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Tag Archives: city manager update

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Friday Update: October 23, 2020

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Friday update 10-23-2020

Whoot Whoot!!!! City Council selected a new City Manager at the city council meeting Tuesday night.  Our new City Manager, Kathleen Trepa will start on November 9, 2020.  You can read more about Kathleen here:   http://www.cityofwinters.org/city-of-winters-appoints-kathleen-salguero-trepa-as-city-manager/ .  We will be getting her email address set up in the next week or so, so we aren’t ready to start receiving emails for her at City Hall right now.  You all are stuck with me as City Manager for 2 more weeks.

I am excited about Kathleen joining us.   I have been doing double duty as both the Director of Financial Management and City Manager for the last 3 months, and I can honestly say, boy oh boy, that is a lot of stuff to work on at the same time.  I have worked with various county staff that I hadn’t worked with before and I have interacted with the other City Managers in Yolo County as a result of stepping into the interim position.  There are a lot of good people working throughout Yolo County as we try to navigate this pandemic driven world we live in right now.  I am sure that all the folks in Yolo County will welcome Kathleen and continue the great communication and working relationship that Yolo County agencies have developed.  They were all super welcoming to me when I stepped in after John’s departure, and I know they will be the same for Kathleen.  Kathleen will also be working with a super supportive City Council.  The City Council has been very patient with me as I have had questions to be sure I understood the priorities for the City Council as I have been working in the City Manager position.  While I have worked for the City for almost 24 years now, I haven’t had the pleasure of working so closely with the City Council until now.  This is a very dedicated group of people on our City Council, and making sure that we, Council and Staff, always strive to do what is the absolute best for everyone in our community is always their priority.

This week also included conversations about the Covid-19 pandemic and where we are with the Tier System.  We are still in the Red Tier, and the number of cases in Yolo County have increased.   The County issued new guidance on gatherings this last week.  I have heard a lot of “talk” about those guidelines, and I know that people aren’t happy with the new guidelines, especially with the holidays coming up.  It is disappointing that we have to worry about these things, but, we need our businesses to survive in order to keep people employed and families provided for.  I wish it was different, but, apparently it isn’t.  I don’t know the science, and I am not happy with the fact that we are still struggling to survive as a community due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions, but, again, I need to remind everyone that each person’s actions can impact the way our community will be allowed to interact with one another.  Masks are uncomfortable, and I don’t like wearing them, but, we are told we have to in order to go out and about and have our businesses open, so, I wear a mask.

The City has also been working with Yolo County on the Small Business Grant, and folks that applied for the program should begin getting information on grant awards next week, and those that were awarded grants should be getting checks the first week in November based on the latest information that I received.

The City and the Winters Downtown Business District Association is also working with Yolo County to secure some CARES Act funding.  We are close to an agreement with the County and then we will start the process of helping the community with the funding we get.

The City received a grant to do improvements in our parks, and Eric Lucero has come up with some really good ideas for how to improve both Blue Oak Park and Valley Oak Park that include items for younger children, older children, and for our Senior community.  We will be getting all the information to the State so that we can get the funds and get moving on the projects as soon as possible.

Just a little over a week before election day.  Don’t forget to vote, no matter what/who you vote for, your vote is your voice and it is important that you be heard.

Shelly Gunby
Interim City Manager
Director of Financial Management


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Friday Update 10/16/2020

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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.

https://www.yolocounty.org/Home/Components/News/News/12290/26?fbclid=IwAR3aG8nkdYHV5IISeGADRjgBP-hPpkGMRIk5lOTnDXFHAGzuSWcuxhuiJDE

  • 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.

https://youtu.be/W13NhamVyoE

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.

Shelly Gunby
Interim City Manager


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Update Friday October 9, 2020

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Fall is in the air, I can feel it today.

A lot of stuff happened this week.  City staff met with 3 City Manager Candidates on Tuesday.  Wow, Bobbi Peckham and the City Council found some really impressive folks to consider for our next City Manager.  I don’t envy them having to make that decision, as all the candidates were impressive, and we are moving closer and closer to having the new City Manager coming on board.

The City Council approved the acquisition of a new City Council agenda preparation and video streaming program to help make our City Council meetings even easier to access for all residents at our City Council meeting on Tuesday.  Lots of other information was presented, including information from the Sacramento Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District about mosquitos in Winters, information about other software products are being implemented by the Finance Department and the Building Department.  Lots of new technology to help staff work more efficiently as we move forward with our current model of less staff.

Staff participated in meetings with CalTrans this week, and the best information we received was that the Grant Application referred to as the ATP Grant that we are hoping to get in order to provide better pedestrian access on the overpass over I-505 will be awarded sometime around February 15, 2021.  So that will be when we know the results of all the hard work from the Yolo County and City of Winters staff as well as consultants working to put together the grant.

Staff continues to work on ideas on utilizing the Per Capital Park Grant, more information will be coming to a City Council meeting soon about that.

Election day is coming up fast now, less than a month away  California offers online voter registration.  You can go here: https://registertovote.ca.gov/?t=s to register online.

You should know: you will need a California-issued driver license or California identification card number, the last four digits of your social security number, and consent to the use of your DMV-stored digital signature to use California's online voter registration system. If you don't have a California-issued ID or don't want to provide consent for the use of your digital signature, you can still register by mail to vote.

You can register online to vote until Monday, October 19, 2020.

If you can’t register online, you can still register by mail, and the City of Winters has the voter registration cards that you can pick up fill out and then mail in, but remember, you have to register by Monday October 19, 2020 no matter what form of registration you choose.

Several of our local citizens have recorded youtube videos about why our votes matter, and we will be posting to the City of Winters You Tube, and I will be including some in my updates until election day.  This week I am including Liz Coman’s video, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/4RrdEi0Tpvo.

Shelly Gunby
Interim City Manager


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Friday Update 10/02/2020

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Wow, it is already October.  I would say Fall is in the air, but, it isn’t.  It is still hot outside, and the nice clean air from last Friday has been replaced with smoky air this week.

This week our fire crew that was deployed to OES in Fresno has returned home safely and are back staffing the Fire Station.  Our Fire Chief is deployed to the Zogg Fire up around Redding helping with the strike teams up there.

We moved from the Purple Tier to the Red Tier on the Covid-19 scale this Tuesday.  This is the State of California’s way of letting us know what rules we have to follow for dealing with Covid-19.  This is some encouraging news, although still frustrating for all our businesses and residents. What does this mean?

  • Restaurants can open indoors with 25% occupancy
  • retail can open with 50% occupancy
  • fitness and gyms can open with 10% occupancy
  • places of worship can open with 25% occupancy.
  • Playgrounds have new guidelines that were released by the State of California last week, and the guidelines are posted at our playground areas now.
  • Still no events
  • Still no gatherings
  • Masks are still required

You can go to the link below to see a more exhaustive list of what is allowed and not-allowed in the Red Tier in Yolo County: https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/roadmap-to-recovery

A new fire started in the Napa County this week, and Napa County let everyone from Napa, Solano, Yolo and Sacramento Counties know that there was an extreme fire danger.  Unfortunately, this is what happens when a WEA alert goes out instead of using the more targeted Alert systems.  My understanding is that there is very little control over who gets the WEA type alerts and so it can be pretty widespread and inaccurate.

Yolo and Solano County both had to send out an Alert to all those enrolled in their particular programs that the Napa County Alert was not meant for anyone outside of Napa County.  Lucky me, I got all the alerts from everyone, because, since I am so close to Solano County here in Winters, I signed up for Alert-Solano after the LNU complex fire and I was already signed up for the Alert-Yolo system.  Yolo County doesn’t usually send out the “not Yolo” alert, but the Napa County Alert was so wide spread, that Yolo County OES made the decision that it was needed in this case.

Don’t forget, if you are a small business in the City of Winters there is a Small Business Grant Program in place funded by CARES Act Funding. Applications for Small Business Grants from Yolo County are open until October 4, 2020 at 5pm (yes I know that is a Sunday, but, that is what Yolo County said). Find all the information about the program and how to apply here https://www.yolocounty.org/health-human-services/adults/communicable-disease-investigation-and-control/novel-coronavirus-2019/small-business-grant-program

On the City Manager search front, interviews were held today for the first round.  I don’t know much more than there were 2 panels of interviewers.

The October 6, 2020 City Council meeting items include:

  • Amendment to Contract with BBK for City Attorney Services
  • Irrevocable Offer of Dedication of Road Right of Way
  • Project Budget Sheet and Amendment to West Yost Agreement for WWTF Influent Screen Phase 2
  • Public Sidewalk Easement for Blue Mountain Terrace
  • WasteWater Treatment Facility Monitoring Services Contract
  • Climate Action Plan Extension of Term
  • Contract with James George Designs
  • Introduction of new Permit Tech, Kelsey Bean
  • Update on Invasive Mosquito Found in Winters by Gary Goodman
  • Update on Finance and HR software implementation
  • Update on Building Permit Software Implementation
  • Creation of a fundraising Commission for Furniture and Fixtures for the soon to be constructed Senior Center.
  • Authorization for Agenda Management and Video Streaming Services Software
  • Proposal to Cancel the November 3, 2020 City Council Meeting.

A lot of things are going on in Winters, and hopefully we can remain strong and get through this pandemic successfully together.   If we (Yolo County) can continue the good work of the past few weeks and months, hopefully we can look at the Red Tier in the rearview mirror in about 3 weeks and move into the Orange Tier which will be much better for our businesses and our residents.

Shelly Gunby
Interim City Manager
Director of Financial Management


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Friday Update on May 24 2019

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City Manager Update Friday, May 24, 2019
All:

Just a couple items this week:

  • Parking Enforcement in the Downtown will see us moving from warnings to actual tickets. Citations are $30. Lot’s of reasons to enjoy our Downtown and this is definitely not the ticket you want to get, so encourage folks to park in the City lots for extended periods to avoid the fine.
  • The City Council approved street work and the construction of the Downtown Parking Lot at the City Council meeting on Tuesday. Look for lots of paving and work to commence sometime in June.
  • Things are beginning to take shape on the Hotelwinters.com  . Street work, alleys and some nice finishing touches are starting to get done toward a summer opening! Exciting.
  • Staff participated in an important meeting between the League of California Cities and the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC). The goal is to work towards a “rural summit” combining cities and counties to work on issues which are distinctly unique to those in the smaller less urban areas. Councilmember Jesse Loren has been a key State-wide leader and advocate to advance issues for rural cities and things are starting to come together like never before. Really good stuff!!
  • Some of the common issues being discussed are access to Broadband, impacts of State Legislation on smaller jurisdictions, Infrastructure and affordable housing.
  • This weekend is the Davis World Cup Soccer Tournament and Winters is sending four, very competitive teams. Keep them in your thoughts as they play over the weekend toward the championships! Really proud of our kids in these competitions with quality coaches and really good players who represent our community well.

Finally, today, I attended the funeral mass and services for Don Rominger who passed away last week at age 89. He lived and farmed in Winters for 87 years and made a huge impact on the lives of many and was active in the Winters Community. Shirley Rominger Intermediate School is named for his wife who passed away almost 20 years prior. Don served on the Winters Fire District Board for 50 years and was honored last year by the District.

The services were a catholic mass followed by eulogies from two of his grandchildren, Cody Rominger and Julia Harder. The entire Rominger Family and its extensions all played a role in the services which were simply a beautiful tribute to an incredible man of faith, family, hard work, farming and commitment to the Winters Community. The services and eulogies paid a deserving tribute and celebration to family and a moral and committed life.

I personally met Don in October, 2001 when I attended my first Winters Fire District Board Meeting. Don’s first questions to me were “Where are you from” and “how long are you going to stick around”? My first impression was of a man who spoke with little to no filter in how he talked with you and he was the type of person willing to ask questions and say things that others typically kept to themselves. I absolutely loved the directness of his approach and quickly learned that many of his seemingly outrageous assertions about the District/City business relations on fire services in the past were 100% accurate. Don was a real character.

In my first few interactions with Don, he gave me some of the best advice for being City Manager in Winters: Understand that everybody knows or is related to everybody, be straight forward and don’t play politics, come straight at people on the issues. I have cherished that advice and respect and am grateful to Don immensely for giving it to me.

A common thread in today’s service was the word “commitment” which seemed to embody Don’s life. Family, faith, community, farming and a focused life are what made up Don Rominger.

Winters is blessed with a number Don Rominger’s who have made lifelong “commitments” to making this a special place. The culture, the multiple generations and the selflessness which embody the spirit of those who are “all in” are what makes Winters the community it is.  As I looked around the church today, I saw many faces of those who have given their lives to the Winters community. Funerals and weddings are special because they bring a lot of people who have shared common life interests together. Sad and good at the same time!

Don Rominger was a very blessed man with a beautiful family, leaving an incredible legacy and a community who is grateful for his lifelong contributions. Godspeed to Don!

John


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