Sorry for the delay from last week. It was a monster week and when I left the office late Friday night, it just was not there. Here is an update for this and last week.
- Chromium 6 is our largest issue at City Hall. As an insight, Staff is following a lawsuit filed against the State Division of Drinking Water in relation to the cost and need for the new regulation. The City has filed briefs with the Judge in relation to the case regarding the potential impacts to our water system. I have been privy to the briefs being filed by the State and it is amazing the power and influence the regulatory bureaucrats have to force issues. Literally, there is a small group inside DDW who are responsible for setting the MCL level on CR6 who tell the judge that they have done so to spur investment in research. That means that these regulators are using the process and their powers to force a community like Winters to advance their technology goals through the regulatory process. For us it is the equivalent of being forced to have Winters rate payers finance a $47m experiment!
- Staff met with the leaders of Project Playground this Monday in a really productive meeting on setting the course for getting the new playground constructed at City Park. Project Playground is led by Emarie VanGalio and Moyra Barsotti. Overall a good meeting and we learned that they have hit the $100k mark for their fundraising (only $250k to go). Follow them on Facebook or view their website HERE. Upcoming events include ribs from Mayor Wade Cowan and a park fundraiser in May.
- April 7 will be an important Forum on Immigration at St. Anthony Parish Hall which is sponsored by the City’s Hispanic Advisory Committee. The meeting will be from 6:30 to 8:30 and will include representatives from the Mexican Consulate, California Rural Legal Association, Winters JUSD and the Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network. The workshop will be an opportunity for folks to learn the straight scoop on issues related to immigration law, dealing with the Immigration Service and ways to address any status issues. The HAC has been working hard and it will be a really good meeting.
- The Parking Committee will hold its next meeting on April 13 at the Public Safety Center training room. The Committee held its first meeting with the parking consultant last week and is working toward the first community meeting on May 4.
- The City Council and staff held a goal setting workshop on March 21. The main issues from the workshop included short term goals including the completion of the Grant/Walnut Roundabout, the Grant/Main Traffic Signal, senior center and services, Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments, collaboration with the Winters Chamber, development of a Parking Plan for Downtown and the Phase III Creek Project. Longer term items include the development of a seismic retrofit plan for Downtown, a strategy on repairs and upgrades for City streets and sidewalks, Economic Development (including the re-establishment of the Economic Development Committee), the construction of a sports park, a new community center, a community theatre and the re-establishment of recreation services. Overall it was a really nice opportunity to hear the City Council outline their individual and collective visions for the community.
- Community Services Officer Gail Jimenez was named the 2017 Winters Officer of the Year for the Winters Police Department. This is a very well deserved honor for someone who has played an integral role in some of the biggest cases within the PD and serves a critical position in the Department. Congratulations Gail!
- The April 4 City Council Meeting will include a lot of business items including the Parade Permits for Youth Day, the bid award for the construction of the Grant/Main Traffic Signal, an agreement with Caltrans for storm drainage, auditing services agreement, an agreement for the sale of recycled water for farming and a land lease for the WWTF.
- Kudo’s to the Winters Police for their movie night with the night shift last week. Our officers and explorers did an outstanding job with the movie “Trolls” with an incredible turnout. Look for this in the future!
Finally, this weekend was the AYSO Western States Soccer Championships held in Carson City, Nevada and included soccer teams from Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington vying for titles in a number of age groups. I was there as part of the referees selected for the tournament. For the Under 12 Boys All Star Division, the Winters Boys U12 under the leadership of Coach Tavo Correa represented AYSO Section 2 (Northern California) in a 4 team playoff. While they lost both of their games, they represented both Northern California and Winters extremely well. The Tournament Director commented to me that their semi-final game was probably the best game of the tournament.
Our community has a lot to be proud of and one of the most important are the opportunities we give our kids. While we are a small town, we are certainly mighty and this weekend proved that with Winters being in the top 4 out of literally thousands of soccer teams to make this tournament.
I cannot express how proud I was to see the kids and parents trek to the fields in Carson City from Winters on a cold Sunday morning and take the field against communities which have 10 times as many players and teams as we do. Our players showed a lot of heart and class competing against the other teams, with folks impressed that such a small community could make such a prestigious tournament. Our kids were upset when they lost the games, but I will argue that you sometimes gain as much in a loss as you do in a win.
On the sleeves of the kids jerseys, they had a tribute to Winters AYSO Regional Commissioner Alfredo Rodriguez (who died last month) printed to dedicate the tournament to him. I know Alfredo would have been extremely proud of those players. The fact that Winters was even in the tournament is a tribute to the legacy that Alfredo has left our community. The impact he has left will last for many generations, one tournament at a time.
Have a great week!