Friday Update 10-16-2020
Good Friday afternoon. It has been a super busy week here at City Hall. The biggest impact on my office this week was that the auditors that the City of Winters hires each year to audit our financial statements to be sure that they are accurate, spent the last 3 days here. This is a yearly happening, but it just takes a lot of time to answer questions that are brought up. Look for the CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) at a January or February City Council meeting. It will also be on the City of Winters website so that everyone can read it. It contains a lot of interesting information each year, but, I understand, some people find it extremely boring.
I also met with our Sales tax consultant, and, guess what? Sales tax revenues are down from the prior year. Not a surprise for anyone that visits our downtown. Merchants have been closed or had to pivot from normal operations to whatever was allowed by the State and County guidelines due the Covid-19 pandemic, and then there is the whole Lake Berryessa shut down since the fire impacting the sales of gasoline too.
Talking about the reduction in business activity and sales tax revenues leads me to the following topic: Covid-19 impacts and what can be done to help our business community as well as our residential community. City Staff spent time on Zoom with County Supervisor Saylor, CAO Patrick Blacklock, Mayor Cowan, Mayor Pro Tem Biasi, Chris Calvert from the Winters Chamber of Commerce, Chris Turkovich from the Winters Downtown Business District Association and others just this afternoon to discuss the ability to provide some relief from Covid impacts on both the business community and the residential community in the City of Winters. Things that were discussed include:
- We are still in the Red Tier and might be staying in that Tier for longer than originally anticipated, but the numbers will dictate that, so we wait for those results.
- Gatherings of non-family members are happening, and from contract tracing, it appears the gatherings are the primary reason for spread of the virus, not patronizing our businesses. Please be cautious about what you are doing, and don’t gather in groups outside your family. Controlling the gatherings, therefore, controlling the spread, will help our neighbors with businesses survive this pandemic, allow them to hire back their employees and help those employees provide for their families. Each and everyone of us can help our community to survive this pandemic by our individual behavior.
- Today Yolo County Announced Covid-19 Rental Assistance Grant Program. If you know someone who could use assistance paying their rent due to hardship from Covid-19 please guide them to this link which is also posted on City of Winters social media.
- Staff will be working with County Leaders to access CARES Act funding to help the Winters Community with the impact of Covid-19. Stay tuned for more information as we work through the process. City Staff may be reaching out various community members to ask questions as we move through the process, and I know you all have my email since you are getting this weekly update, so if you feel that you aren’t hearing things that address your situation, please contact me through email so that we can include any issues you are might be facing in our discussions.
The National Election is in just over two weeks from now, November 3, 2020. Everyone should have received a ballot in the mail, and you can choose how to return that ballot. Below is a link to the City of Winters Youtube with information on how you can choose to return your ballot.
The Agenda for Tuesday October 20, 2020 includes the following items:
- Final Acceptance of Public Improvements for the Callahan Estates Phase 2 Subdivision
- Contract for the installation of Car Charging Stations
- Contract to Replace the Roof on City Hall (maybe the trash cans can stay on the floor this winter instead of using as leak catchers)
- Contract for the installation of Emergency Generator at City Hall
- Review of Laws related to Upcoming Election presented by Police Chief John Miller
- Status Report from the Winters Senior Commission on Aging.
- Public Hearing for Ogando Tentative Map for lots off Taylor St and Kennedy Dr.
- Appointment of City Manager
- Blue Oak Park and Valley Oak Park Rehabilitation Project using Per Capita Park Grant Funds
- Creation of Ad Hoc Committee for discussion the future direction of the Winters Putah Creek Committee (WPCC)
- Update on Housing Element and Community Outreach during Covid -19
- Winters Downtown Business Association and Winters District Chamber of Commerce Letter to Elected Officials dated October 9, 2020.
I am always surprised how quickly the items on the agenda increases. It seems that we start with just one or two items, and then we have many more things that the City Council needs to provide direction and approval on.
Interim City Manager