Community Questions Answered: Richard Casavecchia

Support Local Journalism


WE: What is your greatest accomplishment while in a leadership position? Casavecchia: I have had a number of accomplishments in my career that I am proud of, from one of my soldiers being ranked No. 2 in the western region best warrior competition, to leading the working group that developed the State of California unified logistics plan. That plan will support emergency response for disasters like the Santa Rosa Fires, Camp Fire, the Oroville Dam incident, Nuclear Disasters, or a catastrophic earthquake. In June, I completed my MBA at UC Davis and in my first year at my current job, I was able to influence the executive team on how contracts were renegotiated. This resulted in cost savings that exceed the total annual fiscal budget of the City of Winters. WE: Do you believe in a city government that is run by the council or run by the city manager? How do you define the separation of influence? Casavecchia: I believe that a successful city government is run by both. The day to day execution of the people’s business is managed by the City Manager, but responsibility for the actions of the City Manager and consequences thereof fall on the city council. WE: What do you think your role as councilmember should be vs. that of the City Manager/Administrator? Casavecchia: Council members, first and foremost, serve as the voice of the residents. They are also responsible for setting policy, issuing guidance on how policy is to be implemented, passing final approval on proposals and ordinances, and have a fiduciary duty to the residents. The City Manager is responsible for implementing policy within the limitations of the council’s guidance, in a way that meets the council’s intent as well as ensuring the day to day operations function as needed. WE: If you could take action on one thing during your term, what would that one thing be? Casavecchia: If I could accomplish one thing during my term, it would be to ensure the financial situation of our water and wastewater utilities is stabilized for the future. I think the best way to do this is to create a shared water utility management agency with a neighboring town or create a Yolo County Water District that manages and maintains all water and wastewater utilities in the county. The idea is to spread the burden of the shared costs over as many households as possible to minimize the impact on our monthly bills as costs increase. This is a lofty goal but unless we want to dramatically increase our population in town, this is the best way to increase the utility customer base and stabilize our costs per household in a way that growth alone can not. WE: What is your stance on the topic of annexation and development in Winters? Casavecchia: I think annexation at this point is unnecessary since we have a great deal of unused space within the city limits and several projects and proposals for that space that are in various stages of approval and planning. Before we expand the city, I think we should have plans approved and ready to go for our currently underutilized and unused land. WE: What is your stance on the amendment being proposed by the Keep Winters Winters group? Casavecchia: Having not read the actual proposal I have a hard time making any judgment on it. I understand the concerns of council members and the city manager about the ramifications of passing a law that does what KWW wants, but ultimately I think increased say by the people is a positive thing even if it does make some aspects of governance harder on the city. I also think that if the number of signatures KWW collects to get the proposal on the ballot is more than 50 percent of the most recent voter turnout, the council has a duty to pass the proposal into law since they are elected to represent the residents. If the council disagrees, I think they also have a duty to actively engage the residents and start a dialog on their differences of opinion. WE: The Winters city government is addressing the issue of communication, however, transparency is also a concern to some citizens. What would you do to address the lack of transparency with the current processes, especially as it relates to projects and development? It is possible to conflate communication with transparency? Casavecchia: I think every project and development should have its own landing page on the city website with all relevant documents from each phase of the planning and approval process so that information is easy to find. Council votes should also come with a written justification or reasoning behind the decision, so the inevitable “why” question is easily answered. And the city website should be updated to make it easier to find the particular piece of information you’re trying to locate from its vast archive of plans, deliberations, actions, and city decisions. In addition to the community events calendar included with our water bill, an insert should be added with information about upcoming council votes, project status, and/or the city manager’s update for the month so that residents who do not visit the website or may not have internet, still receive important information. WE: How will you support all areas of Winters from businesses, to homeowners, to agricultural, citizen concerns? There are no council districts, so you are responsible for supporting all members of the Winters community. What does that mean to you? Casavecchia: Ensuring frequent connections and conversations with representatives from every stakeholder group in Winters (including but not limited to, Children and Family groups, Sports leagues, Community Service groups, Faith-Based groups, Senior groups, etc.) is key to supporting everyone. A lack of districts to me means that each council member must weigh multiple sometimes competing interests when making decisions. All of the various elements of the city are important to contributing to what makes Winters special, and each deserves the support of the city.]]>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Article

Community Questions Answered: Jesse Loren

Next Article

Brides can see their special day come to life on wedding tour

Related Posts