This will be my last Friday update, as our new City Manager Kathleen Trepa will be on board on Monday 11-9-2020. I am not going anywhere except back to my Director of Financial Management position now that we have Kathleen to guide the organization.
I would like to thank everyone for all the trust you put in my ability to keep things going while we searched for the new City Manager. The residents of the community have been super supportive as I worked my way through some issues that were new to me, and my co-workers here at the City have been great, from being resources providing information, to accepting all the things I delegated out to get things done on time, to simply sometimes just being supportive as a sounding board as I worked through issues that I hadn’t been responsible for resolving in the past. My staff in the Finance Department have been truly outstanding during this time. They took on all kinds of new responsibility as I was focused more on some of the City Manager tasks and less on supervising what their workloads were. I would not be able to do a lot of the things I do, without the very outstanding support and work of Mary Lou, Gabby and Diana. I am truly lucky to have their support every day.
The City Council has been a great group to work with, always looking for ways to improve the City of Winters and allowing staff to present ideas for doing just that. In case people don’t know, there is a ton of committees and commissions that all the City Council members sit on, this is not just a twice a month show up at a meeting position that our City Council has. They are involved in all kinds of issues facing the City of Winters and the County of Yolo, and they spend a tremendous amount of time representing the interests of the people that call Winters home in everything they do.
While I have been Interim City Manager, a lot has happened:
- The LNU Complex Fire started the same night I was appointed Interim City Manager
- The Community Rallied around those in the Greater Winters Community that lost so much in the fires.
- We had a heat wave (or 2)
- We have had public safety power shut offs (PSPS), granted, mostly in the unincorporated areas, but, as we know from our experiences, those neighbors are part of the Greater Winters Area.
- Covid-19 continues to force restrictions on how our community interacts with one another and how our businesses operate.
- We have been the site of Invasive Mosquitos this fall, with the mosquito vector district spending a lot of time in Winters.
- The City received notification that we were awarded a $3,500,000 grant for construction of the Winters Senior Center
- Representatives of the Senior Community provided a plan for raising funds for the furnishing of the Winters Senior Center.
- We are finally seeing walls go up on the Fairfield Inn out by Starbucks and the Burger King/Taco Bell area.
- City Staff member Lisa Baker applied for a grant for funding for a generator for the Senior Center and due to her diligence, it was submitted on time.
- City staff member Lisa Baker also found another potential source of funding for a generator and is pursuing that as well, hopefully at least one of the funding sources will materialize.
- Staff pursued CARES Act funding from Yolo County, and the agreement was signed and returned to them yesterday.
- Look for a rent/mortgage assistance grant program to be funded from this to be on the November 17, 2020 City Council meeting for review of the application process.
- Look for changes to the Main Street Dining Area as we continue eating outdoors during the winter months, this will be coming to a City Council meeting soon for review.
- The City received a “Per Capita” grant for park renovations, and Eric Lucero put together some great ideas for Blue Oak and Valley Oak Parks.
- The Election on Tuesday was peaceful here in the City of Winters.
- Staff is preparing for the retirement of 2 more people that have been integral to the success of the City of Winters. Both Karla Ferguson and Tracy Jensen are retiring at year end, and new staff is coming on board to take on some of those responsibilities. These two are leaving very big shoes to fill.
- Staff has begun implementing several technology-based programs
- Energov-Building permitting, planning and project management software upgrade
- NeoGov-Human Resource and Payroll processing Software
- OpenGov-Budgeting and reporting software
- Granicus-Agenda Management and Council meeting streaming software
- Paymentus-a new credit card processing software, with the potential to move to e-billing so that folks that don’t want paper bills don’t have to get paper bills.
- I have interacted with the City Managers with the other Cities in Yolo County and the County CAO a lot during my time as Interim City Manager, they were very welcoming as I learned about new issues that I had not been previously aware of.
- I have interacted with many of the Downtown Business Owners and Operators as we have attempted to navigate through the restrictions due to Covid-19 and yet keep our businesses operating. These are some hardworking people that are trying to do everything they can to stay in business in the current environment.
As I transition back to Director of Financial Management, I look forward to getting some items completed that had moved down the priority list the last couple of months. I feel like I started a lot of things but haven’t really completed a lot of things the last 3 months. We still need to complete our CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report), and all the reports that must be submitted to the State of California by year end. We must watch our budget as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on our economy and our businesses. It soon will be time to put together our next budget, and I will be working on a succession plan for myself as I look to retirement in the future.
Thank you everyone for all the kind thoughts and comments that have been sent my way this last 3 months
Interim City Manager
Director of Financial Management