Winter Storm Warning Yolo County / State of CALocal Weather Alerts

Winter Storm Warning
...significant Mountain Snow Today Into The Weekend... .a Significant Early Season Storm Is Forecast To Bring Snow And Wind To The Mountains Of Interior Northern California Through Saturday Evening. A Couple Of Feet Of Snow Are Possible Above 6000 Feet By Saturday Night Over The Higher Elevations. Motorists Planning Travel Into The Mountains During This Time Frame Should ...Read More.
Effective: November 3, 2017 at 2:53pmExpires: November 4, 2017 at 11:00pmTarget Area: West Slope Northern Sierra Nevada; Western Plumas County, Lassen Park

Winter Storm Warning
...winter Storm Warning Remains In Effect Until 11 Pm Pdt Saturday... * What...heavy Snow Expected. Plan On Difficult Travel Conditions Especially Over The Passes. Total Snow Accumulations: Above 7000 Feet 1 To 2 Feet With Localized Higher Amounts. Between 6500 And 7000 Feet 5 To 10 Inches With ...Read More.
Effective: November 3, 2017 at 2:47pmExpires: November 4, 2017 at 11:00pmTarget Area: Greater Lake Tahoe Area

Winter Storm Warning
...winter Storm Warning Remains In Effect From 5 Am Pdt Saturday To 4 Pm Pst Sunday Above 7000 Feet... * What...heavy Snow Expected. Plan On Difficult Travel Conditions. Total Snow Accumulations Of 3 To 5 Inches, With Localized Amounts Up To 10 Inches, Are Still Expected. * Where...sierra Nevada Mountains From Yosemite To Kings Canyon ...Read More.
Effective: November 4, 2017 at 5:00amExpires: November 5, 2017 at 5:00pmTarget Area: Sierra Nevada from Yosemite to Kings Canyon

Category Archives: City Manager’s Update

  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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)!


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

Friday Update on September 30 2016

All,

Just a couple items this week:

 ·         City Council is really short with the main items being an update to the North Area Flood  calculations; and an easement with the Downtown Hotel for a grease interceptor (no parking issues). The meeting should be done in record time!

·         The Planning Commission approved a façade upgrade to the Downtown Hotel. Click HERE to go to the packet and see the project.

·         The City Park Playground Committee had a wonderful meeting on Wednesday at Shirley Rominger School. More than 300 turned out to see some preliminary design elements and to start the momentum to getting this project built in October, 2017. A wonderful turnout and stay tuned for more information on what is happening. Go to their City of Winters Playground Rehabilitation Committee page by clicking HERE.

·         City Council members Pierre Neu and Jesse Loren will be representing the City at the League of California Cities Annual Conference next week in Long Beach. This is the largest educational conference for local elected officials and a chance for the Council to get updated on a wide variety of topics related to what we do.

·         Winters is one of 5,200 communities in 20 countries who hold a Relay for Life event on behalf of the American Cancer Society.  The Winters Relay for Life 24-hour event is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 28th at 6pm.  Winters Relay has 19 teams consisting of 101 registered participants who have raised $11,741.50 (so far!)  The funds raised go to cancer research and to provide services to cancer patients and their caregivers.  At the Relay event, team members take turn walking around the track for the 24-hour period because if cancer won’t take a break, neither will we!  There will be food, games, contests, and fun throughout the 24-hour event, so come out and join us!

·         Please go to www.relayforlife.org to register as a member of an existing team or start a team of your own!  We’re fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer, in our community and everyone else’s. It’s time to get your purple on!!

·         Congratulations and Kudo’s to the Hispanic Advisory Committee for an incredible Festival de la Communidad and Carnitas contest! Great entertainment, food and fellowship for our community. This group is working to sponsor a variety of activities to support the Hispanic community and they are doing an incredible job!!

Finally, two Sunday’s ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a media tour sponsored by the Root’s to Wine Group and the Yolo Visitors Bureau. It was a phenomenal effort and enough cannot be said for the participants. It genuinely represented the excellence we have in Western Yolo County, Winters and the Capay Valley.

The morning began with a wonderful reception at the Turkovich Wine Room in Downtown. Then a short trip to Berryessa Wine Tasting Room on 128 and an incredible presentation on the history of wine grapes, root stock and the harvest/press process. We then went to the Turkovich Winery where Chris and Luciana Turkovich talked about wine chemistry and demonstrated “fermentation and punching down the grapes”. Then out to Park Winters for a 5 star lunch which included wine pairing with each course and a selection of every wine from the region. We then went to Seka Hills in Brooks and learned about grafting the rootstock and visited their olive press operations. Finally, we ended up at Capay Valley Vineyards to see how the really small, boutique wineries produce incredible vintages. It was a day beyond anyone’s wildest expectation.

A big shout out to Tracy Rios from Turkovich and Corinne Armstrong from Seka Hills along with the team from Yolo Visitors Bureau for their coordination. They really showed that you do not need to go anywhere beyond our own backyard for a world class experience! A few shout outs:

·         Chris and Luciana Turkovich were absolutely amazing in their demonstration on fermentation. Click HERE to go to the Turkovich Wines website.

·         Corinne Martinez and Nicole Salengo from Berryessa Gap provided a wornderful overview on rootstock and the wine making process. Their staff provided a first class experience which you can find practically every time you stop in. Go HERE to get to their website.

·         John and Rafael from Park Winters showed what 5 star really means! For that special occasion, click HERE to see their place.

·         If you have not seen the Seka Hills Olive Mill, it is 25 minutes from Downtown Winters. Go there and enjoy an incredible experience of wine, oils and balsamics.

You do not need to go far to experience the best the world has to offer.

Meeting will keep the next two Friday Updates off the wire!

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Playground Design Day- September 28 2016

All,

One of the most amazing feats in the history of our community was the volunteer construction of the wooden playground structure at City Park. It took the tremendous effort of many volunteers and community members to create one of the coolest playgrounds around. That was 1989!

On what is about the 25th anniversary of that playground construction, it is time to begin preparing for new generations of kids and a new structure.

An incredible group of parents are stepping forward to begin that process and the Design Night will be on September 28 from 6-8 at Shirley Rominger School. The evening will include an opportunity to have input on design elements and to become a part of an important group setting the stage for the future for our kids.

Attached(pdf) is the flyer and I encourage folks to attend!

John


  • -

Friday Update on September 23 2016

All,

A couple items and some events:

  • City Council covered a lot of ground at the Tuesday meeting. Chromium 6 comlpliance will move forward with the test drill of Water Well #9 along Putah Creek. They also authorized funding for a Parking Study for Downtown.
  • Planning Commission on Tuesday will cover two key items. The Downtown Hotel has a façade modification which will redo a portion of the Railroad Avenue frontage to meet the requirements of the restaurant tenant considering locating into the hotel. The second big item is consideration of a Nuisance Ordinance for the City. Click HERE for a link to the entire agenda packet.
  • Saturday is the Festival de La Commnidad and Carnitas Festival. Things kick off after 1:00 and Carnitas will be ready around 4. Lot’s of music, food and fun for the entire family.
  • City Staff met this week with the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding our Elderberry Mitigation Area along Putah Creek. Overall, a pretty good meeting!
  • Tonight is Fourth Friday. Come enjoy what will be a cool evening and delicious food.
  • Winters High will be playing Capitol Christian at Hughes Field on Saturday. Go Warriors.

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on Thursday September 15 2016

All,

Short yet informative (my Friday is absolutely crazy so I am sending this a little early)!

  • The Bureau of Reclamation has selected FX10 International, Inc, owned by Winters residents John and Linda Frazier as the concessionaires for Markley Cove. The contract is for a 30 year period and will bring stability and upgrades to our end of the lake. John and Linda along with the Frazier Family have operated Markley Cove for the past 40 years! They are a really important Winters business and have been stalwart over the past 15 very difficult years at Lake Berryessa. The award of the contract to the Fraziers is really good news for our town and the future moving forward in our region! I personally cannot say enough about the Fraziers, they are a class act and kept their dignity during some pretty tough years dealing with the concession re-bid process. This is a good thing for Winters!
  • Carrie Green is the new Executive Director for the Winters Chamber of Commerce. She brings an impressive background and is well in tuned with Winters. I met with Carrie for a bit and I think she is going to do a wonderful job!!
  • City Council Meeting for Tuesday will feature Chromium 6 compliance strategy and authorization, hire of a Parking Study Consultant, funding for the Salmon Festival, Sound permits for WHS Homecoming and the Festival De La Communidad and an update on improvements and future plans for the play areas at City Park.
  • The Chromium 6 numbers are not encouraging. Right now, combined water and sewer will exceed $200 per month (not including consumption). The following is from our consultant regarding the views of State and Federal bureaucrats regarding excessive utility rates in small towns:

EPA’s stated view on potable water—that it is affordable if it costs less than 2.5% of small community Medium Household Income- MHI—influences the perceived affordability of combined water and wastewater bills. Specifically, it is commonly inferred that EPA would consider a combined annual water and wastewater bill of less than 4.5% of MHI to be affordable (2.5% for water, plus 2% for wastewater services and CSO controls).”

 “Winters is a small community per EPA definition, meaning current combined water and ww rates would be ‘affordable’ in Winters as long as they do not exceed about $220/month…easy to say sitting in D.C.”

 “In CA, under current funding program guidelines, there are no favorable terms based on water rate affordability until local water rates exceed 1.5% of community MHI.”

It is amazing that the view of these regulators is so callused that they cannot consider the impacts on seniors and low income persons and families. Imagine being a senior on a fixed income of $600 a month suddenly seeing your utility bills go from $78 per month to $220 (more than 30% of your income!). You still need to pay electricity, phone, tv and other living expenses. Not to mention food………. From the City Staff standpoint, it is simply mind boggling trying to work this issue.

  • The Winters Friends of the Library will have another great event this Saturday September 17 from 3-6 pm. Books and Brews will happen at Berryessa Brewing. Local authors will be there to talk about their books, sell some (with proceeds to WFOL). The lineup includes Steve Ackley, Kelly Hess, Jesse Loren, Beth McMillen, Lisa Nalbone, Lorraine Rominger, Tamsen Schultz and Spring Warren.
  • Putah Creek/Coastal Clean-up Day is this Saturday, September 17. Bring gloves, closed toe shoes and a water bottle for a day of cleaning up the creek. Meet at the Rotary Park Gazebo beginning at 8:45!

Finally, I went to Calle’s Carnival last Sunday at Creekside Park and it was awesome!! The friends and supporters of Leslie Pinkston made a very special fundraising event which did out community proud! There are many things which show the kindness of living in a small town, and this was truly special!

WHS Plays Dixon High School this Friday at Dr Sellers Field. JV kickoff is at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:30!

Have a nice weekend! Go Warriors!!

John


  • -

Friday Update on September 9 2016

All,

One of the most traumatic events in Winters over the past number of years was the event surrounding the death of Leslie Pinkston.

 Leslie left her beautiful daughter Callie West. In an incredible display of community support,  a number of folks from Winters established “Callie’s Carnival”, an annual event to help provide a college fund and support to her as she grows. It is always a great day!!

 Callie’s Carnival will be this Sunday, at Creekside Park (just across the car bridge behind the old Creekside Bar 4513 Putah Creek Rd) from 12-5. The event should be a lot of fun with food from the Buckhorn (and others), carnival games, a petting zoo, photo booth and raffle prizes. The day is something  for the entire family.

 For more nfo, contact Calliescarnival@gmail.com

 A couple items this week:

·         The City Council Meeting had a number of business items which will start us moving forward on some key initiatives. Traffic Master Plan, Fee Studies, groundwater monitoring, pump efficiency testing and high tech crime! A real party!

·         Look for activity to begin REALLY ramping up at the PG&E Gas Operations Training Facility. The delivery and assembly of the crane to start raising the walls is imminent and the actual raising of the building will occur sometime around the end of the month and things will begin taking shape in a very real way. To keep track of the action at the project, click HERE and you can watch it from your desk top!

·         A notice will be in the paper for the Downtown Hotel before the Planning Commission on September 27. The changes for the hotel will include a revision to the frontage and Facade on Railroad Avenue.

·         Concrete was poured at Walnut Park this week and it is starting to take shape. Attached is a plan view of what it is going to look like. The irrigation is dug and the improvements will begin shaping the actual look of the park. This will be the City’s largest park. Walnut Park Plan PDF

 Lot’s of AYSO soccer this weekend with inter-play beginning with Davis, Colusa, Antelope and Rio Linda.

 Thanks and have a nice weekend.

 John


  • -

Friday Update on Labor Day Weekend 2016

All,

A review of the upcoming City Council Agenda which has a lot of business items which are extremely important yet less glamorous: (If you want to read all the staff reports, click HERE to get the entire packet)

Consent Calendar:

  • Item B. Traffic Analysis– Staff is working on an update to the City’s Traffic Circulation Master Plan (General Plan item) and we are entering into a contract with Fehr & Peers who will provide a comprehensive update of traffic calculations, computer modeling and an update to the cumulative traffic calculations for City Streets. This project is important because another project in the works is an update of the City’s Major Projects Financing Program which establishes the major roadway improvements of which the traffic circulation is a critical element in establishing.
  • Item C: Groundwater Monitoring-The City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant has both holding ponds and we discharge our water through land based applications such as agricultural irrigation and spray fields. In order to maintain our discharge permit with State agencies, we are required to have a groundwater management plan with a variety of testing and reporting to demonstrate that we are not polluting the groundwater. This is a contract with an outside monitoring firm to do the testing and prepare the reports.
  • Item D. Grant Acceptance– The City has received two grants through the Yolo County Water Resources Agency. The first grant ($15,000) is for stormwater management to analyze potential problems in our system, implement education programs and update our overall plan. The second part of the grant ($16,127) is to assist in our ongoing work in addressing Chromium 6
  • Item E. Safe Routes to School Grant Acceptance-The City has received a grant ($10,367) to assist in helping enhance our “Safe Routes to Schools” Program. The money will be used to implement some traffic calming measures on Niemann Street which will include street striping (narrowing the roadway) and a solar powered radar sign and flashing beacon. Additionally, City and School Staff will be implementing the Active4Me program which will enable parents to be notified via a bar code scanner that their child has safely arrived on campus. The goal is to encourage more kids to ride bikes and walk to school. Both really good programs and collaboration with the WJUSD.
  • Item F: Gathering Shed Walnut Park is under construction and a key element is the installation of a shade structure at the park. This item is a contract with the manufacturer of the structure to also do the installation versus the general contractor. Having the manufacturer installation will save the City $7,000 which will go back into the project.
  • Item G: Service Fee RFP– The City is in the midst of evaluating our service fees and this is a request for proposal for qualified firms to bid to do the study and evaluation.
  • Item H. This item is a contract to do electrical repairs and replace a junction box at our East Street Pump Station inside and adjacent to our wet well which powers the water pumps.
  • Item I. Vision Zero– In September, Councilmembers Neu and Loren will be attending the League of California Cities Annual Conference. Councilmember Neu is the City’s delegate and will be asked to cast a vote on a resolution in support of Vision Zero, a program to have zero traffic fatalities. This item asks the City Council to authorize support for this program.
  • Item J. Well 6 Pump Testing– The City is in the midst of a comprehensive rehabilitation of Water Well 6 (E Baker/East Main). Because of a drop in groundwater depth from the drought, we are in need of efficiency tesing on the pump to maximize the overall effectiveness of the well. This is a contract to do that.

Discussion Items:

  • Planning Commission Appointment– The City Council has interviewed candidates and ranked three candidates for consideration to fill the spot vacated by Bill Biasi’ election to the Council.
  • Parking Consultant– The Downtown Parking Committee has made a recommendation on a consultant to help in formulating elements of a parking plan. The item will include a presentation from the Committee and consideration of both the consultant and funding the study.
  • Remodel/Conference Room for City Hall Annex. This item is to establish a new conference/community room next to the City Council Chamber. The plan includes carpeting, windows and furniture.
  • High Tech Agreement– Police Chief John Miller will be talking about an agreement with the District Attorney and the City for high tech crime investigation. As part of the agreement, the City will provide a reserve to assist the DA in their forensic crime program. Pretty cool stuff!!

Also on the agenda will be presentations from the Police Department on the Cadet and Reserve Programs.

Other stuff:

  • Last week’s Earthquake Festival was absolutely awesome from many points of view. People generally behaved and the load on the law enforcement was low. Both the Terry Sheets Band and the Time Bandits just rocked the place and the merchants and groups in the booths were just amazing. The Chamber did an absolutely incredible job in bringing a fun and high quality event, once again.
  • When you see Wade and Kathy Cowan (Team Cowan), Megan Curry, Donice Woody and Dan Maguire give them a huge thanks for putting on an incredible party. These folks (and the entire Chamber Team) work really hard and deliver way above expectations. The Chamber has a lot of momentum and these folks all play an important role in all the really cool stuff we have in our town.
  • Berryessa Brewing debuted “Earthshake Ale” at the Earthquake Festival. Chris and the entire Team at Berryessa are just tops in what they do and this beer is just delicious. Get some while it lasts!!
  • The Winters Senior Foundation is establishing itself as a new “super group” in town. Their raffle at Earthquake was probably the best I have seen. I know they are working hard to make a difference for the older set in our town and it shows.
  • The Winters Friends of the Library have another neighborhood library kiosk near the corner of Main and Grant (across from the Public Safety Facility). They have two Downtown and now the third. WFOL does so many wonderful things in town and this is just another example. Great work!
  • More Beaver Stuff……….. This week, I received more beaver paraphernalia. Realize I now have beaver traps, furs, stuffed beavers, beaver books, pictures of me with dead beavers and have more links to more websites which deal in beaver products than probably most in America. This week involved “edible beaver”, with someone dropping off a bag of “Canadian Beaver Balls”, which are round, egg shaped chocolate covered jujubes!  When I got the package, I could only think of one person to share them with and that was Winters Express Editor Debra DeAngelo.  I went to their office and we opened the bag of beaver balls and partook (Joe the Butcher also showed up). We all noted that beaver balls are pretty chewy and you could probably lose a filling if eaten too quickly. A very sincere thanks to whomever dropped them off!

Finally, when you see our Economic Development and Housing Manager Dan Maguire, give him a “big atta boy” for delivering great projects which will come to fruition in the next 12 months. Dan is the person leading our efforts on Walnut Park, Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments and the Downtown Hotel. We are blessed with an incredible staff and Dan is a key player in making all this stuff happen!

Winters Warriors are in town tonight with the JV at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:30 at Dr Sellers Field.

Go Warriors and have a nice weekend!

John


  • -

Friday Update on Thursday August 24 2016

All,

A week of ups and downs:

  • Earthquake Festival– So when I picked up my Winters Express this week and saw Chamber President Kathy Cowan on the front page (she must hold the record for the most cover photo’s) I knew it was time for something fun. The Earthquake Festival is this Friday starting at 5:00. Food, fun, music for all ages. Both Terry Sheets Band and the Time Bandits will be playing. This is an awesome party and a huge fundraiser for many groups. Have fun but also remember thaearthquakefestivalt it is the largest law enforcement presence on any single night in town. If you plan to drink, walk, designate a designated driver or set up someone to bail you out from Yolo County Jail.
  • As a warm up, Steady Eddies is having a fundraiser on Friday for the Relay for Life. Attached is a flyer (HERE/pdf) and a chance for you to get the caffeine in you to start the night. Acoustic music and a laid back way to begin the evening!
  • Downtown Hotel Update: The project has a major tenant for the downstairs who is requesting some changes and upgrades which will require Planning Commission approval along with structural/foundation changes to accommodate. Look for the project to be before the Planning Commission in September, then a month for a new plan check.
  • Roundabout Update: The Walnut Lane roundabout has the encroachment permits but we have run into an interesting snag. The funding comes from a pot of money which is geared toward reducing traffic congestion (ie traffic should move faster). The most recent traffic analysis shows that the traffic will move slower thus creating an interpretation that it will create “congestion”. The funding agency has approved a new funding source but the actual allocation cannot occur until November. Look for construction after the first of the year.
  • Time to get the pitchforks out and tie the rope…….. Chromium 6 will be the big item on the September 20 City Council Meeting. The full presentation on options and methods for addressing the new State mandate. The projected cost to deal with the new State regulations is somewhere between $24 and 40 Million. As they said in Greece, don’t kill the messenger!

This is an active weekend. Winters Warriors High School Football is home on Friday with JV’s starting at 5:30 and Varsity at 7:00. Winters AYSO Soccer begins the season on Saturday.

Have a nice weekend.

John


  • -

Friday Update on Thursday August 18 2016

All,

 A couple items:

 ·         Winters Fire was deployed to the Clayton Fire in Lower Lake to battle the fire which destroyed almost 200 structures and caused absolute havoc through the Lake County Area. They were released today and are headed back.

·         Items on the upcoming City Council Meeting will include a presentation on the strategy for dealing with Chromium 6, the Walnut Park Picnic Structure, and a presentation from the Police Department regarding the Volunteer and Cadet Programs.

·         PG&E has released its most recent monthly report of key activities. I have attached the report for your information.  (pdf – click here)

·         This week on the PG&E Project, they began the pour of the exterior walls which will be tilted up in the coming weeks. From the City perspective, it has been rewarding working with the team they have assembled for the project.

·         The two largest issues which seem to be sweeping California are Housing and Transportation. As local governments are experiencing homelessness, shortages of available housing both for rental and for sale housing. Expect that these issues will come to the forefront on all levels of government in California in the coming year!!

·         Winters AYSO  Soccer needs some help this Sunday, beginning at 8:30 at Waggoner School. We need to spread dirt and do some leveling of soccer fields. We will have some tractors and drags, but need some bodies with shovels to help spread top soil to help fill holes and level the fields. Bring your shovel out and help for a bit.

 Finally, an editorial in one of the many literary sources I read struck an important thing I have learned in the City of Winters, and that is the importance of the local paper, the Winters Express.

 The most important thing I have learned is how important it is to support the Winters Express and the small town press!

 Over the years, the community has been blessed with a weekly publication which tells the story of our town. Whether it is what is happening at City Hall, schools or the many events, sports  and public interest stories, the Winters Express is the source which both writes and records the history of the community. In a technical age where we expect immediate access to stories and information, it is hard for them to compete, but what we really get is a much higher quality and more thoughtful and researched depiction of our town through their efforts than any blog or facebook comment could ever bring.

The City has been genuinely blessed with some excellent reporters who have covered City Hall and the City Council. They have been some of the most thoughtful and genuine people bringing a balanced and thorough approach to reporting. One of the highest values of small town newspapers is the quest to bring transparency and accountability to how the local government is making policy and spending the taxpayer dollars! The City Hall beat reporters in Winters have been second to none. I know that people read their stories and count on them to keep them in the loop. It’s done exceptionally well in our town.

 Debra DeAngelo as the Winters Express Editor is probably one of the most important factors in telling the story of Winters. She really gets it in telling the story of our town and will go down some day as one of the most important people in our history. Lots of people have an opinion regarding Debra’s opinions, but I will tell you that I have never questioned her ethics or professionalism when she has questioned decisions made by the City. She is absolutely doing her job in working to hold the City of Winters accountable, which is important. In a democratic society, it is the responsibility of the press to inform and bring things to light, and Debra does a very good job in doing so. I will tell you that I do not always agree with Debra, but she is fair and thorough and does her job.

 Charley Wallace and the entire Wallace Family could best be described and the stewards of the cornerstone institution which writes our history. When Newt and Ida arrived in 1948, they took over a newspaper which now binds our community together. Whether people appreciate it or not, the Wallace’s have committed their entire lives to telling the story of Winters and all who live here.  From birth to death, the families of our town have their stories told, accomplishments recorded and arrests made public, whether people like it or not! Our Downtown is considered one of the best examples of a small rural revitalization efforts which actually worked and I will tell you that Charley Wallace played one of the most pivotal roles in saving the town, at enormous personal sacrifice. Newt Wallace is the semi-retired oldest paperboy in America and I am proud to have his autographed picture from the front page of the phone book  amongst my most cherished Winters mementos. The town owes eternal gratitude to the Wallace Family for what they have done and do!

 The time capsule of Winters is updated on a weekly basis and thrown on the driveway of your home or business. In an information age the Winters Express cannot compete with promptness, but few can beat the quality of stories which enrich our lives, hold the City accountable and tell the story of our town in a meaningful way.

 When  you see Newt, Charley, Debra and the entire Winters Express team, let them know how important they are to our town. Most importantly, support what they do through your subscriptions and ads which pay the way to telling our story.

 Have a nice weekend and come out and help me spread some dirt on Sunday at Waggoner School- 8:30.

 John


  • -

Friday Update on August 12 2016

All,

A really busy week, but here are some highlights:

  • After four years of effort, on Thursday, we finally received the encroachment permit for the construction of the Walnut Lane Roundabout from Caltrans!! Look for the construction documents going out to bid and hopefully a fall construction! We plan on etching a copy of the permit in granite to sit in front of City Hall as one of the most significant accomplishments of the City in our history!
  • Cal Fire Incident Management Team 6 has begun their demobilization and is moving out. They are wrapping up the “finances and documentation” for the fire at our public safety facility over the next week. When you see the folks from Cal Fire, honk, waive and show your appreciation for an organization which has really helped Winters over the past few years.
  • At the “transition meeting” on Wednesday, Ken Pimlott, the Director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Operations was here to talk with Team 6 and the cooperating agencies. Ken is the Fire Chief of the Fire Chief’s in California, so we had proverbial fire royalty in Winters talking about the incident.
  • The Yolo County Planning Commission dealt a huge blow to agri-tourism in Western Yolo County on Thursday when they denied the application for the Field & Pond event center on Road 29. Field & Pond has become an important resource and beneficiary to the Winters business community in recent years. The conditions which western Yolo County agri-tourism and event centers must follow is now unprecedented and probably infeasible. The ability to advance our “brand” is going to be exceedingly difficult when the urbanites are prevented from actually seeing or experiencing the grandeur of our area.
  • The Downtown Hotel Project is permitted but will see another short delay as they work through a couple configurations to meet the needs of some of the major restaurant and retail tenants. Look for an official groundbreaking in the coming weeks!
  • The issue of the Carter Ranch Detention Pond Trees is evolving a bit. Engineers are looking at some alternatives which will save the majority of the trees if not complete avoidance. Stay tuned!
  • Walnut Park is being graded and is fun to look at. If you have not see the newest and largest park in Winters, you should drive by and take a look. Dan Maguire is the Project Manager if you have any specific questions or inquiries.
  • No City Council Meeting next week and No Planning Commission for August.

For all you would be soccer referees, we will be having referee training at the Fire Station from 9-4 tomorrow.

Have a nice weekend,

John


Search:

Department Links:

-City Clerk

-City Council

-City Council Agendas

-City Manager

-City Manager's Update

-Economic Advisory Committee*

-Future Leaders*

-Hispanic Advisory Committee*

-Personnel

-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).