A couple items for this week:
First, this is Youth Day weekend. Things kick off Friday night Downtown with the Duck Race and Fourth Friday Festival! Then Saturday begins with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center, the Parade at 10 then a day long festival at City Park. The evening is capped with a concert at City Park!
City Council Meeting highlights for next Tuesday include:
- Budget Workshop for the Fiscal Years 2018-19 and 2019-20
- Second Reading of the speed ordinance of Railroad Ave.
- Budget Adjustment for Water Well Repairs
- Lease agreement for agricultural operations on wastewater fields.
A couple notes on the proposed budgets:
- Both budgets in their preliminary form are balanced for the first time in almost 4 years. Overall good news and a sign that some of the economic growth and development are kicking in! This is good news for the economics of the City in the long run.
- From a revenue standpoint, we are projecting both hotels will go online by 2019 and that we will see almost 300 residential permits over the course of the next two years. Residential housing demand is high in town and we expect to see lots of new homes to meet that demand.
- Capital projects includes significant street maintenance throughout key streets in town. This is very good news for many reasons.
- The budgets include funds to pursue designs for a new sports park and a new community center in the Downtown.
- In 2019-20, we are projecting adding positions in both the Police and Fire Departments.
Staff views 2018-19 as a “very tight” budget year with revenues starting to move up in the first quarter of 2019.
Some other notes:
- Sales tax numbers are in for the fourth quarter of 2017 and we saw an increase of almost 12%. The report has only one month of the new Starbucks and some late reporting from some key businesses in the quarter under review. Overall, the Winters business community seems to be doing well!!
- The new Roundabout was damaged in the past few days. Not a good thing and you wonder what some people are thinking. We are increasing security measures as we speak and hope to catch the person who did the damage. Someone on a backhoe.
- Winters is in the running for a USA Today contest as the “Best Small Town Food Scene” in America. To vote, please go to http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-food-scene-2018/ .
Finally, the Winters Joint Unified School District honored four Winters residents in their first “Hall of Fame” induction ceremony. It was really nice!
Those honored included:
- Long time Winters art teacher Sally Paul who taught in the District for over 30 years and inspired an impressive number of students to follow their passions in creativity. She recounted some fun stories about the enlightenment of some students through art projects and research.
- Richard Rominger both a student and later a trustee for the District. Rich shared a story about being a sophomore at WHS when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and President Franklin Roosevelt declared war in what became World War II. He also recounted the great fire which burned down WHS and how he finished his high school education in random buildings and rooms around town.
- Bobbie Rominger, long time community member and swim icon in the City.
- Jack Graf who graduated from Winters High, was a student, teacher, principal, WJUSD superintendent and then County Superintendent of Schools. The best story was from Jack’s son John who told the story about the time as a Principal Jack caught a kid who had set a trash can on fire in the school quad. Jack called the student into the office and sent him home with the trash can and made him clean it to shiny new! The kids parent called Jack and home and thanked him for teaching his child an important lesson. In today’s world, Jack would probably be hung in the local media for being insensitive to the student and we would be dealing with a nation-wide student walkout against punishing students without first letting them express themselves.
The evening was hosted by Superintendent Todd Cutler and the Board of Trustees. It was a first class event and one which they plan to perpetuate.
Happy Youth Day!