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Friday Update on Friday March 13th 2020

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Friday Update on Friday March 13th 2020

Friday Update on Friday March 13th 2020

All,

Happy Triskaidekaphobia!

During one of the most extraordinary public health weeks of many of our lives, a couple items.

The City Council will hold its regular meeting on March 17th. The agenda has been set up to condense time, so no presentations and we will focus on the voting items. To watch the meeting, go here to watch the meeting. http://www.cityofwinters.org/live-city-council-meetings/

This weeks agenda includes the following:

  • Walnut Lane 10 Affordable Housing Plan
  • Water and Sewer Rate Study- Award of contract for the study.
  • Presentation on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
  • Historic Preservation Policy- Planning Commission Assignment
  • Annual Housing Element Progress Report
  • Appointment of Climate Action Plan Advisory Board
  • Liaison to Senior Commission on Aging
  • Car Show Permit- Holden Philbrick Memorial Car and Motorcycle Show

To view the entire City Council Agenda Packet, go to: http://www.cityofwinters.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020_0317CityCouncilPacket.pdf

The past week has had a lot on public health stuff:

  • Covid 19 seems to have taken over the world. For information, please go to https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019
  • The City is doing our best to monitor guidance and instructions from Yolo County and the State. Things are pretty dynamic at this point so be patient.
  • Staff has been working diligently on the Hexavalent Chromium (CR6) issue. Lots of meetings and calls with the State Water Resources Control Board, their staff and organizations to influence a process which could be a devastating financial hit to the City and our water customers.  Frankly, this is one of the largest mandates to hit Winters and it has required a very active and persistent focus on messaging and long range financial planning. Research into emerging technologies in water purification and filtering, monitoring financial markets and a constant calculation of costs of doing business are front and center. The financing of a CR6 solution will hit across all of our City operations and finances. The bond and lending markets evaluate credit across all operations and not just a single enterprise (water). They evaluate the entire community (including WJUSD debt). I would liken it to looking at every credit card in your family when someone is considering lending you money. In our case, I simply cannot fathom a private lending institution lending an enterprise our size in the range of $40 million which builds no capacity and no recoverable costs, while employing a system which will add close to 40+% to operational costs which can only be supported by challengeable rate increases.

Finally a shout out to Friday the 13th. A special day in Winters because Newt Wallace made it special.

Triskaidekaphobia is a phobia to the number “13”. For decades, Newt and the Wallace Family have made it a day to party and come together at the Winters Express Office. Over the years, it has been a chance to go to the regular, yet unannounced and no invitation needed gathering.

I always appreciated Newt sitting at the front of the office with his beer mug with the bike bell on it, greeting folks and asking for a sign-in at the registry book. Newt was a man of few words but I know he liked “Olympia Beer” and loved our little town. Traditions, fellowship and congeniality were the theme which set the tone and culture for our entire community. We live in a much different time now.

People really seem to like Winters. I am convinced that much of what is wonderful about our community came from how the Wallace Family and their Winters Express made you want to love our town. Newt, Ida, Charley and John made small town charm a reality. They made us internationally famous, recorded our history and told our story each week in a manner which became the glue which bound us as a big, dysfunctional family. I include Debra DeAngelo in all of this, because I am convinced that over the past three decades, she and Charley managed the Express in an exceptional manner of telling the story, recording the history and allowing Winters to become a must read for everyone in and out of town. In my time as City Manager, I have come to the conclusion that the Winters of today exists only because of Charley Wallace being crazy enough to save it and the Wallace Family keeping it together.

With this Covid 19 thing hitting, I am not sure if they will have the gathering, but I do suggest that you get an Olympia Beer (or any other cheap stale beer) and raise at toast to Friday the 13th and incredible people like Newt Wallace who welcome you like family, share a beer and a little fellowship and make you feel like you live in a place you love to call home.

Happy Friday the 13th.

John


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