be held at the Winters Cemetery at 10:00.



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Friday Update on May 19, 2017


 Just back from a short trip with some really good news and some project updates:

 ·         Our sordid nightmare regarding Chromium 6 may be over!! The judge in oversight of the Chromium 6 regulation issued an order rejecting the attempts of the State Department of Drinking Water to impose new maximum contaminant levels 90% lower than the Federal standard and essentially eliminating the need for the City to implement a massive water treatment program which would have cost the City upwards of $47 million. For Winters customers, we were looking at increases of up to $200 per month in water rates. Literally our prayers are answered! A big thanks to Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar Curry and Senator Bill Dodd for their support on this issue. We have been dealing with this for almost 4 years and it has been refreshing to have elected officials with common sense working to defend the very real interests of ordinary people!

·         Kudo’s to our Winters team lead by Carol Scianna for their work on the CR6 mess. I cannot say enough about their stewardship of our water funds, dealing with State Regulators and a very common sense approach to things. We all played a role in this issue and we know we had an influence on the judge.

·         The Downtown Alley Improvements along Newt’s Expressway and behind the North side of Main Street begin next week. The improvements will include the replacement of water and storm drain lines. This is a much needed project and will be huge benefit to the entire downtown.

·         Look for the West Main/Grant Traffic Signal Project to start coming online within the next few weeks. For those living in West Winters, it will add some much needed traffic control.

·         We opened bids for the Grant Ave/Walnult Lane Roundabout yesterday and the bid came in within the budget. This item will go to the City Council on June 6.

·         The Roundabout will be a significant project for Grant Ave and will result in daytime closure for a significant portion of the project. The plan includes daytime work hours (8-4) with the roadway closed and detours on Baker Street and Morgan. The roadway will reopen for peak traffic periods from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily. Some items are subject to change, so look for more information as the project gets ready to begin.

·         Soccer Registration for Winters AYSO is this Saturday, May 20 from 10-2 at City Hall or online at www.Wintersayso.org

 This weekend get to attend the graduation of my son from Chico State University! I am thrilled not only for Sam, but for many of his Winters classmates who will also be graduating this weekend. It is amazing how fast they grow and mature.

 Have a nice weekend.

 John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager

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Friday Update on Cinco de Mayo 2017


A couple items;

  • Yesterday, Royal Guest held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Downtown Hotel Winters. A nice turnout with a number of the key investors in the project coming to town. In talking with their team, actual construction will most likely begin at the start of June.
  • Look for the Main/Grant Traffic Signal Project to begin moving in over the next few weeks. Timing is perfect for the project and hopefully it will be completed by the time school begins in August.
  • The Newt’s Expressway Alley behind Main Street received authorization at the City Council Meeting. This will include the replacement of the water and storm drain lines. The plan will not include a re-paving of the alley until after the construction of the hotel. A rough road for a while.
  • Kudo’s to Winters Police and Fire for their work on a horrific crash on Saturday night at Railroad and Grant. The scene was absolutely ugly and the response to save the life of the most critical victim was amazing! Our public safety personnel see people on their worst days, and this was certainly that for the individuals in that crash.
  • The earthwork for the Stone’s Throw (formerly Winters Highlands) Project will begin the week of May 15.
  • The City is accepting applications for the Planning Commission. Click HERE for more information.

Community Items:

  • Congratulations to Project Playground on a successful “Party in the Park”. An absolutely wonderful event for an incredible community project!
  • Soccer Registration is online this year. Go to Wintersayso.org to register players, coaches and volunteers.
  • The Winters Garage Sale in on May 13 from 7-Noon along Main Street and streets within the core area of town. This year’s themes are “the best stuff ever” and “Let’s Make Garage Sales Great Again”. A wonderful opportunity to get great bargains, purchase stuff you really don’t need and see your friends selling those cherished possessions only they really appreciate.

Have a great week,


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Big Day of Giving for Winters


May 4 is the “ Big Day of Giving” and an opportunity to make donations that make big difference to the Winters Community. The following are the Winters organizations in this year’s Big DOG and a little information about what they do.

Winters Education Foundation (WEF):

WEF is an organization dedicated to supporting public education and the Winters Joint Unified School District. Click HERE to go to the website and Click HERE to donate.

Winters Education Foundation sponsors a small grant program each year which encourages all teachers to apply for money to advance pet projects. WEF has sponsored speakers from outside the District, has subsidized student transportation to arts and lectures, and has purchased musical instruments, reading material, mathematics tools, etc.

WEF has incredible leadership who have facilitated partnerships with amazing results. They were a key part of the technology project at Winters Middle School which brought computers to the entire 6th grade. They have maximized resources for students and provide support to advancing the quality of education in Winters.

Center for Land Based Learning:

The Center for Land Based Learning is a nationally recognized farm education organization which has literally put Winters on the map for excellence in educating folks about where their food comes from. Click HERE to go to their website and click HERE to donate.

From bringing farms to the urban environment to watershed education, the Center for Land Based Learning helps educate students about farming, leadership and the environment. The Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship (SLEWS) Program engages California high school students and teachers in meaningful environmental stewardship that allows students to practice scientific skills, learn from natural resource professionals, and expand on classroom concepts, while accomplishing real habitat restoration projects on farms, ranches and open spaces. They also are bringing farms into the urban core, with the promotion of neighborhood gardens through the region.

They absolutely represent the excellence which is Winters!

Winters Theatre Company:

They entertain us in so many ways and bring home into the “hometown” which is Winters. Annually, the Winters Theatre Company brings many an opportunity to act and sing but the many plays and functions which bring our community together. May 4-6, they will have their dinner theatre production “Murder and Café Noir”. Click HERE to go to their website and click HERE to donate.

Winters Friends of the Library:

WFoL is really as star in the Winters Community, bringing literacy, speakers programs and additional hours to the Winters Community Library. Few organizations contribute as much to the town as WFoL. This year, all donations from the Big DOG will go toward Project Playground and the rehabilitation of the Shakespeare Stage at City Park.

Go to https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/wfol to donate. Check WFoL’s website for a schedule of fun activities throughout the day where you can find volunteers to take your donation and to celebrate.

Winters Farm to School Program:

Western Yolo County produces some of the finest food in the world, yet we still have hunger and nutrition issues happening right in our towns. The Winters Farm to School Program raises funds to improve and address that.  Their mission has three interrelated emphases:

– To raise funds to provide fresh, local produce, fruits and nuts for our children’s school food program
– To educate children about the positive, long-term health benefits of healthy eating habits
– To reconnect children to the rich, deeply rooted agricultural heritage in the community

To donate to the Winters Farm to School, click HERE.

Putah Creek Council:

In the past 30 years, few organizations have made a more profound positive impact on the ecological restoration and riparian education as the Putah Creek Council. This organization has literally brought salmon back to Winters and facilitated the enhancement of habitat in ways people could only dream about. They provide education, experience and restoration projects along Putah Creek which have caught the attention of some of the most renowned biologists who are amazed at what has occurred.

Click HERE to visit their webpage and see for yourself why donating to the PCC is important.

Donations to these organizations is an investment in our future. Time to get your credit card out and help these groups do great things!

Happy Giving!


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Downtown Winters Hotel Groundbreaking- Royal Guest


Royal Guest and their investment partners are planning a groundbreaking ceremony for site of the Winters Hotel beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4. They have asked that we pass the word to folks and that all are invited.

For more information, contact the Project Manager, Mike Olivas at mikeolivas@aol.com for details.

Very exciting and see you there!


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May 2- City Council Meeting and Economic Development Workshop


The City Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 2 will have two parts:

  • 5:00- A follow up workshop between the City Staff and City Council on some ideas to wrap into an overall economic development program. This will be held prior to the start of the regular City Council Meeting.
  • 6:30- This will be the regular City Council Meeting.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sorry for any confusion.



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Friday Update on April 21 2017


We are moving the ball on a number of fronts and this week was absolutely crazy on a variety of projects. Here is an update of things coming before the City Council in the coming meetings:

May 2:

·         Waste Management Franchise Agreement which includes modifications to green waste pickup and an expansion of the organics waste program.

·         Winters Highlands Public/Subdivision Improvement Agreement.

·         Sustainable Groundwater Management Agency– participation of the City in the new Agency.

·         City-wide Assessment District.

May 16:

·         Public Hearing on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Agency.

·         Hotel- Transient Business Improvement District (TBID)- Participation by City hotels in a Yolo County Tourism assessment.

Other items……………

·         The new conference room in the former Police Department is mostly completed, with the last areas of concrete being poured and things going up on the walls. This was an incredible project by our Public Works Staff. A great team effort.

·         Next weekend is Youth Day. The day will kick off at 6:30 with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast, followed by the parade at 10:00, the events at City Park beginning at noon, then an evening concert in Downtown with the Terry Sheets Band. The full schedule will be included in the Winters Express this week.

·         The Parking Committee will be holding a community forum on the Downtown Parking Master Plan on May 3, 2017 beginning at 6:30 at the Winters Fire Department 700 Main Street. More information and the agenda next week.

·         The Big Day of Giving (Big DOG) will be on Thursday, May 4. Local organizations participating this year will be the Winters Friends of the Library, Putah Creek Council, Winters Healthcare Foundation, Winters Theatre Company, Winters Education Foundation and the Center for Land Based Learning. Each of these organizations provide immeasurable services and benefits to our town. Click here to get to the WFoL donation page and into the main system for donations to the other organizations. Give early and often.

·         The three “rock stars” for the Big DOG are Winters residents and WFoL members Sally Brown, Lisa Nalbone and Linda Springer. By my estimation, they will easily clear the cumulative $100,000 mark for Big DOG for the past few years in this fundraising drive. The local programs over the years at the library have included expanded hours, literacy, the neighborhood library boxes, incredible speakers programs and outreach to children. They certainly have made a difference in our community and I know that this year they are planning to help the Project Playground by helping sponsor a new stage for the WFoL Shakespeare Workshop Program held each summer. I know they work really hard at what they do and our community is much better for their efforts in this area. Good job, ladies!!

Finally, the City Council on Tuesday adopted a Proclamation outlining some of the key attributes which make our community what it is during this time of a lot of discord in the public debate. I have attached a copy (pdf – HERE).

 The comments from the 25+ people who attended the meeting were very well put and sincere in helping define some basic tenants on how people should be treated and what defines our community. Winters is a great place to be because much of what is ruining other communities is simply not accepted within the parameters of how we interact in our community. The culture of Winters is simply more kind and deeper than those places where people are more faces and less names.

 Mayor Wade Cowan and the City Council really handled things pretty well on a very sensitive topic. The #1 attribute which makes our City Council Meetings effective is the collegiality in how things are addressed. The discussions are honest and frank, hard on the issues and soft on the people; but mostly, they represent a climate where people feel free to express their views in a manner where disagreement is accepted, input is acknowledged and collaboration is essential.

 Many who spoke at the meeting asked for inclusion of a couple key points not in the published version. They were articulate and passionate in their comments with the final version including additional words which made the statement even more effective. In the end, the collaboration made the Proclamation better and hopefully more meaningful. At the end, Mayor Wade had Councilwoman Jesse Loren read the final version and it was an incredible way to cap the evening.

 Truly what Winters is really about.

 Have a nice weekend.


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Friday Update on Good Friday 2017


 A little more detail this week:

 ·         The April 18 City Council has a lot of business items this week. On the Agenda, we have the Walnut/Grant Roundabout Bid, the purchase of a vehicle for Public Works, permit for the June 23-24 Guitarfest Festival, Caltrans Agreement for the Roundabout, a lease with Martinez Orchards for the use of WWTF land, sale of property for the Downtown Hotel, Youth Day Parade Permit and money for the Senior Foundation use of the Community Center, swearing in of a new reserve Police Officer and consideration of a proclamation of Community Values and Affirmations of the type of place Winters is. See the entire packet by clicking HERE.

·         Staff has made inroads with PG&E regarding the undergrounding of the poles in the “Newt’s Expressway” alley behind the north side of Main Street. We have found a funding source and are working on a strategy to get the utlility lines undergrounded. It will take a little time, but we have advanced the project a bit.

·         The bid for the Roundabout Project at Grant/Walnut will go to bid on Wednesday. Light a candle in church this weekend for the project to come in near budget!

·         The Notice to Proceed has been issued for the Grant/Main Traffic Signal and we will hopefully see things start moving on the project in May.

·         All the civil plans are in for the projects at the freeway which will include the remodel and expansion of the Chevron, Fairfield Inn and Suites and Starbucks. The plan check for the Starbucks has been completed and we are told that they want to be open by the end of the summer.

·         Look for construction activity to get really busy in front of the PG&E Gas Training Facility. There is some pretty intensive work which will need to occur in the roadway and expect some delays at times.

·         The Winters Ranch Subdivision has really turned out to be an incredible addition to Winters. The first occupancy of the two story (smaller models) should be soon. Overall, the project really looks GREAT!

·         Mariani Nut has a significant expansion of their Buckeye Processing Facility. Approximately 250,000 sf of storage, office, shop and processing is at the County. Yolo County is the easiest place to do business anywhere. According to their planning folks, the Mariani Expansion only requires a ministerial permit (over the counter).

·         Congratulations to the Hispanic Advisory Committee on their Immigration Forum. To see the entire forum, go to the City’s Facebook. A HUGE success for the Committee with some really good information.

·         The Parking Committee will be holding a community meeting on Wednesday, May 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Public Safety Facility at 700 Main Street. Lots of information and a chance for input.

·         Good news from the State Legislature which the passage of Highway and Road Funding to fix streets and highways. The City will see the doubling of our road funds to a little over $400k per year which will provide money to do some maintenance on our streets. Big kudos to both Assemblywoman Extraordinaire Cecilia Curry and Senator Bill Dodd (who was an original author of the legislation). Anyone who has driven our highways and then gone to another state can attest that there is a huge difference between driving the wonderful highways and then coming back into California where our roads are completely trashed. Good for California!

·         The Winters PTA will hold their  Third Annual “Spring into Action” Fitness Festival and Fundraiser on Friday, April 21, 2017 at Dr Sellers Field at Winters High from 6-8!  Dance, walk, run, hop or skip to beats of DJ Marcus as we raise money for PTA.  It’s super easy to participate – and attendance is FREE!  PTA is challenging Waggoner and Rominger students to get family, communities and friends to sponsor them.  $15 in pledges will earn them a super cool “Spring into Action” T-shirt; adults shirts are $20. All of the money we raise goes toward our annual efforts to enrich our young people through educational activities, experience and community.  In addition, Project Playground will be selling Buckhorn tri-tip sandwiches to benefit their efforts.  To get more details about the fitness fundraiser and how you can support Winters Combined PTA, please visit us at our website, www.winterspta.org, Facebook at winters Combined PTA, or feel free to contact Winters PTA at winterspta@gmail.com.  Dust off your sneakers and we look forward to seeing you moving your body for the students of Winters.

 Finally, for those of a religious persuasion, this weekend is one to celebrate either resurrection or liberation. A very happy Easter and Passover to all.



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Friday Update on April 7 2017


Really short this week:

· The City of Winters Hispanic Advisory Committee will host a workshop to address questions, rumors and concerns about immigration issues, community policing and the impacts of recent Federal orders regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The workshop will include representatives from the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation who will provide resources and information on legal assistance for those who may have immigration status issues. Representatives from the Mexican Consulate will also be in attendance.

The goal of the meeting is to provide information to Winters residents who may have questions and concerns with much of the rhetoric being spread through many sources about immigration. Representatives from the Winters Police, Winters JUSD, CRLAF and the City will be there to make brief presentations on some of the most popular issues and to help answer individual questions people may have. The workshop will include small groups and individual meetings where people can ask questions.

The workshop is open to all Winters residents, and will take place on Friday, April 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at St. Anthony Parish Hall.

To watch the meeting at home or on your mobile device, watch it live on the City of Winters Facebook Page.

Have a nice weekend.



Department Links:

-City Clerk

-City Council

-City Council Agendas

-City Manager

-City Manager's Update

-Economic Advisory Committee*

-Future Leaders*

-Hispanic Advisory Committee*


-Planning Commission

-Putah Creek Committee

-Administrative Forms and Reports

-Website Posting Requirements

Note: to view online City documents, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed on your computer. Click to visit Adobe's download page (external website).