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Friday Update on May 18 2018

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Friday Update on May 18 2018

All,

A really good week:

·         Today, the Central Valley Flood Protection Board in a unanimous vote, granted permits for the Phase 3 Putah Creek Restoration Project. This was a four year effort which entailed considerable technical and legal review and it was through the efforts of the staff from the Flood Board, the Attorney General’s Office and the tenacity of the folks from the Solano County Water Agency for finally getting the permit. Concurrently, the Army Corps of Engineers also issued their permits on the project this morning. This means the project will move forward in the fall.

·         Special recognition on this needs to go to many folks, but especially the Solano County Water Agency (Roland Sanford, Thomas Pate and Chris Lee), the entire Winters Putah Creek Committee, the amazing folks from the Putah Creek Council, the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee and Putah Creek Trout. Special thanks to both Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar Curry and Senator Bill Dodd for their support on the project.

·         A busy Planning Commission this week with a Food Truck Application for Grant/Railroad, a solar project at the WJUSD Office and the Wastewater Treatment Facility Master Plan.

·         Staff has approved a sales trailer for the Callahan Estates Subdivision. Looks like things are ramping up for new home sales.

·         A meeting of Downtown Property Owners will occur next Thursday to discuss the undergrounding of utilities in Newt’s Expressway.

·         The dedication of the City Park Playground from the Project Playground Team was an amazing day. This is a very special group which did a project with will benefit our town for many generations.

·         A special thanks to the key contributors including the Rotary Club of Winters, Winters Friends of the Library, Russ and Kathy Lester, Craig and Julie McNamara and the Yocha de He Wintun Nation.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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05/22/18 Planning Commission Meeting

  • 05/22/18 Planning Commission Meeting (Agenda / Packet ) (pdf)

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05/15/18 City Council Meeting


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Friday Update on May 10, 2018

All,

A couple items this week:

  • The May 15 City Council Meeting will focus on the Yolo County Habitat Conservation Plan as a discussion item and presentation. Additionally, the consent calendar will include a Lease with American Tower, State Mandated Claims Reimbursement, Design Services for a parking lot and alley improvements for the Downtown Hotel, Amplified Sound Permits for weddings in May and a party on Ivy Loop.
  • Yolo County has permitted an outdoor/indoor marijuana grow and manufacturing facility on the Winters border, literally a couple hundred feet from a future street. We will see how the facility impacts the City and hopefully the County will establish some form of regulations regarding such facilities.
  • The arrest of a suspect in a sex trafficking case involving a Winters youth is a major accomplishment for the Winters Police Department. Excellent detective and police work, along with coordination with neighboring jurisdictions and the District Attorney’s Office. Kudo’s to all in the Police Department for their work!
  • Condolences to the folks at Steady Eddies on the demise of their house cat Eddy. A really sad situation for all involved!
  • The Munchkin Summer Camp Program is fundraising. To donate, please contact Nicole Halley at jordanhalley@cityofwinters.org . This is an incredible help for Winters youth during the summer recess with outstanding programs, field trips and enrichment.

Finally, I ran my first marathon on Sunday, May 6 through the Avenue of the Giants up in Humboldt County and the redwood forest. It was an amazing experience and the most physically demanding effort I have ever attempted in my life.

The “process” was an 18 week training program in preparation for the marathon. I trained with an incredible group of coaches and motivated individuals who ran over 700 miles over the entire period leading up to the race. The reality was a complete fitness, nutrition and commitment makeover.

The marathon runners were a pretty elite group because it was a “championship” for a key running association and it also qualifies people for running in the Boston Marathon. 400 in the group, with me having a goal of competing with a decent time and enjoying the experience. I did both!

I will confess that at Mile 23, I hit the proverbial “wall” where both mentally and physically, I reached my maximum limits. My realization was that I was in the middle of a forest, with nobody to help, so I needed to reach down deep both physically and mentally to finish the 26.2 miles. I consider that to be a major accomplishment of that day, as I just started running and finished strong.

After the race, our group took photo’s and cheered our accomplishment. Two folks from my training group qualified for the Boston Marathon and one person achieved a personal record for a marathon. I will share that once my adrenaline went down, I literally passed out, ended up at the ER and took two IV bags (which I totally recommend if you are not feeling well) to get my hydration back up. Not the way I wanted my quest to end, but it “is what it is” and I don’t think it takes away from the training and completion of the race.

My second marathon will be the California International Marathon in Sacramento (December).  I am running in the Memorial Day “Armed Forces” Half Marathon where I will try for a personal best!

Overall, a pretty good week.

Happy Mother’s Day!

John


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Friday Update on May 4 2018

All,

A couple items this week:

  • Most importantly, the new Downtown Piano has arrived and is ready for its first concert in the Main Street Mini Park. Head on down and play a tune!
  • Staff is working on a status update on the City’s General Plan. Originally adopted in 1992, the plan is a very dynamic document with many components. A full status report will be going to the Planning Commission in June and then on to the City Council in July.
  • The City Budget was the main topic at this week’s City Council Meeting. While there is a lot going on, the City finances are extremely tight going into our next two year financial cycle. The good news is the budgets presented are budget, but we are making some assumptions on the hotels and some development activity which need to come through!
  • The preliminary agenda for the May 15 City Council Meeting includes State Reimbursement Requests, Engineering work for the Downtown Hotel Parking Lot and Alley Improvements, the Yolo Habitat Conservation Program and a cooperative agreement on Animal Services.
  • This week Staff met with a major union organization looking to build a facility similar to the PG&E Gas Academy but for other vocational training. It was a GREAT meeting! We will see….
  • PG&E is hosting an equipment rodeo at the Gas Training Academy on Saturday, May 5. Stop on by and check it out!!
  • The Winters Garage Sale is scheduled for Satuday, May 12. This year has two themes: “Better stuff than last year” and “From collecting dust in your garage to mine”. Clear out that closet and garage, find someone in the core area to put your stuff on their lawn and make some money. Spaces (on an assigned basis only) are available at City Park for those out of towners. For more information or a space at City Park call 530-795-4919.

Finally, City-wide, we have people who are going into cars and stealing contents. The Police Department has done a good job of warning folks to “lock your vehicles” but sometimes breaking the old thinking that this is Winters and people just do not do such things gets by you. The other night, after working late, I went out to my vehicle parked behind City Hall and found the door open and that someone had gone through the unlocked vehicle. They took some change from the drink holder and that was about it. Like Dorothy, I found “I was not in Kansas anymore”. I didn’t report it because I know it is a waste of time.

At City Hall, we know the individuals who are essentially checking cars and casing the downtown area to steal items. One day we saw one individual looking inside one of our conference rooms, obviously looking for something to grab and steal.

The reality is that California (under Proposition 47) has essentially legalized theft and there is practically nothing which can be done to people who are stealing from you. As I have discussed this incident with folks, they suggest confronting the people, but the facts are that if you do that, you actually get in more trouble for confronting the thief than from them stealing from you. Imagine stopping someone in the act of stealing your property and going to jail because your stopping them was the crime and not the theft.

California seems to be changing how it deals with people who commit crimes to the detriment of those who do not. Pretty amazing and really sad.

Moral to the story- Lock your car!

Thanks,

John


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Recreation Co-Ed Adults Slow Pitch Softball

Roster Sign Up, Agreement, Waiver & Release (pdf)

Recreation Co-Ed Adults Slow Pitch Softball

This year’s City of Winters recreation softball league is open to everyone ages 18 and older.  The cost is $350 per team.  Games will be played on Wednesday nights (lower less competitive league) and Thursday nights (upper more competitive league). *If we don’t get enough teams to fill both leagues then we will only be playing on Thursday nights* All games will be played at the Little League Park.  The season will start the first week of June.  You may only play on one team.  If you have a team to register please pick up a roster at City Hall.  If you want to play but don’t have a team you can go into City Hall and be added to our Free Agent List. Sign-ups will end May 20th, all teams’ rosters must be turned in and signed by every player.

For more information please contact Angela Martinez at 530-650-3903. All managers will be contacted prior to the league starting for information about the Managers Meeting.


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Bobbie Greenwood Community Swim Center – Summer 2018 info

Starting June 1, 2018, the pool will be open. Please see attached fliers for info about Recreation Swim times, Adult Lap Swim Times, Swim Lessons and Swim Team. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact Karla Sanders at 530-794-6700.


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City of Winters Drop Off Event, May 12, 2018

City of Winters Drop Off Event, May 12 2018

Click for pdf


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Friday Update on April 27 2018

All,

A couple items for this week:

First, this is Youth Day weekend. Things kick off Friday night Downtown with the Duck Race and Fourth Friday Festival! Then Saturday begins with the Rotary Pancake Breakfast at the Community Center, the Parade at 10 then a day long festival at City Park. The evening is capped with a concert at City Park!

City Council Meeting highlights for next Tuesday include:

  • Budget Workshop for the Fiscal Years 2018-19 and 2019-20
  • Second Reading of the speed ordinance of Railroad Ave.
  • Budget Adjustment for Water Well Repairs
  • Lease agreement for agricultural operations on wastewater fields.

A couple notes on the proposed budgets:

  • Both budgets in their preliminary form are balanced for the first time in almost 4 years. Overall good news and a sign that some of the economic growth and development are kicking in! This is good news for the economics of the City in the long run.
  • From a revenue standpoint, we are projecting both hotels will go online by 2019 and that we will see almost 300 residential permits over the course of the next two years. Residential housing demand is high in town and we expect to see lots of new homes to meet that demand.
  • Capital projects includes significant street maintenance throughout key streets in town. This is very good news for many reasons.
  • The budgets include funds to pursue designs for a new sports park and a new community center in the Downtown.
  • In 2019-20, we are projecting adding positions in both the Police and Fire Departments.

Staff views 2018-19 as a “very tight” budget year with revenues starting to move up in the first quarter of 2019.

Some other notes:

  • Sales tax numbers are in for the fourth quarter of 2017 and we saw an increase of almost 12%. The report has only one month of the new Starbucks and some late reporting from some key businesses in the quarter under review. Overall, the Winters business community seems to be doing well!!
  • The new Roundabout was damaged in the past few days. Not a good thing and you wonder what some people are thinking. We are increasing security measures as we speak and hope to catch the person who did the damage. Someone on a backhoe.
  • Winters is in the running for a USA Today contest as the “Best Small Town Food Scene” in America. To vote, please go to http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-food-scene-2018/ .

Finally, the Winters Joint Unified School District honored four Winters residents in their first “Hall of Fame” induction ceremony. It was really nice!

Those honored included:

  • Long time Winters art teacher Sally Paul who taught in the District for over 30 years and inspired an impressive number of students to follow their passions in creativity. She recounted some fun stories about the enlightenment of some students through art projects and research.
  • Richard Rominger both a student and later a trustee for the District. Rich shared a story about being a sophomore at WHS when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and President Franklin Roosevelt declared war in what became World War II. He also recounted the great fire which burned down WHS and how he finished his high school education in random buildings and rooms around town.
  • Bobbie Rominger, long time community member and swim icon in the City.
  • Jack Graf who graduated from Winters High, was a student,  teacher, principal, WJUSD superintendent and then County Superintendent of Schools. The best story was from Jack’s son John who told the story about the time as a Principal Jack caught a kid who had set a trash can on fire in the school quad. Jack called the student into the office and sent him home with the trash can and made him clean it to shiny new! The kids parent called Jack and home and thanked him for teaching his child an important lesson. In today’s world, Jack would probably be hung in the local media for being insensitive to the student and we would be dealing with a nation-wide student walkout against punishing students without first letting them express themselves.

The evening was hosted by Superintendent Todd Cutler and the Board of Trustees. It was a first class event and one which they plan to perpetuate.

Happy Youth Day!

John


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Winters Nominated for Best Small Town Food Scene- Please vote

All,

Winters is nominated for the “Best Small Town Food Scene in America” on the USA Today website!  We have until May 14th to vote and keep the recognition and publicity for our town! 

Rules say we can Vote once a day!

We started at 19th and went to 11th overnight.
Now, we’re at 7th in the NATION! In two days!!!
It’s working!  The rules say you can vote once a day.
Try to vote every day until May 14th!

Here’s the link:

  1. Click on the link below
  2. Click on Browse Current Contests, (right under the USA Today Readers’ Choice circle)
  3. Click on Best Small town Food Scene
  4. Click on Winters (at the very bottom, left side) and press the blue “VOTE” bar.
  5. Repeat tomorrow!

http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-food-scene-2018/

Or here to get the direct link to vote for Winters:  http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-small-town-food-scene-2018/winters-california/

Spread the word. Vote every day. We have until May 14th!

–John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager


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05/01/18 City Council Meeting


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Friday Update on 4-20

All,

A couple notes:

City Council Agendas:

May 1, 2018

  • Second Reading & Adoption of Traffic Survey Ordinance
  • Budget Workshop
  • Well 2 Rehabilitation/Upgrades
  • Amendment to Martinez Agriculture Lease

May 15, 2018

  •      Final Map Callahan
  • Final Map Winters Highlands – Phase 1
  •      HCP – Yolo Conservancy

A couple updates:

Overall a really good City Council Meeting on Tuesday. A couple highlights included:

  • Putah Creek Park Expansion behind the PG&E Facility.  The $250k improvement will be lead by our partners at the Putah Creek Council (PCC) who presented an overall planting and restoration plan along the drainage canal and both above and below the bank to make the area a “woodland”. The proposal is an amazing accomplishment for the Winters Putah Creek Committee and a testament to having exceptional partnership with groups like the PCC, the Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee and the Solano County Water Agency. Kudos to our Creek Committee,  Environmental Services Manager Carol Scianna and PCC Projects Coordinator Amy Williams for an incredible proposal.
  • We received a nice update on our Comprehensive Annual Financing Report from our Director of Financial Management, Shelly Gunby. Not all good news but if you really want to know about our finances, Click HERE.

One more item of interest:

  • Staff participated in a meeting today with the staff from Yolo County Health Office regarding Cannabis and health issues. A very productive meeting regarding some health facts and key issues. For more information on the health effects, they suggest going to the State Cannabis Website for information. Click HERE to learn more about the health impacts of cannabis.

Have a nice weekend!

John


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Friday Update of Friday the 13th of April 2018

All,

Just a couple items on the City Council Agenda’s as an update:

April 17, 2018

  • Homeless Coordination Project 3-Year Contract- this is an extension of the existing contract and program through a consortium of the cities and Yolo County.
  • Starbucks Final Acceptance & Notice of Completion– all the improvements for this project are completed.
  • Nature Park Extension Project Approval- An ambitious project proposal from the Winters Putah Creek Committee and the Putah Creek Council. Absolutely worth attending the meeting to see some amazing planning in the transformation of this segment of the creek trail.
  • CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report)- the good bad and ugly of City finances. To see the entire report, click HERE.
  • Traffic Survey Ordinance- Revised survey for Railroad Ave mainly. The Grant Ave segment is awaiting Caltrans approval which will occur during the summer. Then, radar enforcement will begin.
  • Police Department’s Revised Axon Quote for the Purchase of Body Worn Cameras (BWC)- This purchase is a significant upgrade of the body camera’s used by our Police personnel. A necessary investment which will coordinate with our in car systems and technology.
  • Public Works Presentation- Guaranteed to be very interesting!
  • Proclamation Honoring May 3rd as Big Day of Giving Led by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation
  • Amend 18/19 Budget and Landfill Monitoring Services Contract w/Wallace Kuhl- This is to facilitate a response and coordination with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and install additional wells for monitoring.
  • Street Closure/Amplified Sound permit for “Youth Day Friday Festival”- The new fourth Friday!

May 1, 2018

  • Second Reading & Adoption of Traffic Survey Ordinance
  • MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding)
  • Budget Workshop

Have a nice weekend.

John


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04/17/18 City Council Meeting


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Friday Update on April 6 2018

All,

A couple items this week:

 

City Council Agendas:

April 17, 2018

  • Homeless Coordination Project 3-Year Contract
  • Starbucks Final Acceptance & Notice of Completion
  • Nature Park Extension Project Approval
  • CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report)
  • Traffic Survey Ordinance
  • Police Department’s Revised Axon Quote for the Purchase of Body Worn Cameras (BWC)
  • Public Works Presentation
  • Proclamation Honoring May 3rd as Big Day of Giving Led by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation


May 1, 2018

  • Second Reading & Adoption of Traffic Survey Ordinance
  • MOU’s (Memorandums of Understanding)
  • Budget Workshop

Some notes:

  • Staff met on Thursday with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board staff regarding a permit filing they are moving on regarding the City’s former landfill on Moody Slough Road. Overall, a pretty good meeting. The bottom line is they have a charge for all closed landfills to implement Title 27 of the Government Code on environmental regulation which means they will not move off of the permit. The big item of concern for the City was the potential requirement for us to add a soil cap on to the 8 acre piece which we estimate would cost almost $2 million. In the end, we agreed to enhance our overall groundwater monitoring program, establish a monitoring plan and have a step by step work program which would be implemented based on performance issues of the test results. I would give our overall team an “A” for preparation for the meeting and having the right people in the room. Our environmental consultant for hydrology and permitting on the project is Winters own Kurt Balasak with Wallace & Kuhl Associates and our staff team leader is our environmental services manager Carol Scianna. Both just hit it our of the park in the meeting on their overall effectiveness in working with the regulators! Its always a great day when you have really talented people with their expertise and acumen on display!
  • Winters continues to have people roaming the town trying to get into unlocked cars. People need to lock their vehicles or risk losing the stuff. The Police Department is doing an excellent job in trying to keep up with many KNOWN individuals who are robbing peoples cars. Unfortunately, there is little justice in California for people who steal from others.
  • In 2014, California Voters passed Proposition 47 which requires misdemeanor sentencing for any theft of under $950. This means that if someone steals items under that value that they basically get a citation for the theft and basically there are no real ramifications for the offense. Thus, if someone steals your lawn mower, a box of tools from the back or your truck or your bike and you catch them, the limit of the Police authority is to simply give them a ticket and they just walk away. People need to understand this and lock your stuff up.
  • Our Police and Fire Chiefs attended a meeting with the WJUSD regarding campus safety at a special District Meeting. Overall a good meeting and many concerns raised. Not an easy topic for the WJUSD.
  • Our Public Safety has offered to participate in training on the WJUSD Emergency Response Plan and work toward a training drill in the fall.
  • The July 3 Fireworks Display will be held at Shirley Rominger Intermediate School instead of Winters High School due to construction of the new Soccer/Football/Track Stadium thus summer.

Finally, they City lost one of the most impactful people in its history with the passing of Newt Wallace on Easter Sunder.

Without question, the Winters Express under the ownership of Newt Wallace has been the defining influence for the City of Winters over the past almost 70 years. Newt as the publisher made a weekly publication which has told the story of our community and the generations of people who make it special.

Newt, Ida and the entire Wallace Family have given Winters the gift of recording our history. They have also helped set the tone and culture of a very civil town where everyone knows each other and are proud to call Winters their home. People know each other because the Winters Express lets us know about each other.

Newt was an incredible gentleman who opened up the Winters Express each Friday the 13th for everyone from the most politically connected to any subscriber to share a drink and feel at home. He was the guy who delivered not only all of the Downtown papers, but also the obituary notices for each resident. From the Yesteryear column to the weather, Newt reminded us of our past, our present and the future. The Express was Winters “social media” 6 decades early!

Few people in town can special order their favorite cheap beer and they have it on hand in our local establishments. I tried to order one of his Olympia beers one time and was denied because there were only two left and the establishment wanted to get their paper that week.

Newt may have been the oldest paperboy in the world, but more importantly he was the patriarch of a family which has helped make Winters the incredible community it is. The Wallace’s and the Winters Express are the glue which binds us in words, memories and most importantly as a community.

The Wallaces have given to this community like few others have. Besides the Winters Express,  I am convinced that Charley along with a number of others saved the Downtown. John has been the local attorney and the involvement of their entire family has been nothing short of a lifelong commitment to this small town! It all started with Newt taking a train to Davis, walking the 15 miles to Winters and purchasing a small newspaper…………. The rest is certainly our history!

If there is a heaven, I hope Ida and Newt are reunited in all their glory and that they publish a weekly publication which will undoubtedly make heaven a little smaller and kinder place.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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