A couple items from this week:
· At the Council Meeting, the big topics included some Zoning Text Amendments to the Zoning Code, consideration of a Nuisance Ordinance and the Refinancing/Refunding of some Tax Allocation Bonds.
· The amendments to the Zoning Code were essentially some housekeeping to consolidate some definitions of topics which were in conflict. Also included was an increase in building height to 45’ in the freeway area.
· The adoption of the Nuisance Ordinance is a major addition. It essentially expands the section of the Municipal Code dealing with code enforcement on properties. Nuisances are typically various aspects of the Building, Housing and Fire Codes, along with State government codes dealing with health & Safety, vehicles and general maintenance issues. The City Council held a public hearing with the second reading coming on November 1.
· The refinancing of the 2004 and 2007 Tax Allocation Bonds is meant to take advantage of the really low interest rates and provide more revenue to all entities receiving property tax revenues. In all, at current interest rates, the refunding of the bonds will save almost $100k in annual debt service payments and the City of Winters will see an additional $24K in additional property tax revenue. Overall, a basic business move which benefits the City and other agencies.
· Cannabis is the big topic in California and amongst cities with the upcoming consideration of Proposition 64 on the November ballot. There are many issues regarding everything from cultivation, sales, home use and public use. The Cities and County are looking at a general meeting to determine what everyone is doing and how things will move forward in Prop 64 is passed! Stay tuned.
· Walnut Park (between Walnut Lane and Dutton Street) is coming to a completion. Look for the hydra seed for the turf to go in over the next few weeks and the fences to come down soon. This is a beautiful project and a real asset to the community!
· City Hall will be holding an open house on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. to celebrate its 100 year anniversary. Come on by for refreshments and a tour to learn and see one of the oldest structures in the City.
· The City Park Playground Rehabilitation Committee is fundraising and holding meetings. The goal is to have this project built in October, 2017. Go to their City of Winters Playground Rehabilitation Committee Facebook page by clicking HERE.
· The Relay for Life is coming up next Friday, October 28 through the 29th . at the Winters High School Track. To sign up, make a donation or participate, go to www.relayforlife.org .
· Berryessa Gap is holding their annual Paella Cookoff on November 12 at their facility on Highway 128. Click HERE for more information and to attend.
· These past two weeks have been especially sad for our farming community with the passing of John Ramos and Bill Biasi. These men were truly the cultivators of our landscape and represented the “old school” of farming and our heritage. Winters is a place where we grow some of the finest food in the world, and it takes farmers like John and Bill to advance that cause. Their services were this week and our community is morning the passing of two really good men! Godspeed to them both!
· Finally, the past couple of weeks have been a nightmare for California law enforcement. In the past two weeks, four (4) police officers have been killed in the line of duty and two officers in Vallejo faced a horrific situation where a jammed gun prevented a gunman from murdering them as they sat in a Starbucks. The national media coverage seems to put a different spin on their coverage of persons killed in law enforcement incidents versus when law enforcement officers are killed by suspects.
The deaths of the each of these officers occurred in some pretty basic types of calls which our Winters officers respond to routinely. The call in Palm Springs was a “domestic dispute”, the call in Modoc County was a “disturbance” call. The other was responding to a “mentally disturbed” individual. The officers in Vallejo were sitting in the Starbucks having coffee.
In most cases, these incidents and decision making of the police officers happen in fractions of seconds. From nothing happening to gunfire is sometimes 1 second. I watched a video of the Vallejo incident and the officers had less than 3 seconds from the moment the gunman appeared in the doorway to them heroically giving chase to prevent him from killing innocent civilians. The Vallejo officers had every reason to “duck and cover” to protect themselves, but it was amazing to watch them immediately jump into pursue the gunman who was running up the street with the potential of killing people. The Vallejo officers were heroic!
As a City Manager, these incidents are a constant reminder of the harm we send our officers into on a daily basis. It is also a reminder of the commitment to duty these men and women assume every day they put their uniforms on to protect our community from harm. They have an incredibly difficult job with situations which can go from 0-60 in less than a second.
Please keep the officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice in your prayers. Also give thanks to those men and women in law enforcement service here in Winters and everywhere for what they do for all of us.
· Winters Warriors are in Willows this week to take on the Honkers!
Have a nice weekend.