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Friday Update for Independence Weekend 2016

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Friday Update for Independence Weekend 2016

All,

Happy Independence Day weekend! The past couple of weeks have been busy and lots going on over the next few.

  • The City Council Meeting on July 5 will include the certification of the election, swearing in of new City Councilmembers Bill Biasi and Jesse Loren and recognition to both Woody Fridae and Wade Cowan who will be stepping down.
  • Also on the agenda will be a public hearing on an update to the affordable housing ordinance, an update to the City’s sign ordinance, a revised nuisance abatement ordinance, dealing with a vacancy on the planning commission (with the election of Bill Biasi) and a lease agreement for the former library.
  • It looks like we have a new Police Chief with the person selected in background now with a public announcement happening once that is completed. I will share with you that I am really excited for the Winters Police Department and our community!
  • The Planning Commission has approved site plan, design review and a conditional use permit for the remodel of Chevron, a Starbucks Café and a 72 room Marriot Fairfield Inn to be located at Grant Ave and Matsumoto Lane. The Planning Commission also recommended a “planned development overlay” for the hotel property which will allow the building to be built to 46’. The PD will go to the City Council on July 19. The developers indicated that the project will most likely begin construction “in the spring” 2017.
  • The Planning Commission and staff were really impressive. There was a lot of material to go through, there was complexity to both the architectural and civil plans yet the Commission was very well prepared and did a comprehensive review. Kudo’s to the entire Planning Commission for their preparedness and work along with our Associate Planner Jenna Moser and Contract Planner Dave Dowswell.
  • Winters Fire responded to a significant fire on Main Street on Tuesday evening. The home was ablaze when our units arrived and the fire staff did an amazing job of protecting the neighboring structures and putting out the fire. Kudos to all of the Winters Staff along with the other agencies who responded. Condolences to the residents who lost almost everything, including a pet dog.
  • Winters Fire, the residents of Golden Bear Estates and Positas Drive all request that people show caution when using fireworks this year! In 2014 and 15, we have been home to two of the largest fires in Northern California with both the Monticello and Wragg fires. For those who respond and those affected in the rural areas, we would like to avoid a three peat. Please be careful and only use fireworks in safe areas away from comustables.
  • A reminder that the City Fireworks Show will be on Sunday, July 3 at Dr. Sellers Field. All the legal and illegal will be on July 4th!

On Tuesday, the City Council will go through an official “reorganization” which includes the swearing in of new council members, the selection of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem and the beginning of a two year cycle of leadership on the City Council. From a City perspective, it is a big deal with the closure of one “Council” and the beginning of the next.

The 2014-16 City Council, consisting of Mayor Cecilia Aguiar Curry, Mayor Pro tem Woody Fridae and Council Members Harold Anderson, Wade Cowan and Pierre Neu have had an extremely busy two year period. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Construction of the Putah Creek Car Bridge. The life expectancy is easily 200 years.
  • Setting the stage for both the Downtown and freeway hotels.
  • The emergency of our Downtown to an incredible economic level of vitality.
  • Approval of the 60 unit Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Affordable Apartments which will see construction in early 2017.
  • The acquisition of a grant for a new Senior Center.
  • Recruitment, review and approval of the PG&E Gas Operations Training Center.
  • Addressing pension issues in relation to the City budget.
  • Amendments to key subdivision agreements which will provide for quality market rate housing.
  • Dealing with both the Monticello and Wragg Fires.

The list of accomplishments big and small is absolutely amazing. This Council has been one of the hardest working groups in my tenure as City Manager. These folks work long hours for practically no pay but really big expectations!

In Winters, being on the City Council really is “citizen service”. Compared to larger cities, being on the City Council of a small town can be considerably more demanding and taxing. The need for constant involvement and the ease of access compared to larger communities in not comparable! Our Council works really hard! A sincere congratulations and thanks to each on this council for their service

Finally, a wish to all for a wonderful Independence Weekend. In the United States, we celebrate our independence from tyrannical governance and the longest running democracy in history. We are blessed with freedoms most can only dream of! While you are celebrating with friends and family, take time to celebrate the men and women throughout the world who keep our freedoms alive along with those in public safety here at home who maintain the security of our communities.

This is one of the craziest weekends of the year, so please be safe.

Have a nice weekend.

John