Happy St. Patrick’s Day. As someone of Irish heritage and a citizen of Winters I give you the following irish blessing (slightly modified for context):
May the Winters hills caress you.
May her lake and creek bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you
Now the update:
· Groundwater will be the big issue at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday with a presentation by Tim O’Halloran from the Yolo Flood Control District on the Yolo “Sustainable Groundwater Management Authority” (SGMA). I have attached some information on the Authority, its membership and what they are working on (click here). Some really good stuff and YES, I am leading off with information about an Irishman on St. Patrick’s Day.
· HERE is a link to the balance of the City Council Agenda.
· Good news this week with the opening of bids for the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. The bid ($928k) is under the Engineers Estimate of $950,000. I will share with you that about four years ago, I went ballistic when we built the Matsumoto Lane signal at $600k and the fact that signals now come in at close to a million dollars is just incredible!
· Yesterday was like Christmas in the City Manager’s Office when I received in the mail two permits from Caltrans for both the Walnut/Grant Roundabout and the Main/Grant Traffic Signal. Kudo’s to the Public Works and Engineering teams (and Caltrans) for getting these projects lined up. By the end of August, both improvement should be in and/or under construction. Getting permits like that is like hitting the lotto twice in a single day. Not easy to get!
· Last week, we made the moves to get the Walnut/Grant Roundabout moving. In total, the project funding we have lined up will be about $1.4 million. A lot of money, but an equally important project.
· The Hispanic Advisory Committee is working on a forum regarding immigration issues for April 7, 2017 from 6:30-8:30 at St. Anthony’s Parish Hall. The entire community is welcome and it should be a great opportunity for people to get the straight scoop on what is happening on the immigration front. Kudo’s to the entire Hispanic Advisory Committee, Councilmember Jesse Loren and Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar Curry (and her staff) for putting this together to get some good information out there.
· The Winters Police Department Cadet’s are holding a fundraiser to help support the goal of the Winters PD to initiate a K-9 Program. They are selling raffle tickets to win ½ of a pig purchased through an FFA program (win/win for everyone but the pig). Click HERE for information on where and how to get tickets.
· Congratulations to Winters Fire on a very successful Fish Fry. As someone who works in the back, I will tell you that the organization was excellent, the fish was terrific and it all goes to an amazing cause! Well done by all!
· Our Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar Curry (Winters own) and State Senator Bill Dodd are working hard on the Chromium 6 regulation to help save our community from a devastating hit from the expense of trying to comply with a regulation 9X lower than the Federal level. I know they are hard at work trying to help us and they are working with the Governor to come to a solution. We have some incredible representation by these two legislative leaders on this (and other) issues. Stay tuned on this and give them an atta girl and atta boy when you see them! Strong representation is what California needs and both Cecilia and Bill are the real deal!
Finally, the Hispanic Advisory Committee (HAC) and others in the community are working hard to address the concerns of the many immigrants who are an extremely important base group of the Winters community. There are a lot of rumors and politics flying around about immigration raids and threats to children and legal immigrants which are simply not true. The April 7 workshop at St. Anthony’s will be an important resource for immigrants, employers and the general public to get some accurate information.
An important concern we are dealing with at the City is the negative depiction of law enforcement in this entire political debate between the immigration policies. It is completely unwarranted and harmful, especially for those who are vulnerable. The Winters PD and law enforcement in Yolo County have nothing to do with the implementation of immigration policy. If someone gets pulled over for speeding or is interviewed in relation to an incident, the Winters PD DOES NOT ask for documentation status. The only time immigration and law enforcement cross is when a wanted criminal is apprehended with an ICE warrant. Period!
People who have legal immigration status and are not committing crimes have no reason to be concerned. If someone has issues regarding their immigration status, they need to address them and there are resources to do that. The current administration (same as the past number of administrations) is bringing light to illegal immigration. The rhetoric from the recent election is absolutely toxic and doing absolutely nobody any favors, from either side of the debate. April 7 will help bring answers and resources.
One thing the HAC and the City Council are dealing with is messaging to try and calm the fears and anxiety of folks in our community. Immigrants have and always will be an important part of the Winters and our nation. They make us strong!
Winters is an incredible community because it is inclusive and diverse. We are safe because we know each other and we achieve great results because of the collaboration, input and engagement which happens every day. Winters is a place where our children grow and thrive because of the incredible values they learn from our small town. People of all cultures and persuasions make up Winters, California and the many issues which seem to be swirling in other cities and the media does not exist here because it is not accepted. The differences we all bring makes our town stronger and special.
Much like the paella on Fourth Friday’s, the combining of diverse ingredients and spice makes an incredible meal. Winters and our nation really is one big paella feed and we need to support that!
Hopefully the meeting on April 7 can dispel some of the myths and rumors, give us a chance to help some folks who are scared from the misinformation and genuinely help and support those who need it.
Have a nice weekend. Everyone is Irish today, thus all beer is green, so off to Berryessa Brewing to share the cheer of the day.