Albert Vallecillo: City Council candidate

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In part of the 2022 Election coverage, the Express is featuring Meet the Candidate articles to share information about the candidates with the community. Each week it will feature two candidates.

Albert Vallecillo summarized the role of the City Council as, “to watch the purse, and to pass laws and ordinances that make the city run.”

But as a member of the City Council, the individual members must make joint efforts to serve the city.

“You’re only one vote out of five, so the really important thing is collaboration — everybody has to work together to get to the same place”

Vallecillo said he has seen firsthand the necessity for cooperation in Winters’ governance. In the 42 years he’s lived in the city, he’s been a veteran of a plethora of local government commissions, including the Planning Commission, the Affordable Housing Steering Committee, and the Hispanic Advisory Committee. Vallecillo says serving in these positions helped teach him how things get done in Winters.

Vallecillo’s career led him to construction and architecture, as well as getting his Masters from MIT and serving as project manager for UC Davis Design and Construction department.

These experiences taught Vallecillo, “how to work with budgets…I know how to read spreadsheets, pro formas, and establish project budgets, and help projects stay on budget.”

In terms of his priorities, Vallecillo listed maintaining Winters’ small-town character, encouraging citizen engagement, revising the General Plan, and creating affordable housing.

During his time going door-to-door in Winters, Vallecillo noted how many people were concerned with Winters’ small town feel, as many people had come to Winters just because of that, and said he would do his best to maintain that feeling on the City Council.

Vallecillo also hoped to encourage community involvement in Winters, as, “we rely on volunteerism a lot,” in the city, and that one of his goals would be figuring out, “how can we get new people moving to Winters to…bring them into the community.”

“Updating and revising the General Plan,” is a big task Vallecillo wants the city to undertake. A document he’s heard described as “the Constitution,” he said its endurance is a testament to its quality, but that, “30 years later, there are issues that weren’t even being thought of then,” including, “climate change (and) environmental justice.” He related an example of friction between the plan and current needs, citing unsafe street crossings where the plan can’t be accounted for to slow down certain intersections, as well as working with Caltrans to install flashing pedestrian crossing lights.

The last key priority Vallecillo named was affordable housing. Vallecillo said that he himself originally moved to Winters because he could afford to buy a home here, but that in the intervening decades that has become steadily more difficult. When it comes to affordable housing, “there are no silver bullets,” he acknowledges, which he knows from both his career in construction and his tenureship on the Affordable Housing Steering Committee. But he believes that it is a problem the City Council can do something about. Vallecillo proposed, “look(ing) at the sources of money, technologies that are being used, and regulations,” from the state-level and local, as well as looking at mixed housing plans.

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