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Friday Update on April 17 2020

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Friday Update on April 17 2020

All,

A short overview of the City Council Agenda:

Discussion Items on the City Council Agenda:

  • Designation of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem-The canvassed results of the March 3 Municipal Election are in and the recommendation is for the certification of the results as sent from the Yolo County Elections Office. Per Ordinance 2004-04, the current Mayor Pro Tem is elevated to the position of Mayor and the person receiving the highest vote total is Mayor Pro Tem.
  • Second Reading on revisions to the Municipal Code regarding Accessory Dwelling Units. This ordinance brings the City in conformance with State law which is required of “General Law” cities like Winters. Bottom line, ADU’s can be on most residentially zoned properties, cannot exceed 50% the size of the existing dwelling unit or 1200 sf.
  • Planning Commission Appointments. Recommendation is for Chris Rose and Nancy Northrup to replace Pat Riley and Lisa Baker who both have resigned. Pat was and has been our longest serving Planning Commissioner (off and on for over 18 total years) and Lisa is the current vice chair. Both were excellent commissioners whose expertise and knowledge really contributed to the Commission.
  • SB1 Road Repair Projects Resolution. Projects include Spot repairs, crack seal and Slurry on Second St., Abbey and East Abbey Sts. Overlay and grind projects for East Main, Morgan St., and Railroad Ave.
  • Yolo Covid 19 Relief Fund- Requesting City participation in the Yolo County Covid 19 Relief Fund which has been launched to support the many first line and non-profit organization is Yolo County supporting residents. For more information, go to https://www.yolocf.org/news/yolo-covid-19-nonprofit-relief-initiative/
  • Planning Projects and Development Status- A review of the status of the SB2 projects, Housing Element Status Update (out for consultant services), City Limits Specific Plan (out for consultant), Climate Action Plan (in process) and Community Engagement. You can link the update on current projects on the “Current Projects” tab of the City Website by clicking here: http://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/2020April21PlanningUpdate.pdf
  • Current applications include only the Walnut 10 (54 units on Walnut Lane). No formal application though discussions for Farmstead (off Grant Ave). Also in the works is the 24 unit Neighborworks “self help” project which proposed to go into the Stone’s Throw subdivision which will be before the City’s Development Review Committee on April 21 2020. No applications or discussion on anything related to the north area of the City.

A couple other items:

  • Staff is working to collaborate with the local business community on information on moving out of Covid 19 restrictions. A “virtual business town hall” meeting will be scheduled next week to begin sharing information and ideas.
  • The fiscal realities are expanding with the City. Staff is now estimating our impacts exceeding $400,000 and carrying into the next fiscal year(s). We will not hit any of our revenue projects on either sales or transient occupancy taxes. The City has frozen all “non-essential” spending (except for fuel, repairs and utilities). We will meet with our employee associations next week to discuss the situation.
  • Formulating a City Budget in a pandemic is almost impossible with the potential negative ramifications of a recession and other factors being significant. The current fiscal situation has been tight and we expect it to become even more difficult. Look for a budget workshop with the City Council in May.
  • State finances are devastated and will probably get worse. 10% unemployment combined with lost incomes and deferral of sales taxes will mean the State will probably wait until August to actually adopt a budget. Cities need to keep an eye on the State which has a habit of “borrowing” revenues in tough times (at the detriment of cities).
  • California is the 5th largest economy in the world which has an almost $140B tourism economy which represents almost $79B GDP and 2.5 percent of the total California GDP being summarily shut down. Tourism brings in almost $12B in State and Local Tax revenues, most of which goes to localities.

 

Finally, this week is National Dispatchers Week in recognition of the seldom seen but critically important emergency dispatchers of our 911 system. They are literally the first people most talk to in the most critical and desperate times of their lives. For almost 12 years, I have sat on the Board of Directors for the Yolo 911 Agency known as the Yolo Emergency Communications Agency (YECA).  I will share that these are some of the top public safety personnel I have been involved with in my career.

Over the last year, YECA has handled over 305,000 emergency/non-emergency calls. In total, they handled almost 205,000 dispatch events for police, fire, medical and other events.

Dispatchers not only receive the initial 911 calls, but also are literally “on” every event with police, fire and EMS until it is resolved. They are the security blanket “in the ear” of the police officers as they take critical calls, relaying essential information on backup and other resources which are on the way.  In the best situations, they walk people through the delivery and birth of a child and the worst being with the last breaths of a critically injured police officer or sheriff deputy. They deal with the most difficult situations with split second decision making, pulling and delivering information across a panel of 8 computer screens with radio traffic in one ear and phone conversation in the other.

Dispatchers bring strength to those in desperate situations, hope to those dealing with the unfathomable and are the backbone to all first responders who do the heroic. In our area, they have deciphered the code words of domestic abuse victims in need of aide and walked children through directions to a trail where the parent had fallen over a cliff. Simply amazing!

They are “angels” incarnate who bind our public safety system. I cannot express how honored and grateful I am to work with these dispatcher professionals.

Stay health and safe.

John


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