A crazy couple of weeks with PSPS, wind and power outages. I will share that I don’t think I have ever been as swamped with some really serious issues in my time as City Manager in Winters.
Here are the items for the November 5, 2019 City Council Meeting: HERE is a link to the entire packet.
- Vacation Rental Ordinance- Second Reading
- Community Choice Aggregation- Second Reading
- Civic Spark Fellow Presentation on Climate Resiliency
- Inspection Agreement for Wastewater Influent Screen Project
- Storm Drain Pipe Purchase for Second Street
- Newt’s Expressway Undergrounding Easement
- Budget Adjustments for the FY 2019-20
- Human Resources/Payroll Software Purchase
- SCADA System Software Upgrade Purchase
Some notes on things from the past couple weeks:
- The PSPS, wind and outages wreaked havoc throughout Winters. Downed trees, power lines, blown transformers made for a tough couple of days for many. Lots of trees down or just broken. Our Public Works Staff has worked tirelessly trimming trees, taking out broken limbs and removing debris.
- The Affordable Housing Steering Committee met on Tuesday and received a very impressive presentation from Neighborworks, a non profit agency which helps facilitate affordable “sweat equity” housing opportunities. The same company facilitated the Putah Creek Hamlet Subdivision in the early 2000’s and is looking to do a similar project on a two acre piece the City owns in the Winters Highlands Subdivision. We will work on moving this project forward through negotiations with Neighborworks and their architect.
- Staff is in discussions with Homes by Towne regarding issues on densities and product in future phases of their subdivision to create more affordable units than their current product mix. The plan is to generate some ideas, take it before the Design Review Committee then get it before the Planning Commission and City Council. Lots of very preliminary and creative thinking based on input from many folks.
- Staff was in Sacramento last week meeting with officials with the State Water Resources Control Board and Cal EPA on the topic of Hexavalent Chromium 6 and the upcoming release of an economic study and revised Maximum Contaminant Levels. In the meetings, I worked to stress the impacts of enacting regulation which would economically strangle the City’s water system, creating massive increases to water rates and impacting the most vulnerable parts of our community, Seniors and lower income. Looks like I will be going back in a couple weeks to meet with more officials and tell our story.
- The costs of being a small city will become evident in 2020 with new stormwater regulations which will begin hitting California. As with the Cr 6 regulation, stormwater will become a HUGE issue in 2020, requiring new facilities, maintenance and monitoring. The City currently has no funding source for stormwater other than the General Fund and this simply will not support the needs we expect to encounter.
- A biggie on the stormwater side will be the elimination of green waste in the street. We are one of only about 4 cities in California which allows our residents to throw trash in the street. This will be controversial and cause people to be upset, but it is an inevitable solution to alleviating forms of pollution into our waterways.
- I had a wonderful meeting with someone who is working on a plan for teen activities in Winters. If you are interested in working on this or have ideas, let me know and I will forward your contact information.
Finally, a couple notes on amazing community leadership doing positive things for Winters.
- The Hispanic Advisory Committee (HAC) will be hosting a Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Winters Cemetery from 4-6 on Saturday, November 2. The HAC not only brings us the Festival de La Communidad/Carnitas Festival, but also education workshop, citizenship forums and outreach into our latino community. These folks are some of the nicest and committed people in our community who bring positive energy and solutions to their outreach.
- Project Playground celebrated the two year anniversary of the construction of the most amazing playground in the region at City Park. The project was a blessing and gift to the Winters Community, enabling regular folks to participate in building something larger than any one individual could accomplish. If you want to add some incredible vibes to your day, cruise by City Park and watch the children attacking all aspects of that structure and loving life on the zip line. Amazing leadership which gave us all a wonderful gift. I still sit amazed and impressed with the folks I had the opportunity to work with on getting that project done.
- Winters Fire took resident Marie Hendrix and members of her family to a Sacramento Kings Game this week. Marie was severely injured when she and her father were tragically hit by a drunk driver on Road 31 literally days before her graduation from WHS in 2012. The team from Winters Fire showed that the little things in life can make a big difference. Marie is now a beautiful young woman dealing with some significant issues and it was wonderful to see her enjoying a night out with our firefighters.
- Eagle Drug Owner Jodie Becker and resident Duane Davis were coordinators of the Inaugural Spooktacular 10k/5k/Fun Run on Sunday, October 27. Windy conditions did not deter 200 diehards who ran the race, helping raise funds for the Rotary College Promise which funds scholarships for Winters High School students to attend 2 years of community college, expense free. Jodie and Duane are amazing and selfless folks who have brought a new event which will grow and continue to benefit our town.
WHS Warriors are home tonight against Durham, the Winters Fire Shrimp Feed is Saturday Night, Dia De los Muertos at the Cemetery and Winters AYSO will conclude their season with their regional tournament at Waggoner School.
Have a nice weekend.