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08/08/2019 LPCCC Meeting

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08/08/2019 LPCCC Meeting

08/08/2019 Lower Putah Creek Coordinating Committee Meeting


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Friday Update on August 2 2019

All,

Back from a couple of days in a very hot and monsoon driven trip to Arizona. A couple items:

City Council Agenda:

Discussion items includes:

  • Air B&B Ordinance
  • Designation of Alternate City Council Liaison to Yolo Housing Authority Board
  • Building Permit System Software Upgrade
  • Natural Resources Element Review

Consent Calendar Items Includes:

  • Purchase of a Float Sensor for East Street Sewer Pump Station
  • Amplified Sound Permit for Thanksgiving Dinner Fundraiser
  • Delinquent Utility Bills
  • Claims Filed Against the City from Foxglove Flooding

The meeting will also include a presentation on Climate Change and Resiliency.

A couple more items:

  • The Planning Workshop for August 21 2019 will be mostly educational in nature but will cover some of the hot topics of the past few months. Think the ABC’s of planning, Topics to be covered at the workshop will include an update on any status of the North Area/Annexation Project, Overview of the land development application process, Status of the General Plan, Overview of the LAFCO and Annexation Process, the difference between General Plan and General Plan Implementation and Planning Trends in California. Good news on this is that the session will be facilitated and presented by both our Contract Planner Heidi Tschudin and City Attorney Ethan Walsh!
  • Transient Issues in the Creek have created work for our public works and public safety folks. A busy week with some law enforcement and emergency medical response.
  • First Street Parking lot and Newt’s Alley will probably be paved around the weekend of August 10. Overall both of these projects are looking really good.
  • Saturday is the Albarino Wine Stroll. Check in is at the Green River Tap Room. For full information, go to www.albarinowinestroll.com . It is going to be an amazing event.

Finally, the article in the newspaper on the Planning Commission was a little hard on my comments related to “millennials”. Mostly, my observation is that the overall processes need the participation of a broad cross section of the community, when it comes to issues, especially when looking at our future on issues like planning, economic development and shaping the future course for the community. Yes, I give a hard time to millennials, because they are a really tough group to outreach to in relation to community meetings. Millennials are good in their own forum (online, social media, etc) but when it comes to the melding of interests and groups in a community forum like a City Council or Planning Commission Meeting, they simply do not show up.

Some of this is clearly the fault of the City in trying to find those avenues which get into a more technical approach to engagement. We are looking into alternatives and if we have community members who know of effective community outreach tools in this area, I would appreciate hearing them. Social media seems to be a pretty difficult environment but there must be other avenues out there. Let me know.

Have a nice weekend.

John


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08/06/2019 City Council Meeting

 


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Friday Update on Sunday July 28 2019

All,

The heat of summer is upon us and this time of year marks the start of our fiscal year budget and a lot start for many things, meaning smaller agendas with the City Council.

The tentative August 6 City Council Agenda has the following:

  • Public Hearing on the Air BnB Ordinance
  • Presentation on Climate Resiliency (effects of heat)
  • Designation of an alternate City Council liaison for Yolo County Housing Authority
  • Installation of a float level transmitter for the East Street Pump Station
  • Amplified Sound Permit for Thanksgiving Committee Fundraiser

A couple updates on things:

  • First, if you are feeling ignored by not getting response to emails to City Hall, you are probably not alone. We upgraded all of our computer programs last weekend and most of us feel like we have landed on another planet. Be patient and understand that the positive effects of an “upgrade” take months to be realized. We will get there!
  • Mark Wednesday, August 21 for a joint City Council/Planning Commission Land Use Planning Workshop as an education forum on many of the topics brought up regarding the north area including Specific Planning, Annexation, General Plan and LAFCO Process. This will be an opportunity for the City, community and stakeholders to get on the same page on the status of many key issues. Look for details to come out in the coming weeks.
  • Staff met with about 20 community members with concerns about the North Area Planning issue. It was a facilitated meeting with many questions and some amazing input. I will share that I was grateful for the honesty and directness of folks along with some pretty direct questions to try and clear the air on things. Winters is blessed with many people who love the community. From the meeting, there is more common ground than disagreement on things and I am confident that we will get to understanding and agreement and move forward in a united direction. I will be scheduling a follow up meeting in the coming weeks to check in on some things we are working on at the staff level and get input. The meeting gets 5 out of 5 stars in my view.
  • The Planning Commission had a really good workshop on the Economic Development Advisory Committee Report.  Some really good input. We have an exceptional group on the Commission and the other night shows!
  • On July 9, I was on a panel for the “Sacramento Groundbreakers” which featured Visit Sacramento, Visit Lodi, Rob on the Road from PBS and me representing Winters. Click HERE for a link to the podcast, it came out pretty good for us.
  • The Hotel Winters is scheduled to have its grand opening on September 6, 2019.
  • The OLS Hotels Team who will operate the Hotel Winters have been training at City Hall and it is really pretty cool. Most of the hires are from here in Winters and the orientation process is absolutely amazing. This is going to be a first class hotel and the emphasis on excellence in the training of their staff shows. This is very exciting!
  • I personally walked through the Hotel this week with most of the rooms furnished and the ambiance beginning to emerge. The views from the rooms are amazing and really show off the town and vistas in a way unlike any other place in the City. We cannot wait for the community to see the project, the wait is absolutely worth it.
  • Look for the First Street Parking Lot and Newts Expressway to get rocked this week, concrete gutters installed and paving to happen over the next two weeks. The project is blessed with Vintage Paving as our contractor and their quality subs. The project is on schedule and will be really nice when we are done.
  • Rumor Control on the First Street Parking Lot- THIS WILL BE A PUBLIC PARKING LOT AND NOT EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE HOTEL.
  • Two HUGE projects on the City Manager’s desk are project lists for General City Projects from each Department and a Planning Project List. Both will be presented at the August 20 City Council Meeting. Lot’s going on and the project lists will show that.
  • The City hosted a quarterly meeting for the Sacramento Division of the League of California Cities with about 40 elected officials from the greater Northern California in attendance. An update on our Putah Creek Projects, a Tour of the PG&E Academy, a tour of our agricultural assets and finally a tour of Berreyessa Gap Winery and rootstock. It was a first class event organized by City Councilmember Jesse Loren with Buckhorn Truck Food, a presentation and welcome from Mayor Bill Biasi and a quality representation by our businesses. Our little town is the talk of the Sacramento Region and it did not disappoint! Kudos to all who participated!
  • The Albarino Wine Stroll is on August 3. Get your tickets at www.albarinowinestroll.com . $45 dollars per person which is a bargain!

Finally, controversy over the past few months has put a real critical eye on these Friday Updates. Social media has not been kind, often taking a different spin and taking something which is relatively non-controversial and making it the coming of the apocalypse. I have some folks telling me to end them.

I have been sending the Friday Updates out to a general distribution for the better part of eight years. In total, I hit about 8,000 people weekly through email, twitter, facebook and Instagram. The goal is pretty simple, to give folks a glimpse into things happening in the City in a concise format and some insight into things happening at Winters City Hall and my desk. I include some perspectives and stories in my own goofy way and sometimes bring a self-effacing approach to some situations. Yup, I am very patriotic, pro public safety, have a really dry sense of humor and put an unfiltered view on things (I get interesting feedback on lots of my views). Not trying to generate controversy, propagandize or proselytize, just my view which can be totally ignored and deleted.

The Friday Update is going to continue. For those on my  email distribution who don’t want to be on the list anymore, just respond and Ill take you off. On social media, just ignore it!

Try and avoid the heat and see everyone at the Albarino Stroll.

John


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July 23, 2019 Planning Commission Meeting

 

  • 07/23/19 Planning Commission Meeting (Agenda / Packet) (right click links)

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July 16, 2019 City Council Meeting

July 16, 2019 City Council Meeting


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City of Winters Newsletters

June and July 2019 Newsletters

City of Winters Newsletters


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2019-20 Waste Management Collection Schedule

2019-20 City of Winters Waste Management Collection Schedule

2019-20 Waste Management Collection Schedule
Waste Management Collection Schedule Magnets will be delivered door to door this week. (printable pdf)

2019-20 WM Collection Calendar


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Friday Update on June 28 2019

Friday Update on June 28 2019

Friday Update on June 28, 2019 City Manager Update
All,

A crazy busy week with lots going on!

First, a review of the City Council Agenda for Tuesday, July 2. Pretty short being a holiday week. The entire agenda and packet (with all the details and reports) can be located HERE.

  • TEFRA Public Hearing for the Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Affordable Apartments. This will be a mandatory hearing for the conduit financing for the project.
  • Memorandums of Understandings and Salary Schedules for most of the City’s employee organizations.
  • General Plan Element Review. The fifth of the nine (9) part series. This month we will focus on the Public Facilities and Services Element.
  • Contract with Switzer Enterprises for the City’s Information Technology Services.

Some of the items hot and going this week.

  • Good news, Burger King is ready to be opened. Final inspections and testing was completed today and they can open at any time!
  • The street and frontage improvements for the Downtown Winters Hotel were paved and concrete installed which is a major milestone for the project. Mattresses and furniture are starting to be loaded into the hotel which is very exciting!
  • OLS Hotels, the parent company of the Hotel Winters held employee orientations and training at City Hall. A very exciting day as we watched first hand the local jobs and opportunity being realized from the project. It looks like a first class organization and the new employees seemed to be just beaming!
  • The First Street Parking Lot and Alley Improvements are well under way. Grading for the project is almost completed, so additional geotechnical work is under way in the alley and they are setting up for the concrete work. Vintage Paving of Winters is the general contractor and we could never wish for better. Former City lifeguard, lifelong resident and recent Chico State Grad Kevin Hyde is the foreman on the job and doing an amazing job of managing the operations. Look for the project to come to completion over the next couple weeks!
  • The Planning Commission reviewed and is advancing a recommendation for the adoption of an ordinance to cover short term rentals such as Air B&B, Vacation Rentals by Owners, Etc. The review and work took almost a year and was very thorough, with multiple hearings, workshops and outreach. Look for it to be on the City Council Agenda in August.
  • Housing is becoming the State’s #1 priority with the Governor and Legislature announcing sweeping legislation, funding and penalties for achieving their goals on the expansion of housing. Look for much of this to come to the forefront by September with the release of the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. For more information on RHNA, go HERE.
  • For an overview of key housing issues in Winters go HERE for a report delivered to the City Council and Planning Commission in May.
  • Staff attended multiple County meetings on the growing issue of The problem is growing significantly throughout the State and Region with Sacramento seeing an almost 25% rise. The most significant takeaway is that there are many people literally one lost job or rent increase away from being on the streets. The number of people living in their cars is increasing. The cycle seems to be from housing to eviction to couch surfing to living in a car to living on the street. Each of the Yolo cities (with the exception of Winters) have dedicated “homeless coordinators” extending services and providing a social aspect to city operations. The issue is serious and growing!
  • The City held its “2X2” with the WJUSD on Wednesday. The District is moving forward on their facility plans and many other projects. Lots of really good stuff for students in the coming years.
  • Saturday will be one year since the “County Fire” which burned almost 120,000 acres along the Blue/Berryessa Ridge. Let’s root for NO FIRES in 2019!
  • We had technical issues on this month’s edition of “Ask the City Manager”. We have a few folks in attendance in the Council Chamber and it was a good afternoon. We will fix the camera issue and be back next month.

Finally, the murders of Sacramento Officer Tara O’Sullivan and Davis Officer Natalie Corona were brought to reality for me over the past week with the amazing funeral for Officer O’Sullivan on Thursday and a chance for me to meet the parents of Officer Corona last week in Davis. The shattering of such bright futures and potential which would have undoubtedly have made incredible contributions to the law enforcement community is just heart breaking and hits to the core on the violence which exists in our society and is faced by law enforcement daily.

On Friday of last week (the day following the murder of Officer Tara O’Sullivan), I participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run from the Davis Police Station to the ARC Arena at UC Davis. Leading the procession and the first torch bearers were Merced and Lupe Corona, the parents of slain Davis Officer Natalie Corona. They were the nicest, most affable people, joking with the officers and laughing about Natalie’s affinity for running. They brought strength and resolve to all the officers present. They were absolutely wonderful!

One thing I noticed were the many females participating in the run and how young they all looked. I asked who they were (thinking they were relatives of some of the officers) and I learned that they were either new officers or cadets! First, I felt really old (everyone seems to look really young these days), but mostly I was encouraged to see the motivation of these young female officers coming into law enforcement. As we did the run, they had a number of chants and you could hear these young officers yelling loud and exuding pride and enthusiasm for their chosen profession. It was inspiring!

The tragedies of both Tara and Natalie are simply unconscionable,  but there is no question that they will be the heroic symbols to motivate the growing next generation of female officers who will choose to lead from the front in our public safety future. Law enforcement has yearned to recruit women into the ranks for many years and we are now seeing it grow even in the shadows of the recent tragedies.

From tragedy springs eternal hope and without question, the legacies of Tara and Natalie will be our law enforcement future.

No Friday update next week!

John


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July 2, 2019 City Council Meeting

July 2, 2019 City Council Meeting


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2019 Yolo County Homeless Count

2019 Yolo County Homeless Count

2019 Yolo County Homeless Count


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Ask the City Manager

Ask the City Manager - 06/27/19 4-5:30pm


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Winters Senior Commission on Aging – Applicants Sought

 

Applicants Sought for Winters Senior Commission on Aging

The City of Winters is now accepting applications to serve on the Winters Senior Commission on Aging through July 19th.  The Application of Appointment to City Board and Commissions can be downloaded from the City of Winters website here and the Resolution of the Winters City Council establishing the Winters Senior Commission on Aging can be downloaded from the City of Winters website here.  The Winters Senior Commission on Aging has been established to serve as a forum for discussing the unique needs of senior citizens in the community, including but not limited to transportation, housing, and healthcare.  The Commission will act as an advisory board to the City Council and shall perform a number of functions for the benefit of seniors residing in the Winters area.

Prospective applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have a Winters address.  In appointing members to the Commission, the City Council shall endeavor to appoint a membership that represents the diversity of the City of Winters by race, age and gender.

The term of service is four years, or until a successor is appointed.  A two-person subcommittee of the Winters City Council will review the submitted applications and select a limited number of applicants to be interviewed.  Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted and scheduled for their interviews.

Please email completed Applications of Interest in Appointed Positions to tracy.jensen@cityofwinters.org.  You may also drop completed applications off or mail to City of Winters, Attn: Tracy Jensen, City Clerk, 318 First Street, Winters, CA  95694.

For more information, call 530-794-6702.


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Friday Update on June 21 2019

Friday Update on June 21 2019 City Manager’s Update
All,

Just a quick few notes:

  • First Street Parking Lot and Alley Improvements are well under way! Vintage Paving of Winters, CA is the contractor and they are doing an amazing job and we expect an amazing result on schedule!
  • Staff is working on outreach with folks concerned with some of the North Area Planning. I will be meeting with some folks next week!
  • Next weeks Planning Commission will have a recap of the Economic Development Committee Report and Air B&B.
  • Look for letters to go out to folks with Air B&B’s regarding payment of past due transient occupancy taxes. The issue has certainly made us aware of some folks and we will be in contact.
  • Winters Police will be participating in the Special Olympics Torch Run tonight at UC Davis!

Finally, the murder of Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan is a tragedy of incredible magnitude. Officer O’Sullivan was less than six months past her academy graduation and was cowardly gunned down as she attempted to help a domestic violence victim simply get some personal effects. The blow to the law enforcement community gives that sobering reminder of what being a police officer entails and the dangers which exist at practically every moment of their day.

Sacramento Police Department is an incredible organization with committed officers and solid leadership. Light a candle and show support for them and all officers during this incredible time.

John


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06/25/19 Planning Commission Meeting

  • 06/25/19 Planning Commission Meeting (Agenda / Packet) (right click links)

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June 18, 2019 City Council Meeting

City Council Meeting, June 18, 2019


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Friday Update for June 14 2019

Friday Update for June 14 2019, City Manager's Update
All,

A quick overview on the City Council Agenda then just a list of the projects which are on my desk and will be of particularly high attention over the next 12-18 months.

City Council Agenda for June 18, 2019:

  • Public Hearing on Weed Abatement
  • Planning Commission Appointments
  • Pension and Other Post Employment (OPEB) Policy
  • Amplified sound permit for Summer Concert Series (WFoL)
  • El Rio Villa Sewer Agreement Renewal
  • Olive Grove Subdivision Improvement Agreement for Phase 1
  • Swearing in of Police Reserve Officer Charlie Kharsa

Now the list of projects which are on my desk and will encompass a good part of my workload for the coming months and year:

  • Moving policy direction and review of the Economic Development Committee Report and Recommendations. The report will be back before the Planning Commission on June 25 for additional input, then to the City Council for more direction.
  • Not so “fun fact” on City Sales Tax. For the Fourth Quarter of 2018, sales taxes per capita for the City were $1,809, 2.5% below the same reporting period in 2017. The per capita average for the rest of Yolo County was $4,963, up 10.5% from the 2017 reporting period. This means that on average we are receiving $3,154 less per resident per quarter. This indicates dramatic “loss” of spending within our own economy and our own residents.  A perspective is that if we received the “average” of what Yolo County is getting, we would receive over $900k in general fund revenues to support parks, public safety and general City services.
  • Staff has been contacted and will set a meeting with the Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC) about potential membership. This would be a really important collaboration to generate opportunities for jobs and industry expansion in the City.
  • Develop an overall strategy on integrating the Draft Climate Action Plan and a draft Implementation Strategy. Climate is an important part of both future land use and economic development which will help address the City’s number one green house gas (GHG) issue- reduction of vehicle miles travelled.
  • The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process with SACOG is heating up and I will be engaging in the process which will lead to the release of the housing numbers and formula’s which are anticipated to be released in late summer.
  • The release of the RHNA numbers will trigger the process for an update of the City’s Housing Element. This will include the hire of a consultant, format, analysis, public outreach and working with both SACOG and the State Department of Housing and Community Development. This is a really BIG deal and will be a major effort.
  • The recent uproar and concern over the Bellevue North Property has triggered concerns over planning and overall direction. I plan to meet with people concerned with the issue to gain perspectives and input. A need for public outreach and information is definitely there and I will be working to provide all of that. Look for items before both the Planning Commission and City Council in the coming months. For information on the North Area Planning, click HERE for a website we have set up with the applicable information.
  • Succession Planning for some key retirements in Public Works and Housing/Economic Development/Planning is a big load. We are losing almost 30 years of experience/service with these retirements. When high caliber employees leave you lose quite a bit of institutional knowledge and capacity. Not looking forward to this at all.
  • Preparation for the Fiscal Year 20-21 and 21-22 budgets will be on us as early as the fall. Capital Projects, Public Safety and Utilities are all big topics. When it comes to government regulation, nobody gets is worst that local government. Looks for new regulations for water, wastewater and storm water which will be significant and cost a lot!
  • A needed remodel of the former Police Department will move Financial and Human Resources functions for better accessibility and functionality. This project will move into the next years budget but planning needs to begin now.
  • The Fairfield Inn is moving along but there are details on my desk which need work.
  • The Senior Center and Blue Mountain Terrace Senior Apartments will shift to my plate for completion.
  • The Senior Commission on Aging will begin to take shape and my guess is that they will be active.

A couple areas which may be of interest:

  • Staff has been researching Air B&B’s in town and frankly, we are surprised by the number in our town. The interesting thing is that, except for the month of February, none have been submitting transient occupancy taxes. We are generating the lists of addresses to contact the proprietors and gain compliance. The good news is that Air B&B and VRBO provide 1099 tax forms for easy auditing to gain compliance with the tax requirements. It certainly looks like some of our “hosts” have been very successful.
  • I am expanding my “Ask the City Manager” to a City Council Briefing video which I will debut Monday on our Facebook page and Youtube Channel. Look for the posting as I will provide the same briefing given to City Council for the General Public.
  • Look for a re-look at turning Abbey Street into a One Way with diagonal parking. The street construction is showing the potential for this project to generate a high quality entry for the Downtown Hotel. Better preparation and getting folks out onto the street will help for a better evaluation.
  • A Job Fair for the Hotel Winters will be held on Wednesday, June 19 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at City Hall in the Downstairs Conference Room off of Abbey Street. To get started in applying, people can go to olshotels.com/careers

Have a nice Fathers Day Weekend!

John


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June 14/15, 2019-Big Blue Recycling Barn Thrift Store

June 14/15, 2019 Big Blue Recycling Barn Thrift Store


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Friday Update on Thursday June 6 2019

City Manager Update, Friday Update on Thursday June 6 2019
All,

A week which has just flown by and my Friday is an absolute monster so the update will be a day early!!

  • Staff attended the Governor’s Emergency Management Preparedness Summit in Sacramento on Monday. The session included a presentations from Governor Gavin Newsom, State Director of the Office of Emergency Services Mark Ghilarducci and panels which included executives from many areas impacted by wildfire over the past year. I would give the Summit 10 out of 10 Stars for effort by the Governor and his entire team in raising awareness and the need for collaboration in preparation, response and recovery.

I will admit that I had never seen the Governor in person and my impression of him was quite a bit different than the typical sound bites and media presentations. Frankly, I was impressed with his grasp of the issues, he was very articulate and well informed on emergency management needs and realities. He was quite magnanimous in his appreciation for his emergency management executive team and the efforts of those throughout the emergency management field. His grasp on the need for collaboration and the need for reform of government regulation to enable fire prevention was commendable. I left impressed with his sincerity and demonstration of leadership on the issues. Overall, well done and worth attending.

  • One major takeaway from the Summit was an appreciation for the preparation and collaboration we have in Yolo County. County OES Manager Dana Carey and the Yolo Cities are extremely well prepared and could have been highlighted as a model for much of what they were talking about.
  • A key concern for the coming summer will the potential for power outages which could last for up to 5 days in the event that transmission lines are turned off. A reality is that a need to turn off transmission lines in Butte County could result in outages as far as Yolo County, essentially shutting down business and operations in communities for hundreds of miles. Getting information to businesses and residents will be critical in the coming weeks. People, especially those from vulnerable groups (elderly, sick, persons on oxygen) who need power need to begin making preparations in the event of extended periods without power.
  • City Staff met today to discuss the potential for a relocation of City Hall operations and maintaining our utilities and public safety capabilities. Generators, fueling contracts, maintenance of both water and wastewater operations and pumps all were topics. Key plans and assignments are going to be put in place to insure a continuity of operations in the event of an extended power outage. We all left the meeting with assignments to start things in motion to be ready in case the power goes out.
  • Winters Fire this week has been busy on two structure fires, one at Burger King and the other at a residence on Hill view Lane. Quick action in both were critical in preventing spread and preventing injuries to people and pets. A special thanks to Winters Police who were quick to the scene on Hillview, helping the residents and protecting the community.
  • On Tuesday, a combined meeting of the City Council and the Planning Commission was held to discuss the Economic Development Committee’s Report and recommendations. A good meeting with a nice turnout and lots of really good questions. You can access the report HERE.
  • The City received its first transient occupancy check from Air B&B for the months of February and March. Something close to $20,000!

Have a nice weekend!

 

John


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