City Manager’s Update (pdf)
January 7, 2022
Happy New Year, everyone. May 2022 to bring us all health, happiness, and sustained economic recovery….Top of mind this week is,
As we know, the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire. For many it will result in mild symptoms or less serious illness than the previous variants since it seems to stay within the upper respiratory area and less targeted on the lungs. However, particularly for the unvaccinated or immune compromised, it can present as a serious illness and those that are hospitalized are in the majority unvaccinated. Vax’ing, boosting, testing, and masking are still the recommended mitigation measures to combat the spread of COVID.
- Health orders changed this week related to quarantining and isolating. Info here. The new order requires a negative test to return to work before the 10 day period (an antigen rapid test would be best since the virus can remain in your system even if you aren’t contagious).
- The County is working on a plan to distribute free test kits to people who test positive. Watch for more information.
- The City is working with Healthy Yolo Together funded by the County to open a COVID testing center at the Winters Community Center. Thank you, Yolo County. Stay tuned.
- The School District is offering free community testing in front of the library on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons 1 – 6:30 p.m. and at the District Office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.; thank you, WJUSD. This is a new service provider and the need is great so expect lines and delays. Pre-register at https://www.covidclinic.org/winters-joint-unified-school-district/ to speed up the process.
- Testing is also available at Winters Health Care with an appointment and through pharmacies.
- CalOSHA has updated its order for workplaces; available here.
- Yolo County has updated its COVID dashboard to make it easier to find information and resources; click here.
- Given the recent surge, the State just extended the mandatory indoor mask mandate to February 15.
- If you have symptoms (nose, throat, cough, fever, aches & pains), please stay home. Get tested. If you can’t get a test, stay home until you are no longer sick.
For many, despite the two years we’ve been in pandemic mode, we expect to receive what we want, how we want it, when we want it, and now we can’t get it. Others, I might add, have never had that privilege. Please be patient and understanding of greater community circumstances. Yes, these are frustrating and for many unsettling and scary times, but they also can remind us of what is really important…My list includes family, friends, good moments, helping others, our community bonds, spending time in nature, and furry companions. Humankind is resilient, adaptive, and adaptable. As individuals and as communities, we are ever evolving and this is another, shockingly rapid pivot into a new normal. We will adapt and overcome.
Final note: Please wear a tight-fitting two-layer mask when you visit City facilities and have it in place before entering the building. We are trying to keep COVID out of our buildings in order to maintain service levels and protect the health of employees and visitors.
City Hall Tidbits:
- The City’s new business license portal is now live. Renewal notices have been sent out in the mail but can be completed online by clicking a button at the bottom of the City’s homepage or here. The new portal will allow us to transition to rolling renewals rather than only in January. The system is more efficient for us and hopefully our businesses.
- Water utility billing is slightly delayed; bills will be issued this week and per our COVID practices, no late fees will be assessed. Please note, payments can be made online through another button on the City’s homepage or by clicking here.
- We will begin a second recruitment to replace retiring Administrative Services Director Shelly Gunby. We are looking for someone with a strong municipal finance background, good supervisory experience, a commitment to best practices, a team player eager to roll up sleeves and jump in at all levels, and a desire to support a small agency which strives for excellent service. We are not for the faint of heart! We are a small and mighty team that dreams big, imagines more, and has a good time doing it. Spread the word!
- We’ve opened a recruitment for an Executive Assistant / Deputy City Clerk, which is posted here. If you have strong administrative experience, attention to detail, organizational skills, an analytical mind, and a desire to grow, learn, and support community, please apply. Municipal experience is preferred; however, we are trying to grow our administrative staff to underpin operations and will keep applications on file for future opportunities.
- Monday is the deadline for Climate Action Commission applicants, and we need applicants! Please click here for more information and submit your application asap.
Upcoming Council Meeting
The next meeting is January 18, 2022, via Zoom.
A major Woot! Woot! to Director Shelly Gunby who has overseen the City of Winters’ financial operations for 25 years. Shelly departs on her final vacation next week prior to officially retiring in March. Please join me in thanking her for her steady financial guidance through so many years of community transformation, growth, economic crises, and renewal. She also served a stint as Acting City Manager at the height of the pandemic before my arrival. We wish her well as she heads off into the greener pastures of quilting, traveling, and enjoying unpressured family time. You might find her on a bike in Woodland or the back of a motorcycle traveling the rural roads of Yolo County. Thank you, Shelly, for your service, dedication, and partnership.
As one staffer departs, another onboards! Please help us welcome Sgt Manny Cardoza who joined us this week. Sgt Cardoza hails from rural roots and has worked for Placerville, West Sacramento, and Marysville. His law enforcement experience includes patrol, field training, motorcycle traffic unit, SWAT, and accident investigations. He also has his real estate license and is co-owner of a brewery in Sacramento. He has a criminal justice degree and is completing his master’s in justice administration this spring. We like well-rounded and diverse experiences here! Please help us welcome Sgt Cardoza!
And finally, an honorable mention to Accountant Mary Lou Mendoza and her able elves who helped decorate City Hall with tractors and the like for this holiday season. The Winters Express shared our grinch who found his tree (once he escaped from the Chief’s car after the tractor parade). It takes a team!