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Friday Update on March 22 2019

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Friday Update on March 22 2019

All,

  • For those interested in getting a reservation or making plans for the Hotel Winters, go to hotelwinters.com to make those big plans.
  • The swearing in ceremony for new Fire Chief Brad Lopez will be at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday April 4 at the Fire Station. All are invited and it will be a very important day for Winters Fire.
  • The property owners for the most northern properties in the City’s planning area are expected to be submitting a proposal for the development of a specific plan to cover the future land uses. Staff has been working with representatives on an overall outline of the planning process, a work plan, a reimbursement of costs agreement and an overall strategy for the public process. The meetings have been extremely positive and will be a significant effort for the City which will help cast the future build out of  Winters. So far, so good!
  • Staff is working with the Winters Chamber on a new event for the community called the “Hispanic Music Festival”. Lots of details to work through and we will be holding a meeting on this next week.
  • The Economic Development Advisory Committee’s Report is now in the formatting stage for final publication. Overall, the report is an impressive, insightful set a of recommendation beyond the scope of many of the past reports. Look for the report to come out within the next two weeks!
  • Storm and Pond Update: New containment levy’s have been installed near the Highland Canal to capture some of the water which was inundating the Rancho Arroyo Detention Pond and causing the January overflow. The pumps in the detention pond have been tested and are operational with auxiliary power. PG&E has begun pulling the final power into the new subdivisions and when people see the street lights go on to the north, the detention pond pumps will be fully operational and we should be back to normal.
  • The Marriot Fairfield Inn is still working through final financing. Staff is working with more banking people than we should legally be required to talk to. The permit on this project has already been issued, so hopefully construction will start during the summer!

Finally, I had an opportunity to participate in the Youth Empowerment Seminar which was hosted by Yolo Auditor-Controller-Elections Officer Jesse Salinas. The program is designed to educate high school students on local government and allow them to discuss issues important to them. It was an amazing program!

The first thing you realize is the local government is just not taught in our schools in really any form. It was surprising what some clearly well informed students simply did not know about how their communities operate in relation to local services, including their own education through the school districts.

The most important thing you realize is what a promising future we have with these students. The students were extremely sharp and passionate on a variety of the top issues of today from health care, food, water and housing. I will share that when it comes to housing and development, the students understand the crisis in housing costs and availability probably better than most adults. Sustainability to them falls into where they live in proximity to jobs, entertainment and amenities. It was refreshing to hear them taking a much longer view on the future than I expected.

The “ah ha” moment for me was sitting with two students from Winters High, one of which I have known literally her entire life (she is my neighbor) and the other is the cadet sergeant with our Police Department Cadet Program. The poise and confidence of these young women was impressive. Articulate, sharp and very capable of taking on the assignments being given by the YES coordinator. They took on a couple pretty complex issues and just knocked them out of the park! I was proud to be from Winters as they showed leadership at the table with students from other schools.

One thing I have learned about students from Winters High (both of my kids are Winters High grads) is that small town school avails a very quiet confidence because there are few places for them to hide. The engagement they get compared to students in the larger high schools is evident. We are blessed with some really good teachers throughout the WJUSD and it shows. Our students represented well at the YES conference!

Have a nice weekend.

John

 


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