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Friday Update on May 9 2020

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Friday Update on May 9 2020

All,

This week two emails with some explanation and an admittance of just being wrong.

As many who subscribe to the Friday Update know, I try to bring some insight into my job as City Manager, both the good and the frustrating to give some perspective on the joys and challenges of being the City Manager in Winters. My rant on my frustration with Covid 19 yesterday was void of balance and almost inexcusable. Yesterday was a day when the emotion and frustration came out,  I was wrong to not bring balance and just crossed a line I work to not cross.

Here is the balance which has been included in my past updates but cannot be understated:

  • The Covid 19 pandemic is a once in a lifetime plague which brings a never anticipated challenge to our entire world. The virus is dynamic and the response needs to be dynamic. It's frustrating and my sense is that the most pressure is on the people who I criticized. Just a dumbass thing on my part.
  • Yolo County is, without question, the best County in California. The leadership and collaboration among the elected and appointed leaders is without comparison. The success on low rates on Covid 19, quality education and outreach is reflected in the low infection rates. From the Board of Supervisors, the County Manager, the Public Health Officer to all in the Covid 19 response team, every day is a day of unquestionable confidence that they are working to do the right thing. It has been the highlight of my over 35 years in city management to work Yolo County where we genuinely make things happen within a team format. Except for one outlier, Yolo leads in dealing with this outbreak on all levels including health, testing and sheltering the at risk homeless population. Simply the best!
  • Without question, the Governor is in an untenable situation. He is an impressive leader in so many ways and has been beneficial to rural cities and counties. As I disagree with some of his approach, I would guess he would have the same with our approach. The success on Covid 19 needs collaboration and I am certain that we will get there. He is our Governor and I root for the success of our State every day.
  • As we work with the business community on all of this, the advice and direction is empirically clear; follow the rules, adhere to the guidance and do not go against the directives from the State. They are the law and to be followed.
  • The economic impacts on the City and our finances is devastating. 2021 will bring an almost 25% reduction in our staff. Just crazy.

I will share that the impacts on the small businesses and individuals from all of this has become overwhelming. At Winters City Hall, we are on the front line with our business community. As the economic impacts are hitting them, we are experiencing them first hand and almost constantly. To regularly meet and talk with folks who are literally losing everything from the ramifications of Covid 19 has become emotional and obviously fueled much of my rant (which was a mistake on my part).

I talk with the business people in Winters every day. When it comes to Covid 19 and reopening their businesses the first thing from their mouths is the safety of their employees and customers. Not a single business wants to “go rogue" they just want to go to work.

The success of Winters has become a physical part of many of us. The businesses who have arisen (and are now being impacted) are family. As we learn and know of what this pandemic is doing to their livelihood and their personal lives it becomes equally personal. These are all self made people who don’t want anything from anybody except the chance for them to do their business and support their families. They risk everything and are now possibly losing everything. They are the best part of our nation and what makes Winters such an incredible community. This all has become an absolutely crushing experience because there is so little we can do. We will continue to do what we can and do our best!

The goal of my Friday Update is to be insightful and informative, mildly provocative but never dumbass or divisive. Yesterday was just the latter and I apologize for the deviation.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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