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Friday Update on February 28 2020

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Friday Update on February 28 2020

All,

A pretty short City Council Agenda this week:

  • Presentation to the City Council on Risk Management by the City’s Insurance Authority
  • Street Closure for the Upcoming Car Shows
  • Reclassification of Account Clerk position at City Hall
  • Authorization to hire a part time position
  • Authorization for a Request for Proposals for Municipal Banking Services

A couple other items:

  • City Staff and WJUSD Officials were on a conference call regarding the “Coronavirus” with Yolo County Health and Emergency Services. This virus is serious and precaution need to be taken by all of us. The County has a website which is what we will be referring folks to for information and updates. Here it is:  https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/coronavirus
  • Staff held a pretty heavy meeting on Tuesday regarding the many upcoming planning projects. Its actually a pretty heavy workload with the Housing Element, Climate Action Plan, Accessory Dwelling Unit Design, a Specific Plan, programmatic Environmental Impact Report, some fiscal analysis and a comprehensive land use review. All of this will have very robust community outreach and public engagement components. We are developing the overall work plan and a schedule.
  • Without question, last Saturday was one of the most exciting business days in decades for Downtown and our business community. The businesses were absolutely packed and visitors had an opportunity to enjoy what is really the best of our community on a gorgeous day and evening.  Kudos to our businesses which put on their best welcome and showed what the future of Winters will be!

Finally, this will be the last update where I will mention anything related to the upcoming ballot initiative advocating growth controls.

On Tuesday, City Attorney Ethan Walsh and I sat down and discussed how the City should inform or comment on the upcoming initiative which is being advanced by a growth control group. Our conclusion is that we need to stay completely out of it so as to protect the interests of the City from any assertions that we are trying to influence any possible political process and an upcoming election.

As City Manager, it is my role to advise the City Council (and the community) on the impacts of policy decisions. That is just what I do! Through many forms, I provide information, perspective and comments based on my knowledge of what I feel the consequences of certain decisions will bring. For those who know me, I speak in “unfiltered” terms and try to bring a pretty direct and honest approach to addressing issues. Through many media, including this “Friday Update” I have sought to bring transparency, accessibility and basic information to many folks about what is happening at City Hall. In total, I hit in excess of 7-8,000 people each week with what is happening with the City.

A key part of my job (and that of the City Council) is taking a very broad and comprehensive review of what happens when the City does things. Our decision making is not just about growth, housing, jobs, economics, parks, schools, public safety, quality of life, traffic, senior services, climate, sports parks, senior centers, commercial business, affordable housing, agriculture, water, sewer, habitat, transportation or sustainability, it is about ALL OF THESE THINGS.

I have promised transparency, and suggested posting emails about all of this on the City website, but even that can or could be construed as influencing the process. I have been in contact with a number of folks from the growth control group (and the land owners) and my emails speak in very frank and direct terms. Those emails are available for the asking but we will not post them on the City website because that could be considered trying to influence the process. If anyone wants them, they can simply ask for them and I have no qualms with sharing them.

My first duty, above all else, is to protect the interests of the City. The ethics and integrity of our City organization is my paramount concern and one I take very personally. Certain principles transcend even the worst of consequences and keeping the faith of our residents that we can be trusted in our information and decision making and how we approach things is number one. I’ve spent the almost the last almost 19 years as Winters City Manager working to make City Hall a trusted and accessible place; to have a “culture” of constant access and honesty along with an open door which reflects the “small town” vibe so many want to cherish and have available to them.

Winters High Soccer Teams are moving through the playoffs with games being played at Dr. Sellers Field. Go Warriors!

Have a nice weekend.

John


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