A little insight into some of those key (really important but not necessarily shiny) issues starting to shape up for 2017 and things we will be working on:
· Pension: One of the most important issues facing California cities is how organizations will meet the impending pension crisis as boomers are retiring and annual contribution begin climbing. Pension stabilization and funding will be one of the more significant issues to be dealt with and will be the focus of a council meeting at the start of 2017. Staff is working on a strategy to fund and lighten the impacts which includes recommendations to the City Council.
· Fees: From water and sewer to building and swimming, fees are under review from both sides of the equation (both up and down). Chromium 6 and State regulation will be front and center and it will not be pretty, especially for seniors and the lower income folks who get thrown in with everyone else but have proportionately higher impacts. Right now, we are looking at water increases of a minimum of $1,200 a year per residents. The economic impact will be close to $3 million from the Winters economy alone by this State mandate.
· Streets: As one of the smallest cities in the Sacramento Region, we get very little revenue to put toward the maintenance of our streets and roads. Examining options for funding and maintenance strategy will be an important discussion.
· General Plan: The City’s current General Plan will reach our 2018 horizon date in just one year. Strategically discussing when and how updates will occur will be forthcoming.
· Economic Development: Capitalizing on the PG&E project, new hotels and advancements in local agriculture will be front and center. Also, strategically seeing how we support all sectors of business development will be looked at. The key will be increasing jobs, vitality for existing businesses and expansion of local opportunities. It will be an exciting time for Winters and something fun to work on.
· Emergency Preparedness: From Police and Fire to public works readiness, the City will be conducting extensive training for staff and volunteers on our response capabilities.
A couple items from this week:
· The opening and ribbon cutting of the Yolo Federal Credit Union branch in Winters was an exciting evening. The facility is absolutely incredible and will be a real asset to our community.
· The City Council approved the drilling of a pilot well hole which will include extensive geological analysis regarding Chromium 6. Costs are starting to mount and this State mandate will cost tens of millions. The $150k spent on the test well will look like a drop in the bucket when we are spending upwards of $40m. Crazy!
· City and WJUSD staff met to discuss the Summer Munchkin Program which provides summer care, enrichment and tutoring to a large number of students in our community. A really good meeting and City staff left impressed with the support from much of the WJUSD administration of the program.
· The USDA Rural Development Program was in town talking small business and agricultural funding opportunities. Literally a “gold mine” of programs in support of small business. Look for additions to the City website with the information and resource links. Better than good!!
· Winters High English teacher extraordinaire Matt Biers Ariel has a new novel out called Light the Fire. It is about high school. He will be doing a reading as a fund raiser for Winters Friends of the Library on December 8, at the library at 7:00 PM. The book is available on Amazon. I have my copy already and so far, it is a great read!!
· Salmon are slowly starting to return up Putah Creek. Go down and check them out!!!!!!!!!
Finally, as most on my distribution know, there is no Friday Update during the Thanksgiving Holiday week. The reason is everyone turns on their “out of office” with their email and the responses (sometimes up to 2000 hammers my email).
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and count your blessings for the incredible community we live and work in. Winters is a beautiful, safe and caring town where kindness and neighborly support still exists. Do something nice for someone and show some love. It’s what the holidays are really about (really!!).
First, gratitude and appreciation to all of our Veterans! Freedom around the world is because of your service to the world! Our nation is the leader of a free world, and it is because of those who have served and sacrificed! Thank you!
For those outside City Hall, I thought I would share the notes from our management staff meeting which consists of all City Department and Division Heads. A little insight into things going on in each Department.
City Council Agendas:
November 15, 2016
· Holiday Tree Lighting & Tractor Parade Street Closure & Parade Permit–Saturday, December 3
· Presentation by Solano Community College Superintendent/President Celia Esposito-Noy
· Seed Money for Winters Community Dinner
· Approval of Sole Sourcing Well #9 Pilot Hole Drilling
· Filling a City Council Vacancy and Appointing a Councilmember to Serve as Mayor
December 6, 2016
· Bond Refinancing – Successor Agency
· Waste Management Contract
· Funding Application to State Revolving Loan Program for Chrom 6
· Appointment to Fill City Council Vacancy
· Jim & Ricky will be cleaning sewer lines and storm drains on the south side of Grant Avenue.
· Water valve installed on hydrant on Mermod and finished lateral service to the Old Catholic Church on Main Street.
· Measured footsall court w/Dago.
· Did a walk-through and signed off on the public works portion of Yolo Federal Credit Union.
· Staff will be erecting wall for outdoor showers at the swimming pool next week.
· Bob & Ramiro will be attending emergency operations training in Woodland next week.
· Crew will split in two and alternately attend open trench training.
· Bob & Ramiro will be taking their T1 and T2 tests, respectively.
· Weeds coming up through the park are being sprayed at Walnut Park; Sal is also pruning and cleaning the dog park area.
· The roundabout is out to bid; bids are due by 12/1.
· First Salmon Festival was successful with 300-400 people attending.
· Working with group for bond refunding, which is being submitted today to the Department of Finance.
· Draft financial statement is ready to review.
· May need to get a quote from the HDL property tax division.
· PG&E property will remain on the county tax rolls until the doors are open. Once open, it will then go into the state utilities pool, where we will see a lower assessment value.
· Working with FEMA on a grant.
· Putting together a 2017 training calendar. Will contact department heads for feedback and to schedule monthly lunchtime training.
· Youth basketball signups are under way.
· Will meet with After School & Munchkin program coordinators, who will then meet with the school district next week to discuss some issues.
· Employee internal newsletter will be starting, which will contain stories, anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
· Working with Ethan on the new marijuana issue from the Human Resources side; updated smoking ordinance generalizes “smoking.”
· Request to Bargaining Units to tie up uniform and holiday pay language; sick leave can be addressed after 9/30/17.
· Attended a Parking Committee data collection meeting; tentative date to collect the parking committee data is 12/9.
· Met with Align Capital on Monday re: Workforce Development. Working with SCC President Celia Esposito-Noy and WHS Principal Nicole Reyherme on employer job spreadsheets as an organizational tool to identify positions available. Also looking at apprenticeships with businesses. Over 100 jobs will be available once the downtown hotel is completed (Buckhorn & hotel)
· Dan & John gave a Blue Mountain Terrace presentation to the Winters Senior Foundation yesterday, resulting in some minor changes.
· Conference call w/Domas scheduled for today regarding revised funding strategies and the split of the property.
· YFCU Grand Opening/Chamber Mixer on 11/14.
· New City Councilmember orientation re: Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Center on 11/15.
· Yolo County Sector Working Group meeting on 11/16.
· Person reported living out of his vehicle at the end of Dutton Street.
· Chamber Board meeting taking place in Council Chambers this morning.
· Piano drop is scheduled for Saturday, November 26th @ Berryessa Brewing.
· Planning Commission approved Jordan’s garage, Winters Healthcare item, and Wingard’s Lot Line Adjustment.
· Planning Commission training is needed; they are seeing themselves as regulatory.
· Finalized YFCU with a couple of minor adjustments needed – will be monitored by Gene.
· Architect for City Hall remodel will get something to Gene by the end of the week. Will move forward with non-permit work.
· Kristine will be out of the office on Tuesday afternoon attending training; office will be closed.
· A duplex (two units) is being constructed as one house on the old Catholic Church property.
· A Certificate of Occupancy has been issued for YFCU.
· Will give mylar maps for hotel civics to Alan for signatures.
· Winters Highlands tract with 2-story homes is going well; smallest ones are 1,800 sq. ft.
· Department was on stand-by for mutual aid for Davis for post-election protests.
· Repeat offender 16 year-old cited for possession of marijuana for sale resulted in family being evicted from apartment by property owners.
· Department is performing aggressive community outreach, including visits to Waggoner, Bilingual Story Time, Girl Scout Challenge, and movies in the fire bay with night shift.
· Took a tour of YFCU last Friday, provided education and security input re: robbery awareness. Will attend school board meeting to discuss restorative justice.
· Active shooter scenario is approaching.
· Officer Hermosillo/Winters PD Canine Unit is working with the Fairfield Canine Unit.
· In-House roll call training tonight, which defines tactics and includes a taser update.
· Received information for FEMA’s ICS-400 Advance Command & Complex Incidents Training with Yolo County on March 29-30, 2017. Will contact YEMSA to sign up (due by 1/27/17)
· Processing future reserve to serve in the DA’s High Tech Crime Unit.
· Putting together a regional, multi-agency swift water and creek rescue training exercise for this winter.
· Annual Shrimp Feed on Saturday (cocktails @ 5pm, dinner @ 6pm)
· Draft marijuana ordinance has gone to the City Manager, Police Chief and Planning Department, which addresses commercial marijuana activities in addition to outdoor grows. City of Davis currently has a moratorium in order to figure it out, but are taxing it.
· Working with Alan on the speed limits, which aren’t an issue right now. When speed surveys are completed in a couple of years, we will look at it again.
· Development Agreement for Dry Creek/Catholic Church property in Planning for review and to the developer.
· Working with Shelly re: reimbursement agreement and inter fund agreement re: Chrom 6.
· Working with Carol re: Waste Management agreement.
· Measure D passed with 70% of the vote. School district should start moving on the first phase of the plan. No CEQA has been completed yet and City will offer assistance where needed.
· Staff Pie Making Exercise: Wednesday, November 23rd @ 3pm at the Fire Station kitchen.
· Holiday Breakfast on Thursday, December 22nd
Notes on the election:
· The passage of Measure D for the Winters JUSD is a big deal for the community! The investment of almost $32 million from Measures D and R will be significant.
· The passage of Proposition 57 will ultimately see 16,000 people previously in prison released and on the streets of California. It’s tough to do time in prison now and police will become the social and mental health workers of the world now. Its amazing that raping an unconscious person, assault with a deadly weapon, hostage taking and domestic violence and hate crimes are considered “non’violent” and are not crimes which would keep someone in prison.
· Possession of heroin, date rape drugs, methamphetamine and cocaine are now misdemeanors! Things which were once crimes are not considered such anymore and will have a significant impact on the culture of California. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
· The passage of Proposition 64 legalizing the recreational use of marijuana will put most of the issues related to marijuana to bed in relation to use and possession. In Winters, the issues will surround outdoor cultivation which we will address through the nuisance ordinance (there is a reason why they call it skunk weed!)
· The election of Bill Dodd to the State Senate will enable the City to continue what has been a solid relationship with someone who has been helping the City on a number of key legislative issues.
Finally, the election of Cecilia Aguiar Curry to the Assembly is not only good for Winters, but really important for the State of California. As Mayor and City Councilmember, Cecilia has shown how she is an extremely effective leader who will represent many constituent bases in the District and people throughout California. She is bright, charismatic and someone who works for what is the best solution on critical issues. The State Legislature can use the pragmatism which Cecilia will bring. In an era where partisanship has made the public cynical about the political process, there is no doubt that Cecilia will transcend party politics to do what is best for all Californians, which will be refreshing.
There are a lot of mixed emotions in losing someone of Cecilia’s caliber to a higher office, but all of us need to rejoice and show pride that the values which come from someone from Winters will now have influence in Sacramento. We need to be proud that a Winters High grad will bring small town influence to the leadership of the greatest state in our union. Cecilia always stressed “getting Winters at the table”. If there is anyone who can get and keep California at the Federal table, it will be her!
Cecilia’s last City Council Meeting will be on December 5. Not a time to be sad in losing an incredible Mayor, but a time to celebrate someone moving on to do incredible things on a bigger stage!
Have a nice weekend.
The Winters Community Pool is Closed for the Season!
11/10/16 Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee Meeting Agenda
A couple items……..
This Saturday, it is all about the inaugural Salmon Festival in Downtown Winters. Click HERE for the website and the following are the particulars:
Time: 10:00 – 4:00
Where: Downtown Winters- Rotary Park
Enjoy: Local Food and Local Music
Field Trips: Free Shuttle to Lake Solano
Activities: Face and Fish Painting, Trout Derby, Fly Casting, Raffle, Silent Auction and More!
Learn: About our salmon and projects to restore Putah Creek spawning areas.
A couple more items going on…………….
· The Walnut Lane Roundabout is finally out to bid. Carol.Scianna@cityofwinters.org is the project manager for any questions or information.
· The main items at the City Council included approval of doing a refinancing/refunding of redevelopment bonds, adoption of the Nuisance Ordinance and a Zoning Text Amendment and the re-transfer of the Railroad Ave Parking Lot from the Redevelopment Agency back to the City.
· Walnut Park will see they hydro seeding of the turf next week. The park looks absolutely beautiful!!
· The Relay for Life was a HUGE success this past weekend. Congratulations to the 35 teams which participated and special accolades to the coordinators including Cheryl Moore, Reana Laevelle, Tracy Jensen and Emily Donlevy! The battle to find a cure for cancer will be won with people like this leading the fight one community and one step at a time. The Winters Relay has raised almost $33,000 from this year’s efforts. Great job!!
Winters Warriors play Pierce High tonight for a place in the Northern Section Playoffs at Dr. Sellars Field. 5:30 JV and 7:30 Varsity. Go Warriors!!
John W. Donlevy, Jr., City Manager
A couple items:
· The upcoming City Council Meeting will include the second readings of the ordinances on Zoning Text Amendments and Nuisance Abatement, the reconveyance of the Railroad Ave Parking Lot to the City from the former Redevelopment Agency, the Bid documents for the Roundabout and the Refinancing of Redevelopment Bonds.
· On Wednesday, we had some excitement with a car chase through town! Luckily, our law enforcement folks were able to catch the person but it was not a good situation. The suspect driving the car narrowly missed some pedestrians and ultimately crashed into a tree on Highway 128.
· Tonight is the Relay for Life beginning at 6:00 at Dr Sellars Field. The event will run through Saturday. There are 35 teams who will be selling and doing things to fundraise for the American Cancer Society. Come out and support your neighbors and friends in this important event!
· A pancake breakfast in support of the Relay for Life will be from 7-10 Saturday morning!
Have a nice weekend.
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.
Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee 10/13/16 Meeting Agenda (pdf)
Just a couple items this week:
· City Council is really short with the main items being an update to the North Area Flood calculations; and an easement with the Downtown Hotel for a grease interceptor (no parking issues). The meeting should be done in record time!
· The Planning Commission approved a façade upgrade to the Downtown Hotel. Click HERE to go to the packet and see the project.
· The City Park Playground Committee had a wonderful meeting on Wednesday at Shirley Rominger School. More than 300 turned out to see some preliminary design elements and to start the momentum to getting this project built in October, 2017. A wonderful turnout and stay tuned for more information on what is happening. Go to their City of Winters Playground Rehabilitation Committee page by clicking HERE.
· City Council members Pierre Neu and Jesse Loren will be representing the City at the League of California Cities Annual Conference next week in Long Beach. This is the largest educational conference for local elected officials and a chance for the Council to get updated on a wide variety of topics related to what we do.
· Winters is one of 5,200 communities in 20 countries who hold a Relay for Life event on behalf of the American Cancer Society. The Winters Relay for Life 24-hour event is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 28th at 6pm. Winters Relay has 19 teams consisting of 101 registered participants who have raised $11,741.50 (so far!) The funds raised go to cancer research and to provide services to cancer patients and their caregivers. At the Relay event, team members take turn walking around the track for the 24-hour period because if cancer won’t take a break, neither will we! There will be food, games, contests, and fun throughout the 24-hour event, so come out and join us!
· Please go to www.relayforlife.org to register as a member of an existing team or start a team of your own! We’re fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer, in our community and everyone else’s. It’s time to get your purple on!!
· Congratulations and Kudo’s to the Hispanic Advisory Committee for an incredible Festival de la Communidad and Carnitas contest! Great entertainment, food and fellowship for our community. This group is working to sponsor a variety of activities to support the Hispanic community and they are doing an incredible job!!
Finally, two Sunday’s ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a media tour sponsored by the Root’s to Wine Group and the Yolo Visitors Bureau. It was a phenomenal effort and enough cannot be said for the participants. It genuinely represented the excellence we have in Western Yolo County, Winters and the Capay Valley.
The morning began with a wonderful reception at the Turkovich Wine Room in Downtown. Then a short trip to Berryessa Wine Tasting Room on 128 and an incredible presentation on the history of wine grapes, root stock and the harvest/press process. We then went to the Turkovich Winery where Chris and Luciana Turkovich talked about wine chemistry and demonstrated “fermentation and punching down the grapes”. Then out to Park Winters for a 5 star lunch which included wine pairing with each course and a selection of every wine from the region. We then went to Seka Hills in Brooks and learned about grafting the rootstock and visited their olive press operations. Finally, we ended up at Capay Valley Vineyards to see how the really small, boutique wineries produce incredible vintages. It was a day beyond anyone’s wildest expectation.
A big shout out to Tracy Rios from Turkovich and Corinne Armstrong from Seka Hills along with the team from Yolo Visitors Bureau for their coordination. They really showed that you do not need to go anywhere beyond our own backyard for a world class experience! A few shout outs:
· Chris and Luciana Turkovich were absolutely amazing in their demonstration on fermentation. Click HERE to go to the Turkovich Wines website.
· Corinne Martinez and Nicole Salengo from Berryessa Gap provided a wornderful overview on rootstock and the wine making process. Their staff provided a first class experience which you can find practically every time you stop in. Go HERE to get to their website.
· John and Rafael from Park Winters showed what 5 star really means! For that special occasion, click HERE to see their place.
· If you have not seen the Seka Hills Olive Mill, it is 25 minutes from Downtown Winters. Go there and enjoy an incredible experience of wine, oils and balsamics.
You do not need to go far to experience the best the world has to offer.
Meeting will keep the next two Friday Updates off the wire!
Have a nice weekend.
One of the most amazing feats in the history of our community was the volunteer construction of the wooden playground structure at City Park. It took the tremendous effort of many volunteers and community members to create one of the coolest playgrounds around. That was 1989!
On what is about the 25th anniversary of that playground construction, it is time to begin preparing for new generations of kids and a new structure.
An incredible group of parents are stepping forward to begin that process and the Design Night will be on September 28 from 6-8 at Shirley Rominger School. The evening will include an opportunity to have input on design elements and to become a part of an important group setting the stage for the future for our kids.
Attached(pdf) is the flyer and I encourage folks to attend!